While flying anything other than economy is a luxury not many of us can afford, buying your way into an airline's lounge at an airport is a much more affordable way to give yourself a taste of the luxury travel lifestyle.
The trouble is, not many business class lounges, and first class lounges in particular, will let economy passengers pay for access.
However, Qantas has quietly started opening up its lounges for as little as $35, Executive Traveller originally reported.
A spokesperson for the Australian airline confirmed the news to Insider.
"In order to best utilize our international lounges, we will from time to time offer paid access to select lounges outside of peak hours," they said.
"Paid access is dependent on sufficient space being available, after eligible customers from Qantas, Oneworld airlines and partner airlines are accommodated.
"Check-in staff will extend the offer only when capacity will allow."
If you're not flying with Qantas or one of its partner airlines such as Emirates or Jetstar, it's unclear how likely you are to actually gain access is unclear — it essentially comes down to the discretion of the lounge manager, Qantas explained.
Here are the lounges you can now pay to enter:
- Qantas First Class Lounge Los Angeles — $150
- Qantas Business Class Lounge Los Angeles — $75
- Qantas International Lounge London Heathrow — $71
- Qantas Business Class Lounge Hong Kong — $57
- Qantas Business Class Lounge Auckland — $39
- Qantas Business Class Lounge Wellington — $35
- Qantas Business Class Lounge Perth T4 — $48
The idea was trialled in London, at the Qantas London Lounge in Heathrow airport, and the company said it proved to be an effective way to allow more people to enjoy the lounge without affecting Qantas' business and first class travellers during peak times.
Qantas' lounges are undoubtedly some of the most stylish around, with more of a wellness focus than some of the airline's competitors.
In Perth, for example, there's a wellness studio.
As with all lounges, guests can help themselves to as much food and drink as they want — there is a buffet in all Qantas' lounges, and its first class and international lounges also offer complementary à la carte dining.
Both the menus and the interiors of Qantas' lounges have been designed to merge Australian culture with that of the location, so as well as an array of Australian wines and brunch classics like courgette and halloumi fritters, travellers in Heathrow, for example, can enjoy British scones and London gins.
And in the business class lounge in LA, there are plenty of plants to conjure up a sunny Californian feel — and help travellers forget they haven't been outside for hours — while working on the free WiFi or reading complementary magazines and newspapers.
While not all Qantas lounges have private shower suites, they all offer luxury toiletries by Australian brand Aurora Spa.