Virgin Australia opens next stage of expanded Brisbane lounge

By Chris Chamberlin, May 26 2015

Virgin Australia's lounge improvement works in Brisbane are in full swing with the airline quietly opening the second stage of its expanded home hub lounge.

Greeting travellers is a brand new entrance to the right of the one it replaces...

... joined by a new reception desk and a time-saving self-entry machine for passengers that already have their boarding pass.

Guests then proceed down a long corridor to reach the lounge proper, but which is filled with duo and group seating to provide extra space for lounge lizards during peak periods.

That's in place of the 'library' zone which used to be tucked away behind the old reception desk, and was admittedly rather bland compared to the rest of the lounge.

Gone: the quiet library area in Virgin Australia's Brisbane lounge
Gone: the quiet library area in Virgin Australia's Brisbane lounge

At the end of the corridor, turn left and you'll spot Virgin Australia's signature 'linen print' glass...

... winding its way around more chairs and tables...

... and the odd plush chairs which can be a tad more comfortable for those aiming to relax.

Meanwhile, all of the 'old' and original lounge space – except for the bathrooms – has been boarded up...

... with guests kept solely on the 'new' side, which opened last month.

Read: First photos: Virgin Australia’s expanded Brisbane Airport lounge

Part of that space will be given over to a Sydney-style Premium Entry facility – allowing travellers with only carry-on baggage to enter the lounge (and terminal) via a private security screening point...

... while other areas in the 'old zone' will be transformed to offer even more seating and an additional lounge exit – avoiding the need for passengers in that area to zigzag their way back to the new doorway.

Also on the agenda: a dedicated espresso and wine bar to rival that on offer in Melbourne:

"We’re excited to bring Premium Entry to Brisbane, which will complete our Australian domestic east coast Premium Entry and Exit offering," a Virgin Australia spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller.

"We look forward to unveiling the full signature lounge experience in Brisbane featuring Premium Entry later this year."

Brisbane residents and frequent visitors to the Sunshine State may have realised that the buffet is now also blocked off – but fear not, a temporary food and beverage area takes its place:

There you'll find everything you've come to expect from VA's lounges, including hand-crafted barista coffee at any time of the day...

... cereals, fruits, toasters and a sandwich press...

... along with hot and cold menu items in the middle and bar service from 11am.

"Brisbane will certainly take our lounge offering to the next level," Virgin Australia's national lounge manager Howard Mitchell told Australian Business Traveller earlier this year.

The final stages of the renovation will give Virgin Australia “a really, really premium, lovely offering," Mitchell adds. "Just wait and see – it’ll be extraordinary."

With the lounge again shrunk to around half its full size, the existing and separate 'overflow' space – or 'lounge café' on the floor plan – will continue to be available as needed during peak times.

Also read: Air NZ opens new Star Alliance lounge at Sydney Airport

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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!


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