If you have a Business class ticket, you’ll generally have access to the Business Lounge ahead of your flight. But if you’re connecting from a long-haul Business flight to a domestic or short-haul flight in Economy, you may also have lounge access while waiting for your connecting Economy flight.
This little-known rule applies not only to Qantas flights, but is a standard Oneworld directive. If you’re booked in Business or First on any Oneworld international flight over 5 hours in length, you can use the lounge ahead of any connecting domestic or short-haul flights – even if the connecting flight is in Economy or Premium Economy. Here’s what the Oneworld website says:
First and Business Class customers connecting on the same day of travel, or before 6am the following day, can access the lounge when travelling between an international long haul (a oneworld international long haul flight is defined as an international flight marketed and operated by any oneworld carrier with a scheduled flight time longer than 5 hours) and an international short haul or domestic flight (and vice-versa).
Lounge access will be determined on the international long haul ticketed flight (either First of Business Class) regardless of the ticketed class of travel on the international short haul or domestic flight.
You must be prepared to show your boarding pass or itinerary showing travel in First or Business class on the international long haul flight, in order to access the lounge before your international short haul or domestic flight.
This can be useful if you’re booked on a long-haul flight to Australia in Business or First class, but your domestic connection is on a QantasLink aircraft without a Business cabin. Many QantasLink flights to regional destinations around Australia are operated by Dash 8 aircraft with only Economy seating. Although Business is not offered on the aircraft, you’ll still have lounge access (and your higher baggage allowance) for the whole trip.
As a real-life example, AFF member motef is flying from Denpasar to Newcastle, via Sydney and Brisbane. (This is the most direct routing offered by Qantas.) The Brisbane-Newcastle flight is on a QantasLink Dash 8 plane without a Business cabin. But as Denpasar-Sydney is an international flight over 5 hours in length, this member will have access to Qantas’ domestic Business Lounge in Brisbane ahead of the last leg to Newcastle – provided the connection is on the same day.
The rule would also apply if you were flying from New Zealand to Australia in Economy, and connecting on the same day to a long-haul Oneworld Business or First Class flight. In that case, you should be able to use the Qantas Business Lounge in New Zealand.
This rule is different to arrivals lounge access, whereby Qantas offers lounge access on arrival to Business passengers after the redeye flights from Perth and on arrival in London Heathrow.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Business flight – one leg in Economy – Benefits?
Got a specific question about lounge access entitlements? You can ask it in our Lounge Access Help Desk thread.