QANTAS: International Lounges – 3 reopen, 1 closes for good
With Qantas international flights now scheduled for rolled out from December 2021, the obvious question is will the international first and business lounges in Los Angeles, London, Singapore and Hong Kong reopen too?
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Which Lounges to reopen?
Well according to a report in ET, 3 of those – London, Los Angeles and Singapore will, but Hong Kong won’t.
This is really no surprise. Qantas is eager to return to flying to those first three destinations as soon as it can, and a premier experience for its business and eventually first-class flyers will be an important aspect of that re-launch.
Singapore is vital, as it will be a significant stopover in the return to flying to London, especially if Perth as a stopover is off the table due to Western Australia’s conservative view on border closures, or until the Darwin alternative is up and running.
LA is equally vital for those travelling to the USA, and London is just essential.
Hong Kong to close
Losing the lounge in Hong Kong is unfortunate, as it was one of my favourites. But with HK having a diminished reputation for freedom and commerce, and with the plethora of Cathay Pacific and other OneWorld alternatives, it is no surprise that Qantas having lost about AU$5 billion in revenue during the pandemic is trying to cut a few costs.
Rumours are also circulating that the airport wants to re-purpose the Qantas lounge space for retail or other facilities.
After 20 months of closure since March 2020, it’s likely that the lounges will be rolled out as the international routes reopen from December. Something similar to what has been done here in Sydney, where the First Lounge is being used by all premium cabin or high-status international flyers, and the business class lounge remains closed. Expect that to happen in all three destinations with a First and Business lounge.
Of course, this all relies on our international borders being reopened by the Commonwealth Government, and that relies on us reaching vaccination rates of 80% for adults 16 and over – or having announced vaccine eligibility today from 12 years of age, maybe it means 80% for everyone over that age?
I am so itching to get into a premium cabin on a long-haul flight, I can’t even unpack my computer for security! So if you haven’t already, get out and get vaxxed!!!