Not Flying First or Business? You Can Still Get into an Airport Lounge

Qantas lounge access

Free-flowing bubbles, wine and beer. Delicious, savoury bites and delicate desserts. And best of all, no noisy crowds — just peace and quiet. There’s a reason airport lounges are so appealing to travellers.

But while flying or business class ensures you’re allowed in, what can you do if you’re flying economy and still want to be treated to that before-flight VIP experience? What are some other ways you can get into an airport lounge? Ahead, we share just a few ways.

Purchase an Annual Membership

If you travel often, this is probably your best value option. Qantas Club has a one-time joining fee of $99 or 16,000 points, and then a one-year membership charge of $600. The longer the membership period, the more you could save. Rumour has it, once a year, membership cost is slashed by almost half.

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Membership will also give you access to Emirates Business Lounge in Dubai, American Airlines Admirals Club lounges and Alaska Airlines lounges in LA, Seattle, Anchorage and Portland.

Meanwhile, Virgin Australia’s lounge membership fee is $399 per year or $9,750 for lifetime access. The joining fee is waived if you’re a Velocity member.

Lounge access for Virgin Australia passengers is available when travelling on partners United Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Virgin Atlantic, Qatar Airways, South African Airways and Air Canada. Check the partner airlines’ website to get more information on lounge availability and your eligibility.

Buy a One-Off Lounge Pass

Only want one-off access to a lounge? Buy a single-entry pass, though, note that it’s subject to availability so you aren’t guaranteed a spot.

If you’re a Qantas frequent flyer, you might get an email invite to buy a lounge pass two-to-five days before your flight. On Virgin Australia, a single-entry pass can be purchased for $65 from the reception of the airport lounge itself.

Reach Elite Status With an Airline

Qantas Club members who earn 350,000 points in a membership year may be eligible for Points Club Plus benefits, which include a Qantas Club individual membership.

If you’re a Velocity Platinum or Gold member, you’ll get complimentary lounge access every time you’re travelling on a Virgin Australia flight.

Buy Priority Pass

Another way into a lounge is by buying a membership to an independent airport lounge access program. One of the biggest is Priority Pass, which gives you access to over 1,300 lounges around the world.

Enter With a Member

For domestic flights, Qantas Club members can bring one guest to join them. For international flights, they can also bring a guest, but both of you need to be travelling on the same flight.

Use a Special Credit Card

Certain credit card annual memberships in Australia will include one-off lounge passes to Qantas or Virgin Australia lounges.

Ask If Your Flight Is Delayed or Cancelled

If your flight is delayed or cancelled and you aren’t offered lounge access, it’s worth asking if it’s available.

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