Qantas' most valuable Frequent Flyers – those with top-tier Platinum status – only have a few weeks left to enjoy Qantas lounges regardless of which airline they're flying with – or even when they're not flying at all!
The delightful 'Anytime Access' perk for Platinum cardholders ends on January 31st. From February 1st, even Platinum Frequent Flyers will have to be ticketed for travel with Qantas or a OneWorld partner airline to get into a Qantas domestic or international lounge.
(Passengers on the low-cost Jetstar, Jetstar Asia and Valuair airlines can also escape into the lounge before their flight.)
Qantas Platinums have long appreciated this key benefit, either to while away the pre-flight hours in Qantas' international first class lounge despite flying with a competitor or even to grab some breakfast or lunch when seeing friends and relatives off at the domestic airport.
While Platinums are bemoaning the tightened rules, these bring Qantas in line with most other international airlines (including its OneWorld partners).
It's a particular blow to those who need to travel to destinations not served by the oneworld airline alliance, which is the smallest of the three alliances and serves the fewest destinations.
Business travellers required by their company to pick the best available fare regardless of airline affiliation will also be frustrated by the move.
Platinum members will still receive upgrade priority over Gold and Silver Frequent Flyers, although the Platinum additional luggage allowance has changed to a single bag with a total of 32 kg.
What do you think about the changes? If you're a Platinum, how often have you used Anytime Access – and will this affect your choice of airline bookings in the future? Let us know in the comments below.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.