Virgin Australia reveals new 'international lounge network'

By David Flynn, October 17 2018

Virgin Australia will shift to the Etihad Airways lounges at Sydney and Melbourne, with those lounges being rebranded as The House, while also adding an all-new Brisbane space called My Lounge to its network.

Travellers on Virgin flights from New Zealand will have access to the third-party Strata lounge at Auckland and the Manaia lounges at Christchurch and Queenstown, while Wellington will see its very own Virgin Australia lounge.

The changes come as Virgin loses access to Air New Zealand lounges from October 28 as part of the airline's messy break-up – one which has seen the Kiwi carrier form a codeshare alliance with longtime rival Qantas – while Virgin also seeks to bring some more order to its lounge arrangements, which have previously varied according to where the destination of any given Virgin Australia flight.

Sydney and Melbourne will see each airport's Etihad Airways lounge taken over by operator No1 Lounges and rebranded as The House, the same as happened to Etihad's London Heathrow T4 lounge at the start of this month.

Both lounges "will provide a choice of self-service (meals) as well as a la carte dining throughout the day," says Virgin Australia, with the tended bar will remain and offering everything from fruit juice and smoothies to "a range of coffee options from around the world, cocktails, Champagne and a selection of great Australian wines."

Brisbane will get an all-new lounge dubbed My Lounge, designed in the style of a loft apartment with social lounging spaces, a games room and seating for more than 100 guests.

Travellers can look forward to a 'grazing menu of healthy and indulgent choices' plus barista-pulled coffee and a bar. My Lounge will also be managed by No1 Lounges.

Read more: See the first photos of Virgin Australia's all-new Brisbane international lounge

Across the pond, a new Virgin Australia Lounge will open at Wellington "in the next few months."

Here's the full roster:

All of these lounges will be open to Virgin's business class passengers along with Platinum and Gold members of the Velocity Frequent Flyer scheme.

The airline has yet to advise on lounge options for its flights from Dunedin.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

03 Oct 2016

Total posts 17

Am I reading this correctly? Does this mean "The House" lounges are becoming a joint Etihad + Virgin lounge?

Hopefully this is a good change for us all. It has no mention of spirits however, I'd be really upset if they don't serve spirits. Hopefully just an oversight in the marketing materials.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

03 Oct 2016

Total posts 17

Oh I re-read the article, I get it now. Just virgin switching to "The House" lounges.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 130

Basically it's a joint Etihad/Virgin lounge in Sydney/Melbourne under the "The House" brand, but operated by a third party company called "No 1 Lounges" (which operate the former Etihad lounge in LHR).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 102

Yes, one hopes the non-mention of spirits is just an oversight (they mention cocktails, and these always contain spirits?). G&T's go down well at any time of the day.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

03 Oct 2016

Total posts 17

I just did some research on their website. While it lacks detail on any of the new announcements for the existing lounges it does not appear to mention spirits anywhere...

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 102

Great news for VA customers.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 40

I'll let you know, I'm flying MEL-LAX-LHR next Monday in business and am counting on use of the (currently branded) Etihad lounge Monday.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

01 Mar 2012

Total posts 169

This could be good if No 1 are managing the lounges as it creates a more coherent structure for VA flights.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 93

The Manaia lounge in ZQN has $40pp pay at the door entry (any class of travel) if space is available. Adding VA pax will definitely reduce the chances of getting a paid entry - QF, JQ and VA intl flights ex ZQN mostly group in a narrow time spread in the afternoon. NB: this lounge is airside in the international part of the terminal.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Dec 2014

Total posts 6

But Qantas/JQ wont use the Mania lounges now

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jun 2017

Total posts 41

so where will QF/JQ go then?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Dec 2014

Total posts 6

To the Air NZ lounge. A win for QFF because the lounge is before security in ZQN.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jan 2015

Total posts 67

But international flights on QF (and certainly not JQ) will not have access to the NZ lounge as lounge access is only for NZ-operated QF-marketed domestic NZ flights.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Dec 2014

Total posts 6

Oh it looks like you’re right, sorry. I guess we’ll get stuck in Manaia lounge then.

I wonder, are the Manaia lounges going to be the only lounges where Qantas and Virgin frequent flyers share a lounge now that Airberlin isn’t in operations?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Virgin Gold/Platinum card holders have used the Qantas Perth Business lounge for a few years now prior to Etihad operated flights. This all ends now that Etihad has terminated services from Perth.
Exciting times! Question is where in Wellington can they squeeze in another lounge?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 128

I was wondering the same thing...
Too late I called them a couple of weeks ago but they had no idea so I booked with QF for a December trip across the ditch.

24 Jun 2015

Total posts 9

Excellent news, the Sydney Air NZ lounge will be a much quieter place now that VA Gold/Plats have been turfed out :)

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 586

....but logic says the number of flights or size of operating aircraft must also decrease as those "turfed out" VA pax are now not using NZ. NZ cannot codeshare with QF so their available AU pax pool has reduced and no Australian with a brain would bother with the rip-off that is NZ AirPoints.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 93

I think I read somewhere, 90% of the load on a typical NZ Tasman service is Kiwis anyway. What it does mean is that NZ have to stump up with their own metal now, especially sectors like ZQN-BNE where for quite a while they had no flights of their own..

23 Jul 2018

Total posts 2

You are right about the Sydney lounge but good luck getting a seat in the Koru Club Auckland in domestic with QF plats and golds having access now.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 293

Congrats to Virgin. A strong step forward that a lot of people have been waiting for.

03 May 2017

Total posts 21

Dunno if this is old news, but at LAX the VA Lounge is Emirates I was there a couple weeks ago.
Yes, it's been that way for a while - a nice lounge!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 102

Actually a big upgrade for VA, over the NZ lounge in SYD/MEL, with a la carte dining. Will they keep the Arabian coffee?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 15

The Wellington lounge will be on the mezzanine level above Intl departure gates 27.
do you mean the mezzanine upstairs in the 'rock' ?

- that would be too small... no?

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

31 Oct 2016

Total posts 70

I was going to joke that they'd use some scaffolding and just rig up a lounge on top of the rock.. Didn't realise that was the actual plan.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 300

My Lounge looks like a great marketing idea, my personal thoughts on lounges are if I'm in a lounge I've been at the airport to long.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

Presume Velocity Gold and Plats flying Economy on SQ will only get access to the Krisflyer Gold lounges at Changi and not the nicer SilverKris lounges?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 102

Yes, one would assume that stays the same because it is a SQ decision. Boooo! SQ, please at least give VA WP's access to Silverkris!

09 Feb 2018

Total posts 5

Would be great to focus on Domestic lounges first eg. Townsville, Hobart, Newcastle

its also great to see lounge Access for Hainan airlines clarified for the first time
oxy
oxy

03 May 2017

Total posts 19

Well if nothing else it has simplified the lounge entitlements somewhat, especially ex MEL! Well done VA.

23 Jul 2018

Total posts 2

It is not uncommon to forget Dunedin but any update on lounge access for VA flights Dunedin to Brisbane?
Hi Hils, Dunedin was mentioned in the story: "The airline has yet to advise on lounge options for its flights from Dunedin."

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 109

This is a great move, both sides of the Tasman fully covered, and further lounge upgrades in Aust particularly in BNE for international flights. As per previous posts the standardisation and Virgin input to the lounges will greatly lift the lounge experience.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jun 2017

Total posts 33

Do SQ golds flying on VA metal to LAX (in Y) get this benefit as well?

And on the return flight as well?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Will be interesting but I'd say no.

Officially the VA/SQ tie up only covers airline operated lounges. It'll be interesting to see if this MyHouse lounge is counted as a partner or not. I'd also assume that SQ Gold would get lounge access in Wellington if it's indeed going to be a VA branded lounge.

06 Jun 2017

Total posts 3

Call me cynical, but I really doubt they'll have champagne...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Oct 2018

Total posts 2

any thoughts on whether Virgin Lounge passes will be able to be used to bring in extra guest into The House or My Lounge? VA Plats used to be able to take 3 guests into the AirNZ lounge from memory, now it's down to just 1 (+ 2 kids).

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