Qantas will reopen eleven of its airport lounges to kick off the month of July as travel and venue restrictions ease across Australia. The lounges shuttered on 23 March owing to government restrictions. The reopened lounges will welcome fewer passengers owing to new capacity limitations, and operate slightly differently than they did earlier this year.
We’re really pleased to welcome our Frequent Flyers back to our lounges across the country and get more of our people back to work. We’ve already rolled out some service changes on board for everyone’s wellbeing and now we’re announcing some changes to the lounge experience as well.– Stephanie Tully, Qantas Chief Customer Officer
All-Day Snacking Station or Table Service
The self-service buffet and drink stations are no more at the reopened Qantas lounges. Instead they are replaced by a hosted “All-Day Snacking Station” concept.
Beverages, including coffee, fresh squeezed juice, beer and wine can be ordered from the barperson and barista.
Individual dishes can also be ordered from waitstaff in the lounges. These individually plated items will change daily and cover a range of tastes.
Some of the first options to be features in the reopened lounges include:
- Roast field mushrooms, kale and cheese tarts with tomato relish
- Bacon and egg rolls
- Bacon, chili and parmesan frittatas
- Blackberry cheesecakes
- Carrot and pecan cakes with cream cheese frosting
Qantas Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully notes, “This is a new world for everyone as we introduce and evolve our services to the new travel climate, but we’re very confident that we can make this work well for our people and our customers.” Tully also is clear that while some of the revised service policies should be seen as the “new normal” going forward others, such as the reduced capacity, are expected to ease in the future.
The “return of the buffet, toastie and pancake maker in the future or the reintroduction of self-serve beverage stations” is not ruled out, though Tully also did not offer a timeline for such considerations. Much of that will be driven by government regulations.
First round of reopenings
The following 11 lounges are the first of the 35 to reopen:
- Sydney Domestic Business Lounge
- Alice Springs Regional Lounge
- Perth Domestic Business Lounge
- Kalgoorlie Regional Lounge
- Adelaide Qantas Club
- Tamworth Regional Lounge
- Canberra Business Lounge
- Coffs Harbour Regional Lounge
- Broome Regional Lounge
- Karratha Regional Lounge
- Launceston Regional Lounge
Lounges in Queensland and Victoria are expected to progressively reopen from 10 July while the Chairmans Lounges are currently scheduled to open in August. Overseas lounges remain closed.
Wifi returns, too!
In addition to the reopening of lounges, Executive Traveller is reporting that Qantas will also turn the WiFi back on for its 737 fleet. The service was halted in April to reduce costs. With travel demand rebounding and the operations ramping back up the inflight entertainment and connectivity will also return to service on 1 July.