Jetstar will relocate its Melbourne operations to the newly built Terminal 4 from 10 November, 2015. The new terminal building, which opened just last month, will be shared by low-cost domestic airlines Jetstar and Tigerair.
Jetstar currently shares Terminal 1 with Qantas. Here, Jetstar flyers eligible for lounge access are welcome to use the Qantas Club and other lounges prior to boarding. While Jetstar is relocating, the Qantas Club is not. Jetstar passengers will still be allowed access to the Qantas Club prior to flying, but crucially, the lounge will be located at the opposite end of the airport to Terminal 4. Accessing it prior to any Jetstar flight will necessitate passing through two security checkpoints, as well as a long walk between the two terminals.
Whilst lounge access has not technically been removed, the location of the new terminal creates a significant disincentive to use it when flying Jetstar. A similar situation exists in Sydney. Qantas used to operate a lounge in Sydney Airport’s Terminal 2, where Jetstar operate from. With this lounge now closed, Jetstar flyers have two options – either use the lounge in the Qantas Terminal, or forego lounge access altogether.
Nothing to stop you visiting the Qantas lounge and then trekking down to T4 for your flight. Nothing except the time and inconvenience factors as so ably demonstrated by the changes to Sydney a year or two ago when the JetStar flights were kept in the far terminal while the Qantas flights were consolidated into another terminal.
To make matters more complicated, Jetstar flights will cease to appear on information boards in the Qantas lounges. No boarding announcements will be made either.
Qantas flyers, on the other hand may well benefit from the changes. Terminal 1 at Melbourne Airport will now be exclusively used by Qantas flights, meaning less crowding in the lounges, in the departures area and through security.
One AFF member sums up the reaction well:
Yay! Less crowded lounges!
Boo! No lounge when we fly JQ!
Yay! Less chaos at MEL T1 security
Join the discussion HERE.