When Qantas first entered its partnership with Emirates, it in turn saw the removal of Qantas using Singapore as its stopover hub between Australia and London. Instead that honour was given to Dubai. During that time Qantas opened a new lounge in Changi Airport, creating a single class premium lounge.
Fast forward to 2017 and Qantas as part of its Emirates 2.0 partnership decided that it would give Dubai to Emirates for QF coded flights and fly Qantas metal back into Singapore. Whilst this is quite strategic (due to the important Singapore business market for Qantas), it in turn has shot Qantas in the foot with the airline’s Changi lounge not built to meet the requirements of the new influx of people traffic into the lounge.
With three daily flights from Singapore on an A380 service ( Melbourne, Sydney and London), Qantas lounge capacity of 460 passengers was certainly going to experience issues. Added to the fact that Oneworld lounge options are slim unlike Hong Kong or the hotel-esq space of the Dubai Lounges, hundreds of passengers were bound to descend onto the Qantas lounge.
The struggle is real for Qantas with the airline now having to take measures in restricting access to the lounge. Before the restrictions came into play those travelling from first class right down to Qantas Club members (and even single use lounge passes) could enter.
To address peak crowding Qantas will turn away Qantas Club, lounge pass and to a degree some Gold members from the lounge and direct them to the nearby SATS Premier lounge, also in Terminal 1. Qantas says that the redirection of traffic will be in place until September this year but judging by the lounge and what they can do in this time period I believe the restriction will be in place well beyond this time.
To compensate, those Qantas Club and Gold members who are redirected will receive 5,000 Qantas Points for their troubles but those holding Qantas single use lounge passes won’t be compensated but still offered the redirection.
This is part of a plan by Qantas to ensure that their top tier frequent flyers as well as first/ business passengers are ensured entry into the lounge.
I will be keen to see how Qantas addresses this but honestly you would think based on passenger numbers and the influx of flights they would have seen this coming. Naive perhaps? Yes but in the interim at least Qantas has a solution that should satisfy (most).
Have you experienced the squeeze at the Qantas Singapore lounge? Were you turned away?