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Qantas business lounges to close next week, re-open Jan 7th

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, qantas club, Qantas Business Lounge, Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum, oneworld emerald

Qantas will shut its domestic Business Lounges at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra airports next week so they can undergo "routine maintenance."

The lounges will shut their doors with the last flight of Christmas Day and reopen on Monday morning, January 7th 2013.

Qantas says the 12 day closure will be used to give the domestuc lounges a combined fix-up and spruce-up, however the Qantas International Business Lounge will remain open throughout this period.

In the meantime, travellers who usually enjoy access to the Qantas Business Lounges – including those flying business class, holding Platinum Qantas Frequent Flyer status or the equivalent Emerald status with a oneworld partner airline – will need to 'rough it' in the Qantas Club.

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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.


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1 on 17/12/12 by Al

"Routine maintenance"? Well I guess there's a lot that is hard to do when the lounge is open for long hours everyday - steam cleaning the carpets etc - but I wonder how much of this is actually based on saving $$ by putting staff on leave and not having to bother with the cost of food & drinks. But a smart move really, not like the business lounges will be packed with business travellers over that period, it would more likely be Platinums flying around for holidays. But man, the Qantas Clubs are going to be packed!

2 on 17/12/12 by willvill

I wonder if just one time. just once, Qantas might tell it like it really is, or is it just so embedded in their culture thay cant do it. Be HONEST. They are closing to save money.

3 on 17/12/12 by KG

I am one of those QF Platinum flyers and just rebooked my QF flights to be with Virgin. I rate their lounge far better than QF Pub.... Not really so much annoyed that they close the lounge (let's be honest, you never leave too much waiting time when flying domestic) but rather annoyed with the "routine maintenance" excuse. Will they also close down QF Clubs at later stage for routine maintenance? I don't think so.....

4 on 17/12/12 by highflyer

I find this very dissapointing, and would think that Qantas would schedule their "rountine maintenance" at a more convenient time when there are less people travelling.  How about allowing Platinum members to use the Chairman's lounge instead for the inconvenience, rather than downgrading the service!

1 on 17/12/12 by Al

Well there certainly won't be much 'business travel' over this period, if there is any at all. It will all be Platinums doing holiday trips. I think Qantas could find some period of less activity all up, such as an Anzac Day long weekend or Australia Day long weekend, and maybe close the lounge for three ays for steam cleaning and other work, but I'm not sure that 3 days would be enough? Plus all the double time for public holidays etc would add up. I think to be fair to QF this is a "damned if they do and damned if they don't" situation.

1 on 17/12/12 by highflyer

There would be less "business travel", however there will still be many people travelling in Business class (not to mention their inflated business fares over the holiday period).  Even more the reason to ensure Platinum passengers are looked after because they choose to continue to fly Business Class during the holiday period. 

5 on 17/12/12 by songman

That's a very long maintenance period! What could they possibly be doing for almost two weeks? I imagine it would be less inconvenient if they were to close them on a rotating basis, rather than all at once.

6 on 17/12/12 by Billichka

I look forward to seeing an ABT review of the newly maintained lounges - they would want to look mighty well maintained to justify the long closure......

7 on 17/12/12 by TheRealBabushka

Isn't it obvious that this is a cost cutting measure? Like duh?

Clever but completely without candour. Had a look at the Qantas website: Nothing at all about this closure.

Thank you AustBT for spilling the beans.

And Qantas thank you for not trusting your Plat/Business class pax to understand your rationale for making this decision (probably the people who would most likely understand!), choosing instead to hide behind this lame excuse. Good on you!

1 on 17/12/12 by Peter

To be fair, it's actually on their Industry Sales website.

8 on 18/12/12 by Rufus

Some of you are like spoiled children.  "Oh no, they're forcing me to slum it with the plebs in the Qantas Club.  I'm going to storm off in protest!"

Yeah, bit of a bummer, but if that's the worst thing that disrupts your travel plans over the Christmas period, you should count yourself lucky.

1 on 18/12/12 by KG

It is not at all being spoiled children, it is merely voicing disappointment on yet another "downgrade" of  service level by QF and the vague communication around it.

1 on 18/12/12 by willvill

Couldnt agree more KG

1 on 18/12/12 by Rufus

Sorry, I should know better than to get between a frequent flyer and their sense of entitlement...

(and I say this as a frequent flyer with a sense of entitlement!)

1 on 18/12/12 by KG

no need to be condescending, each to their own Rufus. Some FF are more discerning than others. Great that you don't care, happy travels over the holiday period!

2 on 19/12/12 by Charles

I think you miss the point Rufus, the negative response is more because FF, you know, the people airlines rely on to keep operating, feel they are being treated like idiots. It would have been better if Qantas just came out and said the truth,"We want to save some dosh so we are shutting the lounges for a couple of weeks". Instead we get politician spin.

1 on 19/12/12 by willvill

Stevecf, you are 100% correct as I indicated earlier in this thread. Thank heavens I've moved my business to Virgin and their Lounges will be open when I travel on the 27th Syd-Perth and return on the 3rd. Ahh the thought of a full size plate, a real size sandwich and no mini dolmades.

