Qantas pushes back opening of Los Angeles business lounge

Qantas pushes back opening of Los Angeles business lounge

UPDATE | The new Qantas Los Angeles Business Lounge is now open – click here for details.

PREVIOUS | Qantas has pushed back the opening of its new Los Angeles Business Lounge to the middle of this year due to ongoing upgrade work being carried out at the airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal.

This much-needed replacement for the current cramped quarters of the Qantas/Oneworld lounge at LAX was previously slated to open at the end of April but has now slipped to a May/June timeframe.

“The business lounge will be open by mid-year” Simon Hickey, Qantas International CEO, confirmed to Australian Business Traveller during last week's opening of the new Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

“There’s some work going on outside of the lounge, at the terminal itself, that’s going to impact our ability to open the lounge. It's not a significant delay, it's something that’s just beyond our control."

However, Hickey is confident that the business lounge will open “in the next couple of months” while the new Qantas Los Angeles First Lounge remains on a rather tentative target for "the end of 2014".

“The Singapore and Hong Kong lounges have been done within a timeframe that no-one thought was possible, and at LA we’ve been doing the same thing” Hickey explains. “We’ve completely rebuilt the model of how you bring a lounge to market.”

What’s next? 

And after Los Angeles is done, what’s next on the loungescape for 2015? Nothing pressing, Hickey says.

“I think Singapore, Hong Kong and Los Angeles are the ones we needed to do, the ones that were urgent in my opinion, and I don’t think we have any  other urgent issues across the lounge network.”

“If you look at Dubai we share the Emirates lounge and there’s nothing more you could do there, and at London T3 we don’t own a lounge, it’s just one we access.”

Qantas is unlikely to give Bangkok a major HK-style makeover as it’s primarily a leisure market, although some would suggest that Auckland could do with a bit of business lounge love.

“The key thing for me is that we keep on investing in the customer experience and really understand the customer’s journey when they’re flying with Qantas” Hickey says.

“Before I joined Qantas I was a Platinum Frequent Flyer, and I know that you have to maximise your sleep on these short sectors like Hong Kong and Singapore, especially in Hong Kong where every one of our services is overnight.”

“So we’ve built lounges where you can enjoy a good meal and then get on your flight and go straight to sleep, and we’ll keep on bringing that model of understanding our customers and giving them the best experience they can have, both on the ground and in the air.”

David Flynn visited Hong Kong as a guest of Qantas.

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

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.
 

19 comments

  • Robert Eden

    reno
    Banned

    7 Apr, 2014 09:31 am

    Really,

    Hickey is so out of touch and this is reflected in his statements.Talk about pressing lounge issues and not a menchion of the crappy Brisbane International Terminal lounge.In 19 years this lounge has been in place and since the terminal opened it has not been renovated and handles more pax daily than any other airport outdside SYD and MEL.

    David was this article a joke,was he asked about the BNE Int lounge or does he lack the necessary skills.May be you can ask him at the next madia conference you attend.May be you can get something done,or may be you try doing a walk thru of this lounge at about 8am any day. 

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  • Skipp

    Skipp

    7 Apr, 2014 09:34 am

    You were 1 minute quicker than me with the Brisbane International lounge issue...:)

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  • spinoza

    spinoza

    7 Apr, 2014 01:00 pm

    maybe he doesnt expect international flights out of bne for much longer :D

    i think there's more international qantas flights departing HKG, SIN, and LAX than BNE as well.

    On the other hand its a bit silly for Qantas to have its own HKG and SIN lounges when they could share with CX and BA. No one would have been complaining without the HKG upgrade considering the CX options.. and even with the upgrade I'd choose The Wing First lounge.

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  • chanvw

    chanvw

    7 Apr, 2014 08:33 pm

    "i think there's more international qantas flights departing HKG, SIN, and LAX than BNE as well."

    Dunno about that.

    HKG: 2 x A330 + 1 x A380 daily (to BNE, SYD, MEL)

    SIN: Will be 3 x A330 daily (to BNE, SYD, MEL)

    LAX: 2 x A380 + 2 x 747 daily (to BNE, SYD, MEL)

    BNE: 2 x A330 daily (to SIN, HKG) 1 x 747 (to LAX, you could also count QF8 to SYD), 2.14 x 738 (to AKL and NOU, fraction due to once weekly frequency to NOU).

    International capacity of of Brisbane might be exceeded on a seats basis by LAX, but it is definitely higher than SIN and HKG.

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  • Robert Eden

    reno
    Banned

    8 Apr, 2014 05:02 am

    Daily BNE /SIN is a 744 not A330.Emirates and QANTAS eligible pax use the lounge for the daily A380 departures and arrivals as do codeshares.QF 8 also slams this lounge with transit pax.Get it the lounge was built some 19 years ago and not designed to meet todays capacity.

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  • Skipp

    Skipp

    7 Apr, 2014 09:32 am

    Although Simon Hickey says there is no pressing urgency for lounge upgrades for the international network. Comments I've seen from AUSBT readers/contributors suggest that Brisbane's international business lounge is in need of a decent upgrade.

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  • RR

    RR

    7 Apr, 2014 11:01 am

    Agreed-BNE is awful, very crowded and cramped, poor food/drink offering - worse than domestic IMHO.

