Qantas Chairman’s Lounge: It doesn’t get any more elite than this

Qantas Chairman’s Lounge: It doesn’t get any more elite than this, by Miranda Devine.

Alan Joyce wields a disproportionate amount of power and influence, because everyone who’s anyone wants to belong to his invitation-only “Chairman’s Lounge”. …

The national carrier of the world’s most egalitarian nation ironically boasts the most elitist VIP lounge of any airline. Joyce himself once boasted that the Chairman’s Lounge was: “probably the most exclusive club in the country”.

Inside, in the Jetsons-inspired honeycomb-carpeted hush you will find politicians, media heavyweights, CEOs, judges, union leaders, models and celebrities, noshing companionably on free Neil Perry “inspired” gourmet meals on demand and lapping up fine champagnes and boutique beers.

It’s all truffled vinaigrette, Schultz bacon and sesame seed noughatine for lounge denizens, although last weekend’s champagne selection was more pedestrian than expected, featuring a Seppelt 2012 sparkling white.

In the Chairman’s Lounge you always score a complimentary flight upgrade, and obsequious staff will whisper in your ear when it’s your turn to board, so that you waste no time queuing with the hoi polloi.

So who’s in it?

There you’ll find such working class heroes of the political classes as Labor Senator Doug Cameron and Independent Jacqui Lambie. …

Among the more than 100 politicians who have declared membership are Liberals Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop, Josh Frydenberg, Julian Leeser and Kelly O’Dwyer. Labor’s Bill Shorten, Terri Butler, Jim Chalmers, Jason Claire, Emma Husar and Cameron also are among the Qantas elite, as is Lambie and the Greens’ Adam Bandt and Sarah Hanson-Young and Scott Ludlam. …

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s … been spotted in the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge, including one time last year when, as mere Communications Minister he was described as holding a “robust“ conversation behind the champagne flutes with Australian Republican Movement chairman Peter FitzSimons.

Buying politicians wholesale? Conflicts of interest?

Membership to the Chairman’s Lounge is a valuable gift, and the conflict of interest for politicians and media types is obvious, especially with such an ideological CEO as Joyce, who is fanatically committed to pushing same-sex marriage in his adopted land.

And when Qantas asks the federal government for taxpayer assistance, cabinet members who use the VIP facilities are deeply compromised. …

Politicians should not be in the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge. They should be out in the public areas of the airport with the voters, seeing how real people travel, not hiding behind the velvet curtains of the insider class.

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