Virgin Australia’s network of 12 domestic airport lounges has closed its doors as broad-ranging Federal Government restrictions lock down venues such as cafes and bars, and other indoor gathering places like airport lounges.
“This is an unprecedented time in the global aviation industry and we’ve needed to make this temporary change to our guest offering in order to comply with the current social distancing requirements,” said Virgin Australia Chief Experience Officer Danielle Keighery.
“We sincerely apologise to any passenger affected and we’ll continue to keep guests and our Velocity members updated on when the lounges will re-open," she added.
Premium Entry facilities in Sydney and Brisbane, and Premium Exit in Melbourne – all of which offer a private security screening channel connected to the lounge for business class passengers and eligible frequent flyers – will also be unavailable.
General airport priority queues, such as those located at the main screening checkpoints, are unaffected, where available.
While Virgin Australia is extending the Velocity Frequent Flyer status of all its Silver, Gold and Platinum members by one year and offering bonus status credits in the meantime, the airline hasn’t yet confirmed how paid-up lounge members will be catered for.
Virgin Australia lounge membership normally sells for $750 in the first year (including a $330 joining fee) and $420 every year thereafter, or $300 per year with a waived joining fee for Velocity Silver cardholders. Lifetime membership can also be purchased for $9,750.
Domestic rival Qantas has also closed all of its domestic lounges, from the invitation-only Chairman's Lounges through to the normally-bustling Qantas Clubs.