Qantas now serves a secret Champagne at its London lounge

Qantas now serves a secret Champagne at its London lounge

While easily dismissed as a #FirstWorldProblem, the choice of Champagne at Qantas' newly-opened London lounge has become a #FirstClassProblem for Qantas' elite passengers on its daily Airbus A380 flights from London to Sydney and Melbourne.

This unexpected brouhaha over bubbles began when word spread that the only fizz served at Qantas' London Heathrow T3 lounge would be Petaluma Croser, a 'sparking white' from South Australia rather than the fully-fledged Champagne to which first class travellers and other top-tier frequent flyers have become accustomed.

Australian Business Traveller now understands that Qantas is stocking the London lounge with Perrier Jouet – yes, a proper Champagne – under the counter.

Although it doesn't appear on the menu, the Perrier Jouet will be made available to the superjumbo's first class travellers, along with Platinum One frequent flyers and members of the invitation-only Chairman's Lounge.

If you're among that number a flute of PJ should be discreetly offered and poured, while the Croser remains on the drinks menu for everybody else.

Perrier Jouet is also served at the Qantas first class lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles, while other Champagnes – usually Veuve Clicquot – are offered up to Chairman's Lounge members and Platinum One frequent flyers at the airline's 'premium' lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Also read: Five useful Qantas 'lounge hacks' for the savvy traveller

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.
 

32 comments

  • mviy

    mviy

    12 Dec, 2017 08:09 am

    This continues to puzzle me. Yet again no special treatment for the Platinum flyers. I guess QF doesn’t care if Platinum members use other lounges they have access to instead where they have the option to have champagne. One would have thought QF would have preferred them to use the QF Lounge.
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  • Guy Thompson

    UA1kGuy

    12 Dec, 2017 08:45 am

    Cathay F lounge next door is a better pick for Plat.
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  • sgb

    sgb

    12 Dec, 2017 09:39 am

    Sounds like scrimping to me.
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  • Robert Follis

    robfol

    12 Dec, 2017 10:49 am

    That is real cheapskate behaviour. Love to see the budgeting of cost vs reputation.
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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    12 Dec, 2017 11:13 am

    Seems reasonable and it does bring the London lounge's differentiated service in line with that of the Hong Kong and Singapore lounges.
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  • Adam T

    AT

    12 Dec, 2017 06:16 pm

    Is this seriously what’s it come down to in the premium stakes, next it will be bottled water for some and tap water for others.
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  • Adam T

    AT

    12 Dec, 2017 06:19 pm

    .....and Perrier Jouet though nice isn’t exactly worth hiding, it’s hardly vintage Krug.
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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    12 Dec, 2017 06:55 pm

    Do any first class lounges serve cuvee de prestige?

    Not to my knowledge. Usually they save the higher-end stuff for the on-board experience and serve a nice non-vintage on the ground.

    The PJ in the lounge, combined with QF's usual cuvee de prestige's up in the air (usually Sir Winston Churchill, Comtes de Champagne or La Grande Dame), is perfectly competitive for the most part.
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  • andrew84

    andrew84

    13 Dec, 2017 04:21 pm

    SQ F lounge & TPR in SIN.
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  • kimshep

    kimshep

    13 Dec, 2017 11:14 am

    I'd hide it ... out of embarrassment.
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  • rambler

    rambler

    13 Dec, 2017 12:44 pm

    Why would you be embarrassed? There is nothing wrong with PJ.
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  • Angus Young

    Gus

    12 Dec, 2017 09:14 pm

    I do laugh when Platinums get bent out of shape that Platinum One members might get a small win.....they have to earn 3 times the Status Credits. Go calculate the cost......
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  • Joe

    Joe

    12 Dec, 2017 09:47 pm

    What is it with Qantas obsession with alcohol.?...they'll serve you 8 pieces of lettuce as a salad in F Class you've paid 12-18K for but nobody says a thing. Sort of reinforces the Aussie boozer Bali image.
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  • Phil Young

    Phil Young

    12 Dec, 2017 09:53 pm

    I'm surprised at so many negative reactions here about the offer of Perrier Jouet champagne at the QF LHR Lounge for premium passengers. This is not a First Class Lounge, and one should not expect such. Dan Murphy's sells this champagne for $52.90 a bottle, which is pretty similar in the price range as to what is offered in the SYD Flounge. Or you can always go around to the CX First Lounge and enjoy their $47 Moet.

    Just wait a little and step aboard your QF2 or QF10 into F and you can enjoy the $300 champagne that you feel entitled to. If you can taste the difference.

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  • mviy

    mviy

    13 Dec, 2017 11:46 am

    It's not about getting to drink from a $300 bottle of champagne. I don't think that's what people expect from a lounge. However QF should provide Plats with comparable champagne to what they'd get in partner lounges if they want them to use the QF lounge rather than go to e.g. the Cathay Pacific Lounge instead.

