UPDATE | The new Qantas Los Angeles Business Lounge is now open – click here for details.
PREVIOUS | Qantas has pushed back the opening of its new Los Angeles Business Lounge to the middle of this year due to ongoing upgrade work being carried out at the airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal.
This much-needed replacement for the current cramped quarters of the Qantas/Oneworld lounge at LAX was previously slated to open at the end of April but has now slipped to a May/June timeframe.
“The business lounge will be open by mid-year” Simon Hickey, Qantas International CEO, confirmed to Australian Business Traveller during last week's opening of the new Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
“There’s some work going on outside of the lounge, at the terminal itself, that’s going to impact our ability to open the lounge. It's not a significant delay, it's something that’s just beyond our control."
However, Hickey is confident that the business lounge will open “in the next couple of months” while the new Qantas Los Angeles First Lounge remains on a rather tentative target for "the end of 2014".
“The Singapore and Hong Kong lounges have been done within a timeframe that no-one thought was possible, and at LA we’ve been doing the same thing” Hickey explains. “We’ve completely rebuilt the model of how you bring a lounge to market.”
And after Los Angeles is done, what’s next on the loungescape for 2015? Nothing pressing, Hickey says.
“I think Singapore, Hong Kong and Los Angeles are the ones we needed to do, the ones that were urgent in my opinion, and I don’t think we have any other urgent issues across the lounge network.”
“If you look at Dubai we share the Emirates lounge and there’s nothing more you could do there, and at London T3 we don’t own a lounge, it’s just one we access.”
Qantas is unlikely to give Bangkok a major HK-style makeover as it’s primarily a leisure market, although some would suggest that Auckland could do with a bit of business lounge love.
“The key thing for me is that we keep on investing in the customer experience and really understand the customer’s journey when they’re flying with Qantas” Hickey says.
“Before I joined Qantas I was a Platinum Frequent Flyer, and I know that you have to maximise your sleep on these short sectors like Hong Kong and Singapore, especially in Hong Kong where every one of our services is overnight.”
“So we’ve built lounges where you can enjoy a good meal and then get on your flight and go straight to sleep, and we’ll keep on bringing that model of understanding our customers and giving them the best experience they can have, both on the ground and in the air.”
David Flynn visited Hong Kong as a guest of Qantas.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT