Virgin Australia opens new 'boutique' airport lounge at Wellington

By David Flynn, April 17 2019
Virgin Australia opens new 'boutique' airport lounge at Wellington

Virgin Australia's new lounge at Wellington Airport is now open to the airline's business class passengers and Velocity Platinum and Gold frequent flyers, along with Virgin Australia Lounge members.

It's a decidedly cosy space, with room for just 32 passengers – hence why Virgin is describing the lounge as a 'boutique' offering.

The lounge will be open to passengers only 90 minutes prior to the departure of each Virgin Australia-operated flight, and due to limited capacity there's no use of lounge passes (issued to Velocity Silver members plus through partner credit cards of American Express, Virgin Money, ANZ and Westpac) and no guesting from international airline partners.

However, as is the case with other Virgin Australia lounges, there's guesting for one adult and two children for Velocity Platinum and Gold card-holders and Virgin Australia Lounge members.

Virgin's Wellington Airport lounge is located in the international departures area above gate 48, beyond customs and security, with views across the tarmac.

Those passengers who do get through the door will enjoy free WiFi, a buffet (with catering operated by the Rydges Wellington Airport Hotel) with a rotating menu of hot food for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and a selection of self-serve beer plus red, white and sparkling wine, Nespresso coffee and Madam Flavour Tea.

Also worth noting: the lounge lacks bathrooms, so passengers needing to spend a penny will need to pop back into the terminal to use the airport's own facilities.


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.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

17 Nov 2014

Total posts 97

No guesting for international airline partners - I wonder how Virgin's main shareholder Singapore Airlines will think about that?

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 695

SQ guests get access to NZ lounge under Star rules so they are probably cool with VA's restrictions.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 695

Sorry, I should've been clearer. They get access to NZ lounge when travelling with a SQ code. I guess they miss out if travelling with a VA code.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

SQ will probably be happy as it may encourage pax to book the SQ code now?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Oct 2017

Total posts 35

Arh David - thanks for the hilarity in your review.

I've not heard that line for quite a while "passengers needing to spend a penny" - brilliant!

Sounds like they've made do as best as they could with the space available?

08 Sep 2018

Total posts 16

As there only is really one flight at a time 32 seats should be enough. Average Tasman flights are only 120-150pax full so I’d be amazed if a quarter of the flight is gold/plat.l

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 322

I wonder if this is because they couldn't get access to a larger space, didn't want to spend the money, or if they genuinely don't need space for more than 32 people. Space for 32 people only does seem quite small.

I wonder if we will hear reports of getting rejected from the lounge in the coming weeks as it is already at capacity.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 147

Wellington Airport is far too small, but the International departures area is TINY, being the original International terminal that was in use before the current main terminal concourse was built. The Air NZ lounge itself is like a living room in size. I'm surprised they even found room for a lounge at all.

09 Sep 2012

Total posts 140

It's a tiny country.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Nov 2018

Total posts 67

For a port that only see’s 2 flights a day, 32 seats seems perfect. Im still amazed they opened a lounge.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

06 Apr 2012

Total posts 95

Some days see more than 2 flights - for example, Sundays have 2 BNE flights, 1 SYD flight and there is the VA5468 codeshare for MEL. The early morning BNE and SYD flights leave at roughly the same time so this lounge could get a bit busy.


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

I think I'll stick with the Qantas lounge where you can spend a penny and even have a shower. First lounge I've ever heard of that doesn't have a WC. Yuck. Boutique sounds one up from Pop Up.

04 May 2015

Total posts 257

You obviously haven't visited the Krisflyer Gold lounge in Singapore that VA Gold and Platinum use when flying SQ. Same deal: no showers, no toilets. To use the loo, you have to exit the lounge.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jul 2017

Total posts 14

I was about to mention the same lounge.


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

The poor person on the Lounge Desk will get sick of customers coming back in saying they have just returned from the public lav, fingers crossed no change over of staff shift occurs during their visitations or there could be a recognition problem getting back in...

the door is accessed by a scan-for-entry...

Boy oh boy, there are one or two cats out there. VA are doing their best in difficult circumstances. I do recall years ago, my brother being invited into the Station Managers office in ZQN (I think it was there) when flying Ansett (due to a lack of lounge). Criticism is worthwhile if it adds to the situation. As my mother said, if you aint got nothin nice to say don't say nothin at all.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

31 Oct 2016

Total posts 73

Sounds like the Palmerston North Air NZ Koru Lounge.


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Oh Dear, but Palmerston North is not the Capital City.

Excellent result VA... given that there is no where else in the airport. With views of the apron, and high ceilings.. it trumps the Air NZ International Lounge. Sure, not toilets or shower.. but beats not having a dedicated VA space at all....

Oh, and David; "due to limited capacity there's no arrivals access" - this would more be because the lounge is in the airside international departure zone - right?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 147

Indeed. There is no arrivals access full stop.

Just 2 flights a day..... we just gave up on using VA to Wello, and coming out is at 6am !! Hopefully the lounge means they will fix the frequencies.

08 Jul 2017

Total posts 19

There was a poor review on AFF this morning.

No hot breakfast items contradicts the blurb.


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Glorified waiting room with stairs to climb!!!! OMG I hope SIA don't pull out of the AIRNZ lounge in Wellington and go to this.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1214

Why on earth would they?

09 Aug 2015

Total posts 28

I read that report, the passenger turned up at 4.40am and was first in the lounge on first day of opening, I can give Virgin a little latitude for not having a hot three-course meal there. My brother visited the lounge this weekend and tells me the buffet included hot food in the form of a decent bacon & egg roll so I think the AFF report is not as reliable in the 'hot food stakes' because it was done before things were properly set up.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 104

A very decent offering from VA at such a small outstation.

Velocity Platinum

08 Jul 2011

Total posts 11

Don't knock the Palmerston North Koru Lounge. It's one of the best Lounges in NZ. Full facilities, plenty of space and good food and wine.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 181

So is Air NZ regional lounge in Hamilton (NZ).

29 Nov 2018

Total posts 1

I found it really pleasant. There were only 7 people that came into the Lounge when we were there (including us 2). There were 2 staff, service was attentive. Small selection of food: croissants, cereals, yogurt, fruit, hot bacon and egg rolls. Nespresso machine, drinks selection. Wifi was fast, selection of magazines and newspapers. Only issue was small amount of powerpoints and no advance boarding call.


13 Aug 2016

Total posts 50

Ideally WLG just needs to build an single decent contract lounge for International, both the NZ/QF lounges need upgrades, but with only a couple of flights each an day it seems pointless for all 3 to have there own lounges.

The Qantas domestic lounge space would of been great, but that became office space over the last couple of years, it could of been setup with direct accesss down into the Intertional area with minimal bluiding works require.

In such an small airport - how NZ is able to get space for its 3x lounges is beyond me....

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

26 Oct 2014

Total posts 12

For the info of Cityrail

SQ no longer holds a 49% in VS. DL bought the 49% under Agreement with VS. DL has since been sold 24% to KLM/AF (under EU rules no US Airline can own more than 25%).
VX obviously no longer exists after Alaska Airlines purchased VX.
Now Virgin Group only holds 15% in VS.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 214

Pretty sure he was referring to Virgin Australia, which is the airline being quoted in this article. No where did it mention Virgin Atlantic.

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