Virgin Australia has opened the new wing of its Melbourne Airport lounge, just in time for the Christmas rush.
There's seating for an extra 150 travellers but even more to come, with a final stage due for completion late February boosting the bum count to 604 guests.
It's a much-needed expansion for Virgin's Melbourne lounge, which opened in May 2011 and this year has been almost bursting at the seams during peak hours as Virgin's share of the Australian business travel market has increased.
“The problem with Melbourne – and it's a good problem to have – is that when we built it with 80 or 100 percent more seating capacity than the old one, we were expecting it to last us for another two or three years” Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti told Australian Business Traveller earlier this year.
But Virgin's Melbourne lounge won't just be bigger.
Travellers will find a new Espresso Bar - the first of several planned for Virgin Australia lounges – with your caffeine hit to have there or take away, if you flight is boarding and you're on the go.
Glazed windows adjacent to the Espresso Bar offer an expansive view across the tarmac – ideal for some plane-spotting with your piccolo latte.
(If you'd rather sip something stronger, in February 2014 the lounge will gain a new stand-alone Wine Bar to complement the wine service at the existing buffet and bar area.)
Also opening this weekend is Virgin's new Melbourne Premium Valet service, located on Level 2 of the Melbourne Airport Short Term Carpark.
This joins the existing valet service at Sydney and Brisbane and will be available to all Virgin Australia travellers. Costs start at $25 for up to 60 minutes, with $76 for all-day (24 hour) parking, $135 for two days, through to $408 for seven days.
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