Last year, savvy American Airlines flyers leaped at the opportunity provided by Qantas, a member of the Oneworld alliance and AA’s strategic partner. For just USD $203, they secured Qantas Club memberships, which, in essence, doubled as quasi-Admirals Club memberships thanks to this alliance partnership. This unbeatable deal left many wondering if it would be just a one-time opportunity, but as it turns out, there’s more to celebrate for those who took the plunge.
Renewal Reminder for Qantas Club Members
If you were one of the savvy American Airlines flyers who seized the Qantas Club deal last year, it’s time to check your email. Qantas has sent out renewal notices, offering a fantastic deal for continuing your membership.
Renewing your Qantas Club membership will only set you back AUD $410. As of this writing, that’s a mere USD $260, a fraction of the cost of an Admirals Club membership. What’s more, if you act promptly and renew before your listed expiration date, Qantas will waive the AUD $99 (USD $63) initiation fee, sweetening the deal even further. It goes without saying this fee should be paid with a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, even if the purchase is made from the US.
Accessing the Admirals Club with Qantas Club Membership
Although some Admirals Club agents may have initially scratched their heads at the sight of a Qantas card, the membership is valid for access to the Admirals Club when flying with American Airlines or Qantas same-day. This benefit drew many AA loyalists to purchase a cheaper Qantas Club membership. It’s worth carrying the physical membership card to help expedite your entry into the lounge – and remember, the IATA code for Qantas is “QF” if you’re ever asked.
Bringing Along a Guest: Qantas Club vs. Admirals Club Membership
One drawback of accessing the Admirals Club via Qantas is the reduced guest allowance. Qantas Club members can bring along one guest on the same Passenger Name Record (PNR) when accessing the Admirals Club. This is in contrast to purchasing Admirals Club membership directly from American Airlines or Citi, which typically provides access for the primary member and up to two additional guests, regardless of whether they are on the same PNR.
Oneworld Acceptance Varies
While Qantas Club membership has been a fantastic deal for accessing the Admirals Club, it’s important to note that this reciprocity doesn’t necessarily apply universally among Oneworld airlines. The Oneworld Alliance is built on reciprocity, where member airlines collaborate to provide mutual benefits to their passengers. However, not all airlines within the alliance offer the same level of lounge access privileges. For instance, British Airways doesn’t sell paid lounge memberships to its own members, and therefore, they aren’t obligated to honor paid memberships from other Oneworld carriers. To access BA lounges, travelers typically need to be flying business class or hold Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status. So, while the Qantas Club membership might grant you access to the AA’s lounges, it’s essential to be aware of the specific policies of each Oneworld airline when it comes to lounge access.
Admirals Club Costs Soar
While Qantas Club members are enjoying low renewal rates, American Airlines is heading in the opposite direction. The airline has recently raised the cost of an Admirals Club membership from $650 to $850 per year. Additionally, the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, which offers Admirals Club membership as one of its perks, has increased its annual fee from $450 to $595. To add salt to the wound, a new $175 fee has been introduced for up to three authorized users, a privilege that was previously free.
For those who pounced on the Qantas Club deal last year, renewing your membership at just $260 is a no-brainer, especially when compared to the soaring costs of Admirals Club access through American Airlines. Keep an eye on your email for renewal notices, and don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to continue enjoying Admirals Club access at a fraction of the price.