When are Virgin Australia's airport lounges reopening?

As domestic borders come down and demand for travel ramps up, here's where you'll find Virgin's lounges open and waiting.

By David Flynn, December 15 2020
When are Virgin Australia's airport lounges reopening?

With more flights and more passengers, Virgin Australia is now adding more lounges to the mix. But not all of them: some won't open their doors again until next year, while others are closed for good. Here's the rundown.

Virgin's lounges at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are now open, in readiness for the country's three busiest airports experiencing a swell of summer holiday demand.

"Historically the Golden Triangle has been one of the busiest flight corridors in the world," notes Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka, who expects to see the airline running at 60% of pre-COVID domestic capacity by January 2021.

Virgin's 'triangle' travellers can once again relax in a lounge before their flight.
Virgin's 'triangle' travellers can once again relax in a lounge before their flight.

In fact, at the time of writing, Virgin's Melbourne lounge is undergoing some maintenance work so all lounge-worthy passengers – including business class flyers, Velocity Platinum and Velocity Gold members, Virgin Australia lounge members, AMEX Platinum and Centurion cardholders, and Virgin lounge pass holders – are being sent to the normally-secret The Club lounge.

All three lounges offer a limited range of food such as chilled sandwiches, snacks, fruit and other small bites, although hot meals are off the menu for now.

In the COVID world, Virgin has embraced pre-packed sandwiches and snacks.
In the COVID world, Virgin has embraced pre-packed sandwiches and snacks.
There's also a choice of biscuits and chips.
There's also a choice of biscuits and chips.

There's the reliable barista-pulled coffee throughout the day, and a selection of alcohol available from 12pm.

Drinks from noon, coffee any time you choose...
Drinks from noon, coffee any time you choose...

Read more: We check out Virgin's new domestic airport lounge experience

However, the time- and hassle-saving Premium Entry channels at Sydney and Brisbane – and the Premium Exit lane at Virgin's Melbourne lounge – will remain shuttered until next year, a spokesman for Virgin Australia has confirmed to Executive Traveller.

Sydney's popular Premium Entry is closed until sometime next year.
Sydney's popular Premium Entry is closed until sometime next year.

Virgin lists its Gold Coast and Perth lounges as "opening soon", with no specific date attached, while a Virgin Australia spokesperson tells Executive Traveller its Canberra lounge will reopen in early 2021.

The airline's Adelaide lounge isn't expected to fling open its doors until early 2021, at which time it'll reveal an all-new design to which other Virgin lounges will be upgraded in the coming years.

As previously reported, Virgin Australia has decided to axe its lounges in Alice Springs, Cairns, Darwin, Mackay, Perth Terminal 2, and Wellington, New Zealand.

The final piece of the puzzle is The Club: Virgin's invitation-only equivalent to the Qantas Chairman's Lounge, which in addition to being a VIP frequent flyer tier also sees private lounges at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth.

Virgin's The Club is a sanctuary of schmooze for high-flying corporates and captains of industry.. Source: Supplied
Virgin's The Club is a sanctuary of schmooze for high-flying corporates and captains of industry.
Source: Supplied

Virgin says that The Club is also under review, which should come as no surprise given that the airline is adopting a mid-market strategy with a lesser focus on corporate travellers and deliberately not aping the full-service approach of arch-rival Qantas.

Also read: Why Virgin Australia's future is more JetBlue than Jetstar

David

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.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 598

I'm more worried about the parking then when the lounges are opening, in June there were heaps of parks at Sydney airport, last week the parking was full with Valet and Blue Emu closed. This week I'm thinking it going to be shocking trying to find a park and the next 4 trips around Xmas time might be better taking an expensive taxi ride.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 228

Can understand the other closures but Darwin and to a lesser extent Cairns, seem short sighted. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Sep 2013

Total posts 56

Darwin lounge: Virgin only really had 4 flight a day to/from Darwin expect at certain time of the year with one flight in the morning to Alice and Adelaide and an afternoon bank to SYD, MEL and BNE, the Darwin lounge was never fully utilised. Plus to the best of my knowledge there has been no major government or corporate contract for Virgin in Darwin. Qantas had the military contacts for Darwin and I can't think of many other besides mining which whould go to Alliance or Qantas.

Cairns Lounge: It didn’t get the utilisation just like other regional lounges, a few flight in the morning and lunch time rush and a few flight in the evening and mainly leisure travellers without the government or corporate contacts to subsidise the lounge operation either.

Hopefully both lounges and other regional lounges can be sold off to Plaza Premium; No 1 (Operator of My Lounge in BNE and The House Lounges in MEL and SYD); or another lounge operator. And that they can reach a deal with Virgin to operate the lounge and Virgin pays per user fee in these cities whist open it up to other paying travellers like Amex card holders or Priority Pass other times of the day to make it profitable in the long run.


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