Qantas Wrongly Refuses Lounge Access Again

Qantas Wrongly Refuses Lounge Access Again

Qantas says it has issued a reminder to staff after a Oneworld Emerald frequent flyer was incorrectly refused Qantas Club access for a second time in a row.

Last week we brought you the story of AFF member Muppet501st, who has Oneworld Emerald status as a Qatar Airways Platinum member. On a recent visit to the Qantas Club in Townsville, he was told that he couldn’t use the lounge because his Qantas Frequent Flyer number, and not his Qatar Airways number, was on the boarding pass.

This member only has Bronze status with Qantas, but had attached his Qantas Frequent Flyer number to the booking because he wanted to earn Qantas points & status credits for the flight. (Qantas domestic flights are not eligible to earn miles with the Qatar Airways Privilege Club program.)

As Qantas confirmed to us last week, this is perfectly legitimate. Eligible frequent flyers with Oneworld partner airlines are permitted to access Qantas lounges regardless of the frequent flyer number listed on the boarding pass. According to published Oneworld lounge access rules, Oneworld frequent flyers just need to show their valid airline membership card and a same-day boarding pass for any Oneworld flight when entering the lounge.

Qantas had even confirmed this directly to Muppet501st. After the first incident, this member contacted Qantas on social media and was told, “Yes, you are eligible to use the Qantas lounge however it does need to have a Oneworld flight number.”

Despite this, Muppet501st was refused entry to the Qantas Club in Townsville for a second time last Wednesday. They posted on AFF:

So im typing this reply, from outside the QF TSV lounge.
Denied entry as i dont have my QR WP number on my BP.
Even after showing them the confirmation from the QF team, and the AFF forum story.
They were happy to change my QF NP to QR WP, but for the 30 mins before the flight, it wasnt worth it. ( im traveling on works dime anyway)
Just very frustrating.

At the time, the lounge attendant in Townsville contacted their customer service supervisor on duty, who also wrongly insisted that the Qatar Airways frequent flyer number would need to be on the boarding pass for lounge access to be permitted.

Qantas has finally resolved this issue

It’s disappointing that, even after we highlighted this situation last week, Qantas had not passed on the relevant information to frontline airport staff. However, it appears that this issue may now finally be resolved.

After we contacted Qantas again to alert them to the second incident, the airline directly contacted the staff members involved as well as Muppet501st. By way of apology, Qantas even gifted some frequent flyer points to the member. Plus, upon learning that this customer is planning to make the switch to Qantas Frequent Flyer, they offered him a status challenge. This member wrote:

Big thanks to AFF, have just received a call from QF apologising for my recent experiences with the QF TSV lounge, and the staff will be updated next week.
And for my troubles I will be credited with a few QFF points.
Also chatted about my moving over to QF and was asked if i had heard about the accelerate program, which i had but never explored. So will be signing up for the SG – 90 days to earn 200sc challenge.
Thanks QF and AFF again.

As we said last week, Qantas unfortunately has a history of misinterpreting Oneworld lounge access rules. This can be very frustrating for frequent flyers because, even though most mistakes made by frontline staff are unintentional, there is generally no recourse available when they get it wrong. If a lounge attendant says you can’t enter, that’s final.

In this case, the airline has apologised and issued compensation in the form of frequent flyer points. That’s great, but also quite rare and probably would not have happened if we hadn’t got involved. It would be better if the rules were applied correctly and consistently in the first place.

On the specific issue of accessing Qantas lounges with a Oneworld frequent flyer card, Qantas says that it will issue a reminder to staff this week. Let’s hope that this finally fixes the problem once and for all!

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Entering a QF lounge with QR WP and then changing to your QF FF #

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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]