Virgin Australia opens Melbourne’s The Club lounge to everybody

Virgin Australia's inner sanctum is no longer a secret, with this private lounge temporarily replacing the public lounge.

By Chris Chamberlin, December 15 2020
Virgin Australia opens Melbourne’s The Club lounge to everybody
Executive Traveller exclusive

Virgin Australia’s normally-secret The Club lounge at Melbourne Airport quietly reopened its doors today, with an interesting yet temporary change to the guest list.

Rather than welcoming only ‘Velocity VIP’ frequent flyers – Virgin's elite invitation-only level above Velocity Platinum – Melbourne's The Club lounge now welcomes almost anybody who'd usually qualify for regular Virgin Australia lounge access.

This includes the airline’s business class passengers, Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers, Virgin Australia lounge members, AMEX Platinum and Centurion cardholders, and Virgin lounge pass holders.

However, due to capacity constraints, there’s no on-arrivals access to The Club – only pre-flight visits are permitted.

“While maintenance work is currently being undertaken in our Melbourne Lounge, we’re providing members with access to a temporary lounge space located within The Club at Melbourne Airport,” a Virgin Australia spokesperson confirmed to Executive Traveller.

“We look forward to reopening the Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge in the new year,” underscoring that this is a short-term measure only, not a long-term treat.

Where to find Virgin Australia’s The Club lounge in Melbourne

If you’re looking for the normally-unmarked entrance to The Club, you’ll find it in Melbourne after check-in by taking the escalator downstairs, taking a sharp left before security, and then following the temporary signage that Virgin Australia has in place.

Just don’t expect free-flowing Champagne or an à la carte fine dining menu, as you’d have found in The Club prior to Virgin Australia entering administration.

For now, the food and beverage offering mirrors that found in Virgin Australia’s reopened public lounges in Sydney and Brisbane, with pre-packaged sandwiches and light bites, all-day barista coffee, and beer and wine from 12pm.

Read: Visiting Virgin Australia's newly-reopened Brisbane lounge

A rival to the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge

Virgin Australia’s The Club lounges were built to compete with the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge network.

Tucked away at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra airports, The Clubs normally welcomed only members of the Velocity VIP program and their guests – but have otherwise sat closed since March, even as public lounges in Sydney and Brisbane have returned.

“Our Club lounges remain under review until we’re able to reassess travel demand from the corporate sector in the new year,” the Virgin Australia spokesperson highlights.

This suggests that The Club in Melbourne could close again once the airport’s public Virgin Australia lounge has reopened, pending the outcome of that review.

Virgin Australia’s other The Club locations remain closed for now, including in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra.

The airline has so far committed to a network of six public lounges going forward – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth (T1) and the Gold Coast – while Canberra remains under review.

As previously reported, Virgin Australia lounges in Alice Springs, Cairns, Darwin, Mackay, Perth (T2) and in Wellington have permanently closed.

Also read: Is Virgin's invitation-only The Club set to close its doors?

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin 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.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 263

Great, flying with Virgin next week so look forward to trying this out. 

A chance to see how the other half, or really just the 1%, lives. Without the Luke Mangan dishes they used to enjoy, sadly. If Virgin decides to get rid of its VIP tier because that's now a Qantas thing and it's not chasing the big end of town, I think it should keep The Club lounges and turn them into their business class lounges. Not sure there'd be room for Platinums too, but they would definitely be onto a winner for business travellers.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 987

I wonder what they are doing to the main Lounge and whether it was scheduled or unscheduled.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 795

Probably adding the vending machines, pay toilet and EFT terminals at the bar. :)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

25 Jul 2013

Total posts 58

I was under the impression some time ago that there were some big upgrades happening to the front of the Virgin terminal, with a new fast track entry to the lounge. Given that the departures is on an upper level, and the lounge below, they would presumably need to install escalators etc to connect through to the lounge. So I wonder if this is what is happening. It's a good time to work on these kind of infrastructure upgrades before air traffic picks up next year.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 689

I think their looking at all there possible Ammo for the air war that is coming

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

30 Oct 2015

Total posts 64

Next McDonald's will open in the lounge..... the beginning of the end.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 516

Say now Tracie, be honest, do tell . . . what label was that cheeky Chardonnay you were quaffing at 6:27 last night? 

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 689

Seriously I'm smelling a real threat to Qantas with what I'm seeing coming out of VA, original I had high hopes, then I thought it was going to be a dogs breakfast but now seeing what ducks are coming out and lining up I really do think it's going to be a win for consumers with Qantas having to up there game. The thing that amazes myself is P1's at Qantas admit the planes aren't that great, not cleaned, falling apart after a couple of year, service and tele service isn't the greatest but they fly Qantas because it's been around for 100 years, safety record etc. A smart competitor will take marketshare and it will be about the marketing and working in a team with employees not the compression of overhead costs. 

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 247

Good points and I think one needs to give Virgin time. 

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 247

Seems the rest of my comment was censored.

I said it seems strange that your comment has been voted down so many times. I guess the truth triggered a reaction from the usual Qantas sheeple.

09 Mar 2015

Total posts 35

Wow, very impressed with The Club! Flying with Virgin yesterday out of Melbourne, what a great surprise. This space is amazing, no wonder John Borghetti poured so much money and effort into The Club. It's got a lot of space, people not crammed in too tight, the design and materials and finishes ooze elegance and really make it feel like a private club. You can only imagine what it would have been like this when entry was limited to Club members and it was serving fancy Luke Mangan meals with wine and Champagne. It would have been very appealing to all those executives, big-spending corporates etc. Virgin, please turn this space into your new Business Lounge!

20 Jun 2020

Total posts 32

Would love to see more photos of the interior if anyone has them.

11 Nov 2017

Total posts 14

I was expecting something similar when I entered the QF business lounge in Sydney last week. Instead, I saw worn seats and crappy drinks. And that was supposed to be the offering ABOVE Qantas club.

My point is this. If Virgin have opened their top lounge to everybody ( and no offence to all those lucky members who got in) then they don't mind the inevitable wear-and-tear that follows. This confirms that they aren't chasing this market any more, so QF have the Chairwo/men of Australia stitched up. 

duffa

p.s. I love making "shoot my mouth off" predictions like this after a few sherbs. 


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