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Virgin Australia reinstates Brisbane Premium Entry opening hours

By Chris Chamberlin     Filed under: brisbane airport, Virgin Australia, Virgin Australia Lounge, Virgin Australia The Club

Update | Virgin Australia’s ‘Premium Entry’ facility at Brisbane Airport will once again be open from early mornings until late evenings on weekdays, operating the same hours as the airline's Brisbane lounge.

However, a spokesperson for Virgin Australia has advised Australian Business Traveller that the fast-track 'kerb to lounge' lane will be closed on weekends.

The airline trialled a reduction in opening hours of the Premium Entry facility to meet traditionally softer business travel demand over the January period.

Previous | Virgin Australia’s ‘Premium Entry’ facility at Brisbane Airport will shut at noon on weekdays and remain closed over the weekends, as the airline trials reduced operating hours for the popular service.

This means the time-saving facility will be closed to business class passengers and Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers during the busy weekday afternoons and evenings, as well as Saturday mornings – when the airport is most frequently bursting with leisure passengers jetting off for the weekend – and on Sunday nights when guests return or fly off for the working week ahead.

Comprised of a secluded entrance to the terminal, a private security screening point and with direct access to the Virgin Australia lounge under an impressively-designed skylight, guests using Premium Entry would ordinarily avoid setting foot in the terminal proper until it’s time to board their flight.

Premium Entry is also a significant drawcard for members of ‘The Club’, Virgin Australia’s by-invitation tier for the likes of CEOs, celebrities and influencers, who often value being able to sneak into their separate, private lounge without being spotted by the public.

In confirming the trial was “in line with customer demand”, a Virgin Australia spokesperson highlighted to Australian Business Traveller that “eligible guests can (still) check-in at the priority desks in the main terminal and use the priority screening line before proceeding to the lounge” when Premium Entry is closed.

“The Valet service remains available (in Brisbane) for Virgin Australia guests from 1 hour before the first flight until 30 minutes after the last arrival,” the spokesperson added.

Of course, after handing over your keys you'll then need to walk for a few minutes to the terminal's main check-in and security screening area and then back-track to the lounge, rather than walking straight through.

Virgin Australia’s Premium Entry facility at Sydney Airport is unaffected and remains open from 45 minutes prior to the first flight of the day until the last flight is called for boarding, seven days a week.

Also browse: Photo tour: Virgin Australia's new Brisbane lounge, terminal

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About Chris Chamberlin

Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!

 

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1 on 18/1/16 by wilsoni

Why is BNE the poor cousin? It's home port for VA. "Customer demand" sounds like a crock. 

1 on 18/1/16 by undertheradar

maybe the 'extra' costs are eating into management 'bonuses'. Pure speculation on my part! :)

1 on 18/1/16 by Skipp

At this rate they'll be closing the brand new terminal at Perth on weekends, due to a drop in weekend demand.

1 on 18/1/16 by wilsoni

Yes Minister had an episode where a brand new hospital had opened without any patients. because they would get in the way of administration. Maybe VA thinks similarly. Why not just stop flight ops and management still collects pay and bonuses.

2 on 18/1/16 by Dean

So Virgin Australia spends millions of dollars expanding the terminal and building this shiny new Premium Entry facility for corporate and higher-end leisure travellers on expensive tickets or who fly a lot, only to close it when people want to use it?

As a Melbourne-based traveller I often fly to Brisbane for the business day and fly home in the evening, and sometimes fly up for the weekend just for fun.

So, Premium Entry will now be CLOSED for my work flights and CLOSED for my leisure flights... the mind boggles!

In other news, Virgin Australia welcomes its newest employee, Precious, to the team. Precious was seen leaving Premium Entry early as "we got no customer, so me got no choice but to go home early. Praiseeeeeee the Lord!"

1 on 18/1/16 by LoveToFly

This has to be one of the funniest posts i have seen in a while (as i know that show well)

It is really poor though to take this service away, especially when they promote it so heavily. I can kind of understand their logic but when QF get the new lounge up and running in Brisbane it will be interesting to see how they both go.

