This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.
Airport lounges aren't just for cooling your heels before your flight – they can also be a handy place to stop by at the end of your flight.
Popping into a domestic Qantas or Virgin Australia lounge post-flight is ideal for grabbing a decent cuppa, tackling some unexpected emails or just waiting out the peak hour traffic into the city while you have a bite to eat.
But only some Qantas and Virgin Australia passengers enjoy 'on arrival' access to each airline's domestic lounges. Here's the door list.
Qantas allows arrival access to domestic Qantas Business Lounge and Qantas Club lounges for Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers, but not domestic business class passengers – making this a useful perk of top-tier status.
Platinums can also bring in two guests who don’t need to be flying or travelling with you. That's a great way to meet someone for coffee at the airport before darting to your next business meeting.
This also applies to domestic lounge access after arriving on an international flight with Qantas, Emirates, Jetstar or any Oneworld airline such as British Airways and Cathay Pacific, as the access rules read: “Must be travelling on any flight the same day that shows Qantas, Emirates, Jetstar Airlines or a Oneworld operated and marketed flight. Two guests allowed and do not need to be travelling.”
Travellers coming off an international business class flight with Qantas, Emirates or oneworld partners can access Qantas Domestic Business Lounges only if they have a connecting Qantas domestic flight in any class.
In contrast, the rules for Gold-grade frequent flyers and non-Qantas Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members require that your “next onward flight that day” be with the same, rather than merely holding a “same day” boarding pass.
However, access on arrival isn't officially available at Qantas' international airport lounges.
Virgin Australia is more generous with its on-arrival policy, which allows business class passengers to access domestic Virgin Australia lounges after their flight. Both Platinum and Gold Velocity members can also access its domestic lounges after arriving on a Virgin Australia flight or with one of its international airline partners such as Delta, Etihad and Singapore Airlines.
However, access on arrival for Gold members is “subject to space availability”, reads Virgin Australia’s website, with Platinum members seemingly taking priority with more favourable “can access” wording. There's a 60-minute time limit mentioned in the terms and conditions.
Paid-up airport lounge members with Virgin Australia are also entitled to 60 minutes of post-flight lounging along with any invited guests, making it a major point of differentiation with the Qantas Club.
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