eBay bans sales of free Qantas Club airport lounge passes (again)

eBay bans sales of free Qantas Club airport lounge passes (again)

Well that didn't last long! A flock of Qantas airport lounge passes are once again available on eBay, just days after the online auction house removed all such sales listings saying they breach eBay's rules.

A spokesperson for eBay last week claimed the site had “filters in place which constantly monitor and remove any prohibited items.”

Clearly, not as such.

JANUARY 20, 2017 | Online auction site eBay removed all sales of Qantas airport lounge passes this week, saying they breach the company's ban on selling travel-related items including 'guest passes to airline lounges.’

However, hundreds of the Qantas Club passes remain up for grabs at the eBay-owned classifieds website Gumtree, where travellers who would not otherwise have access to an airport lounge can buy a pass for between $50 and $75.

Silver members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program receive one of the wallet-sized Qantas Club ‘complimentary invitations’ each year, while selected credit cards – including the ANZ Qantas Frequent Flyer Black  and Qantas American Express Premium Card – come with two passes each year.

Each pass provides entry for a single person flying on Qantas or Jetstar into a Qantas Club lounge ahead of a domestic flight or any of Qantas’ international business lounges – including those in Australia as well as Singapore, Hong Kong and, soon, London.

(The notable exception is the Qantas business class lounge in Los Angeles, which is technically a Oneworld Lounge run by Qantas in partnership with British Airways and Cathay Pacific).

Read more: Where can you use Qantas Club lounge passes?

This isn't the first time that eBay has culled Qantas lounge passes from its pages – the e-commerce giant went through a similar exercise in January 2015, when eBay Australia Communications Manager Megan English told Australian Business Traveller "our filters capture a lot of these kinds of listings and they are removed.”

At the time, English said that eBay would also "review the filters to make sure more get captured in the first instance”, but over the successive two years the popular passes crept back online.

In response, eBay ran another find-and-delete on the lounge passes this week, with eBay spokesperson Amber Morris reiterating to Australian Business Traveller that “eBay has a strict policy in place against Qantas Lounge passes and as such they are on the prohibited list.”

eBay maintains it has “filters in place which constantly monitor and remove any prohibited items.”

A different set of rules applies to the Gumtree classified network, which eBay acquired in 2005.

Qantas Club passes have become a popular item on Gumtree, with over 160 passes with expiry dates through to December 2018 listed for sale in this week alone

The sale of these passes is not excluded from Gumtree’s trading policies

Pocket over 100,000 Qantas points and free Qanats Club lounge passes with our selection of the top five Qantas credit card sign-up deals

PREVIOUS [January 2015] | It's a case of "going, going, gone!" for Qantas lounge passes being sold on eBay, with the online auction house blocking frequent flyers from selling 'free' invitations to the Qantas Club, Qantas Business Lounge and even the Qantas First Lounge.

Over the past week eBay Australia has removed all listings for Qantas lounge passes, citing the company's policy on travel-related items which includes 'guest passes to airline lounges' among the 'travel-related incentives' which are not allowed to be sold on the site.

"These passes are prohibited under our Travel Policy" says eBay Australia Communications Manager Megan English. "Our filters capture a lot of these kinds of listings and they are removed"

"We also remove any that slip through the filters that are reported to us," English tells Australian Business Traveller, adding that eBay would also "review the filters to make sure more get captured in the first instance."

Qantas First Lounge passes sell for over $100

eBay has previously been awash with Qantas Club passes priced at around $50 each, while invitations to the up-market Qantas First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne typically sell for over $100.

The cards are valid for one visit to a domestic Qantas Club lounge (above) or a Qantas-operated international business lounge - including those in Australia as well as the Qantas lounges in Los Angeles, Singapore and Hong Kong (below) – when flying with either Qantas or Jetstar.

How to get a free Qantas Club lounge pass

These 'complimentary invitations' are typically issued as part of a Qantas credit card package – for example, the HSBC Qantas Platinum Visa and ANZ Frequent Flyer Black cards include two Qantas Club passes every year.

Silver members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme also receive one free Qantas Club lounge pass each year, while passes are sometimes offered to Qantas customers in compensation for delayed flights, lost luggage and the like.

Access to the Qantas Club and international business lounges is a perk of Gold status in the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme but can also be purchased on an annual basis starting at $510 plus a one-off $385 joining fee. 

Barring a one-off promotion in December 2012 which offered four single-use domestic lounge passes for $179, the airline doesn't sell Qantas Club passes.

Despite the cards declaring among their conditions that 'Invitations are not for resale', they're a popular item on eBay among occasional travellers looking to snare lounge access, especially before a long international flight.

“Qantas lounge passes are not for resale but are transferable to family and friends" a Qantas spokeswoman told Australian Business Traveller.

eBay's English says the company is also wise to people listing the cards for free but with an exceptionally high postage and handling fee.

