Qantas & Air New Zealand Reciprocal Lounge Access Explained

Qantas & Air New Zealand Reciprocal Lounge Access Explained
Eligible Qantas customers can now access Air New Zealand domestic lounges. Photo: Matt Graham.

In October 2018, Qantas and Air New Zealand launched an unlikely new codeshare agreement. Air New Zealand began code-sharing on Qantas domestic routes, and Qantas in turn placed its “QF” code on many Air New Zealand domestic flights.

The agreement between Qantas and Air New Zealand means that frequent flyers can earn points and receive other benefits when flying on codeshare services operated by the other airline. But how exactly does this work for lounge access?

Reciprocal Lounge Access on Qantas and Air New Zealand

As a Qantas Frequent Flyer member with Gold, Platinum or Platinum One status, you are entitled to use any Air New Zealand domestic lounge when booked on an Air New Zealand domestic flight with a “QF” flight number. Qantas codeshares are offered in conjunction with Qantas trans-Tasman flights and you must be booked on the Qantas code to use the Air New Zealand lounge.

Qantas codeshares on 30 Air New Zealand domestic services to destinations including Tauranga, Rotorua, Dunedin, Blenheim and New Plymouth. If you’re flying to Rotorua, for example, you would have access to the Air New Zealand domestic lounge in Auckland if you flew with Qantas from Australia to Auckland and continued on an Air New Zealand flight marketed by Qantas (with a “QF” flight number) to Rotorua.

Similarly, Air New Zealand Gold and Elite Airpoints members can use domestic Qantas Club lounges when booked on a Qantas-operated domestic flight with an “NZ” flight number. These flights can only be booked on the same ticket as an Air New Zealand trans-Tasman service.

Incorrectly Denied Air New Zealand Lounge Access

It seems that some Air New Zealand staff are still unfamiliar with the new agreement. AFF member Stormy, who has Qantas Gold status, was recently denied entry to the Air New Zealand lounge at Invercargill Airport. This was despite being booked on the Qantas codeshare for their flight to Christchurch (where this member connected through to Melbourne on a Qantas flight). In this instance, access should have been granted.

Air New Zealand regional lounge at Invercargill Airport
Air New Zealand regional lounge at Invercargill Airport. Photo: Matt Graham.

Qantas/Air NZ Lounge Access Myths

Since the Qantas inked its new partnership with Air New Zealand, there has been a lot of confusion and misinformation spread about the partnership.

To be clear, the codeshare agreement does not extend to trans-Tasman or any other international flights. Qantas and Air New Zealand are still competitors on international flights, and it is extremely unlikely that regulators would approve a trans-Tasman tie-up between the two airlines anyway.

Your Qantas Frequent Flyer status will not grant you lounge access if you’re booked on an Air New Zealand flight with an “NZ” flight number. Air New Zealand lounge access is only offered if you’re booked on an Air New Zealand-operated flight with a “QF” flight number – and that is only possible if you’re connecting in New Zealand to/from a Qantas international flight on the same ticket.

Reciprocal lounge access is purely for Qantas Frequent Flyers and Air New Zealand Airpoints members with Gold or higher status. Status with another Oneworld airline (such as American Airlines) will not get you into Air New Zealand’s lounges. Similarly, Star Alliance status with an airline other than Air New Zealand will not get you into any Qantas lounge. However, if you have Star Alliance status, you would have access to any Air New Zealand lounge when travelling on any flight operated by Air New Zealand – regardless of whether the flight is marketed by Qantas.

The agreement does not extend to paid Qantas Club or Air New Zealand Koru Club members.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Reciprocal lounge access In New Zealand


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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]