Reviews

Review: 'My Lounge' Brisbane, home of Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia pulls back the curtain on its first international lounge in Brisbane, the airline's home hub.

Overall Rating

By Chris Chamberlin, September 4 2019
'My Lounge' Brisbane, home of Virgin Australia
Country

Australia

City

Brisbane

Airport

Brisbane

Alliance

None

Airline

Virgin Australia (and others)

Cabin-class

Business

Notes
The Good
  • Relaxed yet premium vibe
  • Tarmac views and close to departure gates
The Bad
  • Complex access list for Virgin Australia flyers
  • An open design makes the space noisier than other lounges
The Unexpected
  • Quality and variety of food
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

Shared between eligible passengers of Virgin Australia, Hawaiian Airlines and Hainan Airlines – as well as being open to paying guests – the new 'My Lounge' at Brisbane Airport, operated by UK-based No1 Lounges, is a fresh choice for Queensland flyers jetting internationally.

Location & Impressions

After clearing security and passport control, make your way through duty-free and onward towards gate 77, where you'll find My Lounge on the right-hand side, on the same level as the departure concourse.

There's room for 108 guests in this rectangular space, with zones to work, dine and relax:

Given its location, tarmac views can be enjoyed throughout the space, and for those with time on their hands, there's a games room, too:

My Lounge is open from 5am until 10pm daily.

Be mindful that as with most lounges operated by No1, My Lounge has a dress code: fancy dress outfits, clothing with offensive slogans, replica sports kits, exposed midriffs or upper thighs, or bare shoulders on men are all prohibited.

Tracksuits are also barred, except when changing into these just prior to departing the lounge.

Access

Complimentary access to My Lounge varies depending on your airline and destination, so here's who gets through the door.

  • Virgin Australia: Business class passengers (all destinations), Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers (all destinations), Virgin Australia Lounge and Lifetime Lounge members (when travelling to New Zealand only).

    As a temporary measure, passengers travelling to Los Angeles will continue to use Brisbane's Singapore Airlines lounge until September 9. From September 10, these guests move to My Lounge.

  • Hawaiian Airlines: Business class passengers plus Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers, but only when booked onto the Virgin Australia codeshare (VA5120) flight number.

    Business class guests booked on the HA444 flight number can use Brisbane's Plaza Premium Lounge, although there's no lounge for Velocity Gold or Platinum members flying economy on HA444.

  • Hainan Airlines: Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers travelling economy. Business class flyers use the Plaza Premium Lounge instead.

  • All other flights: Beyond complimentary access with the airlines above, entry can also be purchased when travelling internationally with any airline from Brisbane Airport.

    When pre-booked online, you'll pay $30 per child aged 2-11 and $60 for older children and adults, while at the door, it's a higher $35 for those aged 2-11 and $70 for everybody else. There's no charge for infants (<2 years).

Note that passengers travelling from Brisbane with Singapore Airlines continue to use Brisbane's SilverKris Lounge, or the Plaza Premium Lounge with Etihad Airways – not My Lounge.

Virgin Australia single-use lounge invitations, such as issued to Velocity Silver members or from selected credit cards, are not accepted here.

Executive Traveller understands that negotiations are underway to open My Lounge to Priority Pass members as well, but at the time of opening, Priority Pass cards are not currently accepted.

Dining

On the dining front, passengers can graze the "kitchen counter" buffet, offering a variety of hot and cold dishes, which choices rotating every two weeks.

The selections here draw inspiration from both local produce and international cuisine, satisfying a broad variety of tastes.

This is the main difference between The House lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, and My Lounge in Brisbane – where The House offers à la carte dining, My Lounge takes a DIY approach to service.

There's an all-day bar beginning with a line-up of self-serve spirits, with mixers and garnishes at the ready:

There's also a selection of signature cocktails, including the 'Virgin Australia Flamingo', a refreshing mix of Gordon's Pink Gin, cranberry juice, pink grapefruit juice, lemon juice, strawberry and mint:

Joining that, red, white and sparkling wines, beer, soft drinks and juices. For our international readers, the legal drinking age in this lounge (and Australia) is 18:

There's also barista-made coffee, ordered from the bar counter.

