Sometimes you step off a flight and want to make a beeline straight out of the airport to the office, to a meeting, to your hotel or especially to home.
But other times you need to make a pit-stop to dash off some emails, attend to some urgent business or even grab a quick coffee or a bite to eat.
That’s when a visit to the airport lounge can be an ideal post-flight pause – and for Virgin Australia’s top customers, the opportunity to nip into the lounge apres-flight is now back on the cards.
As of Monday April 25, Virgin’s popular ‘lounge entry on arrival’ perk returns for
- business class passengers
- Velocity Gold and Velocity Platinum frequent flyer status-holders
- members of Virgin’s new Beyond VIP program
- members of the paid Virgin Australia Lounge program
- Eligible members of loyalty programs from Virgin Australia partner carriers, such as United Airlines, Singapore Airlines and newly minted partner, Qatar Airways, when arriving on a connecting Virgin Australia domestic flight
Travellers taking advantage of Virgin’s on-arrival lounge access will be limited to a 60 minute visit so as not to max out lounge capacity, especially as more people are flying again.
This doesn't change the standard Virgin Australia lounge access rules when departing.
This week will of course also see Virgin Australia cut the ribbon to its private Beyond lounges at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
These havens for high flyers are promised as “a quiet, relaxing and unobtrusive space” where members of the invitation-only Beyond program – which replaced The Club as Virgin’s matchers agains the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge – will enjoy an elevated à la carte menu.
Complementing Beyond, the freshly-shucked Virgin Australia Business Flyer loyalty program targets the substantial small-to-medium enterprise (SME) market, which comprises 99.8% of Australia’s businesses, with flight discounts, double-dipping on points and complimentary Velocity Gold membership.
And as previously reported, entry-level fares in business class on the country’s busiest routes – the ‘triangle’ between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – have been slashed to $299 on an ongoing non-sale basis.
Piece by piece, the airline is filling in the jigsaw puzzle that is Virgin Australia 2.0. Indeed, that picture seems almost complete – at least on the domestic front – with the notable exceptions of inflight WiFi and premium lounge access.
The former is widely expected to be rebooted in a different shape to original service launched in early 2017, while the premium entry lanes at Sydney and Brisbane are tipped to unlock their own doors in the coming months.
It’s been a frustratingly slow return for the airline’s fast-track premium entry pathways.
Located at the valet parking entry to Virgin Australia’s Sydney and Brisbane terminals, the premium entry facility gave business class passengers and Velocity Platinum frequent flyers their own checkin desk and security lanes, which led straight into the lounge.
These time-saving channels have now been shuttered for over two years, since the beginning of pandemic and Virgin Australia’s subsequent collapse into administration, and there’s no doubt they would have been especially welcome during the travel crush of this month’s school holiday season.