Dallas/Fort Worth is set to become Qantas’ alternative to LAX for US transfers, but travellers are about to realise that everything’s not really bigger and better in Texas.
By flying into oneworld partner American Airlines' home base at DFW, Qantas will provide more single-stop connections to smaller US cities than it could offer from LAX or SFO.
However, that convenience will come with a few sacrifices.
First up, Qantas doesn’t have its own lounge at DFW – it shares the American Airlines Admiral’s Club.
Anyone who has visited the Qantas-owned lounges at LAX will appreciate these are a cut above those of most US airlines, where lounges are designed more like a temporary holding pen for passengers.
To be fair, the lounge at Dallas/Fort Worth is pretty decent by AA and US standards, especially if you can snare a seat by the window for a view of the takeoffs and landings.
But like most US lounges the Admiral’s Club has user-pays Internet access (let’s hope Qantas premium passengers and high-tier frequent flyers will get a free voucher) and considers ‘food’ to be snacks – unless you’re willing to pay for it. How does US$9.50 for a sandwich and US$8 for a glass of wine strike you?
It seems that Qantas can’t even guarantee access, with a caveat on its web site noting that “due to capacity constraints, access for members and their guests to the American Airlines Admirals Club in Dallas/Fort Worth is subject to space availability.”
Travellers might wish to try their luck at the British Airways Executive Club Lounge, located adjacent to the American Airlines club at the same DFW Terminal D as Qantas will use.
But be warned, this lounge has introduced a standing ‘capacity control’ policy which gives priority to BA passengers. Even the highest-tier frequent flyers with Qantas and other Oneworld airlines can be turned away at the discretion of the front desk staff.
It’s not the best way to start your journey home, especially when the 19 hour flight from Dallas to Brisbane (a fuel stop before continuing to Sydney) will be made without the benefit of a fully flat bed.
As Australian Business Traveller previously reported, the Qantas 747-400 used for the Dallas/Fort Worth run will have the first-generation angled Skybed beds still in place instead of the fully lie-flat beds found on the Airbus A380s which service Los Angeles.
What's the difference between angled, lie-flat and fully-flat seats? Read our story on The Lie-flat Lie.
High-status Qantas frequent flyers will however have a chance at scoring one of the 14 first class seats which remain in the nose of these 747s. Although these seats are still sold as business class they're superior to the Skybeds as they convert to a fully lie-flat bed (and have a whopping 79 inches of legroom).