Qantas has quietly loosened access to some of its best lounges. For a selected number of Qantas lounges, pay to use access is now available. It is a move designed to both generate revenue and increase traffic through the lounge during quieter periods. While the majority of the pay to use Qantas lounges are located internationally, you can now buy your way into one of the best Qantas domestic lounges in Australia – the Perth Domestic Business Lounge.
There are three Qantas lounges in Perth’s T4. There’s the Chairman’s Lounge which is an invitation only lounge for Qantas’ favourite customers. Then there’s the bog standard Qantas Club Lounge. Often it seems there are more people in this lounge than in the terminal. Finally, there is the Qantas Business Lounge, which is a more refined experience and open only to business class passengers, platinum frequent flyers and their Oneworld equivalents.
That was, until now. Now you can now purchase access to the Business Lounge in Perth. The cost is AUD$70 for three hours access (presumably if your flight is delayed they will not kick you out). It doesn’t matter what airline you are flying on, what cabin class you are in, or what status you are.
It isn’t open slather. It is designed to generate business during the slower times of the day. Entry will be at the discretion of Qantas staff and only when there is no risk of overcrowding. Access can be purchased at the Qantas check in counters.
So far, this is the only Qantas lounge in Australia offering pay to use entry. Perth is a little unusual because aircraft movements tend to cluster, then it flatlines for a couple of hours until the next rush.
Is it worth $70? That largely depends on you. If you have a few hours to kill, are hungry and bored, the cost might be comparable to what you could spend eating and drinking in the terminal’s food and beverage outlets. It probably also matters whether you enjoy airport lounge experiences or whether they leave you cold.
The Qantas Perth Business Lounge
The Perth Domestic Business Lounge, like the other Qantas business class lounges, is a very nice space. There’s lounging in comfortable chairs, free WiFi, and ample outlets for recharging devices. A barista pulls coffee all day. Come lunchtime the bar opens and there is a full range of complementary alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.
This lounge’s point of difference is a pizza bar with a pizza chef. If pizza at seven thirty in the morning is a bit much, there’s freshly made croissants and pastries along with hot breakfast dishes.
If you ask the bar staff nicely, they’ll produce a cheese plate for you, complete with figs and paste.
For someone like myself, who quite enjoys pizza and wine, a few hours in Perth’s Qantas Business Lounge before one of the late afternoon flights east is a tasty proposition.
While Perth is the only Australian Qantas lounge offering pay to use access, there are some opportunities overseas. You can purchase access to the Qantas Business Lounge in Wellington, Auckland, Auckland, Los Angeles, and Heathrow at prices ranging from AUD$51 to AUD$108. You can also buy you way into the superb Qantas First Lounge in Los Angeles – arguably the best lounge at LAX. That, dear reader, will set you back AUD$215.