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eBay cracks down on sales of 'free' Qantas Club lounge passes

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, qantas club, Qantas Business Lounge, Qantas First Lounge

It's a case of "going, going, gone!" for Qantas lounge passes being sold on eBay, with the online auction house blocking frequent flyers from selling 'free' invitations to the Qantas Club, Qantas Business Lounge and even the Qantas First Lounge.

Over the past week eBay Australia has removed all listings for Qantas lounge passes, citing the company's policy on travel-related items which includes 'guest passes to airline lounges' among the 'travel-related incentives' which are not allowed to be sold on the site.

"These passes are prohibited under our Travel Policy" says eBay Australia Communications Manager Megan English. "Our filters capture a lot of these kinds of listings and they are removed"

"We also remove any that slip through the filters that are reported to us," English tells Australian Business Traveller, adding that eBay would also "review the filters to make sure more get captured in the first instance."

Qantas First Lounge passes sell for over $100

eBay has previously been awash with Qantas Club passes priced at around $50 each, while invitations to the up-market Qantas First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne typically sell for over $100.

The cards are valid for one visit to a domestic Qantas Club lounge (above) or a Qantas-operated international business lounge - including those in Australia as well as the Qantas lounges in Los Angeles, Singapore and Hong Kong (below) – when flying with either Qantas or Jetstar.

How to get a free Qantas Club lounge pass

These 'complimentary invitations' are typically issued as part of a Qantas credit card package – for example, the HSBC Qantas Platinum Visa and ANZ Frequent Flyer Black cards include two Qantas Club passes every year.

Silver members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme also receive one free Qantas Club lounge pass each year, while passes are sometimes offered to Qantas customers in compensation for delayed flights, lost luggage and the like.

Access to the Qantas Club and international business lounges is a perk of Gold status in the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme but can also be purchased on an annual basis starting at $510 plus a one-off $385 joining fee. 

Barring a one-off promotion in December 2012 which offered four single-use domestic lounge passes for $179, the airline doesn't sell Qantas Club passes.

Despite the cards declaring among their conditions that 'Invitations are not for resale', they're a popular item on eBay among occasional travellers looking to snare lounge access, especially before a long international flight.

“Qantas lounge passes are not for resale but are transferable to family and friends" a Qantas spokeswoman told Australian Business Traveller.

eBay's English says the company is also wise to people listing the cards for free but with an exceptionally high postage and handling fee.

"If any item is prohibited we don't allow sellers to list it for "free" and then charge a shipping fee," English explains, "or also offer an allowed item in the listing to try to circumvent the policy." 

Turning Qantas lounge passes into loot

Melbourne-based frequent flyer Michael Garlick usually advertises Qantas Club passes on eBay "once or twice a year", selling them "for around $50-$60 each."

"They come from my parents' credit cards" says Garlick, who had two Qantas Club passes removed from eBay this week. "My parents usually fly with me so they gain lounge access with my Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold status."

"My parents have zero interest in the Qantas Club which is why I sell them on their behalf" Garlick tells Australian Business Traveller. "Now I will probably just give the passes back to them to use. They would have preferred the cash."

While eBay has pulled down the shutters on the free passes, however, many remain on sale through online classifieds site Gumtree, which is also owned by eBay.

Also read: No, you can't buy (or sell!) Qantas frequent flyer points on eBay

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 16/1/15 by Chrisor

Well as of today eBay hasn't removed "all" the listings, there are heaps still up for auction. 

1 on 16/1/15 by eminere

I'm sure it's a work in progress.

2 on 16/1/15 by GregXL

If Qantas doesn't want the passes to be transferable, all they need to do is link them to frequent flyer membership.  How do you get a first class lounge pass (other than on eBay!) ?

1 on 16/1/15 by jimmylikesitwet

I'm not sure they don't want them to be transferable, just not sold. I think they'd be happy with someone giving one to a friend as it may incent that friend to join up. They'd just rather no-one is profiting from that transaction.

3 on 16/1/15 by Dot

I thought the HSBC supplied guess passes were a one off when you got the card initially and not supplied every year.  Certainly, that was the case for me.

1 on 16/1/15 by hutch

I get 2 x HSBC passes every year.

