As domestic borders restrictions begin to ease, and airlines gear up for what’s expected to be a bumper interstate travel season over Christmas – Qantas has announced it will reopen more lounges from December.
As a result of ongoing border closures through the pandemic, which has heavily impacted domestic travel around the country, most airline lounges were closed in an eight-month shutdown.
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Qantas hopes to be flying at 50 per cent pre-COVID numbers by Christmas.Source:Getty Images
But from December 2, the airline says it will open 35 of its lounges to cater for an expected operation close to 50 per cent of pre-COVID domestic capacity by Christmas.
The Qantas Club lounges set to open, including Brisbane, Hobart, Perth and Sydney as well as a number of regional lounges including Coolangatta, Devonport and Launceston, will look a little different.
The lounges will have ‘tray around service’ which will replace the buffet.Source:Supplied
An example of what a tray around service menu might look like.Source:Supplied
As part of the airline’s ‘Fly Well’ initiative, numbers into each lounge will be capped and the days of a self-serve buffet style station are well and truly gone. Instead, guests will have access to all-date hosted “snacking stations” as well as a ‘tray around service’, with staff bringing a selection of dishes to customers at their seats.
“As more of our customers return to the skies we’re delighted we can now re-open almost all of our lounges in time for Christmas,” Qantas chief customer officer Steph Tully said, with the DIY sandwich press and pancake station also off limits.
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Qantas will have snacking stations.Source:Supplied
The new way lounges will work.Source:Supplied
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“It’s another step towards returning the travel experience back to normal. It also means more of our people can get back to work.”
Virgin Australia is expected to announce next week how it will begin reopening its lounges and at what capacity they will operate.
States and territories have been under pressure from the Federal Government to drop their ‘hard border’ closures by Christmas.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison indicated earlier this week that a timetable for this, as well as international travel discussions, will be discussed at the next National Cabinet meeting on November 13.
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