The first stage of the long-awaited expansion to Virgin Australia’s Brisbane Airport lounge is now complete, providing travellers with considerably more elbow room during peak times.
Stretching out in a newly-built space over the airline’s valet area, the wall nearest the restrooms has been torn down to reveal a lounge with a Melbourne-esque feel…
… and once again boasting natural sunlight, which has been missing since the refurbishment works began.
That natural sunlight also appears in the central area of the lounge, thanks to a new skylight woven into Virgin Australia’s signature leaf roof pattern.
Wherever you plonk down your gear, there are comfy chairs galore, both in larger groups for colleagues, friends and families travelling together…
… and duos over by the window:
While some seats face towards the tarmac, they enjoy only limited views of an aircraft tail beyond a line-up of dumpsters, making the Airtrain-facing seats much more visually appealing.
You’ll also find cocktail tables with high stools, plus heightened laptop working benches with a slight privacy shield between you and your opposing seatmate:
Those working areas come compete with both AC and USB power outlets – the same as we’ve spotted in Virgin Australia’s brand new Darwin Airport lounge.
The computers and all-in-one printer, photocopier and scanner have all moved to the new wing, now conveniently away from the clickety-clack of plates and glasses around the buffet area…
… with a new and dedicated beverage corner offering tea, coffee and chilled water (below). Barista-made espresso coffee remains available at the bar in the ‘older’ part of the lounge.
“I think Brisbane will certainly take our lounge offering to the next level,” Virgin Australia national lounge manager Howard Mitchell told Australian Business Traveller in Darwin at the unveiling of the airline’s ‘top end’ lounge.
Additional space will also open up adjacent to the Brisbane lounge reception desk later this year to take the overall capacity to 450 seats, with a Sydney-style Premium Entry facility to follow in September.
That’s when passengers travelling with only carry-on luggage will be able to clear security through a private screening point directly underneath the lounge, before then proceeding straight into the lounge without setting foot in the terminal.
Members of The Club – Virgin Australia’s by-invitation frequent flyer tier and lounge for VIPs – will also be able to arrive at the airport unnoticed, enjoying direct entry into their private lounge from the Premium Entry facility while passengers in the main terminal are none the wiser to their arrival.
Mitchell tells Australian Business Traveller that these next stages of the renovation will give Virgin Australia “a really, really premium, lovely offering… just wait and see – it’ll be extraordinary.”
The existing, separate 'overflow' lounge will continue to be available during peak times when needed.
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