Heathrow - Terminal 5

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Old Nov 23, 11, 10:04 am
  #166  
 
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Before you all rush off to complain to any consumer authority, please just let Qantas know, via a direct email and without threat or malice, that you would like a re-instatement of the benefits previously enjoyed, both at T5 AND elsewhere in the BA lounge network.

This is what I have done, and they have replied - and whilst it may be taking longer than I (and others) would like, I have to give Qantas some chance to negotiate with BA.

In my case, I made the point that BA also benefit from my lounge access - as I have been buying BA tickets to fly on BA metal to BA European and TATL destinations, which should be a point for Qantas to consider and use in their negotations. The whole idea behind the Qantas/BA Joint Service Agreement is that both parties benefit, and whilst I have no idea whether the QC / BA lounge deal is or was ever part of the JSA, this is a good example of how everyone should be able to share some of the cake.


Email received 21/11/2011 further to my original email as detailed in earlier posts to this thread.

Dear xxxxx

Thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention.

We are aware of the issue with regards to lounge access at Heathrow Terminal 5 for Qantas Club members and apologise for the confusion and no doubt frustration this is causing.

We are actively working to resolve the issue with British Airways and whilst we have yet to come to a resolution, we are hopeful of doing so as soon as possible.

Our apologies again for any inconvenience you may experience in the interim.

Kind regards

[ ]
Executive Relations
Qantas Airways Ltd
If you haven't communicated with Qantas, then how are they to judge the importance of this to us all ? Nice as it might be for FT to be an official channel, it isn't (AFAIK).

Last edited by PWOZUK; Nov 23, 11 at 10:39 am Reason: email date detail added
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Old Nov 23, 11, 10:19 am
  #167  
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Originally Posted by xintraveller View Post
This essentially to me is Bait and Switch in my opinion and urge all QC member to log an complaint with the British Consumer authority. I can understand if they want to change access policies however this shouldn't affect the existing members within the program and its life members such as myself ...

Unbelievable ...
How is it bait n switch? The QF terms clearly do state access to Executive Club and Terraces lounges of BA and BA is granting that. T5 has been around for quite a while and has been a Galleries lounge since it opened

Qantas doesnt have control over where BA has lounges nor what they designate them as

If it was Qantas rebranding lounges as non-club , then that would be different since Qantas does have control over its own lounges


It would be annoying to have this issue with club membership, but Qantas hasn't, that I see, misled anyone
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Old Nov 23, 11, 11:05 am
  #168  
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
How is it bait n switch? The QF terms clearly do state access to Executive Club and Terraces lounges of BA and BA is granting that. T5 has been around for quite a while and has been a Galleries lounge since it opened

Qantas doesnt have control over where BA has lounges nor what they designate them as

If it was Qantas rebranding lounges as non-club , then that would be different since Qantas does have control over its own lounges


It would be annoying to have this issue with club membership, but Qantas hasn't, that I see, misled anyone
Come on Dave, that is a cop-out. QF are advertising that you get entry to BA and AA lounges, sure it is in the fine print that it is Terraces and Executive Club Lounges, but that is not the point, the bold print says access to BA lounges.

If you can't get it at BA's largest hub, then it is untruthful advertising. And it isn't actually QF's fault, since they are pursuing the matter with BA.

After all, what is to stop them rebranding QP's as "Flight Deck Lounge's" and then denying QP members admission, based upon the fact that they bought Qantas Club admission, rather than Flight Deck Lounge admission?

It doesn't work that way, a reasonable person, buying QP membership, where admission to BA lounges was a benefit, would reasonably expect access to BA lounges at their major hub - T5.

BA rebranding it just doesn't cut it, sorry Dave.

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Old Nov 23, 11, 11:07 am
  #169  
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
How is it bait n switch?
I can't see how this is bait and switch in the traditional sense.

But there is a more subtle complaint about QF: that by its words and conduct, it has encouraged or allowed people to believe that the words "Terraces and Executive Club lounges", written at a time when they encompassed all BA business class lounges, continue to mean "all BA business class lounges" - ie that the words should be interpreted as also including "Galleries lounges".

It's not a natural interpretation of the words "Terraces and Executive Club lounges". If QF says and does nothing to support the interpretation, then QF would be in the clear. But if QF effectively promotes this wider interpretation, and customers sign up to Qantas Club on the strength of that interpretation, then QF has a vulnerability - particularly if the effect of the wider interpretation is withdrawn without any prior notice, and in a manner which is liable to leave Club members embarrassed or humiliated in public.

And there are things that QF has said and done which could be construed as promotion of this interpretation; and at the very least there is positive evidence that QF's understanding of the situation included the wider interpretation - so it could not honestly claim never to have believed that Galleries lounges were excluded from Club benefits.

Having said that, I agree with PWOZUK's approach: now is not (yet) the time to be making big waves. It's clear that QF is trying to see what can be done, even if that attempt might ultimately prove unsuccessful.

