Wish you could get into the Qantas lounge but don’t want to fork out for it? Access to the airlines’ lounges might become more affordable.

According to Executive Traveller, Qantas is considering opening its airport lounges to new members via a ‘low-cost subscription’ model. Travellers would be able to access Qantas Club lounges and International Qantas Business lounges for a low monthly fee.

The information comes from an online survey distributed to the Qantas Research Panel which the publication came across. The airline said “a subscription Qantas Club membership model” would provide “greater flexibility”, allowing members to pay as they go and cancel at any time. The online survey adds that access will be provided to Qantas-branded lounges only for a period of 28 days, with an auto-renew if not cancelled. Currently the airline offers Qantas Club membership packages to new members starting at $600 per year, plus a once-off $99 joining fee.

Two-year and four-year memberships are also available for $1,100 and $2,000 respectively. Qantas Club Membership benefits include bringing a plus one every time you use the lounge, access to last-minute upgrades to business on flights within Australia and additional checked in luggage. The proposed low-cost subscription would not include these benefits. The news hasn’t been well-received by current members and frequent flyers. “I’d prefer that you spend your money and effort upgrading the lounges to a better quality fit out,” said smckay on Australian Frequent Flyer’s forum.

Overcrowding is also a concern. “The last thing the domestic lounges of either QF or VA need in them is more people,” commented craigj77 on Executive Traveller. “MORE people in the lounges? It’s already pretty much at the point where it’s more enjoyable out in the terminal,” added Flying High. A low-cost subscription model would see Qantas competing with Virgin’s offering.

Currently Virgin Australia Lounge membership program starts at $399 per year. Squarely aimed at families, members can bring one adult and three kids as guests. The Qantas survey also suggested potential names for the monthly Qantas Club subscription service including Qantas Club Explorer Membership, Qantas Club Lite Membership and Qantas Club Value Membership.

How do you get into the lounge at the moment?

Qantas lounge access eligibility is based on the class of travel of your flight, your Frequent Flyer Membership tier or your Qantas Club membership status. There are six types of lounges. The Qantas Club is at the ground level of Qantas lounges. Qantas Club members and Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyer members can enter the lounge. The lounge offers snacks, tea and coffee making facilities, showers, free Wi-Fi, newspapers and magazines, and a family zone.

They won’t all offer the full range of amenities. Capital cities tend to have barista-coffee for example while smaller lounges might not have showers. Then there are the Qantas Domestic Business Lounges to which Platinum and Platinum One Qantas Frequent Flyers have access before they board a Qantas flight. You can also access the lounge if you are travelling in business class.

On the international front, there’s the Qantas International Business Lounge, then Premium International Lounges such as the excellent one in Singapore, International First Lounge and at the very top, the Chairman’s Lounge which is exclusive and by invitation-only. The higher the list, the swankier the lounge and its amenities.

Some credit cards offer complimentary lounge access, but this is usually in the form of a couple of passes per year.