Updated: Qantas’ new lounge guesting rules explained

The changes are a mixed bag for frequent flyers and Qantas Club members.

By David Flynn, May 18 2023
Updated: Qantas’ new lounge guesting rules explained

Qantas is tightening guest access for its domestic Qantas Club and Qantas Business lounges, in a move which will surprise many frequent flyers and no doubt disappoint others.

A Qantas spokesperson tells Executive Traveller “we’re making a few changes to guest access for our lounges to simplify and align our policies and make things easier and smoother for visitors and guests.”

As advised on the Qantas website: “From 15 June 2023, we’ll be simplifying our lounge access policy. Guests will be eligible to use lounges when travelling on Qantas-operated and eligible partner flights that depart on the same day.”

This ‘change’ may surprise many people, but under current long-standing Qantas lounge access rules, Qantas passengers in business class, holding Platinum- or Gold-grade frequent flyer status or Qantas Club membership can bring between one and two guests into a domestic Qantas lounge even if those guests are not flying at all.

(This also covers guests who might be flying with a Qantas competitor, such as Virgin Australia or Rex.)

And that’s not all. In news that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, Qantas Club members will now be able to bring guests travelling on same-day Qantas, Jetstar or Oneworld flights into international Qantas lounges (in Australia or overseas), even if they’re not on the same airline. 

The ability to bring non-flying guests into a Qantas lounge is a perk that’s largely unknown among frequent flyers, but no doubt those who do use it find it very handy.

Qantas’ new rules will effectively apply the same guest access policy between domestic and international lounges, which certainly adds clarity and consistency.

You must be flying to enter a domestic Qantas lounges

If you’re in the habit of bringing non-flying guests into a Qantas lounge – be that a regional lounge Qantas Club lounge or Qantas Business lounge – this will stop as of June 15 2023. 

There’s no change to the number of guests you can bring in, which remains as follows:

  • Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers: two guests
  • Qantas business class passengers: one guest
  • Qantas Gold frequent flyers: one guest
  • Qantas Club members: one guest

The new rules simply mean any guests you bring into the lounge must be able to show their ticket or boarding pass for a flight departing the same day on Qantas or Jetstar.

“Domestically, customers will need to be travelling on the same day with Qantas or Jetstar to come in as guests,” a Qantas spokesperson tells Executive Traveller.

“This is unlikely to affect that many customers, given most people and their guests in our lounges are already travelling with Qantas or Jetstar on the same day.”

Qantas lounges have been getting increasingly crowded of late, especially during peak periods, with the airline on track to see domestic capacity return to pre-pandemic levels by mid-year.

It’s expected capacity could potentially tip over the 100% milestone following an increase to flights between Australia’s east coast capitals and also the return of more twin-aisle Airbus A330s onto east-west routes between those cities and Perth.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jul 2014

Total posts 60


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 360

More watering down of service and benefits yet again by the flying kangaroo.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 897

Whether Virgin or Qantas I usually only bring extra people in if they are travelling; only once ever (12 years ago) I brought a non-traveller into the lounge so what I'm saying is I really don't think this is a big issue UNLESS you're in the Beyond or Chairman lounge and you order a full course dinner with extra non-travellers with you.........

Never used this myself and I don't know any other airlines which let you bring a 'non-flying guest' into the lounge. But if enough people are using this rule then yes, it would add a bit to lounge crowding. Qantas will of course get caned for changing the rules but this doesn't seem a big deal to me.

10 Jan 2011

Total posts 5

Compare and contrast to Virgin who struggled to allow you to use the Platinum arrival benefit as a Platinum member that many times I lost count (OK, about three times) even though it was a hard, documented benefit.

I rarely wanted to use it (a couple of times, meeting colleagues or business associates when we were travelling on different airlines or different flights) but got knocked back every single time.  Not because they were busy, but because they claimed the benefit didn't actually exist.

22 Mar 2013

Total posts 8

That's unfortunate! I've used it several times in Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra with no issue at all, just walked straight in after scanning my boarding pass. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 97

Great that QF is brining this in, the lounges are so full

Re VA I’ve used that benefit soooooo many times. I never ask, I do the auto check in and it’s never an issue. If it were, I’d bring up the website on my phone, show them and just walk in. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 65

Firstly, I note the article does not mention those flying in business - are J class guest privileges remaining unchanged?

