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Tuesday 3 October 2017

Qantas and Virgin bungle their lounge policies

Qantas has proudly announced that from mid-November it will begin construction on its new Qantas Club and Business Lounge in Melbourne.

Instead of making sure Qantas Club members get what they have paid for, or earned, Qantas customers will lose their access rights for guests during peak periods. 

Rather than finding extra space to look after their frequent flyers during construction, Qantas blithely announced: "To make way for the upgraded lounges, the current Qantas Club (above) will be reduced in size during construction, which will continue until the second half of next year. 

"Customer space in the Qantas Club will be limited and during this time there will be some temporary changes to the guest access policy in the Melbourne Qantas Club.

"Qantas Gold Frequent Flyers and Qantas Club members will be permitted to access the Melbourne Qantas Club, however, no guests will be permitted during peak hours (from 5am through to 9am and from 3pm through to 7pm)." 

Tough luck then for wives or husbands travelling with their spouses. Qantas has boosted its member numbers without planning properly and it is the FFs who will pay. 

Furthermore, Qantas announces: "A Grab and Go offering will be available during construction, providing an easy and convenient access to a selection of tea, coffee and pastries." 

Not exactly what frequently flyers want to hear.

Still, at least Qantas flyers will have a lounge in Melbourne, unlike long-suffering gold and platinum frequent flyers in and out of Hobart. 

Virgin's Hobart-based regulars remember airline CEO John Borghetti announcing back in 2012 that a Virgin Lounge was planned for the following year. He lied. 

Five years on and there is still no sign of a Virgin lounge in Hobart. Repeated requests from this correspondent for an update have garnered zero response from Virgin headquarters in Brisbane. 

I have suggested a coffee/snack cart for gold and platinum flyers, or some form of compensation for Tasmanian-based frequent flyers who do not get lounge access for up to 50% of their flights, thereby reducing the value of the membership they have accrued. Maybe a couple of flight upgrades a year. 

The silence has been deafening. Loyalty, it seems, is a one-way street. 


1 comment:

  1. Point noted, but so far my experience is that the overall balance of Virgin FF options/offerings is better than Qantas