AirlinesStarAllianceoneWorldSkyteamOthersNewsSeatmapsAirportsForumContact

Virgin Australia Reviews

OverviewFleetEntertainmentExperienceFrequentFlyerLoungesRoutesHistoryTipsFoodDrinkYourReviewsDiscuss

Virgin Australia Business Class lounges

News: Virgin Australia are re-introducing day passes to the Virgin Australia Lounges. The will now cost AU$65 - a sharp increase on the old casual fee of AU$35 a visit, paid on the door. Virgin Australia Lounges are also available at 10,000 Velocity points. NEWS: Virgin Australia have also now opened a new lounge in Cairns.

Virgin Australia Brisbane Lounge
Virgin Australia Brisbane Lounge

Just like it's mainstream cousin Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia have put in a lot of money on the ground, and offer very good lounges with free buffet food, a walkup bar, newspapers, showers, computers, and of course complimentary wifi.

The bar opens earlier than in the Qantas Club - at 11am - but the bar does not have spirits: just beer and wine.

You can gain access to the lounges by paying the yearly fee to become a member, or with a Business Class ticket. Complimentary access is also provided for Velocity Gold and Platinum members and Corporate Plus members. International Business Class ticket holders no longer gain complimentary lounge access to the domestic lounges, but can use the Air New Zealand International lounge in Sydney.

Velocity Frequent Flyer Gold and Platinum Members will require a same-day boarding pass for Virgin Australia – but you can use the lounge not only at your departure airport, but also at the arrival. Velocity Platinum Members may be accompanied by up to three guests at no charge – Gold members can invite one guest: other guests are charged AU$65. However Virgin Australia no longer permit access to their lounges to International Premium Economy passengers, and no longer offer 'open doors' access to Velocity Gold and Velocity Platinum members.

It may seem odd that a no-frills airline comes with Business Class lounges, but then, this just highlights the move by Virgin away from its low cost roots, and it's desire to snatch a share of the business traveller market. Also, to certain extent, this was due to a certain opportunism, because Virgin moved wholesale into most of the airport facilities vacated by Ansett – and that included taking over all of the old Ansett Golden Wing lounges, which were used for many years with Ansett furniture and even Ansett logos clearly visible. At the time these lounges were called The Blue Room on a pay-as-you-go system, however from 2006, Virgin Blue revamped it as The Lounge, with a membership fee, although at the time there was still access for a casual fee, which has now been re-introduced.

Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge
Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge

It's the membership fee that is steep. Very steep, working out to AU$420 a year, plus a joining fee of AU$330. However, if you're a Silver Velocity member, the cost goes down somewhat to only AU$300 with no joining fee. If you want to pay an amazing 23 years up front, you can pay $9750 for lifetime membership: very few people have ever done this.

There is one other option - the ability to pay the casual fee of AU$65 a visit, a sharp increase on the old casual fee of AU$35 per day, paid on the door. Virgin Australia Lounges are also available at 10,000 Velocity points.

There are lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane (opposite Gate 41), Adelaide (opposite Gate 18) Perth (Terminal 3) and Canberra (Level 1), plus new lounges at the Gold Coast and in Mackay.

Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge
Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge

A huge gap in the Virgin Australia lounge network is there is no lounge at Sydney International. Instead, Business class passengers on Virgin Australia International are given a pass to the Air New Zealand lounge. If you are in economy, and a Velocity Gold or Platinum it gets very complicated. On Virgin Australia to NZ, Abu Dhabi or the US you get a pass to the Air New Zealand Koru Club, and the same for Virgin Atlantic. On Singapore Airlines however you use the SQ lounge. And on Etihad, if you fly on a VA codeshare, you're allowed to use the lounge if you're flying Economy, but not if you're flying on an EY code.

Virgin Australia Lounge Virtual Library
Virgin Australia Lounge Virtual Library

Virgin Australia Lounges Virtual Library

If you visit the Virgin Australia lounges you are no longer restricted to the papers and mags in the lounges. Instead, you can browse the latest newspapers and magazines from 2,300 newspapers from around the world on your laptop or tablet, in collaboration with global media company NewspaperDirect.

