Qantas offers Grange at airport lounges

By David Flynn, November 14 2013

Fancy a top-shelf tipple before take-off?

Qantas is now selling premium wines by the glass at its Sydney domestic business lounge – but travellers pay with frequent flyer points rather than cash!

The innovative trial was launched this week to promote the airline’s epiQure wine club, and uses a self-serve wine dispenser to pour a 25ml taste or 75ml glass of one of eight wines with the swipe of your Qantas Frequent Flyer card.

Qantas tells Australian Business Traveller that the trial will run for six weeks, through to the end of December, and may also be introduced in other Qantas Business Lounges.

Australian Business Traveller contributor and vino aficionado Fiona Downes was in Qantas’ Sydney Business Lounge when the machine made its debut, and notes that Qantas is using an Enomatic wine dispenser, the same model as found in David Jones’ Elizabeth Street store in Sydney.

“You insert your Qantas Frequent Flyer card in a slot at the top of machine, which reads the card’s chip and displays your points balance” Downes says, adding that the machine’s large display of your points will afford a “bragging opportunity for those with big QFF balances”.

Two whites wines and six reds are currently available – including a 2011 Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2009 Wolf Blass Platinum Label Shiraz, Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz and Penfolds Grange – although Australian Business Traveller understands that the selection will change according to popularity and availability.

Prices range from 800 points for a taste of 2010 Penfolds Reserve Bin Chardonnay up to 6,500 points for a half glass of '07 Grange or '96 Hill of Grace.

The wines are complimented by Reidel stemware, and passengers can pay for multiple pours to serve themselves an indulgently full glass.

Downes reports that on the first evening of the wine dispenser’s debut, 11 glasses were sold “and seven of those were Grange. One enthusiastic gentleman poured himself a large Grange on points!”

“For research purposes I had a half glass of the '07 Tyrells Vat 1 Semillon” the selfless Downes reports, “and it was perfection.”

The epiQure wine trial comes as Qantas experiments with other ways to boost the 'lounge experience' such as pop-up dining, downloading digital editions of newspapers and magazines and even ordering your coffee in advance via a smartphone app.

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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.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Interesting idea. 

6500 QF points is worth about $65, which is a lot for 125 mL of wine, but it works out to $390 for the whole bottle which is actually a pretty darn good price for 2007 Grange. 

19 Jan 2012

Total posts 427

Personally, I value my QF points at a much higher rate based on potential conversion to international premium cabin flights with  "unlimited" Bollinger in the lounge, Dom Perignon and some excellent vintage reds on the flight, and a couple of chaffeur rides already thrown in!

I reckon 2 to 3 cents per point rather than 1 cent, although it does depend on how you personally prefer to redeem your points!

If it's top notch red from a promo machine, go for your life! Enjoy!

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

I agree with your point value calculation and only can see this offer as another "point roberry" by QF. Though YMMV.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

Not really. It's just another way to spend your points. It might not be the best value for money, but I think it's a little unfair to call it a "points robbery".

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 197

Good idea for people with more points than time. Some people accumulate millions of points but lack time to use them for flights.

LR
LR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 May 2012

Total posts 76

For research purposes I had a half glass of the '07 Tyrells Vat 1 Semillon” the selfless Downes reports, “and it was perfection.”

HA HA who dosent enjoy some research ; )

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jun 2012

Total posts 54

People tend to forget that this is available in the "Business Lounge" 

If you are travelling in the Business Lounge domestically - chances are you are not too short of a dollar or FF points.

So a shot or 2 of Grange is not going to matter

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jul 2013

Total posts 11

"Downes says, adding that the machine’s large display of your points will afford a “bragging opportunity for those with big QFF balances”:

The ultimate in narcissim. Anyone who thinks this is a great feature needs a swift kick in the head. First world arrogance at its best. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

It was an insertion for the lols, but frankly the frequent flyer community is often the last word in narcissism, with the DYKWIA crowd prominently displaying their silver bag tags on the carry-ons.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jul 2013

Total posts 11

Haha, yes this is true... although I guess SOME people accidentally leave their carry-on bags on the plane. Maybe. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

It's really just a light poke at the whole affair, and it's just another way to spend points for a group that would already have a good number of points anyway.

No big deal.


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