3 Things Australian Airports, And Airlines Could Adopt From The U.S

by Zac George

As you could probably tell, I have been traveling within the United States for the past few weeks. This is my 5th time in the country, and I’m pretty familiar with traveling domestically but this trip I have been noting differences between domestic travel in the U.S and Australia. I have found three things that Australian airports and airlines could adopt which the U.S have.

  • Access to International Lounges while flying domestically 

In Australia most of our airports are separate. However, there are instances where using international lounges would work. One of these airports is Melbourne. Melbourne domestic and international terminals are directly beside each other, and it would be awesome to use the Qantas First class lounge before a domestic flight.

I recently visited the Qantas First Class Lounge In Los Angeles before my flight to Dallas and the process from getting there to T4 where American Airlines flies out of was painless. I used the TBIT-T4 connector, and It was just under a 10-minute leisurely walk.

T4 LAX Connector

T4 LAX Connector (image: Zac George)


  • Known Traveller Eligibility (Global Entry & TSA Pre-Check)

This is something I want to see in Australia but probably won’t. I love visiting Los Angeles, I don’t however love standing in the ESTA visa line for 1 and a half hours. If there was one thing I could wish for it would be Global Entry. I’m also a big fan of pre-check. I have done around 10 AA flights so far and every flight I have been given Pre-check which has made me very happy. The process is so simple and fast. I would love Australia to see a program similar to the 2 which could replace Express lanes which aren’t always “Express” Now this isn’t something Australia could control but I would still love to see it happen.

TSA Pre-Check (image: CNN Money)

TSA Pre-Check (image: CNN Money)


  • Airline Upgrade List

This is something that I have been obsessing over from when I first saw it. In Australia our frequent flyer programs are built very differently to the U.S. you either have to use points to upgrade, bid on an upgrade which doesn’t always get offered and even paying a fare difference. In the United States if you are an elite you are eligible for automatic free domestic upgrades from economy class. Each flight will have a waitlist and the upgrades are sought by how many seats are available in the premium cabin and your elite status level. This is something that both Virgin and Qantas could do, and it would make elite status much more worth it. The ability to check on your phone beforehand makes planning for upgrades much easier. Here is what the list looks like on American Airlines:

This is what it looks like on the phone:


This is what it looks like on the phone

And this is what it looks like at the gate:


Bottom Line

I highly doubt we will have any of these things in Australia in the near future but I would definitely love to see these considered by our Airlines and Airports.

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DC November 10, 2016 - 9:29 pm

You’ll never see number 1 in Australia for as long as Australia has passport control for outgoing passengers, which as you would have noticed is something the US doesn’t have.

Been loving your posts and Instagram Zac!!

Zac George November 11, 2016 - 10:27 am

Thank you very much DC, appreciate it 🙂

Flight Detective November 12, 2016 - 7:55 am

I have never liked the upgrade list at all to be honest, as I’m a firm believer of paying (or using points!) for the cabin you wish to travel in. I would dislike the uncertainty of not knowing if you would get an upgrade or not. Also, I would find it fairly irritating to be in a cabin full of people upgraded. It’s lovely to sit in a Business Class cabin that is half full or less. You can be really spoiled in such situations whereas if it’s always full, there is nothing special about it. You’ve just given me a new topic for my blog I think!

Zac George November 12, 2016 - 7:57 am

Very good point, the more I thought about it the more I agree. I do think international upgrades should always payed or use points. Domestic could be 50/50 depending on the route.

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