You need to download the free PressReader app and then using the free wifi in the lounge you can download any of the titles onto your device (laptop, iPad, Android, Windows or BlackBerry tablet) to read in the lounge or during your flight.

NewspaperDirect usually charges AUD$1 for each publication, but downloading any newspaper or magazine is free when done over Virgin's airport lounge wi-fi network.

Virgin Australia Brisbane lounge

Airside, domestic terminal, opposite Gate 41 Open 0500-2230
Access for Business Class, Gold & Platinum Velocity members
Virgin Australia Brisbane Lounge Mar 2013
Virgin Australia The far end of the Brisbane Lounge
As you might expect at the hub of Virgin Australia, Brisbane has a large impressive lounge, which has just undergone a refresh by architect Tim Greer, from Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, and now sports the same clean contemporary design as the Melbourne lounge.

Virgin Australia Brisbane Lounge Mar 2013
Virgin Australia Brisbane Lounge
The Virgin Australia Brisbane lounge is right at the end of the main 'spine' of the domestic terminal, just before the concourse turns sharp left by Gate 41. Beyond the sliding glass doors is a large entrance area – on the pillar is an automatic self-entry card reader for Gold and Platinum members.

The lounge has a certain wow factor: with white walls and ceiling, scores of designer chairs and tables, and large floor to ceiling glass-walled area which lets in lots of natural light. Alas there is no view of the runway: instead you have to make do with a great view of the narrow gauge airport trains in the station opposite.

The Virgin Australia Brisbane lounge has room for 200 seated guests in 700 square metres of space: it is about half the size of the Qantasclub at opposite end of the terminal. The flowing space is carefully divided into several 'zones' , depending on how long you will spend in the lounge, and these zones work quite well.

At the entrance to the lounge is the quick-stop area, called the hearth, just to the left of the entrance, with round tables and chairs, while to the right is a communal area built around a long snaking table dominated by people working on laptops.

Virgin Australia Brisbane Lounge Mar 2013
Virgin Australia Brisbane Lounge

The bar itself extends out into a pier to create a subdivision for this area, and then spears back to create 'the long bar' which is both the coffee area, bar, and at the far end the food servery.

Curving right, Virgin Australia's new Brisbane Airport lounge has a great magazine rack on the shelf at the far end, where there are also two more long snaking tables, and then right again by the windows is the viewing area, with some great Z frame reclining chairs.

Virgin Australia Brisbane Lounge Mar 2013
Virgin Australia The Hearth in the Brisbane Lounge

Back behind the entrance, and reception desk, is the large 'library' area, with big white curtains: this is normally the quietest part of the lounge, with the most spare seats: the curtains do a good job of blocking out the sound of the rest of the lounge.

The bar in the Virgin Australia Brisbane lounge is similar to those in all the Virgin lounges, which means good complementary wine and beer, but there are no spirits available at all.

Virgin Australia is introducing new wines from smaller vineyards, and the Queensland bar is no exception, with good bubbles, including Morgan's Bay sparkling cuvee, and Veuve D'Argent Blanc de blancs. Three other whites are in the trough, and three reds are on the counter.

Virgin Australia Brisbane Lounge Mar 2013
Virgin Australia Brisbane Lounge

Exclusive to the Brisbane lounge is the Queensland beer Great Northern, and there are the usual other beers including Fat Yak, Blonde, VB and Fourecks.

The bar opens at 11am, and the barista service is open around the clock.

Food is slightly more basic in the Virgin Australia Brisbane lounge, but it does include that rare delight of make-your-own toasted sandwiches.

There is a fridge-trough with salad, cheese and ham in 12 bowls, which also has pasta salad and meatballs, beside which is the small grill for DIY toasted sandwiches. There is a tub of hot soup, and desserts are either in the fridge or later in the evening some of the staff sometimes come trough offering drumstick icecreams.

