Qantas could soon be giving top-tier travellers the silent treatment in its airport lounges, with the airline considering adopting a 'quiet lounge' model where boarding announcements will no longer be made.
As Darryl Kerrigan might say, "Just think of all that serenity!"
As the first stage of trialling the 'quiet lounge' concept, Qantas temporarily ceased making boarding calls at Sydney Airport's domestic Qantas Club and Qantas Business Lounge yesterday, Wednesday July 22nd, between noon and 4pm.
Travellers were advised of the trial as they arrived at the lounges, and were asked to complete a survey to collect their opinions on the subject.
"We want our customers to tell us how we can improve their experience when travelling with Qantas" Helen Gray, Qantas Head of Domestic Cabin Crew, Lounges and Product & Service Delivery, told Australian Business Traveller.
"Trialling a 'quiet lounge' will allow us to get their feedback and gauge whether this is something they would like to see across all of our lounges."
During the trials announcements will still made regarding delayed or cancelled flights, but passengers won't have to put up with the stream of first and final boarding calls for every Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar flight.
Many international airlines have adopted the 'silent lounge' model, but strategically-placed video displays plus smartphone and tablet apps make it easier for travellers to keep track of their flight's status and boarding gate.
AusBT reader Oliver Craven-McLeay, who was in the Qantas Business Lounge during yesterday's trial, says he appreciated the quiet lounge approach and believes that if implemented on a permanent basis "it will bring an extra level of relaxation to the den of Qantas' most seasoned (and valuable) customers."
"I thought it wouldn't make much difference but after spending an hour and a half in the lounge, it was much more serene and relaxing than normal" he told Australian Business Traveller.
"The lounge, especially in the triangle route rush, becomes a genuinely loud place. The announcements interrupt your rest time and also mean that people start speaking louder to each other."
Craven-McLeay, who works in aviation consultancy and travels between Sydney and Brisbane each week, says he wasn't concerned about missing his flight "because I always check the boards anyway, and changes to flight times (such as delays) were still being announced."
"If you know you have 30 minutes in the lounge you can truly relax for 25 minutes and then just keep an eye on one of the departures boards after that."
Qantas plans to conduct further trials "to assess whether this is something our customers would like to see implemented", a spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller.
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