QANTAS: Now Tokyo Haneda based. Narita lounge to close
Direct flights to Tokyo are back for Qantas with flights from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to recommence in late March 2022. The Sydney flight is daily (starting 27 March), but the Brisbane and Melbourne flights are not:
- Sydney – Tokyo Haneda (QF25) 9.50pm – 5.55am next day – Daily flight
- Melbourne – Tokyo Haneda (QF79) Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday – 11.30am – 8pm
- Brisbane-Tokyo Haneda (QF61) Monday, Thursday & Saturday – 11.40am – 8pm
With Haneda now as the Qantas Japanese hub, the lounge at Narita airport joins an increasing list of lounge closures including Hong Kong. The space at Narita will soon go to a new Aspire lounge from Swissport, to open in mid-2022. The Narita lounge is no great loss, as back in 2018 it was slated for a refurb, and then of course came the pandemic.
Qantas currently has no dedicated lounge at Haneda but uses partner lounges. However, both Japan Airlines lounges are listed as temporarily unavailable on the Qantas website. Presumably, passengers will have access when Australia to Tokyo flights resume at the end of March:
- First Class Passenger – head to Japan Airlines Lounge in Terminal 3, enter using escalators near Gate 112
- Business Class Passengers – again Japan Airlines Lounge, but this time, escalators near Gate 112
Japan is a favourite destination for me. Everything works, people are polite, they even Bonzai the street trees, and who doesn’t find a zen garden peaceful?
Japan was doing very well at controlling the Delta outbreak post-Olympics, with a dip in cases around Christmas, but rates began to soar again in January, but now, as in Australia seem to have levelled off.
Unfortunately, Japan is currently effectively closed to ordinary tourists from Australia as of 18 January. Australia is regarded as a risk country for the omicron variant. There are exceptions but expect to serve time in quarantine, and test pre and post travel as a bare minimum. If you want to know more – head to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Good luck with the translation from formal Japanese.