"If any item is prohibited we don't allow sellers to list it for "free" and then charge a shipping fee," English explains, "or also offer an allowed item in the listing to try to circumvent the policy." 

Turning Qantas lounge passes into loot

Melbourne-based frequent flyer Michael Garlick usually advertises Qantas Club passes on eBay "once or twice a year", selling them "for around $50-$60 each."

"They come from my parents' credit cards" says Garlick, who had two Qantas Club passes removed from eBay this week. "My parents usually fly with me so they gain lounge access with my Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold status."

"My parents have zero interest in the Qantas Club which is why I sell them on their behalf" Garlick tells Australian Business Traveller. "Now I will probably just give the passes back to them to use. They would have preferred the cash."

While eBay has pulled down the shutters on the free passes, however, many remain on sale through online classifieds site Gumtree, which is also owned by eBay.

Also read: No, you can't buy (or sell!) Qantas frequent flyer points on eBay

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

 

34 Comments

  • Chrisor

    Chrisor

    16 Jan, 2015 09:04 am

    Well as of today eBay hasn't removed "all" the listings, there are heaps still up for auction. 

    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    16 Jan, 2015 10:03 am

    I'm sure it's a work in progress.

    No member give thanks

  • GregXL

    GregXL

    16 Jan, 2015 09:33 am

    If Qantas doesn't want the passes to be transferable, all they need to do is link them to frequent flyer membership.  How do you get a first class lounge pass (other than on eBay!) ?

    No member give thanks

  • jimmylikesitwet

    jimmylikesitwet

    16 Jan, 2015 10:10 am

    I'm not sure they don't want them to be transferable, just not sold. I think they'd be happy with someone giving one to a friend as it may incent that friend to join up. They'd just rather no-one is profiting from that transaction.

    No member give thanks

  • Dot

    Dot

    16 Jan, 2015 10:21 am

    I thought the HSBC supplied guess passes were a one off when you got the card initially and not supplied every year.  Certainly, that was the case for me.

    No member give thanks

  • hutch

    hutch

    16 Jan, 2015 10:24 am

    I get 2 x HSBC passes every year.

    No member give thanks

  • Chrisor

    Chrisor

    16 Jan, 2015 10:42 am

    Me too!

    No member give thanks

  • hutch

    hutch

    16 Jan, 2015 10:22 am

    I've had a couple of QC listings on Gumtree removed this week... might have to try again in a month once the heat has died down :-p

    Member who gave thanks

    stuapola

  • Ron Lee

    The Ninja

    16 Jan, 2015 10:26 am

    I bought a car outright, then wanted to sell it because I owned it. The car dealer then told me that they wanted to control everything and tried to prohibit me from selling it and had my online listing removed. Why haven't I flown Qantas in five years?

    No member give thanks

  • jimmylikesitwet

    jimmylikesitwet

    16 Jan, 2015 11:29 am

    Poor analogy. 

    A better one would be this. Your credit card company provides you one free day of a rental car per year on the condition you have to use it yourself and can't sell it to anyone else. 

    No member give thanks

  • hutch

    hutch

    16 Jan, 2015 12:10 pm

    I have zero guilt onselling a QC pass. It subsidises my paid QC membership to an extent and other people get to use the lounge (who may in the future invest in a QC membership or fly Qantas again due to the experience. Not sure why Qantas really cares?

    On the flipside, I've had the benefit of visiting the QF First lounge by buying a pass online (probably to the disgust of you Platniums). I'd do it again. 

    Member who gave thanks

    stuapola

  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    16 Jan, 2015 10:15 pm

    Well I learnt something new - never heard of (and definately not seen) one time passes to the Qantas First Lounge. What does Qantas hand those out for? If I wasn't a Platinum, I wouldn't pay a $100 for one (or $50 for Qantas Club, which is arguably even worse value). Doesn't disgust me that someone's made use of one, just surprised Qantas issues them out in the first place.

    No member give thanks

  • watson374

    watson374

    17 Jan, 2015 12:05 pm

    Compensation to elites who have QP access (where a QP invite wouldn't cut it).

    Also, bear in mind the QP invites are accepted at HKG and SIN.

    No member give thanks

  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    17 Jan, 2015 12:27 pm

    That would seem the best place to use them; I like the SIN lounge, the bar does some very good cocktails.

    No member give thanks

  • samson

    samson

    19 Jan, 2015 07:26 pm

    I received a F Lounge pass from QF in the mail after being caught up in the sudden grounding a few years back.  I was QFF Gold at the time and on my way home from Europe.

    No member give thanks

  • KK

    KK

    16 Jan, 2015 12:24 pm

    Time to use Taobao.com instead of eBay.

