Qantas Ups the Ante In Airport Lounges

21st Nov 2013

Now you would think twice if you will ever take the same flight again with your favorite carrier as soon as you hear the news that Qantas offers premium wines in airport lounges across Australia.

While the wines are not dispensed for gratis, it is enticing enough for those who want to imbibe a few shots of alcohol while lounging at the airport waiting for their flight. The new offering is sweetened even more to attract new customers as it is sold to members only using their frequent flyer points instead of cash.

The airline introduced the innovative offering, called Qantas epiQure, in the first week of November as a dry run which will last for six weeks til the end of December this year. The current trial is now running at the airline's domestic business lounge at the Sydney Airport.

Qantas epiQure station uses a self-service dispensing machine where customers can enjoy a glass or two of Australia's premium wines. They have an option to try at first by dispensing a 25ml. If they find it suits their taste they can dispense a full shot of 75ml onto their glass after swiping their Qantas Frequent flyer card.

The wine dispensing machine is an Enomatic, similar in type to the one found in David Jones' Elizabeth Street store in Sydney.

The wine dispenser is easy to use even for those who are uninitiated as they only need to swipe their Qantas Frequent Flyer card on the slot located atop the machine.

The Qantas epiQure has a current stock of two white wines and six red wines to choose from. Some of the most popular currently available include the 2009 Wolf Blass Platinum Label Shiraz, a 2011 Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, Penfolds Grange as well as Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz.

Customers can indulge themselves in as many shots as they please for as long as their QFF points can allow. For a taste of 2010 Penfolds Reserve Bin Chardonnay, for example, you need to swipe off 800 points from your card. For a half glass of '96 Hill of Grace or '07 Grange, meanwhile, you need to dispense 6,500 points off your total earnings.

It was noted that Grange was the most popular wine during the service debut, comprising 7 of the total 11 glasses sold.

The epiQure wine club is just one of Qantas' lounge innovations to improve its products and services offered to its loyal customers. Other innovations include downloading of digital newspapers and magazines, pop-up dining and even advance ordering of coffee using your smartphone.