You rock up at the airport in a major capital city and see two signs pointing in opposite directions – one for the Qantas Club and the other for the Domestic Business Lounge. Where do you go, and what are the differences between the two spaces? If you’re relatively new to the world of lounge access, then let’s find out.
1. There are only five Domestic Business Lounges…
…compared to 24 domestic and regional Qantas Clubs within Australia. While Qantas Clubs can be found in all major and some regional cities, Domestic Business Lounges are only present within five airports:
These five cities represent the ports where Qantas usually sees the highest amount of business travel.
2. Domestic Business Lounges have a tighter guest list
Qantas’ Business Lounges welcome far fewer passengers than the neighbouring Qantas Clubs. It’s all part of maintaining a more exclusive presence at those busy airport terminals.
The better Business Lounge beckons for the following travellers:
- Passengers in Qantas Business, + one guest.
- Qantas Platinum and Platinum One members, + two guests.
- Those with ‘P1-Benefit’ lounge passes from a Platinum One member.
- oneworld Emerald frequent flyers from oneworld member airlines, + one guest
- Emirates Skywards Platinum and selected other partner frequent flyers, + one guest
That’s right: without the right elite frequent flyer card, the only way you’ll get inside is as a guest of an eligible member. Of course, with a ticket in Qantas Business. This includes flights booked or upgraded using points.
Meanwhile, Qantas Club members, Gold frequent flyers and those with general single-entry passes are directed to the Qantas Club lounges nearby. At quiet times though, Qantas can sometimes decide only to open an airport’s Business Lounge. When that occurs, travellers who’d normally qualify only for the Qantas Club can access the Business Lounge.
3. Better food and beverages
Qantas Domestic Business Lounges generally offer an elevated food and beverage service level. For example, the Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne lounges offer kitchens that serve themed meals: that’s pizza, oven-baked dishes and Asian-inspired cuisine, respectively.
But even in the older Canberra and Sydney Business Lounges, you should expect a step up in the options available compared to the Qantas Clubs.
4. A quieter ambience
Yes, it depends on exactly where you are and what time you visit. But due to the stricter entry requirements of the Domestic Business Lounges, you’ll generally find them a quieter place to relax before a flight.
We say ‘generally’ because this isn’t always true. Holiday periods and days with several delayed flights can prove the exception to the norm. But overall, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find somewhere to sit down and unwind while possibly plugging in your devices for a quick charge.
5. Upgraded amenities, seating
Sometimes it’s the small touches that stand out.
Domestic Business Lounges feature high-quality furnishings that are less ‘IKEA’ and more ‘bespoke’ in appearance. The lounges feature separate zones for dining, working and relaxing. Plus, in the bathrooms and showers, you’ll see quality ASPAR amenities which are a step up from the Qantas Club.
So there you have it – the jump from Qantas Clubs to Domestic Business Lounges isn’t as extreme as going from an International Business to an International First lounge, for example – but it is a noticeable step up. From the improved décor to the elevated dining and amenities, each touch is designed for the busy business traveller who is more likely to spend with Qantas when pampered in this way.
But even if that’s not you, it’s still relatively easy to enjoy the comforts of a Domestic Business Lounge. Simply use your Qantas Points (or the points/miles of other partners such as British Airways) to book yourself a Business Class flight. These start from 18,400 Qantas Points plus taxes per person, which often represents better value than buying an Economy ticket with cash and later upgrading.
Feature image courtesy of Qantas.