I just posted about my flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo and in that post I briefly mentioned that I had quite an unpleasant experience getting access to the lounge, this post will fully explain what happened and what should be done and improved.
I’ve visited the Qantas First Class lounge In Los Angeles 2 or 3 times now and found it to be a beautiful space. It’s quiet, got great wifi, shower rooms, al la carte menus by Neil Perry and it’s overall a very relaxing atmosphere.
After arriving from my flight from Melbourne I was connecting onto my flight on Japan Airlines in First Class, the check-in agent was quite surprised with my age and asked what I do and why I’m flying etc.
As he finished printing my boarding passes he mentioned I had access to the Qantas First lounge, I asked him ”even though I’m 17” and he replied with ”yes of course, you’re in First”
So off I went through security which was surprisingly very quick and I made my way to the entrance of the lounge, this is where things started to go wrong.
The agent at the desk asked for my boarding pass and scanned it, I was asked for my Passport which I’ve never been asked to provide when going into a lounge before.
The agent handed me back my passport and boarding pass and rudely said ”you’re not 21 you can’t enter” My first thought was am I at a nightclub or an airport?
I could have just left and said ok but I wanted to find out why. When I had previously visited the lounge before the agents knew my age and were more than happy to put me into one of the private rooms as they could see what I was doing and I would be working.
I told the agent, I just want to have a shower as I’ve just come off a 13-hour flight and wanted to refresh. They could have watched me walk to the shower facilities and that would be that but nope.
The agent kept saying that I could go and illegally drink alcohol if I was allowed in, how is that possible if it’s all behind the bar??
In the end, I was too tired and frustrated to question the absolutely ridiculous policy so I decided to just leave. Before I did though, one of JAL representatives gave me a $10 USD voucher, that’s hardly making up for it.
Now, this post may make me sound like a DKYWIA (Do you know who I am) but I want to know why Qantas make this a rule? I get the drinking age in the U.S. is 21 but there are other airlines like Etihad and Qatar who allow any guest into their lounges if they have access even though in Abu Dhabi and Doha the ages to drink are 21. Keep in mind, only about 40 meters away is the new Etihad lounge which would allow me access if I was flying them.
As a Qantas Platinum (No longer) Oneworld Emerald and Passenger in First on a Oneworld carrier, it’s a pretty pathetic policy and how the situation was handled was more frustrating.
This is isn’t the first time people have had problems with the lounge from AA EXP access to lounge tipping.