Qantas extends priority boarding to Gold frequent flyers

By Chris Chamberlin, December 11 2014

Qantas Gold frequent flyers can now use priority lanes to skip the boarding gate queues on Australian domestic flights.

A Qantas spokesperson confirmed the change to Australian Business Traveller, advising that “cabin crew are currently announcing this benefit to customers upon boarding and airport signage is being progressively updated across the network.”

New signage is already in place for some Brisbane flights.

Domestic priority boarding lanes are already open to business class passengers, Qantas Platinum and Platinum One card-holders and their fellow Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers.

The priority boarding benefit will also cover equivalent Sapphire members of Oneworld partner airlines such as British Airways Executive Club Silver and Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club Gold.

Rival Virgin Australia has long offered domestic priority boarding to its Velocity Gold members – a perk held dear by many frequent flyers as it not only means less time standing in line but a better chance of finding space for your bag in the overhead lockers.

The change also aligns the Red Roo with the rest of Oneworld, with priority boarding one of the published alliance-wide benefits for both Sapphire and Emerald-level travellers stuck in economy.

Earlier this month, Qantas Gold frequent flyers also picked up priority baggage delivery and a boosted baggage allowance whenever flying with any Oneworld airline, including carriers such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways.

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Obviously whether this is good news or bad news depends on your own status; as a Velocity Gold I've always seen this as a good reason not to switch to QF. I've always assumed that Virgin could get away with giving it to Gold flyers simply because their flights are less elite-heavy. That said, I seldom catch the 7am SYD-MEL platinum express, so I wouldn't necessarily know.

I don't see priority boarding as such a big benefit on Australian domestic flights anyway, unlike in the US where everybody takes a giant carryon, the bins inevitably fill up, and for some reason they take 40 minutes to board a 737 while everybody stands around in the aisle looking confused.

On the other hand I do like showing up at the gate halfway through boarding and skipping the line.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 736

PB is a huge benefit, over in VA world we still have the muppets with too much carry-on. And VA's execution is excellent. Check out the QF PB threads in AFF for a laugh. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1136

Nice, but the real benefit is in the implementation and execution.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Aug 2012

Total posts 194

About time! Always thought it was a curious anomoly.

04 Nov 2012

Total posts 216

Yikes, as an QF gold I've always gone down the short isle.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 38

Gumshoe I'm the exact same! Though coming from the lounge I've never boarded early, I've always gone through the priority lane once I get to the gate and have never been stopped. Haha. Guess they've never really enforced it anyway so they thought they may as well make it official and market it that way!

04 Nov 2012

Total posts 216

No I never boarded early ,never been stopped either, might have been my good looks, probably not as an old senior.

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

so 'newbie'....you always get through because the boarding F/A doesn't want a confrontation with you ....the associated grief..and no doubt the rant you will go on....and on...and on...into  the cabin...causing distruption onboard...if they refuse to scan you...and send you to the other lane....most times the PB lanes are only as effective as the PAX that use them!!!

quite frankly i hope it becomes policy that those PAX who choose to use PB lanes and are not entitled to....get sent on a walk of shame to the BACK of the other line...and are told in no uncertain terms....to suck it up!! HAHA

VA Platinum

26 Mar 2014

Total posts 117

That's probably why VA do it so well. It's well executed and policed. I often have people line up infront of me in the Priority lane only to be told "Sorry Sir/Maam, we are only boarding Priority customers at the moment, please wait to be called"

Que walk of shame.. LOL

04 Nov 2012

Total posts 216

The funny thing is over all these years I thought it was normal as a QF SG to do it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 558

+1

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Plantium

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 120

Must admit I didn't realise that Qantas Gold could not get PB.  Have been Gold with Virgin for a while now and find PB on both domestic and international flights a real bonus.  As I always fly economy to be able to get on early, place my backpack away and get my tablet / headphones out before the 'hordes' of people come on board makes the tavel experience that much better

12 Feb 2014

Total posts 228

I've seen many people sent back to the end of the non-priority line for not having the right pass, but I always assumed they had no status, just an economy seat. If I was checking the gate, I'd let a gold status through if only because I knew there wouldn't be that many of them to make a difference to the 'execution'.

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 128

right..

CX has priority boarding from the basic  green level!

CX first and Business board on the left, and MPO on the right

then PE boards where first and business did and Economy on the right

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

Someone call me out if I'm wrong, but don't CX charge you to be a part of their status gaining program?