Business Facilities are not as good in the Virgin Australia Brisbane lounge as elsewhere, with just four rather slow internet PCs, at the far end of the lounge, with a basic black and white printer. Along the long benches there are plenty of inbuilt AC powerpoints for laptops, and there is free wireless internet: the password is on small signs dotted through the lounge.

There are a few newspapers in the lounge, including the Courier Mail, AFR and even one lonely copy of the SMH, but there are also a large number of magazines all on the worktop at the far end of the lounge, with copies of everything that has the words CEO, BRW and MBA in the title.

Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge
Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge

Virgin Australia Sydney lounge

Airside, terminal 2, right of security Open 0500-2230
Access for Business Class, Gold & Platinum Velocity members
Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge
Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge
NEWS: Renovations of the Virgin Australia Sydney lounge are underway, with the opening of a two-level flagship lounge and a significant upgrade to its facilities, including a 'premium' lounge as part of Virgin's own version of the Qantas Chairman's Lounge, called 'The Club'. The upstairs area is now open, with a single open space and scores of chairs, plus a new bar and new food area.

The Virgin Australia Lounge at Sydney is large, but rather hidden away, in the back of Terminal 2. It takes the form of a large circular square (if that makes sense). To get to the lounge take the lift in the middle of the food court, at the top of which there is a snazzy looking reception desk.

Behind here, is the main food area, and a large 'greenhouse' type space, with plenty of chairs. The bar is further around, in a kind of corridor. At the far end are some retro-style games machines.

Double back slightly, and you walk down an internal corridor, that has a great video room on the left: this is a darkened theatre space, with lots of comfy chairs: many people use it to sleep in. Further on, and there is a very trendy space with potplants, and dark brown furniture. Left of here is the computer area and workspace, and then if you carry on right, you are back at reception.

Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge
Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge

Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge
Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge
It may seem odd that a no-frills airline comes with Business Class lounges, but then, this just highlights the move by Virgin away from its low cost roots, and it's desire to snatch a share of the business traveller market. Also, to certain extent, this was due to a certain opportunism, because Virgin moved wholesale into most of the airport facilities vacated by Ansett – and that included taking over all of the old Ansett Golden Wing lounges, which were used for many years with Ansett furniture and even Ansett logos clearly visible.

Incidentally, it's worth while having a good look around the lounge: it is a very historic area. The new lounge occupies the lower level of the former Ansett Golden Wing Club lounge: it's vastly better than the old small lounge, which closed in 2008, and which only used the former Ansett Executive Lounge on the first concourse. This was called the Virgin Sydney Blue Room lounge.

In the main part of the lounge is the food servery. Food here is surprisingly good, with a small salad seleciton, including olives, salami, marinated mushrooms, a couple of deli meats, Swiss cheese, a choice of salads, rice cakes and sliced bread, plus lavash crackers and dips.

Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge
Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge

There is also generally a soup on offer: mushroom is a favourite on Mondays and Fridays.

Around the corner is the main bar. Wine is in bottles in the trough (3 whites, 2 reds, and a sparkling), but for anythimng else you have to ask the barman. There are no spirits on offer.

Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge
Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge

Bathrooms are in the lounge, with showers in the inside corridor.

There are eight fast, new and good computers in the business centre, in the far corner of the lounge. There is a printer. There is free wifi throughout the lounge.

There is a small meeting room.

Finally, take a walk back to reception, and take the stairs upstairs to the new lounge area: the entry to the lounge isn't exactly obvious: the impressive staircase has an entrance hidden behind the service desk. The upstairs area has been given over to a single open space and lots of chairs. Floor-to-ceiling windows run the length of the lounge, with a great view of the runway. There is a great new bar, and food too - it's the same food as you'll find downstairs, including the DIY sandwich toaster.

