Regarded as two of the best airline lounges in the world by many, the Qantas First Class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne are a popular stop at the start of many a journey for our members. Offering a la carte dining and an extensive drinks list, one in theory can board the flight well watered or fed. In practice, it seems that is not always the case. You actually run the risk of not boarding at all.
I have enjoyed 4 drinks in the Qantas First lounge in Melbourne in the last 4 hours and have been told that I have been cut off due to responsible service of alcohol regulations. The Food & Beverage manager had been advised that we have had “7 rounds” and could not serve us any more as we may be refused boarding. As I hold an RSA myself, I could see this was stretching the boundaries.
Many of our members have previously commented on the Qantas Club in Perth being unfairly tight on alcohol servings, presumably due to some previous incidents of intoxication. Our members have also reported similar incidents at the Virgin’s lounge in Sydney. However, this is the first time one of the famed First Class lounges has featured with such an incident, and it’s thought there was a good reason for it.
Now I am not normally a conspiracy theorist, however this occurred about ten minutes after I made a comment to the front desk about the level of service of the Accor staff.
Some time after QF93 left and the lounge had quietened I took the time to chat to the First host and the other front desk attendant. I told them that the food and beverage staff seemed disinterested with providing the appropriate level of service to anyone in the lounge regardless of how busy it was. The First host spoke with the F&B manager. The F&B manager then cut us off.
Since their inception, First Class lounges have been managed by Accor on behalf of Qantas. While being cut off is a new thing for our members to hear, poor service has reportedly long been a feature of that arrangement. Our members were quick to provide their own experiences in support of the notion that this was not an isolated incident.
I have (almost) similar experience in the SYD First lounge. When I (usually travelling alone) come to the dining area waiting to be seated, I felt like the staff just pretend that they don’t see me for a while, then when I got their attention they let me pick a table, then the same disinterested waiting and having to grab attention to make my order. Had this happened in a restaurant that I have to pay for, I would’ve walked out (have done so few times).
Do you think the lounge staff acted unfairly, perhaps you have a recent experience to share that is similar, why not join the conversation HERE.