An upscale Virgin Clubhouse lounge could be headed to Sydney Airport as a shared facility between Virgin’s three Australian fleets.
Business-class passengers on domestic carrier Virgin Blue and international arms V Australia and Virgin Atlantic would all have access to the lounge, along similar lines to the shared Clubhouse lounge currently being built at LAX for the use of Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic and V Australia.
According to a report in today’s Australian, Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steven Ridgway believes the shared Sydney lounge “was an idea for the future.”
Let's hope that future isn't too far off, because the funky Clubhouses are a welcome change from traditional airport lounges.
They're more like an ultra-hip 'members only' club, which is in keeping with Richard Branson's theme for the international airline itself - especially in the aircraft's 'Upper Class' or business class facilities.
The flagship Clubhouse at Heathrow, for example, is an astonishing split-level affair where the staircase is crowded by a chandelier adorned with Swarovski crystals.
Naturally there's a fully fitted-out workspace with desks, a library and free wireless. But if you need to wind down rather than spin up to speed you can grab a drink at the 14 metre long cocktail bar; head to the downstairs Den to shoot some pool or play video games; or retreat into the Poolside Lounge to 'chill', aided by a ceiling to floor Japanese water wall and clear acrylic 'bubble' chairs suspended from the ceiling.
Services on offer include a free shoe-shine and a haircut, trim, style and blowdry at the salon and spa plus a full-service Brasserie and Deli snackbar.
Virgin Atlantic's Ridgway also commented that there are no plans to add extra services or Australian destinations until Virgin Atlantic takes delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliners in three years’ time.
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.