Virgin Australia Melboune lounge

Terminal 3, landside, turn left before security Open 0500-2230
Access for Business Class, Gold & Platinum Velocity members
Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge
Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge
Virgin Australia's Melbourne lounge has recently undergone a subtle makeover by Lounge designer Tim Greer with plush Walter Knoll chairs – and it is far better for it.
Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge
Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge

The Virgin Australia Melbourne lounge is still in the same place: alas it is still landside, so if you are transferring at Melbourne you need to go landside, and clear security again. To find it go down the check-in escalators, turn left before security, and it is the small glass doors on the left.

The new lounge is still very similar to the Ansett lounge it was before, but it has now had a subtle revamp with lots of purple colours. There is a large curved reception desk, and a flying maiden curtain behind it. Turn left into the main lounge, through the dark wood pillars, and there is then the clean white floor and ceiling in the main area of The Virgin Australia Lounge Melbourne.

By reception there is a short stay area, close to the bar and servery, if you have only a short stay before your flight. Then on your left there is the main food area, the bar, and coffee area, before the lounge widens out into the main area, with sweeping views of the tarmac.

Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge
Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge

Oddly, large parts of the lounge are taken up by curving white benches, with office 'bucket' chairs: in the middle of the benches are power sockets which gives a strong hint that that is what the area is for: people using laptops. The last of the benches sits across from another bar, which is very purple and funky and designed as a stand up zone for suits heading back out of Melbourne at the end of the week.

At the front of the lounge is the verandah area, which overlooks the airport apron: there is a huge long curving bench here with great views, and more intimate tables in front of it.

At the far end of The Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge is a quiet area called 'The library'. It is mobile phone free, and has large curtains around the windows plus soft carpet on the floor to help deaden the sound. Sadly the old snooker table and cinema here have gone.

Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge
Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge

Food in the lounge is good, with Australian chef Luke Mangan serving up some good snack food. There is a salad bar, hot pies, and slices of pizza, plus soup and a deli type selection of cold meat and cheese.

The bar is top notch, with three white and two red wines, on the bench, plus beer behind the counter. There is no Sparkling Wine, but good Aussie sparkling wine.

Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge
Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge

There are six computers and two more workstation cubicles with a printer and fax/copier close to reception, plus a meeting room.

Bathrooms in the Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge are impressive, with a George Nelson Platform bench , organic skincare products from Grown, and designer tapware. There is also a single shower.

Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge
Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge

Virgin Australia Adelaide lounge

Airside, opposite gate G18 Open 0500-2230
Access for Business Class, Gold & Platinum Velocity members
NEWS: Renovation of the Virgin Australia Adelaide lounge is expected to commence in 2014.

The Virgin Australia Lounge at Adelaide is a small remote outpost, off the main curved corridor, with a view over the carpark. It is one of the older style lounges, and hasn't been revamped for some time.

Never the less, it is quite swish, with a central area with typical Virgin Australia armchairs, surrounded by a curved wall. There are also a rack of stools at 45 degrees overlooking the windows: alas with a view of the car park.

Virgin Australia Adelaide Lounge Jun 2012
Adelaide Virgin Australia The Lounge

At the inner most side is a bench type sofa, opposite a TV - next to the corridor to the bathrooms. At the far end is a food servery and bar, while at the other end is the business centre.

Virgin Australia Adelaide Lounge Jun 2012
Adelaide Virgin Australia The Lounge

At the other end to the TV is the food servery. Food here is surprisingly good, with a small salad seleciton, including olives, salami, marinated mushrooms, a couple of deli meats, Swiss cheese, a choice of salads, rice cakes and sliced bread, plus lavash crackers and dips.

There is also generally a soup on offer: in the Virgin Adelaide Lounge it is not always that very fresh or hot, but it does the job.

Next to the soup is a hot sandwich maker: you can make your own toasties with the bread rolls, butter, cheese and ham from the salad selection.

In the Virgin lounge Adelaide there is a fully staffed bar - and it is quite good. It is at the far end on the right, where wine is on the table top, but you have to ask for beer.

The wine is surprisingly top-notch - and almost all from South Australia. There are generally three types of red, and four of white, plus a sparkling in the bucket.