2 on 18/1/16 by FriedChook

Have had to explain some genuine uncontrolled laughter to some bemused colleauges

3 on 19/1/16 by TheRealBabushka

Dean, that is EPIC!

You're a legend!

3 on 18/1/16 by Jack

It must be costly for VA to maintain this facility, as I will notice that it seemed far more impressive than the SYD entry. However what a mockery of premium passengers...Launch and make a huge deal of the facility (it was very heavily promoted) and a few months later cut the service.. Hopefully it goes back to normal soon.

4 on 18/1/16 by tronixstuff

Attack of the accountants... VA desperately needs to improve profitability. Paying for a couple of staff and security mustn't have been worth it for the traffic through it. Pity as it looks great.

5 on 18/1/16 by Peter

Perhaps if they allowed dropoffs other than their Valet service more people would use it. It's a small hike from the taxi and public drop-off zones to get to the premium entry, and to do so one needs to walk past the other premium security lane.

This move doesn't really surprise me though, as I've never seen any other passengers go through there at the same time as me. I can't say the same for the Sydney Premium Entry.

1 on 18/1/16 by wdeguara

I must agree with you, Peter.  I'm a regular use of the Premium Entry and always thought it was a much better way of getting to the lounge without the hassle of joining the public security lines.  But I must admit that the first time I used it it took me a while to find the actual entry (it is a fair walk from the main entry and taxi dropoffs as you've stated) and I also rarely see other passengers using it. Admittedly these are problems that could be solved with better signage or a closer drop-off area for premium travellers.  It's a shame though that Virgin would hoist the red flag on it so soon without trying to improve the adoption. It's been one of the unique time-saving facilities that differentiates them from Qantas.  

6 on 18/1/16 by sgb

Hope the 4.30am Monday opening staff dust of the cob webs formed on that sign after the Friday 12 noon closure each week.

7 on 18/1/16 by UpUpAndAway

Closing at 5pm on week days sounds better to me 

8 on 18/1/16 by Mark

Weekends I can understand, but closing at midday on a business day is a ridiculous decision.

9 on 18/1/16 by Yaf

When the Premium Entry started I used Virgin out of Brisbane more often. Will have to move back to Qantas as they have a separate business lounge

10 on 18/1/16 by undertheradar

so if closing this facility is 'in line with customer demand' at the 3rd busiest domestic airport in OZ, I can only assume VA has a bigger problem, that they aren't carrying many J/C, high status, high yeilding pax during peak afternoon weekday periods. In any case...something isnt quite right ;).  the cynic in me says it just smacks of 'penny pinching'.  A NEW(ish) purpose built facility now can only be used less than 33% of the time... 5-6AM to 12PM WEEKDAYS ONLY!!! What a joke

11 on 18/1/16 by Clarissasmith1

very typical VA,  make on the run decisions with no customer impacts considered. If this is about saving costs, why open it till 12 noon. Why not open 5-9 AM 2-6 PM, Still saves the same $$$ but a much better experience for customers. I am probably being too rational.

Guess what, I loved it last week and also loved the new Business class to Perth on Thursday evening but now back to QF Business lounge from next time. This was the only different experience for me. Not happy VA. Most insane decision ever.

1 on 21/1/16 by Southland

2-6 may attract a shift allownence lol

12 on 18/1/16 by Doubleplatinum

Any regular attendees via the terminal know how well the priority security line is policed? If its anything like gold coast probably not

1 on 18/1/16 by tronixstuff

Not at all, if regular is busy the screeners will send you through prority. You can generally go through without any issues.

13 on 18/1/16 by superflyer

I never feel better when I hear/read "sorry for any inconvenience". If they were really sorry they wouldn't have closed it.

14 on 19/1/16 by Kogglogs

<Checks calendar> 

It's not 1st of April... What gives?

15 on 19/1/16 by highflyer

We're sorry - but we only value you as a premium passenger when it fits within our time frame.  Please use the normal lines at all other times. 

