Qantas trials removal of Apple iMacs from airport lounges

Qantas trials removal of Apple iMacs from airport lounges

Qantas has removed most of the Apple iMacs from its three Sydney airport domestic lounges as part of a month-long trial to see if today's laptop-lugging and tablet-toting business travellers really need desktop computers.

The Qantas Club, Qantas Business Lounge and even the invitation-only Qantas Chairman's Lounge are now largely desktop-free zones, except for a handful of iMacs.

The lounges all have wireless printers which can be accessed on any Windows or Mac laptops as well as from iPads.

In addition, there are five Apple iPads available for short-term loan at each lounge.

The space previously occupied by the iMac machines is still being used as a working area for travellers with BYO tech.

Qantas says the trial will run until late November, after which the airline will evaluate if other lounges around Australia should have most or even all of their iMacs carted away.

In recent years Qantas has upgraded its lounge wi-fi network twice over to offer faster speeds to all guests and cater for the greater demand imposed by the boom in of smartphones, tablets and super-affordable 'ultrabook' laptops. 

Qantas began outfitting its lounges with iMacs in late 2010, although the slim Apple machines which could also run Windows. 

However, Qantas has opted not to install iMacs at its newest international lounges in Singapore, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

What's your take: do modern airport lounges really need desktop computers, or is fast wi-fi and a wireless printer enough?

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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.


  • turbojezz


    29 Oct, 2014 08:29 am

    this could go either way... the machines were always well limited. sometime even VPN or remote desktop into work wasnt posible.

    They always had dodgy mice (because people dont respect them) and were never updated (this is a problem for remote access).

    probably just a good idea to see them go and have proper workstations (WITH POWERPOINTS) for people to setup camp in if you are there for a while :)

    No member give thanks

  • Yaf


    29 Oct, 2014 08:35 am

    I would like to see the Apple iMacs back in the lounge.Until that happens will have to use another airline when I am going through Sydney.

    No member give thanks

  • Mal


    29 Oct, 2014 08:43 am

    Yaf: are you seriously saying that your choice of which airline to fly is based on if they have iMacs in the airport lounge? 

    No member give thanks

  • Yohy


    29 Oct, 2014 10:33 am

    A reasonable statement. wireless printing is likely to be a PITA with lounge staff clueless if it breaks - always appreciated the ability to quickly and easily print something out as needed in the lounge.

    No member give thanks

  • turbojezz


    29 Oct, 2014 11:16 am

    h aha love this! no i think he is taking the piss at all the people that 'instanly choose another airlione' when qantas make and 'enhancement'! this comment made my day :)

    No member give thanks

  • Mal


    29 Oct, 2014 01:59 pm

    "I would like to see the Apple iMacs back in the lounge.Until that happens will have to use another airline when I am going through Sydney."

    Looks like you won't be flying through Sydney, Yaf, as the alternative to Qantas is Virgin Australia and they also don't have iMacs in their lounge, they run HP + Windows.

    No member give thanks

  • eminere


    29 Oct, 2014 09:06 am

    Never seen much of the computers being used in the SYD international J lounge so perhaps people really don't need them much anymore.

    No member give thanks

  • Al Glidden


    29 Oct, 2014 09:06 am

    I think Qantas should keep 1 or 2 iMacs in the lounge, 'just in case', but so many people fly with 'BYO tech' these days that desktop PCs are not needed.

    No member give thanks

  • Mal


    29 Oct, 2014 09:08 am

    I can't remember the last time I used a desktop PC in a lounge. Always travel with my MacBook or iPad. As long as the wifi is fast and there are enough AC and USB points to plug into I am happy.

    No member give thanks

  • TheRealBabushka


    29 Oct, 2014 09:19 am

    Remember the days when you had to pop down to the local library to use the internet? LOL

    Good move Qantas. Cut the waste!

    No member give thanks

  • Jase Croll


    29 Oct, 2014 11:14 am

    I was in the SYD Qantas Club last week and the funniest thing I saw was two middle aged travellers sitting in the kids zone (on the kids chairs) using the remaining iMacs.

    It was also pretty funny seeing them try and get out of the chair when they were finished.

    No member give thanks

  • Nathan Jordan


    29 Oct, 2014 11:45 am

    My puppy is now staring at me bizarrely after I just laughed raucously out loud several imes at that comment!

    No member give thanks

  • bert


    29 Oct, 2014 01:03 pm

    Excellent change. Best space going to use the latop portable monitor. Agree with first comment just need the powere points at the desk level. Vote to keep the change.

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  • AusFlyer


    29 Oct, 2014 01:18 pm

    I have always travelled with either a laptop or iPad so having desktops in the lounges have never been needed for me. I have often seen them sitting there with no one using them even at peak times so it is perhaps not necessary to have as many. I think it would be sensible to keep a few though just for anyone that is travelling without a computer that might want to use one.

    No member give thanks

  • bert


    29 Oct, 2014 01:43 pm

    In the business lounge sydney they have 5 of the IMacs lined up on the bench beside the printers 

    No member give thanks

  • Jon W

    Jon W

    29 Oct, 2014 03:09 pm

    Initially got excited because I thought they were just getting rid of them to switch to real computers (sorry fanboys, I just don't get it - when I lived in the States work made me use a Mac for 6mo and it was the least productive and most frustrating [from a computer sense] period of my life).

