Qantas now serves a secret Champagne at its London lounge

By David Flynn, December 12 2017

While easily dismissed as a #FirstWorldProblem, the choice of Champagne at Qantas' newly-opened London lounge has become a #FirstClassProblem for Qantas' elite passengers on its daily Airbus A380 flights from London to Sydney and Melbourne.

This unexpected brouhaha over bubbles began when word spread that the only fizz served at Qantas' London Heathrow T3 lounge would be Petaluma Croser, a 'sparking white' from South Australia rather than the fully-fledged Champagne to which first class travellers and other top-tier frequent flyers have become accustomed.

Australian Business Traveller now understands that Qantas is stocking the London lounge with Perrier Jouet – yes, a proper Champagne – under the counter.

Although it doesn't appear on the menu, the Perrier Jouet will be made available to the superjumbo's first class travellers, along with Platinum One frequent flyers and members of the invitation-only Chairman's Lounge.

If you're among that number a flute of PJ should be discreetly offered and poured, while the Croser remains on the drinks menu for everybody else.

Perrier Jouet is also served at the Qantas first class lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles, while other Champagnes – usually Veuve Clicquot – are offered up to Chairman's Lounge members and Platinum One frequent flyers at the airline's 'premium' lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Also read: Five useful Qantas 'lounge hacks' for the savvy traveller

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

mviy

mviy

05 May 2016

Total posts 527

This continues to puzzle me. Yet again no special treatment for the Platinum flyers. I guess QF doesn’t care if Platinum members use other lounges they have access to instead where they have the option to have champagne. One would have thought QF would have preferred them to use the QF Lounge.

UA1kGuy

UA1kGuy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2013

Total posts 5

Cathay F lounge next door is a better pick for Plat.

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Sounds like scrimping to me.

robfol

robfol

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 Mar 2015

Total posts 40

That is real cheapskate behaviour. Love to see the budgeting of cost vs reputation.

StudiodeKadent

StudiodeKadent

20 May 2015

Total posts 584

Seems reasonable and it does bring the London lounge's differentiated service in line with that of the Hong Kong and Singapore lounges.

AT

AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 261

Is this seriously what’s it come down to in the premium stakes, next it will be bottled water for some and tap water for others.

AT

AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 261

.....and Perrier Jouet though nice isn’t exactly worth hiding, it’s hardly vintage Krug.

StudiodeKadent

StudiodeKadent

20 May 2015

Total posts 584

Do any first class lounges serve cuvee de prestige?

Not to my knowledge. Usually they save the higher-end stuff for the on-board experience and serve a nice non-vintage on the ground.

The PJ in the lounge, combined with QF's usual cuvee de prestige's up in the air (usually Sir Winston Churchill, Comtes de Champagne or La Grande Dame), is perfectly competitive for the most part.

andrew84

andrew84

08 Nov 2014

Total posts 20

SQ F lounge & TPR in SIN.

kimshep

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 492

I'd hide it ... out of embarrassment.

rambler

rambler

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2013

Total posts 25

Why would you be embarrassed? There is nothing wrong with PJ.

Gus

Gus

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Jun 2017

Total posts 2

I do laugh when Platinums get bent out of shape that Platinum One members might get a small win.....they have to earn 3 times the Status Credits. Go calculate the cost......

Joe

Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 390

What is it with Qantas obsession with alcohol.?...they'll serve you 8 pieces of lettuce as a salad in F Class you've paid 12-18K for but nobody says a thing. Sort of reinforces the Aussie boozer Bali image.

Phil Young

Phil Young

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 263

I'm surprised at so many negative reactions here about the offer of Perrier Jouet champagne at the QF LHR Lounge for premium passengers. This is not a First Class Lounge, and one should not expect such. Dan Murphy's sells this champagne for $52.90 a bottle, which is pretty similar in the price range as to what is offered in the SYD Flounge. Or you can always go around to the CX First Lounge and enjoy their $47 Moet.

Just wait a little and step aboard your QF2 or QF10 into F and you can enjoy the $300 champagne that you feel entitled to. If you can taste the difference.

mviy

mviy

05 May 2016

Total posts 527

It's not about getting to drink from a $300 bottle of champagne. I don't think that's what people expect from a lounge. However QF should provide Plats with comparable champagne to what they'd get in partner lounges if they want them to use the QF lounge rather than go to e.g. the Cathay Pacific Lounge instead.

Surely it would be in QF's interests for these passengers to go to the QF lounge.

SMM

SMM

01 Feb 2013

Total posts 10

it would be as all other airlines bill QF for every guest that visits!!!!

