Under the partnership between Qantas and Emirates, eligible passengers receive access to many airport lounges around the globe. But the rules aren’t as straightforward as with most of Qantas’ other tie-ups.
Flying Business Class? Depending on your fare and destination, you may or may not have access to a lounge. Have a shiny Gold frequent flyer card? Again, it can depend on where you are and where you’re headed – even if you’re flying Qantas or Emirates.
But once you get your head around a few central ‘rules’ of the Qantas/Emirates partnership, knowing where you stand is much easier.
The key ‘Qantas’ rules for Emirates lounge access
Getting yourself into a lounge when flying Emirates as a Qantas passenger comes down to a short list of rules. Break any of them and you won’t be getting through the door. The same applies to waltzing into an Emirates-operated lounge before a Qantas flight.
Here are those core considerations to keep in mind:
- You must fly with Qantas or Emirates on a QF or EK flight number.
- If you’re flying these carriers on any other flight number, or you’ve booked a QF code on an airline other than Qantas or Emirates, you’re out.
- The partnership covers Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
- Lounges outside these regions aren’t eligible for reciprocal access. For instance, you can’t visit the Emirates lounge in Los Angeles before a Qantas flight. You also can’t visit an Emirates lounge in Australia when flying Qantas to a destination outside that group, such as Canada, the USA or Chile.
- Emirates is a bespoke Qantas partner, not a oneworld Alliance carrier.
- Things work differently with Emirates than with most of Qantas’ other partners. Also, status held with other oneworld Alliance airlines may not be recognised when travelling on Emirates, as it would when flying Qantas. This would require a separate partnership between that airline and Emirates, along the same lines as Emirates’ tie-up with Qantas.
- You can still redeem Qantas Points for flights anywhere on the Emirates network.
- While frequent flyer benefits are more controlled, you’re free to spend Qantas Points to book flights anywhere that Emirates flies. This includes destinations outside the Qantas/Emirates partnership, such as the United States.
Know the drill? Here comes the hard part – navigating the rules for each tier, cabin class and destination.
Emirates lounge access for Qantas Club members
At Emirates’ home hub of Dubai, at least, Qantas Club cardholders get access to Emirates’ Business Class lounges. But that’s only allowed when travelling onwards aboard an Emirates flight – and it must be booked as a Qantas (QF) codeshare.
If you’re travelling with Emirates and have booked an EK flight number, you’re out of luck as a Qantas Club member.
That’s an unfortunate rule because when you spend Qantas Points, all Emirates flights are reserved on those EK flight numbers. There’s simply no option to book a QF codeshare with Emirates as a Classic Flight Reward. Ultimately, it means no lounge access at all via Qantas Club when flying Emirates in Economy Class (or, as available, Premium Economy) if booking using Qantas Points.
Of course, if you’re flying Business Class or First Class on points, you’ll enjoy lounge access based on that ticketed class. It just doesn’t come courtesy of your Qantas Club status.
Qantas Club members don’t get access to Emirates-operated lounges anywhere else. In Australia though, you can visit Qantas’ own international Business Lounges as a Qantas Club member, provided you’ve booked your Emirates flight on a QF codeshare.
Mirroring the rules in Dubai, this means there’s no lounge access in Australia if you’ve spent your Qantas Points on an EK-coded Emirates Economy Class or Premium Economy flight.
Emirates lounge access for Qantas Gold members
The rules are far freer for Qantas Gold members. Rather than only getting access to lounges when flying Emirates on a QF code as with Qantas Club, Qantas Gold also grants lounge access when flying on EK flight numbers.
Better yet, that doesn’t just apply at Qantas-operated lounges and Emirates’ Business Class lounges in Dubai. It also applies to Emirates-branded lounges around the world, in the markets covered by the Qantas/Emirates partnership.
For instance, it doesn’t matter whether it’s booked on a QF or EK code when departing Australia on an Emirates flight. Either will grant access to the lounges of Qantas and Emirates, where available.
Hint: Subject to opening hours and available capacity, you can visit many of Emirates’ lounges when flying Qantas. Emirates’ Singapore lounge is a favourite of Qantas Gold members when travelling with Qantas to Australia or London. So too is the Emirates lounge in Auckland when flying Qantas to Australia.
Emirates’ Australian lounges also welcome eligible Qantas passengers travelling to destinations covered by the Qantas/Emirates partnership. While you won’t get in before a flight to LA, you might get access before a Qantas flight to Asia, for instance. It all comes down to each lounge’s opening hours and available capacity.