1 on 16/1/15 by Chrisor

Me too!

4 on 16/1/15 by hutch

I've had a couple of QC listings on Gumtree removed this week... might have to try again in a month once the heat has died down :-p

5 on 16/1/15 by Ron

I bought a car outright, then wanted to sell it because I owned it. The car dealer then told me that they wanted to control everything and tried to prohibit me from selling it and had my online listing removed. Why haven't I flown Qantas in five years?

1 on 16/1/15 by jimmylikesitwet

Poor analogy. 

A better one would be this. Your credit card company provides you one free day of a rental car per year on the condition you have to use it yourself and can't sell it to anyone else. 

1 on 16/1/15 by hutch

I have zero guilt onselling a QC pass. It subsidises my paid QC membership to an extent and other people get to use the lounge (who may in the future invest in a QC membership or fly Qantas again due to the experience. Not sure why Qantas really cares?

On the flipside, I've had the benefit of visiting the QF First lounge by buying a pass online (probably to the disgust of you Platniums). I'd do it again. 

1 on 16/1/15 by watson374

hutch, could you do a direct sale? :P

1 on 16/1/15 by hutch

Love the mark downs! It's like buying a ticket to that sold out event on ebay... I might be breaching the T&C's but if I want to see the event then its worth it.

@Watson... of course! 

2 on 16/1/15 by hutch

@Watson - you'll be able to make contact via my profile :-)

1 on 16/1/15 by Chris

A number of comments have been removed for various degrees of personal attack (and those in response in order to remove the thread of discussion).

Users are reminded that making personal and derogatory comments about other users is strictly prohibited by the Australian Business Traveller comment policy, and that any further comments made similar to those already deleted will also be deleted.

2 on 16/1/15 by watson374

I actually can't? D:

1 on 16/1/15 by hutch

Think I fixed it!


Play nice ppl

1 on 16/1/15 by watson374

Email sent.

2 on 16/1/15 by gippsflyer

Well I learnt something new - never heard of (and definately not seen) one time passes to the Qantas First Lounge. What does Qantas hand those out for? If I wasn't a Platinum, I wouldn't pay a $100 for one (or $50 for Qantas Club, which is arguably even worse value). Doesn't disgust me that someone's made use of one, just surprised Qantas issues them out in the first place.

1 on 17/1/15 by watson374

Compensation to elites who have QP access (where a QP invite wouldn't cut it).

Also, bear in mind the QP invites are accepted at HKG and SIN.

1 on 17/1/15 by gippsflyer

That would seem the best place to use them; I like the SIN lounge, the bar does some very good cocktails.

1 on 17/1/15 by watson374

Eric in particular makes some very nice drinks, such as this Singapore Sling he made on New Year's Eve.

1 on 17/1/15 by gippsflyer

Yes, I enjoyed a few of those on my last visit :-)

1 on 17/1/15 by watson374

A few? Good grief, I only had three and I was out like a light once on board. Did you have any coffee? Cherry makes an excellent iced latte. Very refreshing on arrival at the lounge.

1 on 17/1/15 by gippsflyer

No, I didn't - looks excellent though :-)

In truth I did have three (well at least two Slings - I think I switched my last order for something else), but I didn't want to appear greedy lol.

I haven't checked out the HKG lounge bar yet, as CX's First The Wing lounge always wins that debate (it's a case of what I know vs the risk of disappointment with what I don't).

2 on 17/1/15 by David

I love Cherry, and the rest of the guys (Ciello, Lydia and of course Shirley) – will be seeing them tonight on my return to Sydney on the new A330 Business Suite, will definitely have an espresso martini or iced latte under my belt!

1 on 17/1/15 by watson374

They do an amazing espresso martini!

2 on 19/1/15 by samson

I received a F Lounge pass from QF in the mail after being caught up in the sudden grounding a few years back.  I was QFF Gold at the time and on my way home from Europe.

6 on 16/1/15 by KK

Time to use instead of eBay.

7 on 16/1/15 by Serg

Time to move to Gumtree I guess

1 on 17/1/15 by jimmylikesitwet

They've been taken off Gumtree too. Probably as it's owned by eBay too.


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