Which US airport lounges can Qantas Club members use?

Which US airport lounges can Qantas Club members use?

This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.

While Qantas Club members normally need to be travelling on a Qantas (or Jetstar) flight number to gain access to airport lounges, that’s not always the case – and in the United States in particular, there are several sets of rules at play, so it pays to know which lounges you can visit, and when.

Whether you’re making a simple return trip to the USA with Qantas or are also travelling with its partners American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, here’s what you need to know when it comes to Qantas Club lounge access on your next Stateside trip.

Qantas Club airport lounge access in the USA before Qantas flights

It goes without saying that Qantas Club members can access Qantas’ international business class lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane before their US-bound Qantas flight, but here are the lounges Qantas Club members can use in the States before their journey home:

Los Angeles: Head to the Qantas-operated ‘Oneworld’ business class lounge: it’s open prior to all Qantas flights, including the morning leg to New York and the evening services to Australia. Access is available here when travelling on a Qantas or Jetstar codeshare flight, too – such as when traveling with Fiji Airways to Nadi, when booked on the QF code.

San Francisco: Although business class passengers and Qantas Gold and Platinum frequent flyers can now visit the Cathay Pacific lounge in San Francisco, for Qantas Club members travelling in premium economy or economy, the older Air France-KLM lounge awaits, and from all reports, it’s not one worth arriving early for.

New York: Now that Qantas uses Terminal 8 at JFK, Qantas Club members can visit the American Airlines Admirals Club prior to their Qantas flight to Los Angeles (and onward to Australia) in premium economy or economy. If travelling in business class, the new Flagship Lounge awaits.

Dallas/Fort Worth: Here, Qantas again makes use of an American Airlines Admirals Club (near gate D36), which Qantas Club members can visit ahead of QF8 to Sydney – although being a major hub for AA and also a temporary space, it can get quite busy, so if you have an eligible American Express card, consider visiting the Centurion Lounge instead.

Honolulu: Served by both Qantas and Jetstar, Qantas operates its own business class lounge here near the airport’s outdoor Chinese Garden, which welcomes Qantas Club members up to three hours before Jetstar flights and up to four hours before Qantas flights.

Qantas Club lounge access in the USA prior to American Airlines flights

A lesser-known feature of the Qantas Club program is that membership provides access to American Airlines’ own Admirals Club lounges, and there’s no need to be booked on a Qantas (QF) codeshare flight, or to even be travelling on the same booking as a Qantas international journey.

An American Airlines boarding pass for an American Airlines (AA) domestic or international flight is all you need for entry alongside your Qantas Club card, and this includes domestic-only bookings within the United States.

As such, you could use your Qantas Club membership in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco when connecting from an arriving Qantas flight, or taking a standalone American Airlines journey: and in Los Angeles, you could also visit the Admirals Club prior to AA’s daily flight to Sydney.

In the United States, you’ll find Admirals Club lounges in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York (JFK, Newark and LaGuardia), Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh Durham, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa and Washington DC (DCA).

Qantas Club members can also visit the Airspace Lounge in San Diego when travelling on an American Airlines flight – the designated lounge for AA passengers, given the absence of a dedicated Admirals Club – although Qantas Club members don’t get access to AA Flagship Lounges or First Class Lounges unless provided by their booking.

Finally, if travelling from Los Angeles with American Airlines or even Alaska Airlines and that flight is booked as a Qantas (QF) codeshare, access is also permitted to the Qantas/Oneworld business class lounge in the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) – just allow plenty of time to walk to your departure gate, which will be in a different terminal.

Qantas Club lounge access in the USA prior to Alaska Airlines flights

As Qantas’ other Stateside partner, Alaska Airlines welcomes Qantas Club members at selected Alaska Lounge locations, but only when connecting to or from a Qantas-operated international flight.

This access is available in Los Angeles – which covers you after stepping off a Qantas flight with an onward Alaska Airlines leg to places like Seattle – and in Anchorage, Portland and Seattle prior to Alaska Airlines flights with a later connection to a Qantas service, such as the reverse of that journey.

Read: Qantas Club members get access to Alaska Airlines lounges

Note that the Alaska Lounge at New York’s JFK Airport is not part of this arrangement, so cannot be accessed by Qantas Club members even if connecting to or from Qantas’ New York flights.

