Australia

Feb 19, 2014

Qantas upgraded to bailout class: inside the plush pollies’ lounge

Politicians have been enjoying the largesse of Qantas for years, from membership to the exclusive Chairman's Lounge to free flight upgrades. Business writer and director John Addis says now it's time to pay the piper.

The frosted glass door marked “private” is easily missed by design. But a few minutes spent noting the people who pass through it quickly reveals the power of corporate Australia’s most effective influence machine.

13 comments

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13 thoughts on “Qantas upgraded to bailout class: inside the plush pollies’ lounge

  1. drmick

    So; the age of entitlement is only over for some eh?

    Perhaps this is why the other 99.9% of customers Qantas abuse, feed rubbish to, ignore, are rude to, leave cold ar$ed on the tarmac in a foreign country really dont give a flying fart if they go under.

  2. Arthur Moore

    No wonder the board is still employed and are exempt from the “No more Business Bailouts” by the Government”
    The age of democracy is ended in Australia we are now governed by the Media, the Miners, the Millionaires and the Money Men, no need to vote anymore guys

  3. rhonaj

    Why should anyone be surprised?

  4. zut alors

    Congratulations John Addis, the description of the Qantas Club lounge is a classic : ‘…stacked with greyed-out sky warriors and hi-vis miners loading up on chips and Cascade…’

    With the Chairman’s Club full to the gunwales with politicians I’m thankful not to have been invited to join.

  5. Brian Williams

    While accepting John’s point that the airlines are no doubt hoping for some kind of reciprocal gift, if and when it may be needed, the actual ‘cost’ of an upgrade is a fraction of the amount he claims.

    Upgrades to Business Class are only given if there are unsold seats available in Business, or if someone else has paid for a seat in Business and is then bumped up to First to make a Business seat available. Either way, the poli and/or his family are merely taking up a seat that was going to be empty anyway, and having already paid for their ‘cattle class’ seat, the only benefit they’re getting is better meals and drinks and more leg room. As they were never going to pay for an upgrade in the first place, the real cost to the airline of these ‘extras’ is probably under $100.

  6. Bill Parker

    Hey, I cannot wait to join!

    I have the A frame billboard “BUY QANTAS SHARES” ( sub-head “They’re going cheap”) nearly ready. Just jump in the ute and walk up and down St Georges Terrace with my trusty megaphone.

    Is that enough?

  7. macca

    Do Virgin do something similar?

  8. John Addis

    @ Brian Williams. That’s completely correct. But my point was about the obligation it creates in our politicians, not the absolute, and in this case negligible cost, to the company that delivers it.

    @ Macca. Yes. Current Virgin CEO ran the Chairman’s Lounge for QF when he was there and is now building ‘The Club’ invitation-only lounges for his new gig. Politicians are also getting free membership to it.

  9. Liamj

    Really we should thank Qantas, isolating the aristocrats from the peasants keeps the State blind and brings the guillotine that much closer.

  10. MJPC

    Liamj, I agree. Any society is only 3 Chairman lounge political invitations from a revolution.

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