Qantas will close all international airport lounges, and some domestic Qantas Club lounges, following the grounding of international flights and significant cuts to domestic flights within Australia. Qantas will also suspend access to all international partner airline lounges and close its invitation-only Chairmans Lounges.
At the time of writing, Qantas has not provided specific dates that these changes will take effect. However, with most international flights being grounded from 30 March 2020, we expect the lounge closures will occur around the same time – given there will be no more international travellers to use the lounges. Presumably, Qantas’ international lounges will re-open when international flights are restored.
Most domestic Qantas Club lounges will remain open for the time being. However, Qantas warns that passengers can expect “temporary changes to [the] inflight and lounge experience” due to the current climate. This could include changes to catering.
Qantas Club lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth will be temporarily closed. All eligible passengers, including Qantas Club members and Gold frequent flyers, will be welcome to use the domestic Qantas Business lounges at these airports instead.
A full list of lounge closures is published on the Qantas website.
Closing airport lounges is one way that airlines can cut costs in order to survive, as forward bookings – and therefore revenue – fall dramatically.
Many other airlines, including Cathay Pacific, have also closed airport lounges in recent weeks and months. In some cases, this has been done to conserve money at a time of very low demand. In other cases, this action has been taken for health & safety reasons. For example, I came across an airport lounge last weekend that was closed indefinitely due to COVID-19 because the lounge did not have proper ventilation.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Qantas Closing Lounges, Including All International & Chairmans Lounges