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QANTAS: Sydney – Auckland – New York

QANTAS: Sydney – Auckland – New York

14 June 2023 sees the launch of a Qantas, Sydney to New York’s JFK Airport flight, via Auckland, New Zealand (QF3/QF4) using the three-class Boeing 787 Dreamliner (Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class). The two flights on 16 June will be Points Planes where every seat is available as a Classic Reward redemption. However, all the business seats are gone, and Premium Economy seats (108,000 points and AU$311 one way) are in short supply for Classic Rewards redemptions. Economy redemptions will put you back 55,000 points and AU$211, one way.

By making the outward and return legs Points Planes, Qantas makes it almost impossible to do the return trip on Classic Rewards – so they still get the fare for a one way ticket. Clever.

a display of coffee cups and glasses on shelves
Food and drinks in the Qantas First Lounge Auckland

Auckland Lounges combined into one Premium Lounge

There is currently a First Class and Business lounge in Auckland using the same entrance. The First lounge to the right is rather dated, and in need of the refresh that was initially promised pre-COVID in 2019. Below are some pictures taken back in 2019.

a glass door with a wood paneled wall

Under the new proposal, the two lounges will be amalgamated into one Premium Lounge and become:

“… a step change in comfort. It will offer a lot more space and, like all of our offshore lounges, feature the best of local design, food and wine.”

Alan Joyce

The redesign will be accomplished in time for the launch in June 2023 of the new New York route via Auckland and will include an expansion of the lounges’ footprint using adjacent space to increase total capacity from 244 seats to 340 seats. Building work will be scheduled so that lounge services will be available right through the renovation process.

a room with chairs and a laptop
The lounge back in 2019 – only those flower arrangements and some changes to the seating are evident in 2022
a bathroom with two sinks and a mirror
Auckland First Lounge bathroom in 2019
a table with lamps on it
Lounge seating in 2019

Adelaide to get Lounge upgrade

The second half of 2023 will see the Adelaide lounge complex expanded and upgraded. The Chairman’s Lounge and Qantas Club will get a refurb/upgrade, and an additional Business Lounge with a capacity of 190 will be added taking the total lounges capacity to 570.

Rockhampton new lounge and Port Headland upgrade

November 2022 will see the upgrade and expansion of the Rockhampton lounge for 60 guests. Port Headland is an important FIFO (Fly-in, Fly-out) market. Late 2023 should see the lounge capacity expand from 30 to 120 as part of a terminal upgrade.

a room with chairs and a table
Canberra Qantas Lounge

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

The Auckland upgrade – well overdue – is required even without the launch of the new New York via Auckland route.

The Adelaide lounge is one of my favourite and most frequently visited lounges. I read a comment somewhere that it was looking a bit tired lately – something that I hadn’t noticed, as Qantas seems to frequently refresh the furniture – having added high-top tables recently. However, objectively, it is a little dated, so an upgrade and expansion are very welcome.

The lounge has always stood ‘midway’ between a Club and a Business lounge in my eyes, so I am conflicted about the new division in the lounges. While I am still a Platinum member – I will appreciate the new Business lounge. If I get downgraded, then I may regret the more limited service of the Club.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the public profile, the decision-making power, or the command of a suitably sized travel budget and chauvinistic attitude to gain membership in the exclusive Chairman‘s Lounge!

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