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Qantas to scrap first class lounge at Singapore

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, Singapore, Qantas First Lounge, Singapore Changi

Qantas will close its first class lounge at Singapore, leaving only a business lounge at Changi Airport for Qantas business class travellers as well as Platinum and Gold frequent flyers.

The move comes as Qantas re-evaluates the role of Singapore in the wake of the Qantas-Emirates alliance, which will see the Red Roo's flights to London stop over at Dubai from April 2013.

A Qantas spokeswoman confirmed the decision to Australian Business Traveller, adding that with the airline's flagship Airbus A380s moving onto the Sydney-Dubai-London route Qantas would in effect have no first class passengers heading to or from Singapore.

Work began earlier this year on renovations for the Singapore first class lounge, which Qantas intended to be opened by year's end and said would be modelled along the same lines as Qantas' highly-regarded First lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, with a contemporary design by Marc Newson and a Neil Perry menu.

Those plans have now been scrapped and Qantas is now working through the exact size and location of the new business lounge.

However, it's unlikely to need the combined space occupied by the first and business class lounges due to the drastically reduced number of travellers to Singapore.

The Singapore lounges are operated as part of the Qantas-British Airways joint venture, which will be dissolved in March 2013. BA travellers will still have access to the lounge as both airlines will remain part the Oneworld alliance. However, this will still leave BA's first class passengers without a dedicated lounge.

Despite its changed plans for Singapore, Qantas says the upgrade of its first class lounge in Hong Kong will go ahead as planned.

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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 24/9/12 by mattdc

Maybe BA will establish one of those Galleries First lounges in SIN, or am I dreaming?

2 on 24/9/12 by TheRealBabushka

God I hope BA will establish a Galleries First Lounge at SIN. There are 2 BA services to SIN, both with First class. I cannot imagine BA herding those pax into the Qantas business class lounge!

I know which lounge I will be going to if there's a Galleries lounge at SIN!

BA's inflight service may be mediocre but they certainly run a good lounge!

3 on 24/9/12 by Peter

This doesn't make any sense to me given that Qantas also have First lounges in Auckland and Bangkok (which Qantas Platinum members and oneworld Emeralds use) despite no First services into these cities.

The Singapore business lounge gets a lot busier (and will still have considerable traffic) than either of these business lounges and isn't all that much bigger.

4 on 24/9/12 by madge

Maybe BA will use the CX or MH lounge?

5 on 24/9/12 by Josh

In writing this article, did ABT question Qantas as to its about-face on the renovations to the Singapore lounges? In this article http://www.ausbt.com.au/qantas-spells-out-plans-for-singapore just a couple of weeks ago, ABT stated that Qantas had confirmed to it that the upgrades to the Singapore lounges were proceeding as planned. So I'm curious: did ABT point this out to the Qantas spokeswoman? Was the original statement by Qantas a lie?

1 on 27/9/12 by David

Hi Josh. At the risk of sounding like I am defending Qantas (which I certainly am not), Alan Joyce's statement at the QF-EK presser was carefully worded and parsed – he said (and I'm working off memory here) that the upgrade of the lounges at SIngapore and Hong Kong would go ahead as planned.

But he didn't single out any particular lounge - he didn't single out the Singapore first class lounge – he just said "lounges" and as he cited both Singapore and Hong Kong, that is as it happens is accurate, and thus not a "lie" nor an "about face".

This is of course a change to Qantas' original plans as announced earlier this year, and covered by AusBT at the time, and it's on that basis that we asked QF for the reason, and we reported their response (as relatively scant as it was) in the article above.

6 on 24/9/12 by LoveToFly

Hi David,

I am due to fly LHR - MEL 1st with Qantas in January, what does this mean for me. Will I be simply using a shared business lounge along with any business/gold/platinum/qantas club members. Iv not seen the size of the Singapore lounge but something tells me from a full A380 flight space would be tight in there.