    Mr Hickey also needs to sort out his SIN service - have recently done HKG-BNE and SIN-BNE. On the HKG flight it was as advertised- lights dimmed after takeoff, and v. quick meal for those who needed it, and lights not back on until about 45mins from arrival - so perfect for maximising sleep. However on  SIN-BNE (which is shorter flight time)  despite most of the pax having availed themselves of the extensive menu in the lounge, the crew had lights on for 2 hours while they crashed about doing a v. slow and noisy service for the few who were eating onboard; then 1hr40min out of BNE the lights went full on to wake eveyone for breakfast. Shocker. Was like going back to flying 20 years ago. Worse was they they threw breakfast out at a phenomenal speed, finished up and left the J cabin wide awake and sitting up an hour before landing, with the lights full on.

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  • Smithy

    Smithy

    7 Apr, 2014 11:33 am

    I can only concur with comments re BNE F international...Small & Inferior. The faciliites add 'load' to the Syd & Mel F Lounges as people divert to those ports.

    HKG might have only night flights mainly because there is 3 to AUS everyday.

    BNE has space for QF upstairs from the current Lounge...or co share the EK Lounge & keep it open.

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  • 521303

    521303

    7 Apr, 2014 12:11 pm

     "It's not a significant delay". Actually, as a paying customer who passed though LAX Loung last week, and will do so again in May, and then in June, I'd disagree.  It is a very significant delay to me as a paying customers  Another fine example of the symptoms of failure of Qantas under Joyce's leadership. This time taking paying customers for granted and insulting our intelligence. Hickey should be down on his knees begging J-class customers for forgiveness for this further delay at LAX.  Not offering glib statements that all is OK and the delay doesn't matter.

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  • PK

    PK

    7 Apr, 2014 12:58 pm

    I agree with all the comments on here about the poor state of the BNE lounge and Hickey should have it as a top, top priority when speaking about the network of lounges.  Even if you interpret his comments as being about non-Australian lounges (which they do not seem to be) he still needs to get on top of the BNE lounge quick smart.  But are you really blaming Alan Joyce and Simon Hickey because they are prevented from opening the LAX lounge because the airport itself is doing works preventing the completion of the lounge by a month or two?  What control do you expect Joyce and Hickey to exert over the LAX terminal owners?  Why does he need to beg the forgiveness of anyone for a really small delay in the scheme of things and which is a delay which he can't control?

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  • hutch

    hutch

    7 Apr, 2014 01:15 pm

    Breathe. It's an airport lounge. Yes, it's a nice thing to have,  but there are more important things in life than a delayed opening of an airport lounge.

    QF should look at BNE. They have increased flights out of there recently (from a low base), so they should continue to improve their offering.

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  • Robert Eden

    reno
    Banned

    7 Apr, 2014 12:36 pm

    Qantas lounges in BNE and AKL are the worst, and are not only crowded but way out dated.The Hickey comments are stupid and a reflection of AJ and poor management.What next will they build Qantas Clubs where they do not fly,upgrade Perth QF INT lounge ...but o we will no longer fly int from Perth.

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  • Brian Williams

    evilbrian

    11 Apr, 2014 11:30 am

    Judging by the huge increase in passengers using the EK lounge in AKL each time I've flown in recent months, I think there might be a few QF code share passengers turning right at the top of the escalator rather than going straight into QFs own lounge.

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  • sagidec

    sagidec

    7 Apr, 2014 01:57 pm

    After all these upgrades on international lounges, come back to Australia and do a full review of the condition of their current local lounges. Find every chip and dent and fix them.

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  • Fonga

    Fonga

    7 Apr, 2014 02:34 pm

     I read Hickey's comments as referring to  international lounges only. He has three great lounges up and running or about to open in key ports.  All are up there with the best on offer. Congrats to him and Qantas. There is no need to be flaming a bloke you haven't met as stupid. I'd say his strategy is spot on. 

    Can't comment on Brisbane International but it sounds like it needs attention. All in due course I guess. Brisbane has only recently grown as an international hub for QF so might be some catch up. Like any business there is a prudent approach to investing in infrastructure, like lounges. The important thing is the airline is moving in the right direction with fleet simplification and product upgrade. Cut it some slack. You'd have the airline run into the ground with all your demands. I use Perth and Canberra domestic lounges mostly and they're both busy but excellent facilities. 

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  • Robert Eden

    reno
    Banned

    8 Apr, 2014 08:49 am

    Fonga,

    Go try the Brisbane Internatonal terminal Qantas Club...and when you do report on it. 

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  • spinoza

    spinoza

    9 Apr, 2014 10:55 am

    I agree with you Fonga. The criticisms above about him being completely out of touch and stupid are a bit over the top. What people probably mean is, Sydney's lounge is awesome, Brisbane's is crap, I'm unhappy. There is no reference to costs, demand, competition, etc. 

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  • Robert Eden

    reno
    Banned

    9 Apr, 2014 11:25 am

    The lounge is 19 years old and not designed for todays crowd and they QF say that.....Get it ... Why dont you try it out....Get it.

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    11 Apr, 2014 11:47 am

    How about upgrading the NRT lounge...

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18 Jun, 2019 09:19 pm

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