But more importantly, where are our manners? Welcome to FT, xintraveller!
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Old Nov 23, 11, 11:50 am
  #170  
 
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Angry

Originally Posted by PWOZUK View Post
Before you all rush off to complain to any consumer authority, please just let Qantas know, via a direct email and without threat or malice, that you would like a re-instatement of the benefits previously enjoyed, both at T5 AND elsewhere in the BA lounge network.
Hi there PWOZUK,

Well unfortunately this is not the email I received, I received the following,

Qantas has an agreement with British Airways that allows Qantas Club members to access British Airways Terraces and Executive Club lounges worldwide when they are travelling onward on a Qantas or British Airways service. Read about partner lounge access by clicking on the following link: http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airl...lobal/en#jump1.
If BA is renaming their Terraces lounges when they go under refurbishment to Galleries and up until 2008 they didn't have a single lounge named as "galleries", in fact this is the name they chose since the opening of T5. Before Terraces it was British Airways Executive Club (which still exists in Certain locations) ...

So tell me how this is not bait and Switch? I somewhat agree that Qantas has truly nothing to do with this. However they are certainly not supporting its loyal members.

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Old Nov 23, 11, 12:14 pm
  #171  
 
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Angry Qantas Club access at Heathrow T5

Originally Posted by PWOZUK View Post
This is what I have done, and they have replied - and whilst it may be taking longer than I (and others) would like, I have to give Qantas some chance to negotiate with BA.
Well I have already communicated with Qantas, an this is the reply I received,

"Qantas has an agreement with British Airways that allows Qantas Club members to access British Airways Terraces and Executive Club lounges worldwide when they are travelling onward on a Qantas or British Airways service. Read about partner lounge access by clicking on the following link: http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/qantas-club-lounge-access/global/en#jump1."

My problem is that BA is now opening all their new lounges as Galleries and renaming some of the old ones (Terraces and Executive Club) as Galleries. This is essentially some sense of fraud to the existing customers. I sincerely hope Qantas sorts this out, because according to the Lounge staff, Qantas is full aware of this and they(Qantas) was already told about this withdrawal. I am wondering if Qantas is playing games with its members.
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Old Nov 23, 11, 12:27 pm
  #172  
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
I can't see how this is bait and switch in the traditional sense.

But there is a more subtle complaint about QF: that by its words and conduct, it has encouraged or allowed people to believe that the words "Terraces and Executive Club lounges", written at a time when they encompassed all BA business class lounges, continue to mean "all BA business class lounges" - ie that the words should be interpreted as also including "Galleries lounges".

It's not a natural interpretation of the words "Terraces and Executive Club lounges". If QF says and does nothing to support the interpretation, then QF would be in the clear. But if QF effectively promotes this wider interpretation, and customers sign up to Qantas Club on the strength of that interpretation, then QF has a vulnerability - particularly if the effect of the wider interpretation is withdrawn without any prior notice, and in a manner which is liable to leave Club members embarrassed or humiliated in public.
One should never sign up to anything expecting that a general comment would override the agreed to T&Cs

It does sound like, that in this case, Qantas themselves only really became aware of the issue of distinction recently, so what they may have been suggesting could well have been in completely good faith

It sounds more like that someone at BA has identified exactly what the agreement with Qantas is and that they are putting effort in to enforce that agreement. Perhaps BA just want to restrict access, perhaps they want more money or maybe it is an oversight at BA in that they never intended to restrict galleries access , just that the terms do

Overall I cannot see this as anything close to any form of bait and switch, traditional or otherwise

With bait and switch you would be missing out on something that was promised, here nothing promised has been refused. Galleries at T5 has been around a lot longer than a year , so only lifetime members and those with 4 year memberships taken out before March 2008 will have actually had any possibility of a switch occurring since taking out membership

By this argument, Qantas enforcing the 4 flight rule would be a "bait and switch"
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Old Nov 23, 11, 4:40 pm
  #173  
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
It does sound like, that in this case, Qantas themselves only really became aware of the issue of distinction recently, so what they may have been suggesting could well have been in completely good faith
That may well be the case, but it wouldn't absolve Qantas of responsibility.

Indeed, it would be hard for Qantas to say "our T&Cs never offered this to you" if Qantas itself thought for several years that their T&Cs did offer this to Club members.
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
With bait and switch you would be missing out on something that was promised, here nothing promised has been refused.
The latter is, as I have said, arguable - that depends on the meaning of the words in the promise which may be something other than their literal meaning.

After all, Qantas may themselves have thought for several years that the words in their promise meant something other than their literal meaning, as you yourself have just pointed out.
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
By this argument, Qantas enforcing the 4 flight rule would be a "bait and switch"
Actually, our one big complaint about Qantas was precisely the enforcement of the 4-flight rule - or, more precisely, the decision to start enforcing the 4-flight rule for the first time in the middle of a member's membership year, so that flights already credited to Qantas in the membership year to date, in accordance with a plan drawn up before the membership year began on the strength of many years of established contrary practice by Qantas, were wasted for the purposes of earning status.

