Emirates Airline has extended the perk of lounge access to Silver members of its Skywards frequent flyer scheme, with Silver cardholders now enjoying entry to all Emirates Business Class Lounges at Dubai International Airport, even when travelling in economy.
This includes the new lounges at the Concourse A extension to Terminal 3, the bespoke A380 terminal that's home to Emirates and, from next weekend, Qantas.
An Emirates spokesperson confirmed the new arrangements to Australian Business Traveller, but added that Silver members have no guest privileges, whereas Skywards Gold members can take a guest travelling on the same flight into the lounge.
Lounge access for Skywards Silvers is restricted to Dubai, however – to get into other Emirates lounges around the world you'll need to hold Gold or Platinum status with Skywards or new partner Qantas.
No Silver lining for Qantas Frequent Flyers
However, Silver members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program won't be accorded the same privileges during stopovers at Dubai.
That's despite the pledge made by Qantas CEO Alan Joyce at the announcement of the Qantas-Emirates alliance that "where there is a difference in customer service (between the airlines), we've agreed to make the higher benefit our standard".
In seeking to explain the apparent discrepancy, a Qantas spokeswoman told Australian Business Traveller that "access for Skywards Silver members to Business Class Lounges is limited to Dubai, it is a one-off benefit that is not extended across the Emirates network."
"Our approach is to align across the wider tier benefits" she continued.
"We have agreed to align on our wider customer proposition from checked baggage allowances to chauffeur drive and frequent flyer benefits through the partnership, however there will be some individual products or services that will still be unique to each carrier. For example, Qantas will continue to offer pyjamas in Business Class."
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