I thought also that Qantas were going to be flying to LHR via SIN until March, which means there are 1st passengers from Mel and Syd going through SIN.

Not very good for a expensive 1st ticket. I like alot of others am surprised that Qantas have had such a change in plans in just a short few weeks since the Emirates tie up.

Another reason not to fly Qantas internationally unfortunately.

 

Thanks

1 on 25/9/12 by TheRealBabushka

@LoveToFly

I hear you. The thought of scrumming with other pax when you've got a 1st class ticket is ghastly. However on a recent flight from MEL to LAX with QF, the look on the faces of the 1st class pax as they queued up with all other pax to be processed was priceless! Their demeanour changed completely as they stepped off the lift from the Qantas First Class Lounge! 

God knows why  extra security checks could not be performed at the ground floor level as you exit the business class lounges!

I wonder who pays for this extra security checks (agents in blue vest/jumpers)? Qantas or Melbourne Airport? Is Qantas just being cheap by not having two sets of agents to perform this additional security check?

7 on 24/9/12 by radiC00l

Surely they’ll keep parts of the lounge they had intended if they had already started building it. Granted they may modify catering and perhaps reduce it in size, but to contemplate a complete rework and possible change of location is disappointing. Just seems like a big waste of time and money. It was pretty obvious that when Emirates came knocking it completely threw off QF’s planned international strategy (despite what Alan Joyce said at the QF-EK launch). I really hope they retain as much of the original design as possible, making it a leading business class lounge.  As PeterLoh mentions, the argument about no first class services is moot, given that in terms of pax volumes first lounges are really catering for platinum FFs and the odd first class passenger! 

8 on 25/9/12 by Terry

It is interesting that Qantas has spent years telling us how important Asia is to its future and it is now falling over itself to get out of the region.

Now there is going to be no more first class (not that i got to use it ) , no premium economy and no premium lounge. I think the message they want to convey is dont fly Qantas if you want any sort of premium service !

Strange way to try and attract more premium business !!

9 on 28/9/12 by mr wallace

Well, what do you expect? Qantas is slowly handing Singapore over to JetStar. Hasn't anybody else noticed that?

1 on 9/10/12 by snoopy7787

Soon apart from the Daily Nonstops Melbourne/Sydney and Brisbane to Singapore coupled with the Perth and Adelaide services There will be no Qantas left in Singapore.Was just reading that once the axe falls on Frankfurt This Time next year that is it.You Switch to Virgin Operated by SQ or Jetstar for most flights.

2 on 1/12/12 by moa999

Most of the Jetstar flights at Singapore are Jetstar Asia (3K) which is a Singapore based airline that is 49% owned by Qantas.

Joyce prematurely announced RedQ / Qantasia to replicate this for a full-service airline but this seemingly did not receive a favourable reaction from the Sing govt.

There is a MEL-SIN JQ service and a AKL-SIN that has been downgraded in schedule recently so I can't see JQ international replacing QF.

10 on 28/9/12 by Tony

I was in the Buiness Lounge Singapore last night. It was packed and the staff were asking people to move their bags from the seats to allow more people in.

The internet speed was hopeless. So bad that I ended up going to the gate early so I could use one of the wired connections to send/receive my emails.

Putting more people into this lounge is just going to make it worse.

11 on 14/10/12 by Ron

Agree with all comments here... Qantas is really downgrading service into Asia.   e.g. 747's are not going on SYD-BKK leg (try getting an upgrade now on a smaller airbus with only 2 classes: its impossible); A380's being taken off MEL - SIN leg with Dubai being the hub from nest year.  Given the amount of business and leisure travellers into Asia they will shoot themselves in the foot if they continue to go down a jetstar level service.   

12 on 25/11/12 by Waynec

Looks like QF is still providing a PE product to SIN with the 747 service ex BNE&MEL and QF6 ex SYD. Anyway most other airlines like EK and SQ serving the SIN-AUS market do not provide a PE service.

 

 

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