Australian arrivals lounge access for Qantas international flyers

Australian arrivals lounge access for Qantas international flyers

Ever stepped off a long overseas flight – especially one that touches down early in the morning – and wished Australian airports had international arrivals lounges for a spot of breakfast, a coffee and shower so you can hit the ground running?

Sadly, no Australian airport features an arrivals lounge along the same lines as those of, say British Airways at London Heathrow T5 or Swiss at Zurich.

However, Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers have an almost-secret option up their sleeve: access to domestic Business Lounges and Qantas Clubs after an eligible international flight, even without an onward domestic connection.

How practical this is depends on each airport. In Sydney and Brisbane, to get from the international terminal to the domestic terminal requires hopping onto a bus or train – a time-consuming process which few business travellers can be bothered with.

On the other hand, if you've touched down at Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra or the Gold Coast, the Qantas domestic lounges are an easy walk from international arrivals.

Here’s what you need to know to turn a Qantas domestic departures lounge into your international arrivals lounge.

Qantas international arrivals lounge access: eligible travellers

As above, this is an option exclusively for Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers.

If you’re a Qantas Gold frequent flyer, Qantas Club member or hold elite status with a partner airline – even one at the same level as Qantas Platinum, such as Emirates Platinum; Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Diamond or another Oneworld Emerald tier – you’re not eligible.

With that shiny Qantas Platinum or Platinum One card in-hand, you’ll also need to have arrived on a flight booked under a Qantas, Emirates or Jetstar flight number.

Beyond flights operated by those same airlines, this also includes eligible codeshare flights operated by other airlines too, such as a Fiji Airways flight booked under a Qantas (QF) flight number.

Alternatively, you’ll need an arriving boarding pass from what’s known as a “Oneworld operated and marketed flight”, being a flight with a Oneworld airline flight number on your ticket – which doesn’t necessarily need to be a Qantas QF number – and which was also flown by a Oneworld member airline.

In Australian skies, that extends your ‘on arrival’ lounge access to flights operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines, covering most points-earning international trips for Qantas flyers.

(Of course, flights operated by Qantas but booked under a Oneworld partner airline flight number are also eligible under that same rule.)

It doesn’t matter whether you flew up the front in first or business class or were stuck down the back, as your arrivals lounge access is provided by your frequent flyer status: all that matters is that you’ve just arrived on an eligible flight from the list above.

Qantas international arrivals lounge access: entering the lounge

As most Australian airport lounges are located after security screening, this option naturally favours business travellers with only carry-on baggage – and by extension, those arriving from shorter trips rather than longer journeys – given the need to pass through security to reach the lounge.

Of course, Qantas Platinum and Platinum One members can still use priority screening lanes where available, but if carting along any checked bags, the prospect of using a lounge on arrival becomes more difficult, unless those bags can be stored somewhere first.

Once past security and at the lounge reception desk, simply present your inbound international boarding pass for entry, and your Platinum or Platinum One card as well, if that status isn’t clearly displayed on that boarding pass.

If there’s any confusion from lounge staff, simply remind them that you’ve travelled on an eligible same-day flight, as Qantas’ published access rules allow: and when you enter the lounge, you can also bring two guests in with you, as you can when flying domestically.

Those guests don’t need to be arriving on the same international flight as you, or even travelling at all that day: as long as the Platinum or Platinum One member has a same-day boarding pass, you’re all clear to enter the lounge, freshen up, enjoy a coffee and a meal, and relax before heading into the city, or returning home.

Overseas, lounge access on arrival is much more limited for Qantas flyers, although the airline does provide access to the purpose-built American Airlines Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow when stepping off a Qantas-operated flight in first class or business class, although there’s no access for Platinum-grade frequent flyers sitting further back.

Also read: Your guide to bringing guests into Qantas airport lounges

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


  • Cameron Hocking


    29 Mar, 2019 09:56 am

    The biggest issue with me taking advantage of this is what to do with my checked baggage. Last time I put it in my car at Melbourne and went back in for a shower, but that was only useful as my business day was near the airport. Would be great if Qantas had some sort of storage in Melbourne for this purpose.
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  • Chris Chamberlin


    29 Mar, 2019 10:12 am

    Melbourne Airport has a baggage storage facility operated by Smartcarte near the international arrivals area, so if you have no other option, you can always lock your bag inside a locker and return to it later.
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  • Tim Davies


    29 Mar, 2019 04:33 pm

    Give it another 8-12 years, by which time it's dawn on somebody in Qantas 'customer service' to offer alternative luggage check-in abroad (i.e an op-in basis), whereby when unloading on arrival here (AUS) our checked luggage is redirected to collection near the international business lounge rather than arrivals hall. It's hardly rocket science, Virgin already offer in at LHR, but one day ...... (humpf!).
    No member give thanks

  • sgb


    29 Mar, 2019 10:51 am

    When I land back at Melbourne from an International trip I just want to get out of the airport asap. Wouldn't dream of making my way to Domestic terminal for a lounge visit. Just get me home ASAP.
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  • Morgan Judd


    29 Mar, 2019 11:43 am

    Also can have access to domestic business lounge in Perth FYI
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  • Jackson


    29 Mar, 2019 01:50 pm

    Having more arrival lounges across the OW network is one of my top wishes. Especially with the harsh red eye arrivals from the subcontinent into HKG and KUL
    No member give thanks

