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QANTAS: Flexible Qantas Club Membership – limited benefits

QANTAS: Flexible Qantas Club Membership – limited benefits

As has been rumoured recently, Qantas today (10 July) introduces a new monthly Qantas Club membership plan for infrequent flyers who want some of the benefits of lounge access.

Qantas seems to be on a mission to squeeze every dollar it can out of its customers. This includes charging for Row 4, which is now classified as extra legroom seats, and these monthly lounge memberships.

Row 4 seats used to be available to Platinum members 80 hours before a flight at no charge. Now, they are bookable at no charge for Chairman’s Club and Platinum One member and at T24 for Platinums—that is if any are left.

a room with chairs and tables
Qantas Rockhampton Lounge [Qantas]

Qantas Club Flexible Monthly Membership

Instead of paying a yearly membership, you can pay a monthly fee (AU$99) on top of a ‘once-off’ Joining Fee of AU$129. But be careful: The joining fee restarts if you don’t cancel and rejoin within 90 days.

The membership will give you access to 30 lounges including regional, capital city Qantas Clubs and International Business Lounges in Australia and internationally. But remember, access is only to Qantas lounges not partner facilities.

Membership periodAustralia and other regionsNew Zealand
Auto-renews every 28 days until cancelled.A$99NZ$99
Table of costs from the Qantas website
a plate of food with sauce
Party Pies at Adelaide Qantas Club back in 2018 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

The Club membership that’s best for you

If you have Gold Status or above (Platinum, Platinum One, or Chairman’s Club) with the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme, one of the benefits is Lounge access. Your status will determine which lounge you will have access to. For Goild, it’s the Club Lounges. For Platinum and Platinum One, it’s the Business and Qantas First International Lounges. For the invitation-only Chairman’s Club members, it’s the Chairman’s Lounge and International First.

Access to the lounges is through a paid membership for those who don’t hold those status levels. Until now, that has been on a yearly basis, although multi-year memberships were also available. A one-off joining fee is also applicable.

This new ‘flexible’ monthly membership is to attract those economy solo flyers who might be doing a burst of domestic travel and want lounge access.

Qantas floated the idea earlier this year in surveys and focus groups under several possible names such as ‘Explorer’ ‘Lite’, and even ‘Starter’.

a screenshot of a website
Qantas Club Flexible membership information – screen grab from the Qantas website.

What you get as a Flexible Monthly Qantas Club Member

It’s the same as Club membership, but with some benefits removed. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits;:

  • Monthly Membership – actually 28 days, cancel at any time with three days notice, otherwise it will renew automatically
  • Access to Qantas Clubs – regional lounges and International Qantas Business lounges in Australia and overseas (Auckland, Honolulu, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, and Singapore).
  • Additional checked baggage – currently limited to those who join and travel before 31 March 2025, you will get the same level of baggage as regular Qantas Club members (a 32kg bag, not 23kg bag in domestic economy, 42kg, not 30kg in international economy).
a screenshot of a website
Membership types compared – screen grab from the Qantas website.

What you don’t get

  • No partner or associated lounges – Flexible members will only get access to Qantas-branded lounges at international airports, not partner lounges. That means no lounge access at significant destinations like Rome, Paris and Dallas Fort Worth.
  • No guesting – unlike yearly and multi-year Qantas Club members, you won’t be able to guest other travellers into the lounge. You can purchase an annual guest card for AU$449.
  • Extra Luggage – this benefit which is promised until March 2025, may well also disappear
a group of people sitting in a room
Render of new Adelaide Domestic Qantas Club Lounge and bar. Looks like this replaces the current workspace area and news-stand divider [Qantas]

The Costs Compared

I’ll cut to the chase. On a per-day or monthly basis, a Flexible Club Membership is way more expensive than a yearly or multi-year membership. The cheapest per-day or month membership is the longest at four years.

The cost of a one-year Club Membership is AU$828. That’s the AU$ 699 yearly fee plus an AU$ 129 joining fee.

For a year of Flexible Membership, the cost is AU$1,416. That’s based on the 28-day fee of AU$99 multiplied by 13 to reach the full year, plus the AU$129 joining fee.

That means that it’s getting close to twice as expensive for a Flexible than a One Year Club membership. Actually, you are paying 71% more for flexible over a one year membership. Well that’s my calculation, mind you I am appealing at maths.

Unless you only need a few months of membership to cover a busy travel period, you will likely be better off with a yearly membership. That’s especially true if your travel is more sporadic but over more than a 6-month period.

Qantas Sydney First Lounge 2022 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]
Flexible Membership won’t get you here -Qantas Sydney First Lounge [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

There will be a market for this Flexible Membership option. It will be great for those who are flitting around the country for a month or two for business or pleasure and who want the comforts of Qantas Club lounge access.

There will also be grumpy complaints about lounge overcrowding from Frequent Flyer members who have earned their access to the lounges by gaining Status with Qantas. If you don’t believe me, look at Qantas-related groups on Facebook!

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