Last week, Qantas put forward their plans for the routes that would be cut and the aircraft grounded amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Among the other important news announced, Qantas didn’t forget to explain what would be happening in regards to lounge access for premium travellers and frequent flyers.
Qantas announced that all Chairman’s lounge members, business class guests & Oneworld Sapphire/Emerald members would all be given to one lounge for domestic flights and that’s the business lounge. As for the Qantas Clubs in regional airports; they remain and running and operating as normal. All of Qantas’ international and first class lounges will also close.
Today’s news from the carrier is a further extension of what was previously announced and is already in effect. This move from the airline was expected to come and makes perfect sense, considering the circumstances that are occurring.
All Qantas Lounges Are Shut As Of Today In Appliance With New Measures From The Australian Government
Earlier today, the airline shut all of their lounges which started this afternoon. The Australian Prime minister today announced at a press conference that Australia would be introducing new measures that would assist in spreading and containing the virus. Mr Morrison stated that all licensed premises would have to close their doors and the Qantas lounge fall under this banner as they contain alcohol.
Due to government restrictions, all Qantas operated lounges across our network will be closed from this afternoon until further notice. We thank you for your understanding.
— Qantas (@Qantas) March 23, 2020
This news really isn’t surprising as most hospitality industries and companies were bracing for something like this to be introduced and of course, airline lounges are no exception to the matter. The airline has also laid off several staff across a range of lounges, and it’s very upsetting to see.
Qantas hasn’t yet said when the lounges will re-open, but I would guess it’ll be a couple of months as that’s what the government is estimating. We may even see domestic travel ramp back up faster than international travel, but it’ll be some time before that happens.