Qantas has ended a Sydney Airport trial of priority boarding for its top-tier passengers, which provided an 'express lane' for business class passengers and platinum-grade frequent flyers to whizz through domestic flight boarding queues.
The two-week trial was running at Gate 4 and Gate 8 of Qantas' T3 domestic terminal, but when Australian Business Traveller visited T3 this morning things were back to normal, with all passengers joining the same long, snaking line.
Although Qantas sometimes calls for business class and gold/platinum Frequent Flyers to board early, along with families with young children, it's practically difficult to do because it means visibly 'jumping the queue' and elbowing one's way in front of other people already queued up.
Qantas gate staff told Australian Business Traveller that results of the trial were mixed, and were uncertain about the success of the trial and the prospects of future roll-out.
Foremost was the observation that premium passengers tended to stay in the Qantas lounge until the final boarding call, rather than wait around the gate to take advantage of the express lane.
Congestion at the gate itself was also a factor, with a second boarding queue requiring more space – something to which T3's spacious gate 8 area was better suited than the tighter confines of gate 4.
Last week, Qantas spokesperson Sophia Connelly told Australian Business Traveller "Post trial we will assess the long term viability (of the program)."
Qantas says it will now run the trial at other airports to see whether priority domestic boarding should be introduced as a permanent feature or if the program should be abandoned.
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.