UPDATE | Following Australian Business Traveller's story on oneworld lounge access, a senior oneworld rep contacted us to explain that the change was due to an unauthorised change made during a website update.
You're able to use any oneworld airline's business lounge if you hold a business class ticket, or first class lounge if you've a first class ticket.
PREVIOUS | The oneworld airline alliance, in which Qantas is a major partner, has slashed its lounge access policy for business and first class passengers.
Passengers forking out for the expensive seats at the front of the plane are now restricted to only visiting the lounge of the airline they're flying, oneworld's new-look website states:
When you fly First or Business Class with a oneworld member airline, you are free to enjoy that airline’s First or Business Class lounge (depending on which class you are flying) before departure, regardless of your frequent flyer tier status.
Travellers in those premium cabins previously had access to the first or business class lounges run by any oneworld partner airline.
However, frequent flyers don't need to panic -- oneworld's new rules apply only to the ticket you hold, not to your level of frequent flyer status.
Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members (which equates to Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum and Gold, for instance) will still be allowed into any lounge of their choice.
- Emerald tier frequent flyers can use First Class, Business Class or frequent flyer lounges.
- Sapphire tier frequent flyers are welcome in Business Class or frequent flyer lounges.
- As an Emerald or Sapphire member, your lounge access is regardless of which cabin you are flying in.
- Emerald and Sapphire members may invite one guest to join them in the lounge.
Yes, that does seems a bit arse-about: people paying for first class are restricted to their airline's lounge but frequent flyers who may be sitting in economy can take their pick of lounges!
Oneworld's new rules will be a real blow to Qantas business and first class passengers travelling to and from London but without the benefit of frequent flyer status.
Card-toting frequent flyers, including Qantas' Gold (oneworld Sapphire) and Platinum (oneworld Emerald) members, can enjoy the light, bright Cathay Pacific lounges at Singapore Changi and London Heathrow -- and can also slip into the best oneworld lounges in Terminal 3 at London Heathrow.