  • David Ryan


    29 Mar, 2019 02:40 pm

    I've become so used to lounge access upon arrival with Virgin (platinum) that I was surprised that my QA gold status nor my business class flight was enough to gain me arrival access.
    Member who gave thanks


  • Neil Jeram

    Nick Sydney 64

    29 Mar, 2019 03:04 pm

    The Sydney T1 to T3 connection? Thanks but no. Straight home to freshen up as nearly all my arrivals on QF are early morning. Now if there was something at LHR T3 then that would be a godsend.
    No member give thanks

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    29 Mar, 2019 04:01 pm

    There is - as Chris mentions in the article, passengers in Business class on QF1 and QF9 get access to the AA arrivals lounge in T3.
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  • Tim Davies


    29 Mar, 2019 04:34 pm

    Fly into LHR on Virgin and you'll get it, every time.
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  • Sam Holmes


    29 Mar, 2019 03:16 pm

    Not directly related to this discussion, I recently booked on Alaska Air in the USA as a part of a QF itinerary as they are a partner airline. I am platinum QF when I went to go in the lounge if you aren't coming off or connecting with a QF flight you cant enter as Platinum or Gold but if your a Qantas club member you can come in. Is this standard that non paying QF club face additional restrictions.
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  • Tim Davies


    29 Mar, 2019 04:36 pm

    Careful, you'll unsettle the 'Culture Gods' at Q's Customer Service Dept (stop laughing, that's how they really see themselves).
    No member give thanks

  • EdS


    29 Mar, 2019 04:12 pm

    Anyone with Qantas club or higher can enter some domestic lounges. These are the ones with a separate counter for checking in. It may not work at, say Adelaide or Sydney, but Melbourne or Brisbane are possibilities. I've entered Brisbane as Gold after a domestic flight.
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  • Chris Chamberlin


    29 Mar, 2019 04:17 pm

    EdS: Qantas Club and Qantas Gold only provide lounge access prior to a flight, not after a flight: the only published 'on arrival' lounge access benefit is for Qantas Platinum and above.

    Certainly, lounge agents may have used their discretion over the years to make exceptions, or may not have noticed when an ineligible traveller has entered a lounge, but that's not something travellers can rely upon.
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  • D Y


    29 Mar, 2019 05:35 pm

    Good article but shows how much of a schlep this is. I’ve bothered to do this once and hit a solid line of people waiting to do likewise. They’re not that many showers. Adding to this is that the showers aren’t monitored like they are in Dubai / Qatar where they are cleaned and reset after every shower. Only a case study of one experience but the shower was pretty foul.

    While many who watch this site are Aussie’s and head home for a shower I think there is s huge opportunity here for qantas to lift its game. I’m Melbourne based and would quite like to do a day via Sydney on the way home for work but Sydney is horrible for pulling this effort off as you mention due to crossing the tarmac.
    No member give thanks

  • patrickk


    29 Mar, 2019 06:17 pm

    I’m going to the UK in a couple of months and get in at 4.30-5.00am and first bus to where I’m going is at 7.00 so a lounge and shower would be great but it seems QF platinum does not cut it. Harrumph!!!
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  • Nate Webster


    30 Mar, 2019 11:36 am

    It does if you fly in the right seat. J & F can use the AA Arrivals Lounge.
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  • Anthony Spasevski


    29 Mar, 2019 07:20 pm

    I have used it a couple of time as a gold member at the beginning of 2018.

    No member give thanks

  • reeves35


    29 Mar, 2019 07:22 pm

    It's sort of all too hard. It's easier to either head home if you are in your home port or organise an early check-in at your hotel if you are away. I have Gold Elite with IHG and they are usually only too happy to facilitate early check-in.

    Member who gave thanks


  • anthony watts

    anthony watts

    31 Mar, 2019 12:45 pm

    The number of comments along the lines " but I want to just get home"...think about it; not everyone loves an easy 40 minute drive to the airport. A shower, change of clothes etc is bloody marvelous after flying in from NA or similar before driving 3 hours plus home, or alternate scenario arriving at 6:30am, your hotel room is ready at 2 and you have a 2:30 meeting. Either an arrival lounge change or hope like hell you'll get early access....
    Some people need to recall that it's not only about them
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  • Steve987


    31 Mar, 2019 08:46 pm

    Certainly destination lounges are more valued given you are away from home, but good to have these options if you feel the need to use them.
    No member give thanks

  • Robert Belbin


    3 Apr, 2019 03:44 pm

    seems like one of those things to file in the WPB, not worth the effort with luggage etc, not bad if you travel light. About time QF looked at this being an "end of line carrier" and long haul specialist, just not sure how to really solve it with luggage unless they added a check in side lounge but then at what cost/standard.
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  • Keith


    9 Jul, 2019 04:29 pm

    I'll be coming in on first class qantas to Sydney and then onward with a domestic flight.I guess only the platinum members are looked after with Qantas
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin


    10 Jul, 2019 05:34 am

    Hi cqtiger, this article is specific to 'arrivals' lounge access for passengers with no onward flight. As a connecting passenger (who is yet to arrive at their final destination), you'll be able to show your first class boarding pass together with your onward Qantas boarding pass (which can even be in economy) for access to the domestic business class lounge before that onward flight.
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  • Keith


    10 Jul, 2019 12:17 pm

    This is true Chris but I was hoping to get a look at the famous Qantas first lounge 😏
    No member give thanks


22 Jul, 2019 10:45 pm


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