Etihad cuts Melbourne lounge entry fee, now sells access to VIP room

By David Flynn, January 8 2018
Etihad cuts Melbourne lounge entry fee, now sells access to VIP room

Etihad Airways has dropped the price for walk-up access to its Melbourne Airport lounge, while also making the private VIP room – previously reserved for high flyers on the Airbus A380's extravagant three-room Residence suite – available for a flat $40 fee.

Members of the airline's Etihad Guest frequent flyer scheme will now be charged $75 per person, down from $99, to visit the lounge if they're not flying in business class or first class.

Silver-grade Etihad Guest members will see that further reduced to $65 per passenger.

The VIP Room is also up for grabs for an additional $40, regardless of its you're a solo flying looking for privacy or a group of corporate travellers with important business to discuss or conference calls to make before the flight.

The VIP Room has reportedly seen little use since Etihad axed its Airbus A380 service between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi.

Etihad advises that would-be lounge guests can pay on the day of their flight at the lounge, with availability of the VIP Room on a first-come, first-served basis.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 914

The rent on this lounge would be huge in addition to the significant fitout and operating costs. VA already use it for LAX and HKG services though really do need a branded lounge in MEL Int'l and SYD Int'l. Maybe EY will seek to reduce the overall costs by eventually dual branding their lounges in both these ports as both VA and EY.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2016

Total posts 109

Yes, that is a great idea to have the dual brand lounge. It is atrocious that VA has an international base in Melbourne and Sydney and not have a lounge... this is where QF really has VA falling behind.

05 Sep 2017

Total posts 5

If it was dual branded, it would have to be available for all VA international ops - including trans-tasman. It would suddenly become a crowded lounge.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 914

If EY are flogging paid entry to non-tier customers, it is safe to say there is lots of capacity available. Remember the 2 main VA int'l services are already using the EY Lounge so the only addition from those 2 services would be non-tier Lounge members.

Trans-Tasman would not be excessive particularly if it was for VA ticketed pax only with NZ ticketed pax remaining in the NZ Lounge which is likely to be the case. Of course, NZ may not like such an arrangement as I assume they charge VA a fee per-head arrangement on VA pax using the NZ Lounge and the loss of this revenue would be a direct cost to them.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

02 Jul 2015

Total posts 17

That's good news for those VA Platinum and Gold members who are travelling with family and are only permitted one guest. Simply sign up the other adult to an Etihad
membership ahead of the flight.

08 Jan 2018

Total posts 4

I am a VA platinum member and I am soon going to HK with my cousin and his wife on the new VA direct flight from Melbourne.

I’ve see that I can only get one guest into the lounge before I fly. Can I just pay for my cousins wife to get in and then my cousin can be my guest? Why do I need to sign them up to Etihad membership ahead of the flight?

Etihad - Etihad Guest

02 Jul 2015

Total posts 17

@Gordonaus1 You don't have to sign them up but by doing so you save $24 which will help to cover the cost of your luggage trolley and taxi to the airport. Probably won't take longer than 2 minutes to complete the online application.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2014

Total posts 128

Probably a dumb question - but does the Etihad Guest member have to be flying Etihad that day, or can use ahead of other flights (eg Virgin TT)? $75 is pretty reasonable..

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2018

Total posts 1

Hi Everyone - hoping you can help me with a query about the Etihad lounge in Melbourne. I'm going to be flying to LAX with VA in June 2018, and as a Velocity Platinum member I am entitled to access the Etihad lounge. However, as my flight departs MEL at 11.40am, I don't know whether the Etihad lounge will be open, as their first flight for the day leaves at approx 4.00pm, and the lounge only opens approx. 3 hours prior to departure. Has anyone encountered this before, or can give me any guidance? Thanks!

The lounge will be open for this flight: you'll be fine.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

Good news for non status passengers, but I also feel a loss for premium passengers and overall image of Etihad as a premium product. I wonder when the airlines will return to the basis of looking after their premium customers. I have noticed in the US this is slowly returning with premium AA and UA lounge products.

Does anyone remember the days of the QF Captains Clubs, where entry was only for the J and F passengers, no matter how much one flew with the airline. Watering down a product does not work and I feel this decision along with general paid lounge entry, removal of chauffeur drive and other service adjustments will eventually hurt the Etihad brand as a luxury service provider.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

26 Feb 2016

Total posts 101

I took the first couple of flights of VA to HKG in last July, and used EK's lounge at MEL. The flight was at late night, and there were only VA pax in the lounge. Everyone seemed so unfit -- just like we entered a upper-class party by mistake -- it was much more luxurious than the SQ lounge at MEL, and we can even seat down and order an ordinary meal.

After all, I feel much more comfort in VA's lounges because everyone there is from the semilar class.

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