Virgin Australia: new lounges coming for Perth, Darwin in 2015

By Chris C., September 4 2014
Virgin Australia: new lounges coming for Perth, Darwin in 2015

2015 will be a big year for Virgin Australia's airport lounge network with new lounges for Perth and Darwin along with an expanded lounge in Brisbane.

Darwin will open in March 2015, Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti tells Australian Business Travelleras part of a $60 million revamp of Darwin International Airport.

The 150-seat lounge will be around the same size as its Gold Coast sibling and join an enlarged Qantas Club at the NT capital.

But the prize of 2015 will be the new facilities at Perth, which will open "the moment we move into the new terminal" Borghetti says. "At this stage that's looking like mid-2015, somewhere between May and July".

Virgin's swish new Perth terminal will boast a new flagship lounge
Virgin's swish new Perth terminal will boast a new flagship lounge

Perth will not only gain a flagship lounge along the same lines as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, "it'll be the first airport where we roll out our new check-in system" Borghetti explains.

"This is really a whole new on-ground experience" he says of the system, which will aim to close the gap against Qantas' Smarter Faster check-in facility.

The new Perth lounge is woven into Perth Airport's plan for new domestic terminals, an international pier and a third runway: 

As previously reported, around March 2015 Virgin will double the size of its Brisbane Airport lounge and add a fast-track Premium Entry facility modelled along the same lines as that of its flagship lounge at Sydney.

This will let business travellers and top-tier Velocity Frequent Flyers enter the lounge straight from the kerbside valet service, without having to enter the main terminal.

Designed for travellers with only cabin bags, passengers still have the option of using Premium Entry after completing the traditional bag drop formalities – although in Brisbane, there's already a priority screening lane adjacent to priority check-in. 

Virgin's Melbourne lounge will gain its own 'Premium Exit' facility in mid-September.

In effect a mirrored version of the Sydney lounge's Premium Entry, the Premium Exit will have two dedicated screening lanes to provide a time-saving direct path from the bustling lounge to the northern departure gates 1-10.

As the Melbourne Lounge is located ahead of security, top-tier travellers currently have to exit the lounge, walk through the terminal and then proceed through the regular screening point. 

But Tassie travellers hanging out for Virgin's much-delayed Hobart lounge might be in for a longer wait beyond even the last-advised 'sometime in 2015' timetable.

"Regarding the opening of our Hobart lounge, we're currently reviewing the timetable for that and will provide an update as soon as possible" a Virgin Australia spokeswoman told Australian Business Traveller.

In late 2012 Borghetti indicated the Hobart lounge would open in 2013, but in February 2013 that date slipped to 2014 and then later was pushed back to 2015.

Additional reporting by David Flynn.

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Chris C.

A former contributor to Executive Traveller, Chris 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

30 May 2013

Total posts 354

Methinks the delay of the Hobart lounge has more to do problems at Hobart Airport itself rather than Virgin Australia. The current terminal is a shambles and realistically there is nowhere - especialy airside, where this could be built. Hobart desperately needs a brand new terminal.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jun 2014

Total posts 8

I hate it when people say "methinks" when they mean "I think".

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 354

I hate it when people have nothing of substance to add to the story.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2012

Total posts 43

  1. Whatever happened to the Townsville lounge Virgin was proposing? Having gold status in Townsville doesn't give you much in the way of benefits at the airport. 

Methinks a Virgin lounge in Hobart would be very welcome.  Its a crap airport.

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