JohnP

JohnP

QF

01 Jul 2016

Total posts 4

StudiodeKadent. Yes some do. Qatar is Billecart all the way, including Doha Lounge for QF Gold . Not sure about First at Doha but I seem to recall it may be Krug. Platinum members are allowed in there. Re HKG, if you are Platinum and have the time, go straight to Pier (Cathay Lounge). Way better than QF..

rambler

rambler

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2013

Total posts 25

Which Billecart do Qatar serve?

crosscourt

crosscourt

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 353

Platinum nor plat1 nor chairman's lounge are allowed into Qatar 1 St lounge if you are not flying 1st on Qatar. They discriminate big time.

kimshep

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 492

If you've ever wondered about wines on Qantas, here is the low-down direct from a dedicated Qantas site:

https://www.qantas.com.au/WineTasting/Home.action

It's a highly interesting read.

willvill

willvill

17 May 2012

Total posts 81

Hiding the Champagne 'under the counter'. So not the schmucks in Business...fizz only for you cretins.

samson12

samson12

12 Oct 2012

Total posts 12

I visited the London QF lounge lat last week. Sadly, very disappointed. Cold atmosphere. Poor food. Little comfortable seating, little 'privacy' and very busy. I won't be going again. I popped into BA First (I am Platinum One) and although it is old and a bit tired, it is comfy, quiet and food is better. Big Qantas fan, 120-130 flights a year, and very disappointed with the LHR lounge.

ChickenorBeef

ChickenorBeef

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jun 2017

Total posts 29

Good summary. Was there last week. Dissapointing. Back to Cathay First for sure (P1 through London monthly)

SMM

SMM

01 Feb 2013

Total posts 10

Agree 100% just posted my review and almost mirrors yours. I am also P1 with over 130 flights per year and in the top 20% of all P1.

NQflyer

NQflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jun 2015

Total posts 31

Even Americans Airlines’ Flagship Lounge offers free-pour Bollinger!

John Phelan

John Phelan

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 323

I have never understood this snobbishness about French champagne vs other (very good) sparkling whites. So long as it tastes nice, I couldn't give a continental about which continent it hails from!!!!

SMM

SMM

01 Feb 2013

Total posts 10

Visited the LHR Lounge last Sat. It was cold and uninviting. Christmas tree embarrassing. The ones in QF domestic in Australia are better. Even though my boarding pass was for a Business class seat my FF number and status was on it ( I am P1) I was asked to prove I was eligible to enter!!!! There were no magazines ( I asked and was told they decided that pax did not want them) but I could have a QF inflight mag if i wanted? Only one London newspaper, none of the popular ones. I can visit the BA or CX lounge and get over 10 newspapers and mags. I had to ask for the special Champagne. The young girl behind the bar was very embarrassed, apparently the First host is meant to alert her to P1, First and Chairmans PAX when they arrive. I only knew to ask as a staff member at QF had told me. Lift broken already. If you are a QF lounge remember at the lowest level it is OK but it is far from premium and they have had MONTHS to sort out issues.

Joe

Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 390

I got voted down for suggesting another fine example of the true ‘Qantas Pub’ QF intternational lounges are morphing into. Nothing is really premium at F Lax, Sin, Hkg and now Lhr. I have an F flight next year to LHR ( qf paper ek metal of course) I’ll comment then too. Still you have to hand it to QF marketing and comms team; they sure can hype up BS like no other carrier and make you think they have invented flying......maybe we are goldfish ;) ?

Booster

Booster

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

17 Feb 2016

Total posts 47

I visited the QF lounge at Hong Kong last week and was surprised to find they didn't serve French so headed to the CX first lounge ( as a platinum ff ) and sampled a couple of great French bubbles. Overall QF grog is well under par .

dennis626

dennis626

sq

07 Aug 2015

Total posts 15

Not just Qantas it seems. My wife and I flew out of MEL November 14 to find the business lounge "Champagne" on ice was a French sparkling white. I asked what the First Class lounge was being served and received 2 glasses of Champers from there. The business champers remained Sparkling white. The lounge manager was going to refer back to the catering manager. Anyone been in that lounge since?.

Howie50

Howie50

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2016

Total posts 10

I used the new QF London Lounge Last Wednesday and it was grossly overcrowded upstairs...my seat was commandeered whilst I checked out the desert bar. Went next door to the Cathay F lounge...which was nearly empty and enjoyed all the trimmings one expects when flying in F class. No chance I'm going back to the QF London Lounge anytime soon!

dorts

dorts

Etihad - Etihad Guest

01 Feb 2019

Total posts 1

To give a counter view... I'm a 10 year Platinum, and travel through Heathrow three to four times every year and previously preferred the Emirates Lounge, given more space and better food than the Cathay First. Having used the new London lounge twice now, I prefer it. Great food upstairs and down and with all the complaining about sparkling, I'm amazed no one has commented on the fact that you can try a great variety of premium (and expensive) gins. Champagne is everywhere, good on Qantas for offering something different and to me, more special.

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