Visiting Qantas, Virgin Australia lounges after your flight

By Chris Chamberlin, August 1 2016

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.

Also read: Singapore Airlines lounge guide for Velocity Gold, Platinum

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 300

I've found the Virgin staff know the rules for entrying a lounge while Qantas is hit and miss and a bit of luck even to the point I've been kicked out of a lounge after being told I had access.   

MrT
MrT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2015

Total posts 34

Chris, can you confirm the access rules when a Qantas Gold member arrives in Australia on an international flight in business class and connects to a domestic flight in ecomony? Is it possible to access the domestic business lounge, or just the Qantas club lounge? It's something that I never been able to get a definitive answer on.

MrT
MrT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2015

Total posts 34

I should add where both the international and domestic legs are Qantas operated flights purchased directly through Qantas (i.e. QF number on boarding pass)

Hi MrT, this scenario is covered in the Qantas Business Lounge access rules linked above, specifically:

--

International Business

Eligible if connecting to or from a Qantas or Emirates international flight on the same day.

One guest allowed and does not need to be travelling.

--

(So yes, even if you weren't a Gold member you could still access the business class lounge before your connecting domestic flight in economy.)

MrT
MrT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2015

Total posts 34

Thanks Chris

05 Jan 2016

Total posts 4

Is this generally used when you have no checked luggage? I was tempted to duck into the lounge for a quick bite when I flew into SYD at lunchtime yesterday, but I didn't like the idea of my bag floating around a carousel whilst I sat in the lounge. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jun 2013

Total posts 37

I did this a couple of years ago - changed my plan after I arrived in Sydney and had a meeting in the lounge with someone who was flying out. completely forgot about my bag going around the belt until I had a call from baggage services! Whoops! They didn't mind at all and kept it behind the counter until I was ready.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Nov 2015

Total posts 20

Usual case would be that once all obvious bags on carousel have been collected then the Baggage Services staff will collect Errant and Stray bags and hold the at the Baggeage Services desk.

So, You should be fine....with the exception of the rare opportunist scouting lonely bags...but its rare these days imho.

 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Oct 2015

Total posts 4

As a Gold (or even just Silver QC I think), I've asked if I could duck into the club to put on a tie or freshing up after my flight. Never been denied.

JTG
JTG

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 40

“Must be travelling on any flight the same day". I am platinum FF and typically fly overnight from Singapore. Does travelling on the same day mean the day I took off or does it include the day after when I land?

I've never had an issue showing a 'same day' Qantas arrival boarding pass for access, even though the departure date on the boarding pass in that scenario is the evening prior.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

18 Jun 2013

Total posts 26

Never had any problems accessing a VA lounge as a GOLD on arrival . Always greeted with a smile and waved through. 

Dez
Dez

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Mar 2013

Total posts 2

Are 3 guests allowed for VA Platinums on arrival - the same as on departure (with guests not needing to have travelled)?  Thanks

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 558

I hope not, the usual piss takers will start using the lounge as a meeting space.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 144

Good Article Chris - I remain of the position that we are damn lucky in Australia with either Qantas or Virgin Lounges. It's a different matter offshore. I've changed my Middel East carrier from Emirates to Etihad for a few reasons but a major one being the Arrivals Lounge. Even if you are in First on Emirates it's a 'No Go'. 

20 Dec 2013

Total posts 5

Regardless of status surely if one is a financial member of the Qantas Club one can use the Club lounge on arrival or departure?

23 Feb 2016

Total posts 34

If anyone would be entitled to the Qantas Club on arrival, it would be the status pax, they provide orders of magnitude more revenue than a club member.

03 Jun 2018

Total posts 1

Can you please clarify the rule of the same day flight ?. I am landing in Singapore and my next flight (QF flight number operated by Emirate is at 00:50), does this mean I can't get access to the Singapore lounge as the next flight is after midnight?. (I use complementary passes I receive through credit cards)

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