Qantas and Virgin Australia have both been forced to close their domestic airport lounges today due to new government-mandated COVID-19 measures.
All Qantas-operated lounges worldwide, including Qantas Clubs and Qantas Business Lounges, closed at midday today. Qantas says that it is working through options for Qantas Club members that are impacted by the lounge closures.
All Virgin Australia Lounges are also now closed. It is not clear when the lounges will re-open, but Virgin says it will keep its customers informed.
“This is an unprecedented time in the global aviation industry and we’ve needed to make this temporary change to our guest offering in order to comply with the current social distancing requirements,” Virgin Australia Chief Experience Officer Danielle Keighery said.
“We sincerely apologise to any passenger affected and we’ll continue to keep guests and our Velocity members updated on when the lounges will re-open,” Keighery said.
As the Australian government implements strict new social distancing laws, discourages non-essential air travel and states move to close their borders, there will be further significant reductions to Qantas & Virgin domestic flights over the coming weeks.
Regional Express is also impacted, announcing toady that it will suspend almost all of its flights from 6 April 2020 unless the government is prepared to underwrite its losses. Rex will maintain limited service within Queensland on routes that are operated in partnership with the Queensland state government. Rex says that a tipping point has been reached where it is no longer sustainable for the regional carrier to operate even reduced services.
To help passengers get home, Virgin Australia is allowing passengers booked to travel until next Friday to change to any flight departing by tomorrow, without paying any change fares or fare difference.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Qantas Closing Lounges, Including All International & Chairmans Lounges