One of the well-publicised benefits of Qantas’ partnership with Emirates is reciprocal access to both airlines’ airport lounges. Qantas frequent flyers are allowed to use the Emirates lounge when flying Qantas or Emirates, and vice versa. But Qantas flyers have reported being turned away from Emirates lounges.

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A Platinum Qantas flyer recently tried to access the Emirates lounge in Auckland ahead of a Qantas flight to Melbourne. This member was abruptly refused entry.

According to the lounge attendant, Emirates has the right to deny entry to Qantas frequent flyers if the lounge is full. Our member was not convinced by this excuse, observing that the lounge did not appear to be busy.


Another member had a similar experience recently at the Auckland lounge. The staff member strongly “advised” this flyer to use the Qantas lounge instead. In this case, the member was not actually being denied entry… although it was made to sound like they were.

Some members believe that restricting access to the Emirates lounge is fair enough. The Auckland lounge can become quite full prior to the departure of Emirates’ four A380 flights each evening.

Many frequent flyers prefer to visit the Emirates lounge in Auckland – as is their right to do so – as it is superior in many ways to the neighbouring Qantas lounges. Gold-grade Qantas flyers and Business class passengers also tend to prefer the Emirates lounges in Melbourne and Sydney to the outdated Qantas Business lounges.

As one member recently discovered after they were denied entry to the Emirates lounge in Sydney ahead of a Qantas flight to Los Angeles, the reciprocal lounge access agreement does not apply on flights to the Americas or South Africa.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]