How to get a lifetime of Virgin Australia lounge access

How to get a lifetime of Virgin Australia lounge access

Unlike Qantas, Virgin Australia doesn’t offer Lifetime Gold frequent flyer status to its most-travelled passengers – but does allow anybody to purchase a lifetime of Virgin Australia lounge access.

The privilege doesn’t come cheap: you’ll need to fork out a whopping $9,750 for a standard Virgin Australia ‘Lifetime Lounge’ membership if you’re under 60 years old, while a ‘Senior Lifetime Lounge’ card can be purchased for a reduced $6,750 for those aged 60 and above.

Both provide the same level of airport lounge access – but for the rest of your life, rather than the rest of the year as with a regular annual membership.

Here’s where you can use that Lifetime Lounge membership, and how to decide whether it’s worth the investment.

Lounge access for Virgin Australia Lifetime Lounge cardholders

When travelling onwards with Virgin Australia the same day, domestic lounge access can be had in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth (Terminals 1 & 2), Adelaide, Darwin, the Gold Coast, Cairns, Mackay and Alice Springs.

In Sydney and Brisbane, Lifetime Lounge cardholders can also make use of Virgin Australia Premium Entry – a privilege not extended to annual lounge members – being a secluded entrance to the airport terminal, leading into a private security screening point with direct access to the lounge.

When flying Virgin Australia internationally between Australia and New Zealand, access is provided to the Air New Zealand lounges as well, found in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and Wellington: plus the domestically-located Virgin Australia lounges in Adelaide and the Gold Coast.

As an added benefit, when travelling on Air New Zealand flights between the same two countries, or on AirNZ domestic flights within New Zealand, lounge access is also provided in Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Cairns, Christchurch, Dunedin, Gold Coast, Hamilton, Invercargill, Melbourne and Napier.

The same is true in Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Queenstown, Sydney, Tauranga and Wellington.

(You can click on various cities above to explore the lounges and amenities offered in each destination, and in all cases, Lifetime Lounge members can bring one guest with them into the lounges at no cost.)

However, lounge access anywhere else, or when flying from the same cities to other international destinations or with other airlines, is not offered – so if you’re planning to fly to Los Angeles in Virgin Australia premium economy or economy, lounge access is not available at either airport.

It must also be said that airline partnerships can and do change over the years, so access to Air New Zealand lounges on those itineraries isn’t necessarily guaranteed for the rest of your life: only for as long as annual lounge members enjoy the same access.

Is Virgin Australia Lifetime Lounge membership worth the cost?

With annual Virgin Australia lounge membership retailing for $420 (plus a one-off joining fee of $330), a price tag of $9,750 for a Lifetime Lounge card makes that cost on-par with around 23 years of paid lounge membership at the current prices.

Velocity Silver frequent flyers can instead grab a discounted annual membership for just $300 with no joining fee, parting with $9,750 only after 33 years of consecutive membership.

So, consider your age now, and then add 23 or 33 years as your current and expected future frequent flyer tier dictates… do you still expect to be travelling as much by the time you reach that age, and on the routes and airlines covered by this membership?

If yes, then a Lifetime Lounge card could make sense – especially if you’re able to tax-deduct that membership or expense it against your business following advice from your accountant – but if not, an annual membership in the years you plan to travel could work out better in the long run.

To use another yardstick: Virgin Australia also sells access to its own lounges for $65 per person per visit, which you can pay on the day you fly: the lifetime price being equal to 150 one-off visits for an individual or 75 one-off visits for a pair always travelling together (as Lifetime Lounge members can be joined by a guest with each visit).

Certainly, the one-off and yearly lounge costs may change over the years – the advantage of a lifelong membership being that you never need to pay another cent, with the obvious downside of the large lump sum required to do so.

Buying a Virgin Australia Lifetime Lounge membership

Crunched the numbers, spoken to your accountant and decided that a Virgin Australia Lifetime Lounge membership is right for you?

You can purchase your membership over the phone by calling 1300 287 202 during business hours (Monday to Friday), or can email [email protected] to get the ball rolling.

These memberships can’t be purchased online – but given how much you’ll spending, be sure to use a points-earning credit card to get the most bang for your buck.

For instance, the no-annual-fee American Express Velocity Escape Card delivers two Velocity points per dollar spent with Virgin Australia (uncapped), providing 19,500 Velocity points atop your Lifetime Lounge purchase or 13,500 Velocity points with the discounted senior membership.