If your wallet also features a Priority Pass card, you may have other options, too – including when flying American Airlines or Alaska Airlines from airports that don’t provide lounge facilities for Qantas Club members, or even in the airports covered above – so it certainly pays to explore all your options.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

9 comments

  • wiz30

    wiz30

    20 Feb, 2019 12:59 pm

    Can you confirm if a guest is eligible for access to the Admirals lounge also? As with standard QC lounges, 1 guest is eliglible. Is this the same with Admirals lounges (if both travellers are flying AA?)
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    20 Feb, 2019 01:33 pm

    Hi wix30, Qantas Club members are always permitted one guest. Here's an excerpt from the Qantas Club rule book as relevant to AA, although the bolding is mine to highlight:

    --

    When travelling with American Airlines, as a Qantas Club member you and a guest are welcome at American Airlines Admirals Club lounges. Simply present your Qantas Club card together with your boarding pass at the lounge reception. Both you and your guest need to be travelling together further that day on a flight marketed and operated by the partner airline whose lounge you wish to visit.

    --

    (In this case, the 'partner airline' is American, although I've never heard of anybody being turned away from an Admirals Club as a Qantas Club member when flying with American having booked the Qantas QF codeshare, either.)

    Member who gave thanks

    wiz30

  • wiz30

    wiz30

    20 Feb, 2019 03:04 pm

    Thanks ChrisCh, much appreciated.
    No member give thanks

  • grov

    grov

    20 Feb, 2019 03:14 pm

    Hmm. I was travelling on a J circle-Pacific, but an economy leg San Fran to LA. Was advised that I couldn't use the AA lounge. When I waved the QP card, was still told no. Reading your comments, perhaps I should have pressed for lounge access.
    No member give thanks

  • RK

    Ryan K

    20 Feb, 2019 03:45 pm

    I showed my Qantas Club card at an Admirals Club when travelling on American Airlines from LAX-SFO. I was also denied entry.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    20 Feb, 2019 04:37 pm

    Access is a published Qantas Club benefit. Lounges around the world normally keep a book or folder outlining access for each type of passenger (beyond what's covered by any alliance rules), so asking them politely to check their reference book can work wonders, especially if it's a card or type of ticket that they don't see very often.

    No member give thanks

  • bluenose

    bluenose

    20 Feb, 2019 04:45 pm

    Re Qantas Club memberr accessing Admirals Club, this Qantas page (https://www.qantas.com/au/en/frequent-flyer/the-qantas-club/access.html) states:

    "Each time your next onward flight that day is on a Qantas or Jetstar flight number you will have access to:

    • ...
    • American Airlines® Admirals Club lounges. Visit American Airlines for lounge locations.
    • ...
    • Associated lounges in most international ports where there is no Qantas or partner airline lounge."

     

    So it looks like you would need your AA flight to have a QF flight number. I know this info contradicts what Chris has written in his article, and I am reluctant to challenge his article - he knows far more about airlines, frequent flyer programmes, etc. than me.

     

    Have others been allowed/denied access with a QF flight number?

    No member give thanks

  • Marcus  Fitz

    GMFitz

    20 Feb, 2019 07:19 pm

    I would love for ChrisCh to be correct, but in this instance I have to agree with bluenose. Whenever I have shown my QC card at an Admirals Club when travelling on a AA flight number, I have never been allowed access.
    No member give thanks

  • Flying mermaid

    Flying mermaid

    27 Mar, 2019 05:14 pm

    It would be nice to get this clarified with Qantas/AA. You used to get entry to the clubs when travelling on AA flights, because of reciprocal arrangement with AA club membership. I had a look at the AA site and it advertises entry to all the Qantas Clubs, with no mention of it having to be an AA codeshare, so that part is still in place, but can’t see anything about Qantas club.

    If you can no longer get into the AA clubs, then it is a pretty useless membership. When I bought LTQP for two of my kids it was excellent - you got all the BA lounges as well. Then that was lost and if North America had become limited then it’s a bit of a joke. Fortunately I think they have already had their money’s worth out of the life time membership.
    No member give thanks

Guest

23 May, 2019 05:17 am

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