An Update On Access To The Qantas First Class Lounge LAX

Filed Under: Qantas

A couple of days ago I wrote about how the Qantas First Class Lounge LAX can’t seem to follow oneworld lounge access rules. Representatives at the lounge have been denying many AAdvantage Executive Platinum members access, in particular when they’re on the inbound portion of an international trip, where they absolutely are entitled to access.


Some people said they were informed by the lounge staff that American was refusing to pay Qantas for access, which seems like a BS excuse. Alliances have a set of published rules, and airlines have to follow them.

I suspected this was just a case of several misinformed agents rather than an actual policy change on the part of Qantas. The staff in this lounge have a history of making up rules, and unfortunately this is something that seems to be coming from the top, as in the past the lounge manager sent out an email to associates telling them to call the cops on passengers if they try to “bully” their way in (based on the rest of his email and misinformation he was spreading, insisting the lounge follows the oneworld policy seems to be considered “bullying”).

Anyway, AusBT reports that they’ve received a response from Qantas regarding this situation. Qantas has confirmed that they have not changed access rules to the LAX first class lounge, and will remind the lounge associates of these rules:

“We want all of our customers to have an enjoyable pre-flight experience and wouldn’t want to deny an eligible lounge member the opportunity to sample Neil Perry’s salt and pepper squid before they fly” the spokesperson quipped.

“There are a number of different lounge access policies across our network and we are working hard to ensure our lounge hosts in LA are trained and understand which frequent flyer members are eligible to access both (first class and business class) lounges.”

AusBT recommends the following if you find yourself in the situation of incorrectly being denied access:

1. Make sure you’ve got proof of your status and your inbound international flight.

2. Show this article to the lounge concierge and draw their attention to the earlier quotes from Qantas.

3. Click here to call up the relevant set of rules for access to Oneworld lounges and point out the relevant paragraphs to the lounge staffer.

4. Be civil and courteous at all times, but stick to your guns and stand your ground. Don’t accept any off-hand reason for being refused access. Unless there’s a dire situation such as standing-room-only overcrowding, you’re fully entitled to enjoy the first class lounge.


Bottom line

It’s nice to hear from Qantas that nothing has changed, though it’s ridiculous that this problem is persisting. The associates manning the front desk in the Qantas lounge have one primary job, which is to let people who are entitled to access into the lounge, and it’s ridiculous that they can’t do that correctly. What we don’t know is whether they’re choosing to interpret the rules incorrectly individually, if a manager is giving them incorrect information, or what.

If you find yourself in this situation, please be firm and report back on your experience so we can make sure this issue is solved once and for all.

  1. Love it when California leftist socialism is halted. Good for Qantas making those agents follow the oneworld rules carved in stone!

  2. I’ll have to check again but as far as i’m aware socialist literature doesn’t mention lounge access at airports.

  3. @Melissa : what the hell is wrong with you ? i don’t see how Qantas lounge dragons have ANYTHING to do with the mindless rant you made ?

    Or are you one of those Allegiant flyers from the Dakotas that’s jealous because Qantas flies to California and not your state ?

  4. Whilst this is good news i’m curious as to how the ‘rules’ seem to be applied by various OneWorld Airlines especially when it comes to First Class lounge access for OneWorld Emeralds.

    I’ll give Qatar as an example. How is it that they are able to escape the rules when it comes to lounge access? LHR for example. They have their own QR joint First/Business lounge yet if you are a OneWorld Emerald card holder they refuse you admission and send you off to the Skyteam lounge which is a business class equivalent.

    In Doha the scenario is similar (albeit they do have a designated lounge for Emeralds although it is far inferior to their own F (or even J) lounges.

    How is it that some airlines are forced to follow the rules whilst others seem able to circumvent them?

  5. Lucky,
    If I am executive platinum and fly AA from LAX-YYZ, will I get access to the Qantas lounge. Do they consider Canada international?

  6. I had an issue with the Qantas first class lounge in Sydney. I booked a first class ticket in American for my mom and a business ticket for my Aunt. I confirmed with American elite services that she could bring a guest into the loung, as stated in the one world lounge policies. Even printed out the rules for them. They refused to let her bring in her guest. I had to contact the elite services people via email to personally go there, and they finally let them in. But not before her spa treatment was cancelled and making them feel awful for trying to enter. Sucks because they will likely never get a chance to experience first class international again. This was in mid-October. Seems like they have a policy to not follow the rules, no matter what.