It seems QF is aligning with the Oneworld guest rules which makes sense, however I'd be interested to know how much this would improve domestic capacity. Surely it would only be effective in airports with a single domestic terminal where multiple colleagues flying on different airlines could 'pool' their guest access. Personally I'm sad to see this go, I use this when visiting Adelaide where family members come into the lounge to spend extra time with me prior to my flight  (but the relatively reasonable cost of parking made this palatable too) I also semi-regularly catch up with a friend for a coffee when he transits through Sydney as that works for the pair of us (rather than meeting in the city) but I doubt many people would do this.


17 May 2017

Total posts 12

I found it useful to occasionally, repeat occasionally, come up from Melbourne and spend the day at the lounge having meetings with two of my Sydney-based colleagues. The office is a fair way out of town, so saved a lot of time, was very convenient and during the day, (10-3) tucked away in the lounge, no-one would have noticed. So, for mine, I'm disappointed it's being canned.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Mar 2014

Total posts 221

Back in the day Platinum members could bring 2 guest in even if not travelling, had some wonderful knock offs at the QPub

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Oct 2017

Total posts 5

Australia is relatively unique in allowing non-travellers to clear domestic airport security, and I understand it’s been a unique thing here. But I’m disappointed by this change.

I can understand why the airline might be concerned lounges may fill with people who are flying with the competition, but on domestic departures, I’ve found this provision quite helpful. 

For example, I’ve used this rule to spend time with local family and friends during a prolonged transit who I otherwise wouldn’t have seen. Or spent quality time with family who’ve driven me to the airport and waited with me until I’ve boarded a flight home. These are usually quiet and reflective moments.

It’s not something I’ve used a lot - car parking fees scare most people from hanging around at the airport. But it does allow you to spend just a little more time with special people in your life. It’s a benefit I’ll miss.  

09 Oct 2015

Total posts 1

I'm totally with you. I had a partner who lived interstate. On weekends together we would enjoy a light snack and drink in the QC before I boarded the flight home. I'd really miss this if we were still doing the same thing.

It's about time.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1015

Since I first got lounge access in 2008, I think I've guested someone into a lounge a total of 2 times.

Was guested into the Qantas business class lounge in Brisbane a few years ago to catch up with a mate before his flight home, that was nice to do, had a meal and a few drinks. It completely surprised me this was a thing, so I can see why Qantas is ending it if it's being abused by too many people.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 184

If you told someone outside Australia that as a top tier frequent flyer you could guest not one but TWO people into the lounge and that those people did not even have to be travelling they would not believe you.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 395

I have used this a few times to catch up with clients at the airport but I can't say this is a 'deal-breaker' for me.

26 Oct 2017

Total posts 20

Wow! I've never used this perk -- but I'll rush to do so before the deadline.

18 Aug 2021

Total posts 4

This is an overdue rule change to alleviate the overcrowding in the Qantas Domestic Lounges. I still cannot believe that guests who are not flying or even flying with a different airline were allowed into the Qantas Domestic Lounges. I guess this could not happen for international lounges as only people with flight tickets can enter the airside areas in which the lounges are located.

Its good to see a rule change from Qantas that actually makes sense and is most probably agreeable to the majority of flyers.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 16

The problem was you get those morons on Flyertalk arranging parties in the lounge and not even flying. They go to the trouble of buying fully refundable tickets, guesting in other Flyertalk morons and abusing the facility. I recvall several years ago they were openly arranging another party in the lounge and when they got there, a bunch of Qantas management were waiting for them and they were kicked out of the lounge and the FF programme. I found it funny reading them all bitching about this. So hardly a watering down of benefits when its open to such blatant abuse. You also find people in there who take every opportunity to annoy other users of the fact  they need to call every friend in their contacts list to say"I Am in the qantas lounge and everything is free ". On Flyertalk they also have an open calender where people post their schdules and a non status flyer can be guested in with them.

