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.
- 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.
- 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:
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.