Qantas frequent flyers have been enjoying access to Emirates’ network of airport lounges for almost three years now, but in that time the access rules haven’t gotten simpler: if anything, they’re now more complex and can leave even the most seasoned business travellers scratching their heads.
Whether you’re a Qantas Club member, a Gold or Platinum frequent flyer or fly high in Qantas business class or even first class, here’s where you can relax in an Emirates lounge, and where you can’t.
Emirates lounge access: Qantas Club members
Qantas Club members draw the short straw with Emirates, welcome only in the airline’s business class lounges in Dubai when their next onward flight is booked on a Qantas QF flight number and operated either by Qantas or Emirates.
That means if you’re booked onto an Emirates EK flight number or are flying from anywhere other than Dubai – including Australian cities and even with a QF flight number on your ticket – you can’t access the Emirates lounges in those ports.
Instead, Qantas Club members can stop by Qantas’ own international business class lounges when booked on a QF flight number and travelling with Emirates, where a lounge in that same airport both exists and is open.
For example, members could visit Qantas’ international business lounge in Sydney (above) when flying with Emirates to Dubai, provided the QF flight number is booked rather than the EK flight number.
The only exception to the rule is at London’s Heathrow Airport where Qantas Club members can use the American Airlines Admirals Club when flying with Qantas or Emirates on a QF flight number: a handy one to remember before the 24-hour flight home.
Emirates lounge access: Qantas Gold, business class
Qantas’ own business class passengers needn’t head straight for the Qantas business lounge before their flight: you can also find comfort in Emirates’ lounges in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East (including Dubai), North Africa and Europe, when travelling with Qantas or Emirates on a QF or EK flight number.
The same is true for Qantas Gold-grade frequent flyers on the same flights in any class of service – for example, a Gold frequent flyer jetting from Melbourne to Auckland with Qantas in economy could in fact use the Emirates Melbourne lounge (below) before their trip, as could a business class passenger on the same flight without any frequent flyer status.
London is again an exception where Qantas business class passengers and Gold frequent flyers on Qantas-operated flights cannot visit the new Emirates lounge at Heathrow, instead being directed to the British Airways lounge.
However, if you’re flying with Emirates from London Heathrow – that’s on an Emirates-painted aircraft with Emirates crew – an Emirates business class boarding pass or your Qantas Gold status does get you through the door into Emirates’ Heathrow lounge.
Access to Emirates lounges elsewhere such as in South Africa and the Americas isn’t offered to Qantas business class passengers or to Qantas Gold frequent flyers, even when travelling on an Emirates flight.
Emirates lounge access: Qantas Platinum, Qantas Platinum One
Emirates lounge access for Qantas Platinum and Platinum One members is similar to Qantas Gold frequent flyers, but with access also to the Emirates first class lounges in Dubai when flying with Qantas or Emirates on a QF or EK flight number:
... so even if you're flying with Qantas' sister airline and invited to the Emirates lounge, stop by Qantas First for a pre-flight meal at the in-lounge restaurant and a spa treatment at the Aurora day spa:
Emirates lounge access: Qantas first class
As you'd expect, Qantas first class passengers (booked on a QF or EK flight number) can stop by Emirates lounges in Australia and in Dubai, including the Emirates first class lounges where guests can enjoy an a la carte dining experience.
[Click the menu above to enlarge it]
Added to the list for Qantas first class passengers is that ever-elusive Emirates lounge at London Heathrow, rather than the British Airways lounge used by Platinum frequent flyers and business class passengers.
But of course, Emirates lounges in South Africa and the Americas remain off-limits to Qantas first class passengers, including in Los Angeles where Emirates now boasts a new, exclusive lounge.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter – we're @AusBT