16 on 19/1/16 by Daniel

Thanks for the article - I arrived for my weekly flight back to Sydney on Sunday to find the entrance closed. No previous notice or communication which would have been appretiated. 

17 on 19/1/16 by Davie

That is the only thing that sets VA apart. What are they thinking. Or is it one of Jon Borgettis secret plans to confuse Qantas? 

The demand is low because it is a premium product for a limited number of guests. Maybe they should get taxis to drop off closer if they feel high yield guests are not using it. Virgin you win

18 on 20/1/16 by Mark

Loved your post Dean, lucky my door was shut on my office when I had a chuckle.

My beef is how are we to remember BNE premium entry is going to be shut. As wdeguara reminds us, it is a fair walk from the main entry to premium entry; so I am sure at some stage I will be walking down to premium entry to find a closed sign. So then we have to trudge all the way back.

Not happy Jan!

19 on 20/1/16 by Yaf

Hope someone at Virgin Australia is reading the comments below and will understand that they willbe losing more money than what they are savng by limiting premium entry opening hours.

20 on 20/1/16 by sgb

Sounds like Crisis Management in session. That decision to close it was a dumb one.

21 on 20/1/16 by SoftBedPlease

Back to normal!

Talk about a quick trial...

22 on 20/1/16 by Dean

Seems only appropriate that this should follow...

Virgin Australia: "We fixed it, it should be working real well for you now."

1 on 20/1/16 by Dean

Not to worry, Precious just decided that she doesn't work weekends, so we can all go to Terminal 2, there's a Qantas there...

23 on 20/1/16 by Jack

Good to see that VA heard the backlash...

24 on 20/1/16 by Clarissasmith1

Its probably fair to say that Virgin at least listens to us. HA HA!

I feel for the poor guy who came up with the idea of the trial in the first place.  That person will be having a bad day. My thoughts are with them.

 

1 on 20/1/16 by sgb

That person should have departed.

25 on 20/1/16 by TheRealBabushka

Wow. I'm actually quite impressed by Virgin!

They made a mistake, man up to it. No BS or lame excuses and did a 180.

Good for them!

 

1 on 20/1/16 by Dean

Did a 180 and then closed it again on weekends...

1 on 20/1/16 by Clarissasmith1

Closed - public backlash - 360 open - stuff up - 180 back and open weekdays only NEXT

 45 degrees turn ???

26 on 20/1/16 by undertheradar

Sounds like 'Sybil' at VA...you never know who is in control. May I suggest a good psychiatrist? LOL (google Sybil) 

1 on 20/1/16 by Clarissasmith1

Humphry from yes minister in in control

27 on 20/1/16 by SoftBedPlease

...and the "sting in the tail" - no weekend Premium Entry.

Oh well - win some, lose some.

28 on 20/1/16 by Clarissasmith1

Yesterday - Closed

Earlier today - Open, back to normal hours

NOW OPEN ON WEEKDAYS ONLY. Someone stuffed up big time I think!

29 on 20/1/16 by Yaf

It seams Virgin Australia does not seam to understand that when one pays top dollar time counts.

They seam to treat their customers like fools.

Just like when they say fares come with meals. Lunch is half a sandwich.

1 on 21/1/16 by Southland

Its called a "snack" and i have lunch in the lounge.

2 on 25/1/16 by sgb

Virgin's lunch of half a sandwich sounds grim. Bon Apetite.

30 on 20/1/16 by kimshep

'Shortest TRIAL ever' ... LOL

31 on 21/1/16 by highflyer

I guess the trial was "in-line with customer demand". Talk about the biggest joke trial ever.  Trial - in aviation terms meaning introducing something without consultation and then seeing the reaction. 

32 on 21/1/16 by Skipp

We are left with no incentive to fly as a Premium Passenger on weekends ex. Brisbane

1 on 21/1/16 by Jared

Yeah. That lounge access sure does suck. 

 

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