Members of Qantas' invitation-only Chairmans Lounge have long enjoyed an exclusive and highly-prized perk: they can turn up and use the luxury lounge, with its à la carte menu and private meeting rooms, even when they're flying with one of Qantas' competitors.
The same applies to the superb Qantas first class lounges at Sydney and Melbourne, with the added benefit of a free massage, facial or manicure at the lounge's day spa.
Flying with anybody from AirAsia X through to United Airlines? Well, come on in anyway, and have a glass of champagne while you wait for your salt and pepper calamari.
In fact, Chairmans Lounge members don't need to be flying at all – just a flash of their shiny black Qantas card is all it takes to enjoy hours in this haven for the well-heeled.
Any other passenger trying that – fronting up to a Qantas airport lounge without a ticket, or a boarding pass for the likes of Virgin Australia or Singapore Airlines – would be quickly turned away.
But from February 19, that all changes – and Chairmans Lounge members will be treated just a little more like the rest of us.
Qantas is tightening the rules for Chairmans Lounge entry, and declared that "any time, any airline access" is a thing of the past.
In an email dispatched to all Chairmans Lounge cardholders last week, Qantas has advised that as of February 19, Chairmans Lounge members visiting any Qantas lounge will "need to be flying, and your next onward flight that day must be on a Qantas, Jetstar, Emirates, China Eastern or Oneworld partner airline flight with that airline’s flight number on your ticket."
"This applies to the Qantas Chairmans Lounge, Qantas International First Lounge, Qantas International Business Lounge, Qantas Domestic Business Lounge and Qantas Clubs," the airline points out.
Chairmans Lounge members "can continue to invite up to two guests to join you in any Qantas international lounge when they are travelling that day on a Qantas, Emirates, China Eastern or Oneworld partner airline flight", although at Qantas domestic lounges "you can invite up to two guests to join you and the guests do not need to be travelling."