    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    16 Jan, 2015 09:02 pm

    Time to move to Gumtree I guess

    No member give thanks

  • jimmylikesitwet

    jimmylikesitwet

    17 Jan, 2015 12:12 pm

    They've been taken off Gumtree too. Probably as it's owned by eBay too.

    No member give thanks

  • gumshoe

    gumshoe

    24 Jan, 2017 04:53 pm

    Nope still plenty there!.
    No member give thanks

  • UpUpAndAway

    UpUpAndAway

    20 Jan, 2017 09:44 am

    My gripe is with the Virgin passes, I normally give my Qantas passes to my parents to use. Virgin give passes to you on your profile account. If Virgin issued the paper passes I would be sending my parents Virgin on every flight rather then Qantas. 
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    20 Jan, 2017 10:09 am

    You can get Virgin Australia paper lounge passes with the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures cards. Paper passes are also sometimes given out to VA corporate clients, too. :)

    No member give thanks

  • 11sjw

    11sjw

    20 Jan, 2017 03:53 pm

    So why not package it with something else of little value? "If you buy this empty toilet roll i'll throw in a complimentary Q Club Pass." That way you're not selling the pass!
    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    20 Jan, 2017 04:01 pm

    I (as usual) do not understand what Qantas doing. To stop such trade just give people opportunity to visit lounge by paying money to Qantas. Lets face it - some people without status and travel economy still need to go to lounge for whatever reason, but cannot justify buying Qantas Club. Give them opportunity to go to lounge by paying for it and I am sure that all this trade will disappears at once.
    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum

    Doubleplatinum

    20 Jan, 2017 07:51 pm

    Too bad so sad .......
    No member give thanks

  • OzDino

    OzDino

    20 Jan, 2017 04:33 pm

    Really $50-60 per pass for a couple of beers and nibbles? Why bother?
    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum

    Doubleplatinum

    20 Jan, 2017 07:50 pm

    Exactly, I'd prefer to buy some decent food at an airport restaurant, unfortunately it's the usual bogan crowd who drink and eat as much as they can, it's embarrassing how some of them pile their plate high like its their last meal and horde drinks, quite sad actually
    No member give thanks

  • ivanb52

    ivanb52

    20 Jan, 2017 05:29 pm

    Don't know why Qantas bothers.  If they issue passes either directly to lower level QFFs or for compensation, or via credit card deals surely they are "funded" in terms of lounge resources available and notional value.  
    I have sold passes, received via credit cards, when I didn't need them which which defrayed the cost of the cards.  I have also bought passes when I need them.  
    I have bought lounge access many times round the world and it would be much more convenient if Qantas also offered this.  Joining their "club" just doesn't make any sense unless you are a regular traveller. 
    While they continue to use a physical token, they will be bought and sold.
    No member give thanks

  • Andrew Kinnear

    Scudder

    21 Jan, 2017 09:35 am

    Why would anyone pay $50 for access?
    I am a QF Platinum member and get access into the First Lounge - sure I enjoy the First Lounge - especially the ability to get a decent meal at the International terminal. But if I did not have access I would not deem $50 a good investment - the ROI is not there - unless you plan to drink yourself stupid.
    The food in the domestic lounges is ver average - and you get free wifi in the airport anyway. Just spend the $50 on a better meal in the many cafe's/restaurants. 

    No member give thanks

  • Paul Clarke

    paclarke

    21 Jan, 2017 03:19 pm

    Currently a lot of fake QF lounge passes on ebay for sale. Removing them from sale protects innocent parties from embarrasment when they are denied entry.
    No member give thanks

  • Murray Happ

    MuzzH

    23 Jan, 2017 10:21 am

    I have just checked the Ebay site and there are dozens of passes still available for sale (I searched Qantas in general, not Lounge Pass, specifically) which begs the question how hard Ebay are trying to remove such items from their site.

    Personally, I am not bothered either way about the sale of the passes - as someone who pays for all their flights out of my own pocket (and am a Platinum as a result).  Each to their own.  If you trust those passes on Ebay to be genuine, then knock yourself out.  I recall reading a business piece where Tiffany & Co were quoted - they purchased 100 items off Ebay at random and found 99 of the items to be fake.  So, buyer beware.

    What did alarm me was the sale of Qantas (and other airline) First and Business Class headphones, blankets and other items that are not given as freebies - I wonder how the police would take the sale of such items (I know it is trivial in the scheme of things, but theft is theft).

    A final note, there is a Queensland based seller that is selling a large number of passes to a number of lounges (Qantas, Emirates, Cathay etc.) which makes me think they are an airline or airport employee who is making a nice living on the side.

    As Arthur used to say to Terry in the TV show Minder "Nice li'll earner'!
    No member give thanks

Guest

23 Jul, 2017 10:37 am

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