Emirates lounge access for Qantas Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge
Once you’re at the Qantas Platinum tier or above, lounge access with Emirates gets even better.
Qantas Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge members receive access to all the lounges available to Qantas Gold as described above. But where available, they also gain entry to Qantas and Emirates First Class lounges.
Once you’ve made it to Dubai, Emirates’ trio of First Class lounges are ready and waiting, too. When flying Emirates on a QF or EK flight number, they’re yours to visit.
As another handy tip, you can also use your Platinum-plated status to visit the Qantas First Lounge in Singapore when flying Emirates to Dubai. Unfortunately though, Emirates’ Singapore-Melbourne flights don’t align with the opening hours of Qantas’ lounge.
But again, because North America isn’t part of the Qantas/Emirates agreement, there’s no access to the Qantas First Lounge in Los Angeles when flying with Emirates. Or indeed, to Emirates’ own LAX lounge when travelling with Qantas.
Emirates lounge access for Business and First Class
Don’t have a shiny frequent flyer card but have a favourable seat number on your boarding pass? That can also be your ticket to a lounge when flying with Qantas and Emirates.
Let’s start with Emirates itself. Take note that ‘Business Class Special’ fares sold by Emirates do not include lounge access. On these tickets, lounge access is only available via status or if a lounge allows you to pay on entry – more on that later.
Lounge access is possible on all other Emirates Business Class and First Class fares, as well as all frequent flyer reward bookings in these classes. And while you might choose to visit Emirates’ own lounges, where available, you can also visit Qantas’ lounges. Any Qantas lounges available to you will be of the corresponding cabin class, only when flying from destinations covered under the partnership.
The biggest win for Aussie travellers here? If you’re flying from Sydney, Melbourne or Singapore in Emirates First Class, you can relax before your flight in the Qantas First Lounge.
If you’re instead flying Qantas in Business or First, you may also be able to access Emirates’ own-brand lounges in Australia and overseas. Just remember, this is only available in destinations covered by the partnership, and when travelling to countries also under the partnership. Also, note that Emirates’ lounge opening hours won’t align with all Qantas flights at every airport.
If you’re learning about lounge access for the first time, note that a boarding pass for Qantas Business or First also grants access to the Qantas Business Lounge or First Lounge, as applicable.
Lounge access quick reference guide
Yes, the rules are confusing – and it’s easy to get caught out. So we’ve mirrored the information above into this quick reference table to help make it clearer.
You can often pay at the door if you also want to visit an Emirates lounge but aren’t otherwise entitled. The cost isn’t cheap – but it’s an option nonetheless. We’ve displayed the standard retail rates for this access, but discounts can apply if you’re a member of Emirates’ own Skywards frequent flyer program.
|Dubai Business Class
|Dubai First Class
|Other Emirates lounges^
|Qantas Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge*
|Flying on an Emirates ‘Business Class Special’ fare
|Flying on all other Emirates Business Class fares
Includes reward bookings and all paid QF codeshare flights
|Flying in Qantas Business Class#
|Flying in Emirates First Class
|Flying in Qantas First Class#
|Paid single entry pass
|Upgrade from Business Class lounge access
^For Qantas members and passengers, this applies to lounges across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe only.
#No longer applicable for access to the Dubai Business Class and First Class lounges as Qantas no longer flies its own aircraft to Dubai.
~Local tax also applies (e.g. 10% GST at Australian lounges). Tax is included in the Dubai lounge prices.
It’s worth pointing out that you only need one ‘green tick’ in the table above to get inside. For instance, there’s no lounge access included with an Emirates Business Class Special fare. But if you have eligible status with Qantas (or Emirates), you can rely on that status for access instead.
As you can see from the table above, travellers with access to the Business Class lounges in Dubai can also purchase a ‘lounge upgrade’. This is available regardless of how you qualify for Business Class lounge access – whether that’s by cabin class, status or even as a Qantas Club member.
We haven’t detailed lounge access for Emirates’ own Skywards elite members above. If you’re travelling with Emirates as a Skywards member, you already know the drill – and this guide is about Qantas flyers, in any case.
The access policies between Qantas and Emirates aren’t clear-cut. In fact, it’s more of a minefield – especially if you’re a beginner frequent flyer trying to learn the ropes.
But this is really worth getting your head around. By knowing the rules, your travels can become more enjoyable. Why visit a Qantas Business Lounge when you could relax in a nicer Emirates lounge, for instance? Or why unwind in an Emirates lounge if the Qantas First Lounge would welcome you instead?
By knowing the rules, you can get every journey off to the best start.
Feature image courtesy of Emirates.
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