Particularly for those early morning departures, this puts My Lounge a step above Brisbane's Air New Zealand, Emirates and Singapore Airlines lounges, which offer only machine-made brews.

Rounding out the offering, fresh fruit can be found in bowls throughout the lounge.

Work

When there's any serious work to be done, set up your laptop at one of the many tailor-made benches:

Here, you'll find AC and USB power available, although the outlets are tucked away underneath the bench, which aren't easy to spot:

Instead, wireless charging surfaces are more accessible, located on the benchtop itself:

Complimentary WiFi is available, as you'd expect. Executive Traveller testing revealed average download speeds of 12Mbps, and average uploads of 3Mbps: usable, but not overly speedy.

Given the lounge's open design, the space can also be quite noisy as all airport announcements are audible from inside, so be sure to bring your headphones if you're after peace and quiet.

Relax

Although on the smaller side with circa 100 seats, My Lounge boasts a games room with a foosball table and other amusements.

Beyond that, My Lounge provides a variety of magazines and newspapers, which guests are invited to take with them (or read in the lounge):

Sure to be appreciated before overnight flights such as with Hawaiian Airlines to Honolulu, shower facilities are available too:

And, of course, there are those tarmac views to enjoy:

There's plenty more seating given over to relaxing, whether you're flying solo or in a group:

Finally, there's a nook down the far end of the lounge, which can either serve as extra seating for the lounge, or be closed off via a red rope as a private VIP space.

All things considered, My Lounge is a welcome addition to Brisbane Airport's international terminal, with all the trappings of a modern business class lounge.

However, the complex access list is sure to cause confusion among many travellers, including experienced frequent flyers, who'll continue shuffling between three different international lounges in Brisbane, depending on which partner airline and specific flight number they've booked for each journey.

Also read: No1 Lounge review, London Gatwick South Terminal

ChrisCh
ChrisCh

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

reeves35

reeves35

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 521

Looks remarkably good; I think we were expecting something much more half-hearted than this. It is very open to the general terminal which may irritate some though I think I'd be OK.

I'm not too fussed by the access rules which are not uncommon in these days of codeshares meaning the matrix of pax travelling class, status and ticketing airline can be complicated. The only one that puzzled me a bit was Hainan sending its J class pax off the Plaza Premium rather than this arguably more impressive lounge.

ChrisCh

ChrisCh

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2925

Hi Reeves, Hainan has been using the Plaza lounge since the launch of its Brisbane flights, but Velocity Gold and Platinum members flying economy with Hainan couldn't use it (or any other lounge). Essentially, with the opening of My Lounge, Velocity is fixing that anomaly by granting access to those Gold/Platinum flyers booked in Hainan economy, without changing the existing arrangements for Hainan business class passengers, which would be covered by a separate contract between Hainan and Plaza, and may have been locked in for a period of time.

pixels

pixels

30 Apr 2012

Total posts 2

It's pretty good, when I arrived 30 minutes ago it was obviously full of reviewers. Now they are gone it's a relaxed though fairly small space. Nice chill tunes playing, staff are trying really hard to give excellent service and the food selection is good, all things considered. Bonus points for the crockery being something better than the usual plain white standard shape we get in other lounges.

Nice and light thanks to one entire wall being glass looking out onto the tarmac. I imagine when full, access to powerpoints will be difficult but they can be kind of hidden so have a good look around your seat and you may be surprised to find a handly outlet.

Highly recommend a pink gin and soda water with some ice and a slice (lemon or lime, both work).

Not that you'd do this but it would be very easy to pass drinks out to friends who don't have lounge access from where I'm sitting. Only vertical timber bars with wide air gaps between me and the general public. Just sayin'. Reminds me of some regional Air NZ lounges I've been in.