Air Canada - Aeroplan

28 Feb 2015

Total posts 91

Another thing that needs fixing is what I saw outside the QF Melbourne domestic lounge a few weeks ago: right at the entrance and in full view of the entrance-agents were several young men just waiting for someone with entry eligibility to walk off the escalator and towards entrance, whereupon they'd say - to complete strangers - "Can you get me into the lounge (as your guest)?" Really unpleasant to be accosted like that, and I'm amazed Qantas wasn't telling these men to get lost.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jan 2013

Total posts 7

Good idea.  Airline clubs and lounges should be for travellers, not members wanting to shout friends a free meal and a drink.  

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 615

Hah!  Only just 3 hours ago I Guested my first guest into the Virgin Lounge in CBR, a colleague flying back to BNE.  First in 13 years and, as you'd expect, no problems with VA.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

29 May 2019

Total posts 9

My other half, who travels often and internationally, uses this benefit approx. monthly so I can join him in the Business Lounge for a coffee when he’s returned from an extended international trip, or before he heads out on one. It’s always in CBR, and almost always on weekend mornings, when it’s quiet. We would likely avoid if it was full, but that’s the weekdays.  

Particularly for those who do a lot of travel, I think it’s nice to be with someone you know before heading out for an extended trip. And yes, of course, we could do this at an airport coffee shop. But why would we when we had this option?

I don’t see it as abuse; it’s a legitimate benefit (except of course the ‘parties’ mentioned).

28 Mar 2018

Total posts 32

I rarely bring guest, perhaps once every 10+ flights.

I wish Qantas recognizes this and award an extra pass for the rare occasion when I may need to guest an extra person.

This could encourage some to ration who they invite and reduce overcrowding.

15 Mar 2018

Total posts 66

Yes, about time.  This brings Qantas into line with most airlines and might stop the online advertising of having Q Lounge availability to take someone into the Lounge.  The new rule will stop the abuse of this perk and may help with the overcrowding.  Well done Qantas.


19 Sep 2013

Total posts 193

Good to hear. Once had the misfortune to arrive in a small regional unsupervised lounge after a party hosted by a departing passenger, where all their guests had completely cleaned the place out of drinks and food and left a mess everywhere.

28 Mar 2018

Total posts 25

LIke others who've used it I'm disappointed. For me it was the occasional professional meeting, but most commonly with my better half to spend some extra time together.

Reading about the organised parties makes me angry- but not at QF in this instance. 

Etihad - Etihad Guest

18 May 2019

Total posts 2

Whilst this is welcome news to most frequent travellers trying to find a seat in the lounge. It does create a dilemma for children (under 18years of age) who have Gold or above status and fly to see their relatives. The issue arises before their departure the children now cannot be escorted by their relatives  into the lounge. First world problem I know, however their status allows then entry to the lounge. My opinion is that in these cases should be looked at on a case by case basis. 

Etihad - Etihad Guest

18 May 2019

Total posts 2

Whilst this update may be welcome news, there is a category that this affects. It is those frequent flyers who have status of Gold and above and are under 18 years of age. The ability for them to use their status to visit the lounge and bring their non flying relative prior to departure resonated with them why is grown ups chase status. There’s U18’s enjoy the lounge as much as we do, and have been in the long cigar tube for the same amount of time. Whilst some will see this as a first word problem (and it is) keep in mind that this group of status members will now not be able to use the lounge if they don’t have a flying adult with them. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jun 2017

Total posts 28

In the past have used Qantas Meeting Rooms when I have day tripped to Sydney for 3 or 4 person meetings and a quiet corner in one of the lounges for 1:1s. With meeting rooms closed and the ability to bring in a non-flying guest now going, makes things a little more awkward. Was a handy perk and as a non-drinker, never abused.

25 Feb 2015

Total posts 49

I’m intrigued as to whether these policy changes will really tackle the issue of overcrowding. 

Do people really think that non-flying guests make up much of a proportion of the pax in the zoo like Melbourne or Sydney domestic Qantas lounges at 5:30pm on a weekday? I doubt it!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 466

Some might recall the early days when Golden Wing members could use the lounge with guests without anyone flying.  My recent experiences of the Qantas Business lounge in Sydney fell a long way short.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 155

I can totally understand the change, and I give it 12 months and only Platinum and J passengers will retain the perk, while Qantas Club and Gold needing to have their guest a member also, which will of course be no perk at all and a revenue raising upgrade for the QF group. It all comes down to space and revenue and putting lounge access in line with other major airlines. 

The future of air travel is now upon us!

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