2 on 20/12/12 by Rufus

Really?  Sure, of course this is the best time to do it.  The fewest number of travellers and probably the greatest problems rostering staff who want to be on holidays.  But I'm sure such maintenance is required from time to time; better to do it in one hit than have tradesman coming through in dribs and drabs all year.

And as for changing travel plans in protest - barring delays and long connections, anyone who spends more than about 20 minutes in a domestic lounge is getting to the airport far too early! 

(And yes, I haven't been able to use the first lounge in Singapore the last few times due to renovation.  Hey, life sucks, but I'm a big boy and can get over it...)

1 on 20/12/12 by Charles

Mate, again you don't get it! Nobody gives a stuff if they want to shut the stupid lounge, it's the rubbish they are spinning that has everyone off side.  Anybody with half a brain knows it doesn't take 12 days to clean carpet and change light globes, this is cost cutting. So come out and say it, or if the works are more extensive say so. They don't do this because they still think they have no competition, but thanks to competition now, people like KG can say "stuff you I'll take my business elsewhere because I don't appreciate being treated like an idiot".  But its nice to know we have one morally superior FF in our midst...........

9 on 20/12/12 by Al

Is it just me or are some people getting a little 'hot under the collar' here? Chill out, guys, it's Christmas!

I have to agree with a few people here for different reasons. Yes, Qantas has got to close the lounge some time for maintenance, and it makes sense to me that this time of year would be a quiter time for business travel and also to close the lounge for long enough to get a lot of work done compared to say a long weekend.

These lounges get a lot of traffic and I bet there's a lot of work to be done. People would be quick to complain if they thought the lounges were getting a bit worn and ratty, but when is Qantas supposed to fix them up or even keep them in good condition so they don't get ratty? This is that time. Painting, steam cleaning the carpets, maybe also working on the behind-the-counter floor area where staff work and other 'behind the scenes' stuff, there must be stacks. And once you take away the public holidays and weekends there are not a lot of 'working days' in this 12 day peroid when tradies would be available for standard rates.

But I agree that Qantas is probably also taking advantage of this extended closedown to save some money, and 'why not' I would suggest. I am sure they have traffic numbers for the lounge over the past few years and can see this is the time when it's least used.

Maybe QF could have come out and detailed ther work they are doing, but why should they have to? It's not like we are their boss and they have to justidy every decision to us (yes, even though 'we are the reason they fly'). This is why I agree that there's a bit of a sense of entitlement here, an inflated sense of importance. It's just 12 days for which some people will have to slum it in the Qantas Club, which is still better than a lot of airport lounges and better than none at all!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

1 on 21/12/12 by Darkavid99

Al, you dont work for Qantas do you?  :)

1 on 21/12/12 by Al

LOL, no Darkavid99, in fact I am one of the many travellers who 'jumped ship' from Qantas last year and now do all my domestic flying with Virgin, so I have not seen the inside of a domestic Qantas lounge for maybe 18 months!

But, I try to have an open mind about things and see things from both sides even if I am not on 'their' side, which sometimes people don't really appreciate!

1 on 21/12/12 by Darkavid99

I did the same, although I still fly enough to keep Gold with Qantas so I can at least use the priorty award service they have as I have  almost a million qantas points to burn. Funnily enough, I have a business class Qantas flight booked through Sydney to the Gold coast over Christmas so I will have to slum it in the Qantas Club (at least they serve spirits in the Qantas Club, Virgin is way behind on that). A pity virgin removed their anytime access for platinums else I would go check out the new Sydney lounge. Merry Christmas

10 on 3/1/13 by nixjet

amused one would change airlines simply because of lounge maintenance.

it has to be done sometime. makes sense to do it when they did.

i flew through CBR, SYD (T2 and T3), OOL and BNE over the break, i was not inconvenienced, it was quiet.

i did notice the tiles outside SYD T3 biz getting a cut and polish on 28/12.

11 on 4/1/13 by John

It looks to me to be a cost saving measure.  They lounge at Melbourne is filthy, dirty carpets, crockery on tables for over half an hour. But I sure hope that when the lounge reopens there is something to show for it.

12 on 5/1/13 by Robert

I had 4 flights through J lounge ports over the break and instead had to use the QC. Not nearly as good. I was a bit annoyed. One of the ladies at the QC was at pains to emphasise that the J lounges were being cleaned; she said it about three times in three different ways in case the point was lost on me! So I guess they've been getting a bit of stick about it.

13 on 9/1/13 by Austman

Please AusBT,  do a follow up and let us know all the " maintenance" that was done.

14 on 4/2/13 by tonywills

The common theme here is that everyone who has been spoilt by the slightly quieter Business lounges are not willing to have to 'slum' it in the regular QC. That would be because the regular QC is so over subscribed that the experience is sometimes worse than grabbing a Maccas and sitting out with the crowds in the main terminal. Recently in Adelaide, which hass a very large QC, there were queus for the food buffet, the bar AND no seats - fabulous just after paying the annual fee.....

15 on 11/10/13 by arlpoon

Will this also apply to this coming Christmas period (2013-14)?  I'm looking at travelling for holiday around then.


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