The wireless chargers are a nice touch, I really look forward to them being on the planes I fly one day (come on Virgin, not even in the awesome "the business" product, wtf).

It's a thousand times better than the dissapointing effort in Wellington, I was there within days of it opening as well.

Keep up the good work with spaces like these and with some sensible management at the top (don't sell off velocity you knuckleheads) Virgin will get back to profitability. I can choose to fly Qantas or Virgin, work is agnostic, but I like to fly Virgin as a rule and I don't want that choice to disappear.

 

martinmemo

martinmemo

07 Nov 2018

Total posts 12

No fancy dress? But most of my normal clothes are fancy dress...

QF WP

QF WP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Aug 2016

Total posts 55

Sounds like they have listened and acted (finally). Now looking forward to an international holiday by myself, because the cost of bringing in my wife and 2 kids are prohibitive ;-)

I'm ready to try that "Virgin Australia Flamingo" - but will it be good enough for David to change his drink of choice?

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 226

Interesting that J class pax on HU and HA have to slum it in the Plaza Premium Lounge but Y pax get to use The Lounge. Surprising that EY is relegated to the PPL too.

Jay747

Jay747

08 Sep 2019

Total posts 1

Absolute Worst Lounge Experience

Call me cynical but since this review has professional photography of power outlets, I can only assume Virgin or No1 Lounges etc provided pics of fancy black outlets or you've never seen them before in your life. This lounge is a pathetic excuse for a premium product.

I fly international flights for business at least once a month and other flights across Australia and NZ. So after arriving at this curb-side kiosk of a lounge at 6am after a red eye from Perth and leaving to Auckland a few hours later - my wife and I found this new product simply lacking in every way. Mid morning is a busy travel period and the lounge was packed. There are only TWO... Yes two.. unisex toilets available in the lounge (one additional disability restroom). So basically, my wife after standing in a queue, had to follow the moron who peed on the floor either in the name of our over sensitive but unthoughtful PC culture or basic cheapness on Virgins part. Oh and there's just one shower that men, women and everyone in between gets to share. When asked, Virgin also provides you with NO amenities at all.

The breakfast had a line of 10 deep queuing up to enter a kitchen that is the size of most contemporary kitchens only to find toast, no eggs and stale, packet bought croissants. Good coffee but I'm not sure if that is supposed to impress on its own merits.

Finally, everyone flying regardless of cabin class is about to be confined to a small space for a long period of time. The benefit of travelling business or lounge access is to relax and feel like you have your own space. This tiny little, side-thought, of a lounge is so cramped that you'd be excused for being confused as to whether the construction is done or if there's an upstairs missing. We were asked by staff to share our couch and table with another very disappointed couple - at least we shared our mutual irritation in our crowded, cramped... what was it?... “loft” inspired lounge.

Aside from the above items that do matter; staff were polite, magazines were nicely arranged and there were power outlets. Black, fancy power outlets.

I travel far too much to withstand this feeble premium product and will actively avoid it as best possible, opting for the old domestic virgin lounge in the future. The difference between the Melbourne lounge and new Brisbane lounge is the difference between a hotel and a campervan. The difference between the international Qantas product and this one? You don't want to know.

BM475

BM475

16 Sep 2019

Total posts 1

Have to agree with Jay 747. Recently went on an OS holiday with my family. I fly almost every week with Virgin and find the Domestic lounges quite good. The family and I were looking forward to a relaxing couple of hours in the lounge before our flight.

To say we (including my wife who doesn't travel often) were disappointed with this new lounge is an understatement.

Far too small, minimal food options and minimal facilities. if Brisbane is a stopover and you plan to freshen up I'd go elsewhere

I'm a platinum velocity member and will be doing my best to avoid Virgin for my next OS trip due to the poor quality of this lounge.

I can only guess they are not taking OS travelers seriously??


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on 'My Lounge' Brisbane, home of Virgin Australia