The new Virgin Australia lounge at Melbourne Airport is now open – and it's a knockout. The AusBT team has seen plenty of airport lounges in our travels and this one's truly world-class in its design. Check out our photo gallery for a first look!
The first of Virgin Australia's new-look airport lounges will open at Melbourne Airport this week, with Brisbane Airport's lounge unrolling the red carpet in July, after being closed for several months during an an extensive rebuild.
The new lounge sees Virgin Australia boss John Borghetti play yet another card in what he hopes will be a Qantas-beating hand.
“These are completely new lounges,” Borghetti says, “with an architecturally inspired design” created by Sydney-based Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects.
A key feature of The Lounge is a "priority access lane" to provide business travellers and frequent flyers with a dedicated security lane for a streamlined lounge-to-gate experience.
TZG are behind similar renovations to The Lounge at Brisbane Airport and are rumoured to have been contracted to refresh Virgin Australia’s Sydney lounge in a similarly spacious, classy and glassy style.
Food and drink services at the new Virgin Australia lounges are also being upgraded, with Aussie chef Luke Mangan taking on responsibility for ground catering as well as the new in-flight menu.
Virgin Australia has already rolled out the all-new selection of meals and wines at its Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth airport lounges as part of a 'soft launch' ahead of next week's official debut.
Australian Business Traveller has been told that Mangan’s lounge menu will change every month, and will also be rotated through each lounge so that travellers flying between Sydney and Melbourne for example won’t see the same meals at both ends of the journey.
Among the new items is a cheese board, new sliced deli meats including roast beef and turkey, cous-cous and pasta dishes, chocolate mini-muffins and popcorn instead of the salt & vinegar chips and an almost entirely new selection of wine. You can check out some of the spread here.
Read our review of Virgin Australia's innovate and highly-praised 'fast track' system at Sydney Airport – where premium passengers can go from kerbside valet arrival to a check-in desk, dedicated security channel and then walk straight into the lounge in under two minutes.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.