The new Qantas Club guest access policy has now come into effect. As announced last month, Qantas will be bringing the international and domestic guest access rules into alignment. Under the new rules, guests will need to be travelling the same day on a Qantas, Jetstar, oneWorld or another eligible partner airline to enter the lounge.
Qantas has announced an updated guest access policy for its Qantas Lounges. These changes will affect both the domestic Qantas Club and Qantas Business lounges, and the international lounges.
From 15 June 2023, guests of eligible members will be able to enter the lounge if they are travelling on an eligible flight that day. The change was buried in the May Qantas Points Balance emails that have been going out. It is also mentioned on the Qantas website with the following wording:
An update to our Qantas Lounge access policy
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.
Given the current rules in place, this will have a different effect on the domestic and international lounges.
At present, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers are able to bring two guests into the lounge. On the other hand, Gold frequent flyers (and Qantas Club members) can bring one guest into the lounge. In all cases, the guest themselves don’t need to be travelling.
This was a perk that was well used by some frequent flyers, who found it handy. Their guests could be on another airline, or not even flying at all, and they could bring them into the lounge. On the other hand, many frequent flyers didn’t even realize it was a thing.
Even so, it is likely that this will ease some of the pressures on the lounges. This may be especially true in peak periods, when the lounges are currently operating at full capacity.
On the other hand, the change seems to loosen the requirements, at least for Qantas Club members, for international lounges. At present, guests need to be travelling on the same flight as the member with access. However, this rule change would allow guests travelling on any partner airline to access the lounge. That means the guest can be travelling on any Qantas, Jetstar, or oneWorld airline flight and have access.
In the case of Platinum and Gold members, the current rules have already allowed them to bring in guests that are travelling on a partner airline.
While there are some losers here, bringing a consistent set of rules across the board seems to be a good thing.
For now, Virgin Australia still allows guests that are not travelling to access their domestic lounges. Whether or not they follow the lead of Qantas remains to be seen.
[Updated to include international lounge references]