    Surely it would be in QF's interests for these passengers to go to the QF lounge.
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  • SMM

    SMM

    13 Dec, 2017 09:56 pm

    it would be as all other airlines bill QF for every guest that visits!!!!
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  • John Prior

    JohnP

    13 Dec, 2017 11:19 am

    StudiodeKadent. Yes some do. Qatar is Billecart all the way, including Doha Lounge for QF Gold . Not sure about First at Doha but I seem to recall it may be Krug. Platinum members are allowed in there. Re HKG, if you are Platinum and have the time, go straight to Pier (Cathay Lounge). Way better than QF..
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  • rambler

    rambler

    13 Dec, 2017 12:53 pm

    Which Billecart do Qatar serve?
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  • crosscourt

    crosscourt

    13 Dec, 2017 02:45 pm

    Platinum nor plat1 nor chairman's lounge are allowed into Qatar 1 St lounge if you are not flying 1st on Qatar. They discriminate big time.
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  • kimshep

    kimshep

    13 Dec, 2017 11:34 am

    If you've ever wondered about wines on Qantas, here is the low-down direct from a dedicated Qantas site:

    https://www.qantas.com.au/WineTasting/Home.action

    It's a highly interesting read.

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  • willvill

    willvill

    13 Dec, 2017 11:48 am

    Hiding the Champagne 'under the counter'. So not the schmucks in Business...fizz only for you cretins.
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  • samson12

    samson12

    13 Dec, 2017 02:49 pm

    I visited the London QF lounge lat last week. Sadly, very disappointed. Cold atmosphere. Poor food. Little comfortable seating, little 'privacy' and very busy. I won't be going again. I popped into BA First (I am Platinum One) and although it is old and a bit tired, it is comfy, quiet and food is better. Big Qantas fan, 120-130 flights a year, and very disappointed with the LHR lounge.
    No member give thanks

  • D Y

    ChickenorBeef

    13 Dec, 2017 08:59 pm

    Good summary. Was there last week. Dissapointing. Back to Cathay First for sure (P1 through London monthly)
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  • SMM

    SMM

    13 Dec, 2017 09:55 pm

    Agree 100% just posted my review and almost mirrors yours. I am also P1 with over 130 flights per year and in the top 20% of all P1.
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  • Brett Segal

    NQflyer

    13 Dec, 2017 03:11 pm

    Even Americans Airlines’ Flagship Lounge offers free-pour Bollinger!
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    13 Dec, 2017 06:34 pm

    I have never understood this snobbishness about French champagne vs other (very good) sparkling whites. So long as it tastes nice, I couldn't give a continental about which continent it hails from!!!!
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  • SMM

    SMM

    13 Dec, 2017 09:54 pm

    Visited the LHR Lounge last Sat. It was cold and uninviting. Christmas tree embarrassing. The ones in QF domestic in Australia are better. Even though my boarding pass was for a Business class seat my FF number and status was on it ( I am P1) I was asked to prove I was eligible to enter!!!! There were no magazines ( I asked and was told they decided that pax did not want them) but I could have a QF inflight mag if i wanted? Only one London newspaper, none of the popular ones. I can visit the BA or CX lounge and get over 10 newspapers and mags. I had to ask for the special Champagne. The young girl behind the bar was very embarrassed, apparently the First host is meant to alert her to P1, First and Chairmans PAX when they arrive. I only knew to ask as a staff member at QF had told me. Lift broken already. If you are a QF lounge remember at the lowest level it is OK but it is far from premium and they have had MONTHS to sort out issues.
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  • Joe

    Joe

    13 Dec, 2017 10:39 pm

    I got voted down for suggesting another fine example of the true ‘Qantas Pub’ QF intternational lounges are morphing into. Nothing is really premium at F Lax, Sin, Hkg and now Lhr. I have an F flight next year to LHR ( qf paper ek metal of course) I’ll comment then too. Still you have to hand it to QF marketing and comms team; they sure can hype up BS like no other carrier and make you think they have invented flying......maybe we are goldfish ;) ?
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  • chris p

    Booster

    14 Dec, 2017 11:24 am

    I visited the QF lounge at Hong Kong last week and was surprised to find they didn't serve French so headed to the CX first lounge ( as a platinum ff ) and sampled a couple of great French bubbles. Overall QF grog is well under par .
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  • dennis626

    dennis626

    14 Dec, 2017 02:05 pm

    Not just Qantas it seems. My wife and I flew out of MEL November 14 to find the business lounge "Champagne" on ice was a French sparkling white. I asked what the First Class lounge was being served and received 2 glasses of Champers from there. The business champers remained Sparkling white. The lounge manager was going to refer back to the catering manager. Anyone been in that lounge since?.
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  • Howard Owen

    Howie50

    14 Dec, 2017 10:35 pm

    I used the new QF London Lounge Last Wednesday and it was grossly overcrowded upstairs...my seat was commandeered whilst I checked out the desert bar. Went next door to the Cathay F lounge...which was nearly empty and enjoyed all the trimmings one expects when flying in F class. No chance I'm going back to the QF London Lounge anytime soon!
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  • dorts

    dorts

    1 Feb, 2019 11:40 pm

    To give a counter view... I'm a 10 year Platinum, and travel through Heathrow three to four times every year and previously preferred the Emirates Lounge, given more space and better food than the Cathay First. Having used the new London lounge twice now, I prefer it. Great food upstairs and down and with all the complaining about sparkling, I'm amazed no one has commented on the fact that you can try a great variety of premium (and expensive) gins. Champagne is everywhere, good on Qantas for offering something different and to me, more special.
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Guest

22 May, 2019 01:46 am

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