How to get Chairman's Lounge Membership ?

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by vaccav, Sep 26, 2004.

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  1. vaccav

    vaccav Junior Member

    Sep 26, 2004
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    I'm new here and was looking for some advice on getting membership of the Chairman's Lounge. I understand its very difficult to achieve but am nevertheless looking for some tips. I realise (from a previous discussion) that there can be an element of the w@nker factor associated with the Chairman's Lounge, but any help would be gratefully received.

    By way of info, my case is as follows:

    - Platinum member for only 2 years
    - Regional Finance Director of Au / NZ / Asian business of a large US brand (do you need to be CFO or is FD enough ?)
    - Travel budget for the business about AU$750k. (Not sure if this is enough to cut the mustard with Geoff and Margaret.)
    - I have a number of upcoming Asian trips coming up (4+) and wouldn't mind getting CL status for those (who wouldn't ?). Flights not yet booked.
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    Advice wanted:
    1. Do I have any chance of CL membership ?
    2. Is it true you need to be invited ?
    3. If you need to be invited, how do you get 'noticed' and invited ?
    4. Any other tips on how to solicit an invitation ?
    5. What's the best way to go about trying to get membership ?
    6. Any stories from anyone who has become a CL member or who has been rejected ?

    vaccav
     
  2. ksthommo

    ksthommo Active Member

    Jul 4, 2004
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    Check out the discussion "Chairman's Lounge, what it really offers"
     
  3. vaccav

    vaccav Junior Member

    Sep 26, 2004
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    ksthommo,

    Many thanks for pointing me to that discussion - I hadn't seen it.
    It seems like good info on the membership criteria is pretty scarce. Any further tips gratefully received.

    If amyone has any good stories they don't want to publish, feel free to email me at vaccav74 where it is not cold.

    vaccav
     
  4. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    My understanding is that there is no clearly defined criteria, you would be assessed on an individual basis, based on how valuable it would be to Qantas to have them suck up to you big time.

    Dave
     
  5. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    You would be personally recommended by your Qantas Rep. If you don't have a Qantas rep, or don't know who your Qantas rep is, then you are not going to make it.

    The amount of flying you do has no bearing on CL membership. It is totally about how important you are to Qantas as far as generating premium business for them from your company. As FD, do you make the decisions about on which airline and in which class of service that A$750K is spent?
     
  6. Another comment I've heard around the traps is that if you're desperate to have it, they won't want you. ;)

    Kinda like the saying "If you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it".
     
  7. Rick93

    Rick93 Established Member

    Nov 10, 2002
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    When asked: "Why do you want this so bad?" Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character replied: "Because they said I can't have it".....
    (Men of Honor)... story of first Afro - American naval diver attempting to qualify in US Navy Dive School..... great movie!

    regards,
     
  8. QF WP

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    Jun 20, 2002
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    vaccav, in answer to your questions:

    1. Yes, you have a chance given your senior position within an organisation, however it is slim. As mentioned, the invitation is given to Chairmans, Directors, CEO's, CFO's and those who control the travel budgets of their organisations (which must be significant $ spend per annum). Whether you control the budget or are senior enough in your organisation (as there may be a managerial level above you whom may be CL's) is the question.


    2. Yes, you must be invited to "join" by QF (like anybody would turn it down :roll: ??), it's not like FF status where you must fly to access higher status. I understand the QF panel consists of Geoff Dixon, John Borghetti (EGM) and Margaret Jackson).

    3. Getting noticed - travelling a lot yourself will help, but having an excellent relationship with Senior managers within Qantas (State Managers or Senior Account Execs who oversee your company's QF account) can give recomendations to the panel. That would be my first point of "attack".

    4 & 5. Become involved in changing your corporate travel policy (to increase the QF share) and involve your QF Account Manager in the process (asking them for their input, negotiating volume discount and allowing them to see the changes that you are making will impact QF positively). That could only advance your chance.

    6. Well, my Godfather was a CL back in the early 80's (when he was CEO of a NSW industry organisation). Although he left the position in the late 80's, he only lost CL status a couple of years ago (when his travel decreased to Silver level). Some of my clients are CL status. One of our members here, Samuel Price, has parents who are CL. One wonders if he can shed any relevant information to vaccav.
     
  9. Andyzx

    Andyzx Active Member

    Jan 7, 2004
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    CL be depressed

    Hi Vaccav

    First off CL is by invitation [I know you know that] and that’s the point. It has nothing to do with point, status or position, as Lindsay Wilson said it’s all about how valuable you are to QF. Having said that it doesn’t hurt to do the following.

