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.
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.