Now pouring: Virgin Australia serves up spirits at Sydney lounge

By Chris Chamberlin , February 15 2016
Now pouring: Virgin Australia serves up spirits at Sydney lounge

Spirits are now on the menu at Virgin Australia's Sydney lounge as the airline begins a trial of tipples for the business traveller and frequent flyer.

Smirnoff Red vodka, Bundaberg Original U.P. (dark rum), Bacardi Superior (white rum), Johnny Walker Red Label Scotch Whisky and Gordon's London Dry Gin – best mixed with tonic water and a dash of lime for a traditional G&T – will be served from 11am alongside the usual range of beers, wines and ciders.

A Virgin Australia spokesperson told  Australian Business Traveller that the trial stems from customer demand and will run until February in the Sydney lounge only.

"We regularly trial new products in our lounges to ensure we are providing the best experience for our guests," the spokesperson added.

Spirits in Virgin Australia lounges, or a lack thereof, has long been a contentious subject for frequent travellers with rival Qantas making these a staple of its domestic Business Lounges and Qantas Clubs many years ago.

Also read: Visiting Qantas, Virgin Australia lounges after your flight

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and 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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 514

Good to see Virgin taking a measured approach to this topic, even if only a trial.

Hmm, did we score a 'win' today? (Rhetorical question only).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574

They must be expecting the in laws with that selection!

bmc
bmc

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Aug 2013

Total posts 169

LOL

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

29 Jan 2011

Total posts 159

Be nice if they were to serve some decent whisky. How about some of the champion Tasmanian ones instead of the rather bland Johnny Walker Red!

Qantas Platinum

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 48

You mean Sullivan's Cove French Oak? That's $350 a bottle. Let me know when it happens. I'll book a ticket and earn my money back drinking! :-) 

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

29 Jan 2011

Total posts 159

Me too!

There are a number of other distillers in Tasmania that produce more reasonably priced whiskeys.

The point I was trying to make was why use something as basic as JW Red when there are a lot nore other options around.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 582

Nice cameo in the cover photo, Chris!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 213

I expect Premier Mike Baird will have this 'antisocial' new offering from Virgin shut down promptly  ;-)

/s

VA Platinum

21 Nov 2013

Total posts 20

+1 on this. No doubt free lounge alcohol will soon be limited and shut down.

Sorry if this it too off topic mods!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Feb 2015

Total posts 110

Wow. Thought this would have been a basic requirement already. 

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 273

Me too

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 144

It's only a trial but at least it's something. Hopefully they take some feedback on board about the selection if they decide to continue it. They've had some good wines lately (and a few bad ones) but it's a step in the right direction.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 263

Good story, I didn't know Virgin doesn't serve spirits, I am QF and often consider a change to Virgin, I will consider no more, I like my Chivas or Jack a bit too much.

rdk
rdk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Feb 2016

Total posts 1

Johnny Walker Red Label??! Virgin are obviously concerned about overcrowding in their lounges. I will stick to Qantas and Chivas thanks.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jul 2012

Total posts 43

This will bring Virgin closer to Qantas' offering. I might only have one every other visit, but just knowing that it is there give the Qantas lounge an air of superiority. Even with QF, sometimes they aren't on display (eg CNS), but if you ask they oblige.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

17 Feb 2016

Total posts 2

This is excellent news. A number of my colleagues fly Qantas literally so they can finish their buy day with a spirit or 2. This will help in taking Virgin Lounges from "Good to Great". Johnny Red is a start but Chivas or Black would make a level playing field. If Virgin has done this after listening to customer feedback - congratulations to the V Team.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Feb 2016

Total posts 2

Interesting!!!!  Count me in but lets hope they up the quality of beverages. The Virgin lounges are fantastic - this an added bonus to an already great experience.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

18 Feb 2016

Total posts 1

Hope they do this in Melbourne. Anyhow mostly its Sydney we leave from in the afternoon. Can hardly just be a trial - come on, Qantas have had this for how many years. And lets hope they get some decent Chivas or Turkey! Anyway i'll be joining the line up to the bar.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

26 Feb 2016

Total posts 101

Fly with Singapore Air a lot and having some spirits is esential for sleeping on a Y-class red-eye flight Melbourne to Singapore, and also for the next leg.

OK, I have to admit that sometime I fly just for the drink at the Melbourne lounge. They serve something really good there.

Also flew with Ear New Zulland many times this year but I donno if they serve spirits because everytime I was with my wife and only one beer was permitted.

Hi DBPZ, and welcome to AusBT. We've replaced the ICAO airport codes in your comment above (which are mainly used by pilots) with the names of the cities as everyday people would know them.

(Your average person has no clue that WSSS = Singapore or that YMML = Melbourne.)

As we're more so a 'travel' site than an 'aviation/AvGeek' site, we'd appreciate you using the city names in any future posts so that our readers know what you're talking about. :)

Thanks and happy Friday!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Feb 2016

Total posts 2

Have Virgin confirmed if they will be serving spirits in their lounges - was great while it lasted in Sydney

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

17 Feb 2016

Total posts 2

Good point. I noticed they had disappeared, heard a few guys grumbling about it not being there. Be interested in the V news on this one.

Looking at flying domestic business class on Virgin out of sydney next week. Does anyone know if the trial became permanent?


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Now pouring: Virgin Australia serves up spirits at Sydney lounge