There was a solid legal route for a complaint, but eventually we obtained our remedy differently by in effect withdrawing our business from QFFF.
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Old Nov 24, 11, 7:22 am
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It is an extraordinary distinction to make, because BA itself does not distinguish between Terraces and Galleries lounges, other than as part of a refurbishment and rebranding exercise. A business class ticket admits you to both; a Silver EC card admits you to both, and a OW Sapphire card admits you to both. Until now a QF Club card has admitted you to both.

In those circumstances I don't think anyone can truthfully say that the wording in the QF Club literature was intended to distingish between the two types of lounge, which are treated indistingishably elsewhere, particularly when the wording in the OF Club literature has not changed since the introduction of the Galleries lounges years ago.

BA doesn't offer paid lounge access. I wonder if BA has pulled the plug on this because either too many UK based memebers of the QF Club were obtaining LHR lounge access in this way, or because it is planning to introduce its own paid lounge access scheme?
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Old Nov 24, 11, 6:47 pm
  #175  
 
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Quite simple really.

When I joined QC (about 2004) the Terms and Conditions stated:
Access to Partner airline loungesIn addition to Qantas Club lounges, you can relax in British Airways lounges (Terraces and Executive Club lounges), American Airlines® Admirals Club lounges and US Airways Club lounges.
The distinction around the BA Lounges was simply so that QC Members did not expect to be able to access the Concorde Lounge. No ambiguity - Business Lounge access.

The wording hasn't actually changed (just the QF emphasis on ONLY!)

What has changed is that the benefit of access to the BA's Business Lounges, this at their main hub - and whether this is material or not. It doesn't matter who has decided on the change since the contract is with Qantas.

If Qantas are saying that members have never had access to Galleries Lounges then Qantas must be aware that a major benefit (BA Business Lounge access at BA's Hub) was removed, therefore Qantas themselves are remiss in that their own T&Cs require them to inform:
4.3 Qantas will give notice of any material changes to these Terms and Conditions that will apply to a Member's then current membership period by providing a written notice by email or mail to an address provided to Qantas by the Member, as well as by publishing the changes on the Qantas Club pages of qantas.com.
Qantas need to get their story sorted - whichever way they choose to interpret history (BA are refusing access now/You've never had access) - and they need to get it sorted QUICKLY.


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Old Nov 24, 11, 9:52 pm
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Just an update, Red Roo said it would be another day.. then nothing came. When I queried, we were then told it would be another week. Let's see how long this game goes on.
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Old Nov 24, 11, 10:11 pm
  #177  
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Two more AFF posts on this from Red Roo this week:
Originally Posted by Red Roo
[Mon 21st Nov]
I am not sure who at BA said that denied lounge access is because Qantas does not want to pay, but I can say this in completely incorrect. Money is not the issue here.

I am hoping to come back to you with a resolution/update by tomorrow.

Cheers,
Red Roo
Originally Posted by Red Roo
[Thu 24th Nov]
Quick update just to let you know that we have not forgotten just been a minor delay. Will come back to you again next week.

Cheers,
Red Roo
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Old Nov 29, 11, 8:00 am
  #178  
 
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Not sure if Red Roo has replied yet on AFF.

Two data points:
Tuesday November 22: Presented boarding pass for onward BA Domestic flight (showing Ruby (QF) status) and QC Card at T5 Terraces. Entry refused with long explanation and printed chart (they declined to let me take a copy with me) showing how QC cards are mostly useless for entry except at T3, and PS cards are totally useless for entry (fair enough).
Tuesday November 29 (20 minutes ago): Presented boarding pass for BA International Flight (showing Ruby (QF) status) at T5 Terraces; BP was scanned and QC Card requested for sighting. Welcome given.

I was actually a bit disappointed as I had planned to try out some of the local draft ales in the Wetherspoon's pub just below the lounge.... Now off to see what Terraces has to offer.

Last edited by jrobin; Nov 29, 11 at 8:02 am Reason: clarity
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Old Nov 29, 11, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by jrobin View Post
Tuesday November 29 (20 minutes ago): Presented boarding pass for BA International Flight (showing Ruby (QF) status) at T5 Terraces; BP was scanned and QC Card requested for sighting. Welcome given.
T5 Terraces or Galleries? If Terraces, then of course you would have access as that's one of the stated lounges. I thought T5 was Galleries only?
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Old Nov 29, 11, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by jrobin View Post
Not sure if Red Roo has replied yet on AFF.

Two data points:
Tuesday November 22: Presented boarding pass for onward BA Domestic flight (showing Ruby (QF) status) and QC Card at T5 Terraces. Entry refused with long explanation and printed chart (they declined to let me take a copy with me) showing how QC cards are mostly useless for entry except at T3, and PS cards are totally useless for entry (fair enough).
Tuesday November 29 (20 minutes ago): Presented boarding pass for BA International Flight (showing Ruby (QF) status) at T5 Terraces; BP was scanned and QC Card requested for sighting. Welcome given.
BA doesn't have any Terraces lounges in any of A B or C parts of T5 unless this changed within the last 2 weeks of my travel out of T5. If you were allowed on the 29th, then Qantas has made some progress... is there anyway, you can let the members know what was in the "printed Chart" that BA gave you on the 22nd?

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