    That being said, I do think it isn't wise to get rid of desktops entirely. Wireless printing is supposed to work well in theory. But I've often found myself having to use the desktop that's actually 'wired-in' to the printer because the wireless printing service is full of gremlins that day. It's good to have that back up, especially for luddites like me who want to actually physically annotate a document in hard copy (with the added benefit you can do it from gate to gate!).

    No member give thanks

  • Bavarian


    31 Oct, 2014 04:19 pm

    I guess you noticed using electronic devices is now permitted gate to gate?

    I'd rather prefer an iPad to annotate paperwork rather than dragging tons of killed trees...

    Until a few years ago, when lounge wifi was hardly available, I used those lounge computers quite regularly. Whatever OS they had, since my choice was either: No internet or using their computer. However, on quite a few of them I discovered still open email accounts, downloaded work files others used and quite a lot of other stuff, I wouldn't want to share with anyone I don't know.

    Lufthansa had Linux terminals with a specific kiosk setup, which were somewhat clean. I remember them because they were the only airline were I wouldn't run into someone else's data.

    Working - like real work instead of wasting time on the net - on that lounge computer is a hazzard to privacy. Having said that: I'm quite happy Qantas removes their Macs from the lounge in order to protect your data and some trees unnecessarily used for printing.

    No member give thanks

  • AirportAddict


    29 Oct, 2014 04:32 pm

    I've never been a big fan of them... byod and suck the juice out of their wifi.

    No member give thanks

  • Rufus1


    29 Oct, 2014 11:35 pm

    Silly idea.  Not all people who want a computer are travelling on business, and not all who are travelling on business will drag along a laptop on the off-chance they might need it.

    I use the computers in the QF lounges pretty regularly when I'm there.  I often have a tablet with me, but that's no good for actual work.

    No member give thanks

  • Robin Ryan


    31 Oct, 2014 04:32 pm

    I'm with you Rufus - although I usually have my ipad, there are somethings that are just easier to do with the Macs.

    What do they mean  by trial? How measured? If people just put up with this as with other Qantas enhancements, will they claim it was a success?

    No member give thanks

  • Jason Drummond


    31 Oct, 2014 07:57 pm

    I fly VA more than QF these days and most of the time Im happy with the wireless and as long as I can use a powerpoint (mostly available on the workstations I am happy to use my own laptop.

    Actually Im glad I read this, have never tried connecting to the printer wirelessly here in the lounge, just tried it and it worked. Now I dont have to kick the kids off the desk top Pcs who are watching Peppa Pig.

    No member give thanks

  • John Bell


    31 Oct, 2014 08:55 pm

    Problem with the iMacs was that the Microsoft Office was not up to date, there was no virus checking evident, Pages is not user friendly and so on. If you want to offer the customers a service you need to offer what customers would expect in an office environment!

    No member give thanks

  • Flying Fish


    4 Nov, 2014 08:47 pm

    They can take them away, I've never seen anyone use them and usually see people trying to squeeze their own tech equipment into the available desk space. More desk space in (semi) private cubicles is more useful.

    No member give thanks

  • Max Mac


    8 Feb, 2015 10:47 am

    Just typical of Qantas. All take and no give. 

    They put a sign up saying "for your convenience, we are removing the thee computers" 

    how  was it inconvenient if they were left there!

    i signed up in 1999  as a life member and paid a hefty price for it. 

    the lady said if I was a life member, I could use the lounge anytime even if I was not flying NOT ANYMORE

    was told I could bring two guests in with me each time  NOT ANYMORE

    she said I would get to take an extra piece of luggage on the the flight at not charge NOT ANYMORE

    you had a great selection of magazines to read. NOT ANYMORE

    the bar was opened at midday  NOT ANYMORE

    dedicated personalised check inn  NOT ANYMORE

    Phones in the QC. NOT ANYMORE

    when Jetsar started, you receive FF points on any seat any flight any fare...NOT ANYMORE  

    they gave you shampoo and conditioner when you used the shower... Now they tell you to use the shower gel .... Soap.... To wash and condition your hair?

    The best was how they have reduced the FF points and status points  if you dare fly on a cheap flight  

    Qantas thinks I am going to pay up to $200 extra per flight to get 200 - 300 extra FF points worth a dollar or so?  Are they kidding .. 

    if I fly to Melbourne every month, I get to keep my Silver status. Big deal, all that only gets me is the right to pre select my seats on future flights.... I already get a little extra weight allowance in my luggage being a QC member.

    Silver Status is a joke

    Qantas should get rid of the marketing dunces that come up with these ridiculous ideas and stop penny pinching.

    These marketing dunces are giving us more reason NOT to fly Qantas  

    I never flew with any other airline (if Qantas flew the route) but Qantas but the reduced benefits mean I fly with other airlines when I go overseas.

    I was a proud, loyal customer of Qantas customer....they are not loyal to me....I feel like they treat me like a fool...not a customer  

    more fools you people who pay hundreds of dollar every year to belong to the QC... You can buy a lot of coffee, beer and good food elsewhere in the airport with the $100s you pay in QC membership  

    congratulations to the management of Qantas, you have really devalued your airline. 

    No member give thanks


23 Jul, 2019 09:55 pm


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