  7. @Moe
    Canada, Mexico (besides Mexico City), and the Caribbean are not considered international as far as access to the QF lounge. I’ve gone several times with Mexico City as my destination with no issues whatsoever. Worth the walk over to the TBIT.

  8. I agree with @Melissa. Qantas allowing AA EP access is a victory for Trump, and a victory for the American people. It is, after all, AMERICAN Airlines.

  9. “Workers unite! Seize the means of day drinking and showering in strange places!” – Das Kapital

  10. I was in the lounge yesterday morning , absolutely no issues getting in . There must have been no more than 5 people in the lounge ! On a side note.. I was flying first to Pudong and AA’s hard product is very very tired. Tiny little tv screen attached to that moving arm, awful selection, seat as hard as a rock… what a pity but I guess First on American is just not really First these days.

  11. I arrived today from Shanghai on American in business. As an EXP I had absolutely no trouble accessing the lounge. The Qantas agent at the front desk said he appreciated me having my PVG boarding pass and my connecting boarding pass to SFO. He could not have been any more accommodating.

  12. Seems the new ausbt article stresses domestic access after an inbound international flight, rather than just status.

    Looking at the oneworld page from 3/27/14 (
    “American Airlines AAdvantage® members, regardless of their tier status or class of travel, cannot access American Airlines lounges when travelling solely on North American flights…”

    on 5/31/14 (
    “American Airlines AAdvantage® members and US Airways Dividend Miles members, regardless of their tier status or class of travel, are not eligible for lounge access when travelling solely on North American flights … ”

    and today (
    “American Airlines AAdvantage® members, regardless of their tier status or class of travel, are not eligible for lounge access when travelling solely on North American….”

    Seems like as part of the merger that statement was changed to cover all lounges, and not just AA lounges. Yet the year-old AusBT article does mention that emerald status is sufficient for solely domestic flights.

    Poorly phrased page? Or actual change of policy?

  13. Just tried to enter Qantas First lounge at LAX during transit on a return trip on American Airlines flight from Hong Kong. It was around 6pm and lounge was quite empty but was politely denied access due to capacity. (I am Executive Platinum as well as Marco Polo Gold)

    I did ask for manager (Jordan) who was also very polite. I offered to leave it became full as I understood that they need to protect their brand, but he remained steadfast in his assertion that he was told from “higher” that he cannot allow access. Clearly not something the staff on site is making up.

    However, I was told by his assistant, a young polite African American gentleman, that this lounge really “isn’t a Oneworld lounge…that’s why it says Qantas First.” (That dude was free styling for reasons)
    As I was tired and did not want to make a scene,I left.

    Long story short, it’s January 2017 and Qantas First Lounge at LAX is still denying AA Emerald access on international flights.

  14. As I write this, I am enraged and SHOCKED!

    I was denied access as an Executive Platinum member (good through 1/18) last month flying to Miami (3 class trans-con) in C (Business Class), which leaves out of the international terminal-so I was completely denied access to any lounge, not having the energy or time to go back to the 4th Terminal from Tom Bradley. The snooty, rude guy said, oh, you’re in business class, you’re lounge ins next door. It was on a round trip ticket, but he didn’t seem to be concerned with that at all, he was only concerned that I was going in business class.

    It was an early morning flight and I didn’t have the energy to argue with him, but I was really enraged and reading this now fully awake makes me more irritated. Please let me know if 3 class trans-con travel (I believe his is the only one that is to Miami, the others are trans=con 3 class flights from SFO-JFK and LAXJFK, and always leave out of terminal 4 as they would never risk irritating a JFK bound passenger.

    At any rate, I feel that making EXP is not easy (I flew over 200,000 miles last year, and this was really a slap in the face. I can’t remember the guys name (I wish I had taken it down or taken a picture of him, but to say call the police if we try to push our way in, I can’t believe that. It makes me not want to go to Australia again, they really don’t realize the consequences of their rude actions.

  15. Rpderick Renfrew PHD
    The snotty guy was correct if you’re traveling solely to MIA the lounge access is determined by the class not by tier (refer earlier post of AA policy)
    You MUST be onbound connecting to an International flight on your arrival into MIA
    I’ve flown many time with AA and visited the 1st class lounge and never had a problem
    The snotty guy is extremely courteous and helpful maybe if provide all the required information you’d receive the same 1st Class treatment I received by all the staff

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