Cheers to Canberra Lounge Staff


There’s been a lot of debate over the membership of the Qantas Chairman’s Club.

Case in point in this opinion piece: High Court judges in Canberra offered access to the invitation-only club in the wake of recent reporting that involved the airline’s final legal challenge over sacked workers.

At no time is there any suggestion of wrong-doing by judges who are entitled to Business Class trips as part work policy.

As a result, The Federal Court will now establish a public register for judges to disclose membership of the Qantas Chairman’s Club.

In this discussion, there are forgotten heroes.

In my weekly travels through Canberra Airport, Lounge staff are at the centre of this discussion and it’s the opinion of this reporter, they should be commended for their work.

It’s more than just “Checking you in”. I’ve witnessed staff go above and beyond for passengers when disruptions occur.

From finding alternative flights to just a simple smile and a chat – their actions have gone a long way. I’ve witnessed these human beings do more than just their job. It’s that classic one-on-one interaction that makes a huge difference to a passenger.

Hopefully, the new C.E.O. Will recognise this and embrace further resolutions to make the flying public at the forefront of Qantas and I hope this will be considered as an open letter to Vanessa Hudson.

Allowing staff to make discretionary decisions, whether it’s upgrades, transfers or even re-bookings, brings peace of mind for the traveller.

It’s a practice that is seldom seen anymore because of company policy that dictates a passenger must call the reservations phone number – then you get told about potential change fees. If you’re at the airport, it’s something that should be up to the discretion of airline staff member.

This is where the Lounge Staff come in. Policy has been a threat to the staff member.

As I’ve witnessed, there are some action’s that can’t performed because of policy. Others have gone out of their way to follow policy, to find a good resolution to the problem involving a passenger’s interrupted journey. All with a smile on their face when dealing with customers.

Policy makers are not on the frontline of service, such as airline agents.

As a former airline employee myself, The Lounge Agents should be commended for what they do each day to help passengers navigate airline policies and help them reach their final destination.

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