Virgin Australia Adelaide Lounge Jun 2012
Adelaide Virgin Australia The Lounge

Beer is also very good, with the fridge rammed with everything Crown to Pure Blonde, Fat Yak, Carlton Dry, Peroni, and all the types of Coopers. There is even Strongbow cider!

Virgin Australia Adelaide Lounge Jun 2012
Adelaide Virgin Australia The Lounge

Spirts are however not a strong point, unless you like Bundy, but the staff can russle up whisky, gin and vodka.

Next to the food area there is a soft drinks machine.

There are bathrooms in the lounge - the door is next to the food servery. However, there are no showers. There are two computers in the Virgin Lounge Adelaide. They are very slow. Next to them there is a very good photocopier come printer.

There is a small meeting room in the Adelaide Virgin Lounge.

Wifi comes from the airport's own wifi supply.

Read more and see more pictures of the Virgin Australia Adelaide Lounge

Virgin Australia Cairns lounge

Virgin Australia Cairns Lounge
Cairns Lounge Virgin Australia
Terminal 2 Domestic, airside, escalator beside gate 22 Open 0440-1655
Access for Business Class, Gold & Platinum Velocity members
Cairns Virgin Australia Lounge
Cairns Lounge Virgin Australia
The large Virgin Australia Cairns lounge is brand new and represents a real touch of luxury up the top end. It is the biggest at a regional airport in Australia, with a capacity for 180 passengers.

The Virgin Australia Cairns lounge is airside, left by gate 22, up the hall with the history of Cairns Airport up the escalator, and then all the way to the end of the hall on the upper floor. Through the sliding doors is the large reception desk.

As you walk in you can see pretty much the whole of the Virgin Cairns lounge spread before you - it is in effect a large pointed rectangle, with amazing floor to ceiling windows giving a magnificent view over the runway and the rainforest.

The Virgin Australia Cairns lounge has large wooden privacy dividers around the dining areas beside the long white benches.

Cairns Virgin Australia Lounge
Cairns Lounge Virgin Australia
There are relaxing chair overlooking the spectacular view, a few higher 'dining' chairs by the entrance, and with a long combined food and drinks bar running along the inner edge, with floor-to-ceiling lighting.
Virgin Australia Cairns Lounge
Cairns Lounge Virgin Australia

Along the windows there are combined USB power points, along with AC power points, and there are several TV Screen in the lounge: one at the far end tends to be on sports, while the one near reception is typically on Sky.

Food in the Cairns Virgin Lounge is pretty much the same as you'll get throughout Australia, but with a tropical variant. There is pineapple too! Other than that there is salad, and a toasted sandwich machine. At breakfast there is also the usual raisin toast, and a pancake machine.

The bar in the Virgin Australia Cairns Lounge is better than you would expect, with real French bubbles (Grandin Mιthode Traditionnelle Brut NV). There are three good reds and three whites in the wine cooler at the front of the bar. Beer is also very good, but there is no beer on draft, unlike in the neighbouring Qantas Club.

Cairns Virgin Australia Lounge
Cairns Lounge Virgin Australia

Business Facilities in the Virgin Australia Cairns lounge are good. At the far end of the lounge there are two PCs and an all-in-one printer and copier. There is an 8 person meeting room, with a speaker phone. There is free WIFI in the lounge, and lots and lots of power points, with combined USB and mains AC sockets.

At the entrance to the lounge, there is a newspaper stand, with all of the Queensland papers. Underneath this there is a very poor rack of eight magazines.

Virgin Australia
Cairns Lounge

32 more images
Loungeindex

The bathrooms in the Virgin Australia Cairns Lounge are spectacular, with shiny black tiles offsetting the matt back floor black ceiling. There are two showers, which are an even deeper back.

Read more and see more pictures of the Virgin Australia Cairns Lounge
Next Page: Virgin Australia Route Map

All reviews and opinions on Virgin Australia food, service, seats, planes, upgrades, lounges, and the Frequent Flyer scheme are given as a personal opinion. No legal liability is accepted if you take my advice.
Airreview Home ●  Privacy Statement ●  Contact