We've seen a surprising increase in the number of people muttering about the Virgin Blue lounges in Melbourne and Brisbane being closed, with particular complaints about the lack of decent alternative food, drink and workspace options for business travellers.
Virgin Blue is promising a revamp on a "May 2011" schedule, but the airline announced the temporary closure some time back, so it might be time for a reminder and the full details of the closures.
The Lounge in Melbourne is currently "closed for several weeks", according to Virgin Blue's latest information. The temporary lounge that was open until 8 April is now shut.
Instead, Virgin Blue is offering two $10 airport food vouchers -- but be aware you won't get any change when spending them.
Pick up your food vouchers from the desk next to the now-closed temporary lounge.
When the Melbourne lounge re-opens in May it's been tipped to include an express security lane so guests can make their way straight to their flight’s boarding gate without having to leave the lounge and join the crowd at the terminal's security checkpoint.
The Lounge in Brisbane is currently in a temporary spot, next to the permanent lounge near Gate 41.
It's smaller than the normal lounge and seats only 100. We hear that it gets pretty crowded even at non-peak times.
As a result, Virgin Blue isn't offering its usual casual entry deal -- you'll need to purchase in advance online -- although we wouldn't recommend it until the main lounge re-opens.
The lounge has a "reduced catering and beverage selection", so like Melbourne you'll get $20 of airport food vouchers.
The temporary lounge lacks toilets and showers as well -- you'll have to hoof it back into the terminal for a comfort break.
Virgin Blue says that the lounge is "currently undergoing minor works" -- probably in conjunction with the new kerbside check-in and fast-track security we reviewed this week -- but isn't expecting major disruption.
If you have questions, Virgin Blue have a special hotline set up: 1300 287 202 will get you straight to the team dealing with The Lounge.
Don't forget, to get into The Lounge whenever you fly, save $300 off Virgin Blue's membership prices by taking advantage of our insider tip to pick up a Priority Pass membership.