    1. Tell your QF rep that you are looking to do a review of your airline policy and costs.
    2. make sure that your CEO, CFO, “C” anything is not involved – ie you’re the decision maker
    3. indicate on your 2-3rd meeting that Emirates or Singapore air is in the front running and that domestically Virgin has significantly better deal
    4. pre work on this might be 2-3 letters of complaint to QF senior management copied to you QF rep, but drop a thankyou for the some great service in there as well.

    This may make them a little frightened and maybe consider you for CL.

    To give you some indication that money, points and status doesn’t matter. The company I work for and I’m in the same line as you, spends about A$1.5 - $2m annually :roll: on international travel and most of that with QF as air and hotel partners etc it’s a 60:40 air / extra’s split. We have at least 12 platinum members with more than a few gold life and spouse gold or gold life. Most of our business GM’s, CFO etc are platinum. We also receive substantial discounts on America’s, Kangaroo and Round the world fares. Domestically we spend way to much and almost all with QF. [sorry for the above, its not a boast] and we have 1 yes one CL membership :shock: our CEO. I understand that the CFO is being considered after doing steps 1-3 not sure about 4.

    Hope it helps and good luck but from my view and I have talk to a few PL members about it, I don’t hold a lot of hope for you.

    Ohh anouther suggestion our CEO is a Rugby union fan and occassionally sits in the QF box now that Q is sponsoring union, it might help to lean the rules and follow the team and let it be known you are after a box seat so you can get introduced.
    :idea:
     
  10. Benny

    Benny Junior Member

    Oct 25, 2004
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    Hi All,

    Well I'm sure I can help you out here... As a former "QF Rep" a.k.a Corproate Account Manager (CAM) I can tell you:

    1) You must be a Senior Manager from a company that provides Qantas with more than $1M QMR (Qantas Market Revenue). Failing that, you could also be best mates with one of Qantas' Senior Management. The latter is definitely the better option.

    2) You need to ensure that your company has a Preferred Airline Agreement with Qantas. It basically means that your organisation must sign up to an non-exclusive deal to use Qantas to spend at least $1M. Now it's not a real science as most of the reporting systems are so inaccurate that it doesn't really matter providing you keep on the good side of your CAM.

    3) The process starts with the CAM, goes to the Regional General Manager and then into the Black Hole known as "Senior Management". Once the RGM has signed off on it, it's pretty much a sure thing. Once it went into the Black Hole member "applications" very rarely got rejected.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Cheers,
    Benny.
     
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  11. QF WP

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    Benny, welcome to AFF and you've made quite an impression with your first post. I'd also like your permission to cross-post that to this topic over at Flyertalk (with correct references to your copyright :D) - or better still, why don't you post it yourself?? You'll make an even bigger impression as a new member over there.... :wink:
     
  12. shillard

    shillard Guest

    Speaking of such things....


    1. What sort of discount can you get as a QF corporate client?

    Eg: My employer has senior management flying QF, everyone else on DJ. All domestic travel is flexible economy (even with DJ), around 1,000 return flights per year. My own domestic travel is close to 150 domestic legs per year.

    International is a mix of business and economy, always on QF or other OW with regular returns to NZ, Fiji, Japan, the US and several RTW in J each year. Throw in a horrendous amount of hotel stays and you would think we could get a decent bulk discount from somebody - just about anybody would handle things more competently than our current travel agent.


    2. Anyone got a QF account manager contact?

    Not so much for the CL membership - I doubt we're big enough to qualify, and if we were it wouldn't be me getting it, but more from a cost saving point of view.
     
  13. Benny

    Benny Junior Member

    Oct 25, 2004
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    Shillard,

    1) Firstly, your number of trips are irrelevant. It's really the total spend on Qantas that counts, or the companys Qantas Market Revenue (QMR - as above). Nowadays, you'll find that most of the discount is made up of commissions that your travel manager receives. The so called discount is referred to as the Gross Financial Offer (GFO). This is made up 3 commission the Base (BSP) which is 5% for domestic and 9% for International. Then, Qantas pays your travel manager an Override which is a loyalty payment to agents for suggesting that their customers fly on Qantas. Thirdly, Qantas offers their corporate customers a specific discount for their business. Adds to these together and that will be your total discount off Full Economy (Y-class), Business (J-Class) and possibly a reduced Economy (known as B-class).

    If you're a corporate client, Qantas will give you the GFO as total including all the discount. If your GFO turns out to be around 10% you'll find that your travel managers base and override will add up to over 10%, hence you get no corporate discount.

    Gee, I hope I explained that well enough.

    2) Your CAM will depend on what company you're from and were it's head office is. If you send me the name of your company and it's HQ I'll let you know the best person to contact.

