Qantas Lounge Run Backfires Spectacularly
Qantas First Lounge. Photo: Qantas.

When booking flights from Melbourne to Cairns last week, timmy-t thought it would be a great idea to book the whole family on a Jetstar Dreamliner service departing from the international terminal. As this member has Qantas Platinum status, this would allow the family to enjoy a pleasant breakfast in the Qantas First Lounge before boarding the non-stop Jetstar Dreamliner service to Cairns. The early departure time meant arriving at Melbourne Airport at 4am… but it would be worth it, right?

Sadly, no. The plan backfired in the most spectacular way possible!

After getting up way too early and arriving at Melbourne Airport, timmy-t discovered that the Jetstar flight had been cancelled. As it was the start of school holidays, all of Jetstar’s other flights to Cairns were full. So they were rebooked onto new flights via Sydney.

The first leg to Sydney would depart 5 hours after they arrived at Melbourne Airport. The family would then have to wait for 4 hours in Sydney for their next flight, which would arrive in Cairns almost 8 hours later than originally planned. But wait, it gets worse…

For domestic flights, Jetstar only accepts luggage up to two hours before a flight’s scheduled departure time. As the new flight departed Melbourne at 9am, this meant waiting around the airport for nearly 3 hours on a cold, dark Melbourne morning with luggage and a cranky family in tow.

Jetstar also refused to check the passengers’ luggage through from Melbourne to Cairns, meaning timmy-t had to collect all bags in Sydney and again wait around for Jetstar’s check-in counters in Sydney to open.

With the last-minute rebooking, the family also lost their pre-allocated seats and were stuck in the last row on their new flights.

Finally, as this member’s flight was no longer departing from the international terminal, timmy-t no longer had access to the Qantas First Lounge – which was exactly why they booked on Jetstar in the first place! This member writes…

I know others have taken JQ25 for the first class lounge experience on a domestic flight and the expectations were there, but when it doesn’t go to plan the impact is an experience less than optimal… a 4hr trip became 17hrs. And of course, no compensation or acknowledgement from JQ. Caveat Emptor!

We will definitely reconsider our future JQ needs…

Jetstar tag flights

If you have Qantas Platinum or Platinum One status, flying with Jetstar on their Boeing 787 tag flights departing from the international terminal can be a clever way to access international Qantas lounges. Just beware that if Jetstar cancels your flight, you won’t receive the Qantas lounge experience you bargained for.

Jetstar operates several international tag flights each week on routes including Melbourne-Cairns and Sydney-Gold Coast.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: JQ25 MEL – CNS warning….


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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]