Connect with us


Inside Australia's airports is an elusive and exclusive club. So who gets in?



Inside many of Australia's major airports is an elusive, and very exclusive, private club.

Nevermind getting through packed security lines in a crowded domestic airport, the bar for entry to the Qantas Chairman's Lounge is much, much higher.

But what exactly is this VIP lounge, and who is allowed within its hallowed halls?

READ MORE: Alan Joyce expected to exit Qantas with final $24m payout

What is the Qantas Chairman's Lounge?

The Chairman's Lounge is a members-only club for VIP clients travelling on domestic flights within Australia.

Outgoing Qantas CEO Alan Joyce once called it "the most exclusive club in the country".

Its members are made up of Australia's political and corporate elite, with invitations extended to members of parliament, celebrities and the chief executives of the country.

Forget waiting for your flight perched on a stiff plastic chair - the chairman's lounge is a luxurious and private oasis within Australia's domestic airports.

READ MORE: New Qantas CEO must pilot airline through headwinds

The entrances to the Qantas chairman's lounge are nondescript.

Entry is found through a "secret door," not signposted like the publicly accessible lounges.

It boasts private rooms and bathrooms, reading areas and a suite of bars, buffets and restaurants.

One regular visitor, describing the allure of the lounge to Nine newspaper the Australian Financial Review, quipped: "Part of the wankiness, as well as the secret doors, is the fact you could ask for absolutely anything, even if it's not on the menu, and it will be cooked pretty quickly, just for you."

In addition to champagne and charcuterie, lounge members have a special boarding call for their flight, to ensure they can wait in comfort until every other passenger has boarded their plane.

How much does it cost to get in?

For entry to the Qantas chairman's lounge, it's not about the money.

And you can't trade in frequent flier points either.

So how do you get in then?

Membership to the elite lounge has to date been approved by Qantas chairman Richard Goyder and erstwhile CEO Alan Joyce.

Joyce's successor to the top job, Vanessa Hudson will now make the call on who gets in.

Otherwise, the secrets on how to join are held close to the company's chest.

READ MORE: Qatar Airways expansion could have slashed fares by 40 per cent, Virgin chief says

Qantas chairman's lounge

Who is in the club?

Every member of Australia's parliament is invited to join with a "plus one" extended to a person of their choosing.

They don't all accept the invitation, but almost all have.

Labor Senator Tony Sheldon, a former union leader and a long-time Joyce adversary, has reportedly rejected a membership, with Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie also on the out.

Greens MP Max Chandler-Mather is reportedly also not a member.

In August 2023 it was reported Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's 23-year-old son Nathan was extended membership to the club.

The rest of the club's membership is made up of A-list celebrities and high-flying corporate executives.

It is not uncommon for large companies that choose to book staff flights with Qantas often have membership offered for their chairman, CEO, and sometimes CFO.

The Chairman's Lounge in Brisbane, one of six around the country.

Where are they?

There are six Chairman's Lounges in total, scattered around Australia's major airports.

Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide are home to the exclusive lounges.

Inside, Qantas staff are on call at all times to assist with any travel arrangements that could arise.

While some have claimed the lounge is used as a way to curry favour between Qantas and the business and political sectors, Joyce has insisted membership to the lounge is only "a commercial arrangement".

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *