How to get a lifetime of Virgin Australia lounge access

Qantas isn't the only Australian airline to dangle the carrot of lifetime lounge access, but Virgin's approach is a bit different.

By Chris C., June 26 2017
How to get a lifetime of Virgin Australia lounge access

Unlike Qantas, Virgin Australia doesn’t offer Lifetime Gold frequent flyer status to its most-travelled passengers – but does allow anybody to purchase a lifetime of lounge access.

The privilege doesn’t come cheap: you’ll need to fork out a whopping $9,750 for a standard Virgin Australia ‘Lifetime Lounge’ membership if you’re under 60 years old, while a ‘Senior Lifetime Lounge’ card can be purchased for a reduced $6,750 for those aged 60 and above.

Both provide the same level of airport lounge access – but for the rest of your life, rather than the rest of the year as with a regular annual membership.

Here’s where you can use that Lifetime Lounge membership, and how to decide whether it’s worth the investment.

Lounge access for Virgin Australia Lifetime Lounge cardholders

When travelling onwards with Virgin Australia the same day, domestic lounges are available at seven key airports.

This roster includes Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, and on the Gold Coast – being Australia's busiest airport not located in a capital city.

At each location, Lifetime Lounge members can access the lounge with one additional adult guest, three children aged 4-17, and any kids aged 3 and under.

However, as part of its emergence from administration last year, Virgin has permanently closed almost half its lounges: a move that also follows the removal of Air New Zealand lounges in Australia and NZ from the program.

In response to these changes, there's been no reduction in the asking price for a Lifetime Lounge card.

This means new members pay the same price today for access to Virgin Australia's remaining network of seven lounges, as they did in years past, when the card had merit for trans-Tasman travellers, too.

Additional perks for Virgin Australia Lifetime Lounge members

Although Virgin Australia lounge membership is normally just that – your ticket to the lounge – Lifetime Lounge members get something extra.

That's access to the airline's Premium Entry facilities in Sydney and Brisbane: a perk normally reserved for Gold and Platinum frequent flyers, and business class travellers.

When open, Premium Entry is your private path from kerb to lounge.

That's where you'll find a dedicated security screening point, meaning you don't set foot in the public terminal until it's time to board.

However, Virgin Australia's Premium Entry facilities have remained closed for almost 18 months and counting – first locked-up when the lounges themselves were shut in March 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions kicked in, but now remaining off-limits to travellers.

"We’re reassessing the re-opening of the Premium Lounge Entry in Sydney and Brisbane and will provide an update shortly," reads the Virgin Australia website.

That statement has been listed since November 2020, giving travellers – including Lifetime Lounge members – no indication as to when the benefit will come back, even as the lounges themselves reopen after local lockdowns end. 

Is Virgin Australia Lifetime Lounge membership worth the cost?

With annual Virgin Australia lounge membership retailing for $399, a price tag of $9,750 for a Lifetime Lounge card makes that cost on-par with around 24 years of paid lounge membership at the current prices.

For those 60+ who qualify for Senior Lifetime Lounge at $6,750, the asking price is instead comparable to 17 consecutive years of annual membership at today's rates.

So, consider your age now, and then add 24 or 17 years to that number, as applicable.

That's the point at which a Lifetime Lounge investment breaks even, versus the cost of paying year-on-year.

Do you still expect to be travelling as much by the time you reach that age, and through the Virgin Australia ports covered by this membership?

If yes, then a Lifetime Lounge card could make sense – especially if you’re able to tax-deduct that membership or expense it against your business following advice from your accountant – but if not, an annual membership in the years you plan to travel could sit better on the 'cost vs benefit' scale.

To use another yardstick: Virgin also sells access to its own lounges for $65 per person per visit, which you can pay on the day you fly.

This makes the standard lifetime price equal to 150 one-off visits for an individual, or 75 one-off visits for a pair always travelling together – as Lifetime Lounge members can be joined by a guest with each visit.

For Senior Lifetime Lounge, the discounted asking price sits on-par with 104 one-off visits, or 52 visits with a guest in-tow.

Certainly, the one-off and yearly lounge costs may change over the years – the advantage of a lifelong membership being that you never need to pay another cent, with the obvious downside of the large lump sum required upfront. 

Buying a Virgin Australia Lifetime Lounge membership

Crunched the numbers, spoken to your accountant and decided that a Virgin Australia Lifetime Lounge membership is right for you?

You can purchase your membership over the phone by calling 1300 287 202 during business hours (Monday to Friday), or can email [email protected] to get the ball rolling.

These memberships can’t be purchased online – but given how much you’ll spending, be sure to use a points-earning credit card to get the most bang for your buck.

Also read: Best Virgin Australia Velocity credit card sign-up offers

Chris C.

A former contributor to Executive Traveller, Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

PK
PK

03 May 2012

Total posts 114

You also need to price in the risk of the lifetime of any airline and its lounges being much shorter than yours. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Dec 2015

Total posts 10

That was my first thought aswell. It not like Virgin australia has ever come close to disappearing...

Their shares are pretty cheap at the moment for the believers and would be a much better 'bet' for a spare 10 grand

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 365

If you purchased this life time pass, its fair to say you would be wanting to get plenty of use out of it and likely to find yourself Velocity Gold or higher before long anyway. Easier with family pooling also. So really cant see the point of this.

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 183

$3,000 discount for people aged 60 and above, is this a "senior's discount" or is it because if you're aged 60+ you have less "lifetime" in which to enjoy the lounge?

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

31 Oct 2016

Total posts 72

Both probably, if not just the latter.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 169

Frankly, if you have $10,000 to drop on a not-that-great luxury such as this, you probably fly J most of the time anyway! I really struggle to see that this is in any way value for money and would love to know how many people have purchased it.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

16 Apr 2016

Total posts 17

Maybe it's time Virgin did recognise their loyal frequent travelers and should offer lifetime gold membership based on accrued status credits over the years

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

My then-employer bought me QF lifetime membership about 14 years ago for $3750.  At the time it seemed expensive but given these prices, it seems like a bargain.

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 186

I purchased a senior life pass to the Qantas Club for about $2k years ago when flying a lot - best thing I ever did as I could use the pass overseas.

Yes grov, same here Wife & Myself cost $3200 16 years ago.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Aug 2016

Total posts 67

Woah that's big $, probably not great value for Reds and Silvers to buy, unless they want to bet their life expectancy against VA's.  Seems my investment of buying QF Lifetime QC, (not knowing my future flying at the time) was well founded.

They probably put the price like this no doubt because of the stories of the lifetime free flight offers that people bought that seemed like a lot of money at the time eg$100k-200k and then abused it for all they could getting millions of dollars value out of it and the airlines are trying to cancel them... But as its only lounge membership its hard to see how it could be abused that much unless you get great value living and flying till yr 100....

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jun 2017

Total posts 35

If you have 10k to blow on ham and lettuce sandwiches then PM me, I'm looking for a really clueless benefactor.

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 119

Noting my lifetime gold with Qantas gets me into any business oneworld lounge globally it puts a nice price on that privilege... which has to be higher than VAs one...QF needs to bring in life time platinium at 28,000 status credits...

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1451

Questionable value for average Joe. And those who flying a lot usually already have good enough status.

18 Sep 2015

Total posts 117

Do you think Virgin would give me a tradein on my lifetime Golden Wing membership?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

You'd think with the crazy prices and inherent risk, (that some commenters have already pointed out,) they could add some sweeteners, like anytime access. Or maybe something in-flight, like upgrade certificates etc.

scl
scl

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 1

If I had 10 grand to drop on this I would place it in an investment of some sort and see if I could achieve an average 5% return. That would produce about $450 a year and pay the yearly fee. If my plans ever changed or the program went bust then I still have the cash to spend on something else!


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on How to get a lifetime of Virgin Australia lounge access