    Cheers,
    Benny
     
  14. Wuked

    Wuked Newbie

    Sep 14, 2005
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    I am the son of a VERY long term chairmans club member and can tell you this is not true. My father was one of the first chairmans club members (back if the old chairmans club room in melb - heaps nicer than the new one), and can tell you that it is a combination of how much you fly, who you are, and how valuable you are to Qantas.

    After going to chairman's lounges for at least the past 5 years (especially melbourne) I can tell you i have not yet once run into a person whom Qantas has not invited, and are all WAY above a FF, QC member etc.

    Due to my dad's chairman's membership, I now have the highest qantas ff, qq etc membership possible for life. But I personally have to be invited to be a chairman member for my chairman's lounge privlages to be more definite.

    In short, unless you are the son of the PM, or CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world, you will never see the opulence of a chairman's club membership.
     
  15. bravoecho1

    bravoecho1 Member

    Sep 10, 2004
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    OOL
    If you were the CEO of one of the world's biggest companies, you wouldn't be living in Australia.

    Apart from a BHP or RIO, our companies are small fry
     
  16. NM

    NM
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    Umm, excuse me, but what I posted is 100% accurate, and what you have posted does not contradict it.

    I did not say that CL members do not fly a lot. I said that the flying is not the reason they are invited to be members. Its all about who they are, not how much time they spend in the air. Now it is a fact that many of the people that meet the "who they are" criteria for membership also do an incredible about of flying just because of who they are. But there are also many people who are invited to be members who do not fly very much and in fact would not make Platinum and maybe not even Gold FF status in their own right.

    The fact of the matter is that CL membership cannot be earned based on the amount of flying you do. It comes about by way of invitation from Qantas based on who you are and how they perceive that to be of benefit to Qantas. That means its people who have influence over things that are important to Qantas, such as dictating travel policy for a large company, lobbying politicians, media influence etc.

    So are you implying you have Lifetime Platinum FF status with Qantas?

    I am the son of the Chairman and CEO of an Australian SCE
    business. I regularly enjoy the opulence and privacy of his lounge, and have "Lifetime" access rights. Due to Dad's position, I have the highest respect for him and his contribution to society possible for life. And that is way more important to me than my FF membership status.
     
  17. AlwaysUpThere

    AlwaysUpThere Member

    Nov 25, 2004
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    Nice topic to rejuvenate after a year!

    As a former airline staffer with vetting capabilities for that airline's equivalent "membership" of Chairman's I'd like to pose the following:

    Why to airlines have such a product / programme?

    I'd suggest its all about "Stroke Value". Its about having a system in place to make sure that the people who need their egos stroked, for a myriad of reasons (market power, social power, political power) are suitably stroked every time they access your services.

    ALL airlines (well, the good ones) have this private label card.

    I'd make two comments in relation to QF:

    1) With less competition in Australia these days able to provide the full range of flights, QF would need less Chairman's members for commercial reasons, but possibly more for political - so the CEO/CFO (the most senior executive) scenario is less likely; being "someone" is more so.

    2) The best way to obtain such a privilege (other than becoming and MP or media megastar) is to have significant spend potential with QF and put it out to tender. See how quickly they react with some improved offers.

    If anyone needs help with point 2, they can caontact me directly.
     
  18. shillard

    shillard Guest

    You could well be the son of God himself, doesn't change the fact that NM was spot-on. The majority of CL members could fly but once a year, without threatening that membership.

    Every member of every Parliament in the nation is a CL member, yet most of them do a pittance of the flying I do - guess which one of us gets CL membership?


    Your claims of "lifetime highest FF, Qc membership etc" are nonsense - unless you're the love child of Geoff Dixon....


    As for "opulence", get a clue. The CL rooms hardly compare to the Athenium or Union clubs. Most CL members would be hosed down at the door. :p
     
  19. sammy

    sammy Intern

    Sep 27, 2005
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    Do chairmans lounge members have to be Australian residents?

    Would a membership offer be extended to an Australian expat if they met the criteria?
    My spouse is 2IC of a large (household name, not Australian) multinational company, overseas. Several friends in our circle are members, but they head up branches of Australian companies.
    What would be the criteria? Reputation? Fame? Connections in Oz?
    As i have a child at school back home, I need to pop down a bit and would certainly love any perks I could get my hands on, especially when dragging sausages and nutri-grain back home again.
     
  20. QF WP

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    Sammy, sounds like you live in HKG and cryovac the sausages. You'd need to have your Aus-based friends who head up the company here contact the company's QF Account Manager....
     
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