Qantas has smashed the black market in lounge passes

The Qantas lounge in Perth. Image: Supplied.

Qantas has effectively put a block on the underground trade in lounge guest passes by switching to digital and scrapping paper.

Previous attempts to stop the trade in the free passes to the Qantas Club and international business lounges have failed.

eBay has at least twice removed Qantas guest passes for sale.

However, today the passes are still selling on online classified sites for between $30 and $60 each, depending on the expiry date. Both eBay and Gumtree have them for sale.

Silver Qantas frequent flyers and members of various credit card schemes get an annual free entry voucher to the Qantas Club each year.

A pass gets the bearer flying Qantas single entry into a domestic Qantas Club or international business lounge here and in some overseas airports.

Image: Screenshot from eBay

However, now these passes have been converted from paper to a digital with a Qantas login needed to link the lounge entry to a specific flight or allocate a pass to a family member or friend.

The passes can now only be allocated to a specific person and cannot be used by just anyone holding them.

The passes are issued with an expiry date. Once those run down, there will be no stock to sell online.

“Our customers are increasingly looking for digital solutions to improve their travel experience, so the digitalisation of our complimentary lounge invitations is another example of how we’re meeting those needs,” a Qantas spokesperson told Business Insider.

“Digital invitations are now available to our Silver Qantas Frequent Flyers and AMEX Qantas Premium cardholders.

“ANZ Frequent Flyer Black cardholders and those with a Westpac Altitude Black card who have opted in to the Altitude Qantas program will start receiving them in the near future, but in the meantime they can continue to use their paper invitations as normal.”

There are other ways to get into the Qantas Club.

You can pay an annual fee of $510 or, if you are eligible, you can buy a single use pass.

The single visit passes cost $49 or 7,000 Qantas points for domestic Qantas Club lounges, $69 or 9,900 points for international business class lounges and $99 or 14,500 points for the Premium International Ports lounges in Hong Kong and Singapore.

The scheme is a trial and, for now, can only be accessed by invitation and by bronze and silver frequent flyers and their travelling companions during off-peak periods.

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