Virgin Australia business class: new 'on arrival' lounge access

By Chris Chamberlin, November 7 2016

Virgin Australia domestic business class guests can now access Virgin Australia lounges after their flight, joining the pre-flight lounge privileges already offered to high flyers.

It’s a particular win for the airline’s ‘The Business’ passengers jetting overnight from Perth to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, who can maximise their sleep in the air, and once on the ground, can visit the lounge for a hot shower, a barista-made coffee and a bite of breakfast.

AusBT review: Virgin Australia ‘The Business’, Sydney-Perth

You won’t be rushed for time, either, with those overnight flights landing between 5am and 6am – giving you a few hours to recoup before your 9am meeting in the city or before returning home after a productive business trip.

While most beneficial after those red-eye flights, lounge access ‘on arrival’ is also now offered to Virgin Australia business class passengers travelling across the airline’s domestic network, including after shorter business class hops like Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane to Sydney.

Previously a perk reserved for the airline’s Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers, a Virgin Australia spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that all domestic business class flyers are now welcome in the lounges after their flight, regardless of their frequent flyer status.

However, there’s no lounge access on arrival after international flights with Virgin Australia or its web of partners including Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines, unless travelling onwards that day aboard a Virgin Australia flight.

Post-flight lounge access is also a privilege enjoyed by Qantas’ business class passengers arriving on the Roo’s overnight flights from Perth to the east coast, although not by business class flyers on other routes, except for those with Qantas Platinum or Platinum One status.

Also read: Virgin Australia shakes up international airport lounge access

Join other AusBT readers talking about Virgin Australia in our dedicated Virgin Australia discussion group

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

Thought this was already a thing. I recall leaving a question about VA domestic lounges as arrivals lounges for business class passengers in the Q&A section and someone in the AusBT universe saying it's been a thing for a while.

The only challenge I could see if the lounges are air-side when you arrive. What do you do with your bags if you collect them and then want to go back air-side to use the lounge?

Hi Jono, when we last checked this with VA HQ, arrivals access was only granted to VA Gold & Platinum regardless of cabin class (no arrivals access for business class passengers without status, although some lounge staff may have twisted the rules from time to time). This has recently changed to allow this access for business class passengers, as we've confirmed with Virgin Australia directly.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

Thanks Chris. Good to know. It's a handy benefit for travelers like me who will probably not reach Gold, but will most likely spend some points on a business class upgrade. 


Any advice for the other question: The only challenge I could see if the lounges are air-side when you arrive. What do you do with your bags if you collect them and then want to go back air-side to use the lounge?

Thanks again.

You'd ideally fly with only carry-on luggage, otherwise you'll need to pick up your suitcase and store it somewhere before going back through security to access the lounge (except in Melbourne where the VA lounge is handily pre-security).

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 261

Any word on QF and its landing policy?

I will be borderline gold/platinum this year and having access on landing as platinum is a massive plus. The fact that VA offers it to gold as well is a reason I would change over.

Conversations with QF staff 18 months ago suggested no plans to change, but that was the front line team and also a while ago now.

See the final paragraph of the story: Qantas gives domestic lounge access on arrival to Platinum and above regardless of travel class.

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 261

Understood Chris. Question is whether this will go downstream to include Gold at some point as well. Cheers

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Nov 2015

Total posts 35

This is perfect for my travel next year! I have to wait about 75 min after my SYD-PER flight to meet someone at the airport.

I have the same question as Jono though, what happens with your check in luggage? Ideally you'd want to go straight to the lounge after arrival. Can the lounge staff somehow organise your bags to be kept with luggage services? Or would you need to collect and store in a locker and redo security to enter?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2015

Total posts 22

Nope. With QF at least, they'll call you and passive aggressively tell you to come pick it up (from experience).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

25 Jul 2013

Total posts 52

I've never had a problem with this situation. If you don't collect your luggage straight after your flight, then it is usually picked up by VA staff and kept behind the Baggage Services counter (within the arrivals hall). You can pick it up after you leave the lounge ;)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

09 Aug 2016

Total posts 3

Thanks for the heads up. I'll be sure to add that to the list I forward to John and Karl on how #virginaustralia continue to devalue their Platinum status and why I am increasing my travel with Qantas.

04 May 2015

Total posts 243

Dear CEOs of "#virginaustralia",

How DARE you let paying business class passengers into the business class lounges that I use for FREE as a Platinum member. I'm so angry that I'm going to book an economy flight with Qantas and then use their lounge after my flight, just like I can already do with Virgin. So, um, take that!

Signed,
Dano


Nice letter there man...

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 222

VA have Showers?! Where!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Plantium

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 120

Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Gold Coast, Cairns, Canberra and Darwin.  Just not at Mackay or Alice Springs.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 222

Interesting! Thanks.

10 Nov 2016

Total posts 6

Just ask for a towel at the counter.......

27 Aug 2013

Total posts 22

Hi Chris, love your work! Is there any chance you can ask VA HQ about the status of anytime access for VA plats and golds, and whether it is still a benefit (unpublished)? I know that it was removed officially a few years ago but there's been a quite heated debate raging on another frequent flyer forum about this topic and I'm still none the wiser
Hi ausdt, 'anytime access' hasn't been a thing with VA for a few years now, although there was a period of time after that where the self-entry kiosks would admit Gold and Platinum members into the lounge regardless of whether they had a reservation for travel that day. That has also been corrected, so any access beyond the published rules would be at the discretion of lounge staff, and not to be expected.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 448

I've used Arrivals Access as a Gold/Plat many times over the years – it's a fantastic yet little-known perk. I must admit landing in MEL after a weekend away on a Sunday evening, more than once I have popped into the lounge to see what the hot dish of the day is before deciding to have dinner there, or have dinner at home.

The staff always seem very confused at what Arrivals Access is – it's always met with a 'umm, okay, I guess' when I mention it.

29 Jun 2016

Total posts 7

I usually fly Qantas by choice, but have frequently tried to gain Lounge Access after arrival, by going back through security after collecting and storing my bags; mostly after an international early AM arrival or from a red eye out of Perth. 

My protests, letters to Qantas have never received any positive responses. Just the usual robot reply. It may well be that Qantas will have to match Virgin, if I am to keep my loyalty to Qantas. Surely it can't be too hard for either airline to provide this incentive.?


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Feb 2013

Total posts 5

Arrival lounge access is essential these days...the amount flying we do. It is all about trend...it only takes a few to start and the rest follow. I travel business and cattle class does not matter what status level you are with a business class ticket , If travel cattle class then status means a lot e.g. flying BA from sydney to portugal (and the flight departing for Portugal leaves from gatwick) arrival at heathrow terminal 5 after a long flight. Nice to have a shower, breakfast and catch up news. Prior transfer to gatwick then on final leg. UK arrival system is excellent as Qantas Gold I get a lot of benefits even with BA (one world)

Qantas has my heart but I find (Qantas, Emirates and BA) much the same... However with a high discount business class fares...Frequent flyer programs in future will need a lot work to be done...What is good today may not work in future

12 Sep 2014

Total posts 28

I'm assuming Lounge members don't get the same perk?

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