Virgin's new Adelaide lounge opens February 23

The new lounge will showcase a fresh, more casual look that'll eventually be applied to all domestic lounges.

By David Flynn, February 17 2021
Virgin's new Adelaide lounge opens February 23
Executive Traveller exclusive

Virgin Australia will cut the ribbon on its all-new Adelaide on Tuesday February 23, revealing a fresh look compared to the familiar design of its other domestic airport lounges.

The official opening and media preview comes as the airline continues to rebuild its domestic lounge network.

As previously reported, this will now include Canberra, which is scheduled for an "early 2021 re-opening", although the fate of The Club lounges and indeed Virgin's invitation-only The Club tier remains unknown.

The Adelaide lounge was previously slated to open in April 2020, but COVID-19 and Virgin's collapse into administration – to be rescued by US private equity firm Bain Capital in a $3.5 billion sale – resulted in an almost 12-month delay.

The airline says Adelaide's "reimagined" design will provide travellers "with an experience and aesthetic more aligned to the Virgin brand they know and love."

Virgin intends to roll out this same style as an update to all other domestic lounges, which to date have drawn from a template created by Sydney’s Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects that debuted at Virgin’s Melbourne Airport lounge in May 2011.

Virgin's current lounge design, which debuted in 2011, will make way for a fresh new look.
Virgin's current lounge design, which debuted in 2011, will make way for a fresh new look.

Photos of Virgin's new Adelaide lounge sighted by Executive Traveller show an open, airy and light-filled space with a variety of seating, from dining for two to communal tables and raised tile-clad benches, and a serviced coffee and drinks bar called 'Wind-Down'.

It's decidedly more casual than corporate, with a softer contemporary palette of white, blue and grey, and a variety of textures. 

Virgin's new-look lounge program was kick-started by former CEO Paul Scurrah, who hinted at a more relaxed vibe when he first revealed his plans to Executive Traveller in September 2019.

"I’ve spent a lot of time in airport lounges and I know just how important they are to our passengers, especially a lounge that actually makes it feel relaxing before you travel," said Scurrah, who was ousted by Bain in favour of Jayne Hrdlicka in November 2020 and now remains on 'extended gardening leave'.

Asked what made a good lounge experience, he said "I value space, power, WiFi, good coffee and good food – it’s the little things that matter most."

Also read: Hrdlicka says the new Virgin will be more JetBlue than Jetstar


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1201

I wonder if the delay was also affected by the need for a redesign of spaces as social distancing became a thing.  In existing lounges, most airlines have just removed furniture but, for a new lounge, maybe something more substantial was done.

I didn't mind the old design but, after a decade, I don't mind a new concept.  QF has gradually done this also but seem to have put a lot of thought into their Business Lounges than the Qantas Clubs which are now very much the ugly stepdaughter.  MEL is a sad example of this. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Oct 2017

Total posts 8

Well, I would not rely on Virgin lounges for a while yet. I just arrived (Saturday afternoon) at Adelaide airport early to experience their new lounge. After checking in, the desk staff announce that they have closed lounge early at 1.00pm, no reason given. Incredible they would do this, but worse that they would not let any business or platinum passengers know in advance so we could make other arrangements - like re book with Qantas, or bring some food with us. I have been flying Qantas more over the past year, as Virgin just seemed too risky, and they did not have lounges. I thought I would give them another go. But once again, they seem to be working very hard to make it a bad experience.  To make matters worse, there are no cafes at the Virgin end of the airport, just a bar. 

13 Feb 2015

Total posts 68

"Photos of Virgin's new Adelaide lounge sighted by Executive Traveller..."

But not used in the article. Weird...

20 Jun 2020

Total posts 33

Possibly shared in confidence

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 377

They would be under NDA until Virgin wants them officially released

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Nov 2015

Total posts 36

I've seen the same pics - they were posted by a third-party contractor on Instagram and were promptly removed the next day.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

09 Aug 2016

Total posts 34

Likely a media embargo...

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 462

will single use passes for day of travel still be available

18 Jul 2018

Total posts 36

The new area of the terminal (left after security) is actually pretty pleasant in the public areas; in fact I'd say it's a lot nicer than what the old VA lounge in Adelaide was like (not that that is saying much).

Anyway I look forward to this opening up again having a VA flight out in early March.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 May 2020

Total posts 1

about time!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 May 2014

Total posts 48

Will be able to check it out on the 25th!

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