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This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.
While Qantas Club members normally need to be travelling on a Qantas (or Jetstar) flight number to gain access to airport lounges, that’s not always the case – and in the United States in particular, there are several sets of rules at play, so it pays to know which lounges you can visit, and when.
Whether you’re making a simple return trip to the USA with Qantas or are also travelling with its partners American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, here’s what you need to know when it comes to Qantas Club lounge access on your next Stateside trip.
Qantas Club airport lounge access in the USA before Qantas flights
It goes without saying that Qantas Club members can access Qantas’ international business class lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane before their US-bound Qantas flight, but here are the lounges Qantas Club members can use in the States before their journey home:
Los Angeles: Head to the Qantas-operated ‘Oneworld’ business class lounge: it’s open prior to all Qantas flights, including the morning leg to New York and the evening services to Australia. Access is available here when travelling on a Qantas or Jetstar codeshare flight, too – such as when traveling with Fiji Airways to Nadi, when booked on the QF code.
San Francisco: Although business class passengers and Qantas Gold and Platinum frequent flyers can now visit the Cathay Pacific lounge in San Francisco, for Qantas Club members travelling in premium economy or economy, the older Air France-KLM lounge awaits, and from all reports, it’s not one worth arriving early for.
New York: Now that Qantas uses Terminal 8 at JFK, Qantas Club members can visit the American Airlines Admirals Club prior to their Qantas flight to Los Angeles (and onward to Australia) in premium economy or economy. If travelling in business class, the new Flagship Lounge awaits.
Dallas/Fort Worth: Here, Qantas again makes use of an American Airlines Admirals Club (near gate D36), which Qantas Club members can visit ahead of QF8 to Sydney – although being a major hub for AA and also a temporary space, it can get quite busy, so if you have an eligible American Express card, consider visiting the Centurion Lounge instead.
Honolulu: Served by both Qantas and Jetstar, Qantas operates its own business class lounge here near the airport’s outdoor Chinese Garden, which welcomes Qantas Club members up to three hours before Jetstar flights and up to four hours before Qantas flights.
Qantas Club lounge access in the USA prior to American Airlines flights
A lesser-known feature of the Qantas Club program is that membership provides access to American Airlines’ own Admirals Club lounges, and there’s no need to be booked on a Qantas (QF) codeshare flight, or to even be travelling on the same booking as a Qantas international journey.
An American Airlines boarding pass for an American Airlines (AA) domestic or international flight is all you need for entry alongside your Qantas Club card, and this includes domestic-only bookings within the United States.
As such, you could use your Qantas Club membership in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco when connecting from an arriving Qantas flight, or taking a standalone American Airlines journey: and in Los Angeles, you could also visit the Admirals Club prior to AA’s daily flight to Sydney.
In the United States, you’ll find Admirals Club lounges in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York (JFK, Newark and LaGuardia), Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh Durham, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa and Washington DC (DCA).
Qantas Club members can also visit the Airspace Lounge in San Diego when travelling on an American Airlines flight – the designated lounge for AA passengers, given the absence of a dedicated Admirals Club – although Qantas Club members don’t get access to AA Flagship Lounges or First Class Lounges unless provided by their booking.
Finally, if travelling from Los Angeles with American Airlines or even Alaska Airlines and that flight is booked as a Qantas (QF) codeshare, access is also permitted to the Qantas/Oneworld business class lounge in the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) – just allow plenty of time to walk to your departure gate, which will be in a different terminal.
Qantas Club lounge access in the USA prior to Alaska Airlines flights
As Qantas’ other Stateside partner, Alaska Airlines welcomes Qantas Club members at selected Alaska Lounge locations, but only when connecting to or from a Qantas-operated international flight.
This access is available in Los Angeles – which covers you after stepping off a Qantas flight with an onward Alaska Airlines leg to places like Seattle – and in Anchorage, Portland and Seattle prior to Alaska Airlines flights with a later connection to a Qantas service, such as the reverse of that journey.
Note that the Alaska Lounge at New York’s JFK Airport is not part of this arrangement, so cannot be accessed by Qantas Club members even if connecting to or from Qantas’ New York flights.
If your wallet also features a Priority Pass card, you may have other options, too – including when flying American Airlines or Alaska Airlines from airports that don’t provide lounge facilities for Qantas Club members, or even in the airports covered above – so it certainly pays to explore all your options.