Separate Virgin Australia lounge for business class?

By vbarberini | Jul 10, 2019, 01:12 PM
Is it time for a separate lounge for Virgin Australia business class passengers?
I am sitting in the overcrowded Sydney lounge as I write this. The buffet has been picked over, food fallen on the floor, carpets grotty, overloaded rubbish trolleys. Hardly exclusive and not exactly the sort of impression you want to give high-revenue business class passengers. So should Virgin go the same way as Qantas and offer a separate lounge area for business class? Keen to get the forum’s thoughts.
Poll: Should there be a separate Virgin Aust lounge for business class passengers?
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By dm12 | Jul 10, 2019, 01:22 PM
nah, cant choose the B class airline and expect the A class service.
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By Grannular | Jul 10, 2019, 01:31 PM
Should they? Yes
Will they? Not any time soon. Not with their current financial position and new CEO
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Hugh McGarry

By Sibelius | Jul 10, 2019, 01:33 PM
Virgin will never be able to offer the same level of service as Qantas, and in my opinion they'd be foolish if they tried to. My totally subjective opinion is that Virgin offers better value-for-money than Qantas: sure, their service isn't quite the same, but for hundreds of dollars less for a typical domestic business class flight, they provide more bang for my buck. Others will disagree, of course.
One example: Business fares between MEL and SYD start at $499 with Virgin, and $700 with Qantas. The quality of the meal, priority boarding etc are the same (some would say better with Virgin). The only area where Qantas is the clear winner is the lounge. Is that worth an extra $200? For me, I'm happy with the Virgin lounge. You get what you pay for.
By Matt2 | Jul 10, 2019, 01:46 PM
Sounds like they just need more staff in the lounge, and to make better use of the space- eg the upstairs area that is always closed.
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By New Mint | Jul 10, 2019, 02:05 PM
This is something I would like to see but don’t see it happening anytime soon. I am a long term (5+ years) platinum with Virgin and that’s about my only slight negativity I have with Virgin is the lack of dedicated lounge for platinum/business passengers. Having said that, I recently tried Qantas for the first time on a MEL-SYD business trip. It was the first time I’d flied Qantas since 2012 so was keen to compare. While there were no doubt better food and drink options in the Melbourne Business Class Lounge, it was terribly crowded and my travelling companion were initially unable to find 2 seats together. The Sydney Business Lounge didn’t appear to have changed at all since 2012. Virgin were miles ahead in terms of onboard service and food. I find the onboard crew with Virgin better as well. Only a minor thing, but I always get the choice of juice, still, sparkling and even sparkling wine pre take off with Virgin. Qantas only offered sparkling water. So while the lounge situation is a slight negative, overall I’m happy with Virgin and will stick with them.


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By Carrots | Jul 10, 2019, 02:45 PM
Would it be nice? Sure.

Would it remove any hassles you see (as listed) in a standard lounge? No because half of those people causing the mess will just be moving next door into a Platinum/Business Class lounge.

Could they do better in their current lounges? No doubt. I'm sure every airline could.

I'd be curious to know, if they were looking to expand lounge footprints or create second lounges, would there actually be the space within airports to allow for this? I mean you take the VA lounge in Adelaide, whilst it's functional, the footprint certainly appears to be an afterthought so to speak within the airport framework itself.


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By AwaywithMike | Jul 10, 2019, 05:43 PM
I propose (from my arm chair) that in Sydney - they "upgrade" the upstairs to be a Platinum / Business Lounge - and can call it their "Premium Sydney Lounge" - for Domestic.
All aspects of layout, catering exist and easy to "upgrade" the atmosphere and offering. Maybe in this space, they can offer spirits for those who want those, a finer "bubbles" offering, better wines and a better food menu.
Sounds like a winner to me :-p
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Hugh McGarry, vbarberini

By oliver_adl | Jul 10, 2019, 05:44 PM
Probably picked the worst lounge to write that post from @vbarberini :-)

Sydney and Adelaide are particularly average for Virgin lounges but the Bris/Melb/Perth ones are all much more reasonable in my experience.

Considering their financial situation I wouldn't expect the lounges to improve dramatically anytime soon though I believe Adelaide terminal upgrades/additions will allow for a more sensible Virgin lounge.

Some are even arguing they should ditch the lounges altogether:

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vbarberini

By andyf | Jul 10, 2019, 11:28 PM
Honestly if Virgin had available capital to invest, I would prefer it spent on new aircraft with upgraded business class/opening up new routes or at airports where they don't have a lounge at all (e.g. Hobart).

How many more passengers (i.e. extra revenue) are they going to attract over from Qantas due to one or two new 'business only' domestic lounges? I suspect not many.
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By mo | Jul 11, 2019, 07:38 AM
If Virgin had the money to invest I'd rather see new lounge locations. Hobart and Townsville spring to mind.
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By reeves35 | Jul 11, 2019, 10:03 AM
If Virgin had the money to invest I'd rather see new lounge locations. Hobart and Townsville spring to mind.

They'd love to have lounges in HBA and TSV but the airport owners in both have been unable to provide space.
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By Empty | Jul 11, 2019, 12:01 PM
Seems to me the double status promos have created more gold FF that are now occupying the lounges and boarding lanes.That honestly has been a bit of a slap in the face to long time FF members who now have to fight with all these newly minted members for everything from seats in the lounge to upgrades. I understand the economic incentive for VA to increase FF members but they should resource the benefits if the plan is to increase the membership base so dramatically. I think most lounges are bearable but SYD definitely needs an upgrade and a Bus/Plat only area would be welcome as it is often worse than Air NZ's regional lounges which I no longer even bother with given the coffee caravan outside the terminal has more seating.
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By Boeing-Tragic | Jul 11, 2019, 02:22 PM
Yes, I encountered similar on June 20th, but what many fellow travellers FAILED to notice was that the UPSTAIRS lounge was open and in much better shape. I think this is isolated to Sydney, because at BNE and MEL the lounge is always in top shape. I think the problem is also some travellers eat a ra-ther FULL breakfast (or dinner) in the lounge (after all, the in-flight 'snack' barely passes as a snack and the 'meal' in business is, at best, an oversized entree).


Getting this right will require some considerable 'smarts', not sure either airline has them in their Loyalty Departments (time may prove me wrong).

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By Boeing-Tragic | Jul 11, 2019, 02:26 PM
Virgin will never be able to offer the same level of service as Qantas, and in my opinion they'd be foolish if they tried to. My totally subjective opinion is that Virgin offers better value-for-money than Qantas: sure, their service isn't quite the same, but for hundreds of dollars less for a typical domestic business class flight, they provide more bang for my buck. Others will disagree, of course.
One example: Business fares between MEL and SYD start at $499 with Virgin, and $700 with Qantas. The quality of the meal, priority boarding etc are the same (some would say better with Virgin). The only area where Qantas is the clear winner is the lounge. Is that worth an extra $200? For me, I'm happy with the Virgin lounge. You get what you pay for.

Yeah, I flew Q Business a few months ago to trial their MEL lounge. Nice decor, but a very serious and solemn crowd in there (easy to pick the civil servants awaiting invite into the Chairman's coterie).
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By GBRGB | Jul 11, 2019, 04:52 PM
If Virgin had the money to invest I'd rather see new lounge locations. Hobart and Townsville spring to mind.

They'd love to have lounges in HBA and TSV but the airport owners in both have been unable to provide space.

The terminal upgrade in TSV is starting soon with 2 new lounges up on the mezzanine level, one for VA and one for QF,
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Keith

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