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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.