It's not totally comporable to VA Red which is free to join or QF Bronze, (which claims to be around $89 but any Woolworths or NAB customer can get it for free).

It sounds like it would be the equivilant of all 10 million QF and 7 million VA members getting priority boarding

26 May 2012

Total posts 150

CX's priority boarding always works well. 

The other day in ICN there were at least 200 people in the normal queue. But not meeee!

29 Oct 2014

Total posts 2

People don't seem to take notice of the priority boarding lane anyway.

As a Platinum member, I'm always finding that I'm waiting for other people in front of me who are not Platinum members.  This will essentially spread the lines out a bit, so no real benefit to the Platinum member.

I'm starting to wonder exactly what is the benefit to a Platinum Member these days.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

Oh, were we humble Qantas Club Bronze people not supposed to do this? If not, my mostly sincere apologies to QF. (I agree with most posters, whilst it may occasionally irritate a few 'elite's' there are worse issues).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 558

If only they had facepalm emoticons on here

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 558

Not that hard to read a sign and find out really but it seems guys like you will try for anything they haven't paid for/earnt and play dumb once found out, very common unfortunately but usually among non qff members

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

Can I just jump in here with one or two quick points in defence of my minor error here:

I do pay for my Qantas Club membership and was legitimately of the understanding that one of the perks was priority boarding, (as priority bags and lounge access is). I am also a QFF member so have to respectfully argue against your two points there.

‘Guys like me?’ You mean people who have occasionally missed a sign, taken something they assumed they were allowed and mistakenly added a few seconds onto the boarding time of a few fellow passengers? Simple missed sign champ, I didn’t sneak into the Chairmans Lounge :)

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 408

In the US they take the class thing to the extreme and have about four calls of various classes of fliers ...very tedious indeed.

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 182

Any news whether Skywards Gold will also get priority boarding?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Jun 2013

Total posts 4

As usual, Qanats Club Member dont get any further benefits like PB!

When is QANTAS going to recognise the many long term and loyal customers who once flew very regularly but no maybe not so much to keep Gold or Platinum Status.

I've been QC for 20 years and now all one gets is Bugger All!!

Lift your game QANTAS and start looking after your long term repeat Business instead of trying to chase and secure new business customers.

Its cheaper and more effective to look after your current client base!

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 294

Not if that client base isn't flying with them regularly.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 558

Nor should they - why on earth would qantas do what you have suggested it would devalue the program, water down benefits for higher tier members and ultimately lose customers. You get bugger all because that is what you have paid for!! If you want the benefits of platinums and golds do the flying and spend the money like the rest of us rather than having a whinge every time upper tier members get benefits that you dont. I fail to see what being a qc club member for 20 years means with regards to this? Perhaps qff should change the rules of its program to suit you? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1136

Exactly.

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 294

The enforcement of this would be very interesting on one of your typical FIFO flights to the Pilbara.  It would come close to a 50-50 split on the boarding lanes now that Gold FF's move to the other side of the rope.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1136

The lines were roughly equal for the 3pm MEL-SYD service today.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

I find Priority Boarding a bit like Priority Luggage - suggestive of a benefit, but not always delivering one. Personally I'd prefer it if boarding (where single airbridge) was done in segments by Business, then Platinum & Gold Economy, and then the rest (with late boarding premium and elite travellers able to use a priority line, if boarding out of sequence) - rather than everyone at once. I agree Virgin Australia tend to do a better job of the priority boarding line management (it's a free for all with Qantas, with the priority line just as long as the non-priority one), but there is room for improvement. It's ironic that Qantas heavily police their priority check-in and priority security lanes, but not their priority boarding lanes at all (as mentioned by others, many using it aren't the Business/Platinums it was intended for). Still, it's a minor component of the whole flying experience.

VA

25 Aug 2014

Total posts 42

I very rarely if ever use priority boarding with VA and usually just line up with everyone else. It's not that big of a deal people. Maybe use it once it every 20 flights. As long as we all get on the plane and it doesn't crash then I think it's all good at the end of the day. 

Hi all. I note this is an old discussion, but a recent experience may give it some currency. I am a Gold QF FFer. In the last week I have taken 2 economy flights out of sydney - one to the gold coast, the other to melbourne. The gold coast flight had a priority boarding sign which referred to Gold members.... the melbourne flight only had platinum and platinum one on it.....

What actually is the policy? Could I have gone in the priority boarding que even when it only said platinum?

The policy is Gold+Platinum. The sign you saw may have been missed during the update, so yes, you can use the priority line even if it says Platinum only.


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