Virgin Velocity: how to get in to regional Air NZ lounges

By John Walton, October 24 2011

As part of the Virgin Australia-Air New Zealand trans-Tasman alliance, Velocity frequent flyer Gold and Platinum cardholders receive reciprocal access to Air New Zealand's Koru lounges in NZ.

Just flash your Velocity card and boarding pass and you -- plus a guest -- are in.

But to get into the Air New Zealand Regional Koru lounges for flights from Hamilton, Invercargill, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Tauranga, the process is different -- and there's not much information published online about how it works.

Virgin Australia's website says, "Eligible members and Guests will be given applicable documentation to enter regional Koru lounges at the Air New Zealand check-in counters in these ports."

Australian Business Traveller asked Virgin Australia for more details about exactly what this "applicable documentation" is, in case Velocity members needed to bring something specific with them.

A Virgin spokeswoman explained further: "Guests that are eligible to access regional Air New Zealand lounges are provided with a PIN number at the check-in counter. This PIN is then entered into an automatic system at the entrance of the Koru lounges."

"This system is exclusive to the regional Koru lounges," the spokesperson continued. "For international lounge entry, eligible members simply present their Velocity card and valid boarding pass."

So don't forget to ask for the PIN when you check in at those regional lounges. (Although you should be aware that Queenstown's Koru lounge doesn't require a PIN according to Virgin's website.)

The international lounges that are part of the alliance are at Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Los Angeles and San Francisco. (Nadi and Rarotonga lounges aren't included in the deal.)

And for the busier domestic lounges at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, it's the international-style process: just show your card and boarding pass. 

John Walton
John Walton

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.



15 Apr 2011

Total posts 586

That seems rather convoluted to me... What's wrong with the card/boarding pass flash I wonder?

John Walton

John Walton

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 673

If memory serves from a couple years ago, there's no door guardian at the non-Queenstown regional lounges. So it's one of those push-button number locks. Happy to be corrected by readers with newer information, of course!

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