Qantas recently announced plans for a brand new lounge in London’s Heathrow Airport. The stylish multi-storey lounge in Terminal 3, which is expected to open in early 2017, will be a “shared” lounge space. Business and First class passengers, as well as Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers will all have access.
Qantas has been refreshing its international lounge network in recent years, with new lounges in Singapore, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. The majority of these new international lounges are shared between Business and First class passengers. This is in contrast to the separated Business and First lounges offered in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and various international ports, including Auckland.
Qantas flies twice daily to London, using A380s featuring a First class cabin. One member believes that the lack of a dedicated First class lounge represents a degradation of the First product.
I recently read the news about the planned new QF lounge at LHR T3. Apparently this is to be a 1 class lounge, despite the fact that the areas to be used was the old SQ lounge on 2 floors. I was told that this is to align it with other international lounges. Why do this on a flagship route with F cabins? Why not align it with the excellent Flounges in Aus?
Some members share this view, claiming that Qantas should be doing more to differentiate between Business and First class. They also opine that Qantas’ flagship First lounges in Sydney and Melbourne are one of the best perks of Platinum status, and a significant motivation to fly with Qantas.
Other members are less concerned. They argue that as long as Qantas offer differentiated services to First class and Platinum flyers, such as spa treatments and an enhanced wine list, then the combined lounge is a non-issue.
One member opines that the lack of a First class lounge could also be a signal of things to come. There is some speculation that Qantas will soon begin flying Boeing 787s to London. These aircraft will not include First class.
So long as F pax and premium (Platinum One/Chairmans Lounge) have access to expanded services whilst in a combined lounge, I don’t see the need to further lose space by splitting a space into two zones. Additionally, doesn’t EK only use a one size fits all lounge in every port outside of their home (as a very premium carrier), airlines are downsizing the amount of F seats they have and this may be indicative of what Qantas’ 787-900’s will have onboard.
Qantas flyers will continue to have access to numerous other partner lounges in London Heathrow’s Terminal 3. British Airways and American Airlines both offer dedicated First lounges, and Emirates also operates a high quality lounge.
I guess F PAX can use the BA, AA “First/Flagship” lounges or the EK lounge.
Join the lounge discussion HERE.