No Cathay Pacific Lounge Access in San Francisco?

Qantas launched flights to San Francisco last year. As Qantas does not operate a lounge in San Francisco, eligible flyers are directed to use the Air France lounge. However, in our members’ experience, the lounge is too small and offers a sub-par experience.

The AF lounge is now completely full so anyone coming in late is struggling to find a seat. It’s a poor situation.

In theory, one way to get around this is to visit the superior Cathay Pacific lounge. As Cathay Pacific is a oneworld airline, Qantas Gold and Platinum members should be entitled to access their lounge when flying Qantas. In spite of this, numerous members have reported being refused entry.

Has any else been refused access to the Cathay Lounge in SFO?

It seems that they refuse entry to Qantas passengers. I thought the point of One World was that you could use other One World lounges and there always seems to be lots of Cathay passenger in the Qantas lounges…..

It seems that Cathay Pacific is restricting the number of Qantas flyers allowed to enter their lounge.

Had exactly the same situation last Thursday. I am QF Platinum, traveling on QF 74 in J and after seeing the deplorable state of the Air France lounge (why QF passengers would be directed to a Sky Team lounge instead of OW?) went in search of the Cathay Lounge. When I arrived I was told that they would no longer accept any more QF passengers as they had reached their guest limit (looked pretty empty to me) except for a list of named Chairman’s Lounge pax. When I questioned this and stated the OWE benefits, I was told I would have to see the QANTAS duty manager to complain…

Some members question whether this is in breach of oneworld lounge access rules. However, one member points out that airlines do have the right to restrict access during busy periods. Cathay Pacific often has two or more of its own flights departing around the same time. But some members believe that in this case, Qantas may be unwilling to pay Cathay Pacific for lounge access. It is likely that the fees charged by Cathay to Qantas are higher than those charged by Air France for the airline’s passengers using that lounge.

There are two more oneworld lounges in San Francisco – the British Airways and Japan Airlines lounges. However, the British Airways lounge closes well before QF74 to Sydney departs. And generally speaking, the Japan Airlines lounge only opens when the Qantas flight is about to board.

In the meantime, the only way to access the Cathay Pacific lounge appears to be to arrive at the airport early. In our members’ experience, Cathay will accept the first ten Qantas passengers each day. After this, passengers are redirected to the crowded Air France lounge.

Share your experience HERE.


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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]