Second-rate airport lounge with limited access: welcome to Dallas/Fort Worth, Qantas passengers!

By David Flynn, May 10 2011
Second-rate airport lounge with limited access: welcome to Dallas/Fort Worth, Qantas passengers!

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.

Qantas will begin flights between Sydney and DFW on May 16 using the same long-range Boeing 747-400ER as on its now-cancelled Sydney-San Francisco service.

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).


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.


24 Oct 2010

Total posts 177

Really, airline alliances allow too much leeway in what partner airlines can do. British Airways shouldn't be allowed to favour its own passengers over other oneworld passengers if travellers are to rely on the alliance.

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 665

I reckon the fault is more with American for not providing a decent lounge in Dallas, to the extent that BA obviously feels "no, this isn't suitable for our passengers paying a premium fare and our Executive Club Gold members, we'll have our own for our one flight a day".

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 May 2011

Total posts 1

Surely this is more about Qantas strange decision to try and convince people that a 19 hour flight to Dallas is a good idea instead of SFO.

This decision will bite qantas sooner rather than later, look to Delta/Virgin to take advantage I for one will fly into SFO any day over LAX with them.


15 Apr 2011

Total posts 580

Any chance of a new Oneworld lounge opening up in the next year or two?? If DFW is going to be a Oneworld mega hub (ala LHR, HKG etc) then it needs decent lounges... Maybe Qantas and BA could get together to do a new lounge - is there any space? I guess Qantas need to make sure the route works before they start spending $$ on it.


12 May 2011

Total posts 7

I see on the Qantas Club page that they are saying they are not using the AA Lounge, but rather the lounge operated by "Gideon Toal Management Services" which I presume are the lounges that BA use. If QF have made those arrangements seperate to BA, I wonder if there will be a "F" lounge for Platinum members?

Qantas - Platinum One

18 Jan 2011

Total posts 82

I'm sitting in the Qantas branded lounge in DFW currently. Complete with Qantas staffer at the desk, and just had my Qantas boarding pass re-printed on their own boarding pass stationary (not AA). It seems fairly separate to me.

On the down side, I've asked 3 staff if this is the correct First class/Platinum lounge and they've all said yes, this is *the* Qantas lounge. Which is clearly shared with QC members...

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