Hrdlicka: Too many lounges, too much space.

11 replies


Member since 16 Oct 2012

Total posts 21

Just watched VA CEO Jayne Hrdlicka answering questions about the future of the airline on the ABCs “The Business”.

When quizzed on what being a mid-market carrier meant, she said guests would see VA “stop doing things that they didn’t ever really understand”.

Pushed on this she made specific reference to the lounge network, saying: “like with some of our lounges, we had too much space and too many lounges”.

I wonder how other VA frequent flyers feel about her observation. Especially those who often visited the Sydney lounge - horrendously overcrowded at peak times. It occurred to me that LACK of space was the problem there.

Insofar as on-board service was concerned she was vague in her answers. Only saying guests wouldn’t notice much difference. Presumably that means the business class snack boxes are on the way out, but can we assume the new catering will resemble the VA of old? I’m not sure I’d hold my breath for that.

Finally, Ms. Hrdlicka said frequent flyers had confidence in the airline. No doubt she would say that, but as a VA platinum FF for 7 years I’ve already lost confidence and made the switch - albeit grudgingly.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 30 Oct 2015

Total posts 91

Agreed, also VA platinum, feel forgotten & have lost trust in them. No communication, lack of transparency. It feels more Jetstar on board, but worse..... Go home Jayne, we ain't the USA here.....


Member since 08 Feb 2018

Total posts 130

give 'em a chance. Fair few challenges in restarting an airline during a pandemic I would think.

I would think reserving judgement until after the pandemic settles down and we're a bit closer to a normal world is worthwhile.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Mar 2012

Total posts 196

As a VA FF, I don't really disagree with Hrydicka's comments...

I think it's reasonable to expect onboard offering to stay much the same. It was fairly efficient as it was. Maybe a slight downscale to business catering and a few tweaks to economy service?

Mackay and Alice Springs and to a lesser extent Cairns and Darwin lounges were definitely under utilised. Canberra was too big for its boots and The Club has limited use now. However, I think it's of value to operate a space in key secondary ports - Hobart, Cairns, Darwin. A more nimble approach - host a smaller space a la QF regional lounges?

Surely a mid-market approach would mean a cost effective, market-attractive proposition: Adequately sized lounges and offerings in the 10 key ports, reintroduce paid baggage fees (waived for FFs), snack basket for EconomyX only (with usual drinks service for the whole cabin), decent but not Mangan-style lavish business class catering, efficient/substantial flight schedules where they can fill seats, fewer but more meaningful FF tie-ups (such as Delta, Etihad partnership and less like Hawaiian's).

Not all that much really needs to change to operate an attractive, financially feasible network now that the bloated leases and contracts are taken care of.

What should have happened already though is some communication with their fliers about what to generally expect. I certainly don't appreciate the vague uncertainty.


Member since 27 Dec 2020

Total posts 17

Agreed, never once did I feel a virgin lounge had too much space as it was always overcrowded! Praying for the krisflyer transfer ability to come back some time in the future to at least be able to use the 60k points I have on SQ, probably wishful thinking. 7 years as platinum but no more.

Last editedby tripleplatinum2 at Feb 04, 2021, 02:12 PM.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Aug 2014

Total posts 140

Agree that the lounges are not oversized, with the exception of Canberra. The BNE, SYD, MEL, ADL lounges all too small. Although hopefully the new Adelaide lounge opens soon (unless it has already).


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 04 Nov 2017

Total posts 71

Would likely be overcrowded in the East Coast Capitals (maybe others such as ADL), but woud likely been underutilised in the regional cities, where VA would likely struggled for high yielding passengers in the limited regional market.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Jan 2014

Total posts 266

VA lounges were always a bit hit and miss, they had a huge under-utilised Lounge in Cairns which is mainly a leisure market yet nothing in Townsville where the corporates, Govt and defence are located.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 21 Feb 2017

Total posts 31

One knows a large amount of Platinum's that fly Qantas on the basis of Virgin having no spirits in their lounges. Believe you me its a thing!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Mar 2012

Total posts 196

Originally Posted by gjspectre

One knows a large amount of Platinum's that fly Qantas on the basis of Virgin having no spirits in their lounges. Believe you me its a thing!

Me too, funnily enough. Noticed they have spirits on offer at the temporary Melb lounge. Maybe a trial, maybe using up what they have leftover?


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 Nov 2018

Total posts 31

Take away more lounges and the soft product... meals, drinks etc in economy and what is left for Virgins frequent flyers?

Can you still redeem virgin points for Etihad and SQ?


Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 58

If VA is a publicly own company on the ASX, JH’s comments will crash the stock price, since they are patently untrue for many major capital cities lounges. There will be no confidence in her leadership given these outrageous misinformation.

Alas it’s almost fully owned by Bain and there is no way informed consumers can voice their dissatisfaction except to move their business out of VA.

And ironically there are quite a few readers who are still willing to give them another chance come next month.

So much the better. I don’t need QF lounge to be additionally crowded by pax who crossed over from VA

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