Or, pay with the American Express Velocity Platinum Card instead to earn 2.5 Velocity points per dollar spent on the same, being 24,375 Velocity points for full-priced lifetime memberships or 16,875 Velocity points for seniors, aside a $375 annual fee which includes a free return Virgin Australia domestic flight each year: on which you could make use of your new Lifetime Lounge membership.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin (ChrisCh)

[email protected] / @ChamberlinChris

Australian Business Traveller journalist Chris Chamberlin lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

18 Comments

  • PK

    PK

    26 Jun, 2017 08:46 am

    You also need to price in the risk of the lifetime of any airline and its lounges being much shorter than yours. 
    Members who gave thanks

    David, melbtraveler, Eachschoolhols

  • Justin Case

    justin case

    28 Jun, 2017 08:53 pm

    That was my first thought aswell. It not like Virgin australia has ever come close to disappearing...
    Their shares are pretty cheap at the moment for the believers and would be a much better 'bet' for a spare 10 grand
    No member give thanks

  • Miguel

    simiguelito47

    26 Jun, 2017 09:08 am

    Given their financial situation, will Virgin Australia even last 23 years?
    No member give thanks

  • russell

    russell

    26 Jun, 2017 09:23 am

    If you purchased this life time pass, its fair to say you would be wanting to get plenty of use out of it and likely to find yourself Velocity Gold or higher before long anyway. Easier with family pooling also. So really cant see the point of this.

    No member give thanks

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    26 Jun, 2017 09:57 am

    $3,000 discount for people aged 60 and above, is this a "senior's discount" or is it because if you're aged 60+ you have less "lifetime" in which to enjoy the lounge?
    No member give thanks

  • Yvan J Drake

    MRYJDrake

    26 Jun, 2017 10:09 am

    Both probably, if not just the latter.
    No member give thanks

  • ajstubbs

    ajstubbs

    26 Jun, 2017 11:08 am

    Frankly, if you have $10,000 to drop on a not-that-great luxury such as this, you probably fly J most of the time anyway! I really struggle to see that this is in any way value for money and would love to know how many people have purchased it.
    No member give thanks

  • Daryl Horsfall

    4WDazza

    26 Jun, 2017 11:15 am

    Maybe it's time Virgin did recognise their loyal frequent travelers and should offer lifetime gold membership based on accrued status credits over the years
    No member give thanks

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    26 Jun, 2017 11:25 am

    My then-employer bought me QF lifetime membership about 14 years ago for $3750.  At the time it seemed expensive but given these prices, it seems like a bargain.
    Member who gave thanks

    David

  • bmc

    bmc

    26 Jun, 2017 11:25 am

    Don't forget Ansett.
    I'd never buy lifetime due to inherrant soverign risk
    Member who gave thanks

    David

  • grov

    grov

    26 Jun, 2017 02:14 pm

    I purchased a senior life pass to the Qantas Club for about $2k years ago when flying a lot - best thing I ever did as I could use the pass overseas.
    Member who gave thanks

    David

  • Masonic Phantom

    Masonic Phantom

    26 Jun, 2017 04:08 pm

    Yes grov, same here Wife & Myself cost $3200 16 years ago.
    No member give thanks

  • Lindsay Wilson

    QF WP

    26 Jun, 2017 04:44 pm

    Woah that's big $, probably not great value for Reds and Silvers to buy, unless they want to bet their life expectancy against VA's.  Seems my investment of buying QF Lifetime QC, (not knowing my future flying at the time) was well founded.
    No member give thanks

  • Lifestobelived

    Lifestobelived

    26 Jun, 2017 05:00 pm

    They probably put the price like this no doubt because of the stories of the lifetime free flight offers that people bought that seemed like a lot of money at the time eg$100k-200k and then abused it for all they could getting millions of dollars value out of it and the airlines are trying to cancel them... But as its only lounge membership its hard to see how it could be abused that much unless you get great value living and flying till yr 100....
    No member give thanks

  • Mike K

    Mjkcan

    26 Jun, 2017 06:17 pm

    If you have 10k to blow on ham and lettuce sandwiches then PM me, I'm looking for a really clueless benefactor.
    Member who gave thanks

    bmc

  • maabbot

    maabbot

    27 Jun, 2017 11:19 am

    Noting my lifetime gold with Qantas gets me into any business oneworld lounge globally it puts a nice price on that privilege... which has to be higher than VAs one...QF needs to bring in life time platinium at 28,000 status credits...
    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    28 Jun, 2017 01:16 pm

    Questionable value for average Joe. And those who flying a lot usually already have good enough status.
    No member give thanks

  • parishiltons

    parishiltons

    28 Jun, 2017 03:56 pm

    Pity it's complicated by access to some lounges but not others. These lounge access rules are now getting so complicated! At least the QF Club membership gets you in just about everywhere.
    Member who gave thanks

    Masonic Phantom

  • parishiltons

    parishiltons

    28 Jun, 2017 03:57 pm

    Do you think Virgin would give me a tradein on my lifetime Golden Wing membership?
    Member who gave thanks

    4WDazza

  • Jono

    Jono

    4 Jul, 2017 02:08 pm

    You'd think with the crazy prices and inherent risk, (that some commenters have already pointed out,) they could add some sweeteners, like anytime access. Or maybe something in-flight, like upgrade certificates etc.
    No member give thanks

  • Steven Lee

    scl

    23 Jul, 2017 02:24 pm

    If I had 10 grand to drop on this I would place it in an investment of some sort and see if I could achieve an average 5% return. That would produce about $450 a year and pay the yearly fee. If my plans ever changed or the program went bust then I still have the cash to spend on something else!
    No member give thanks

Guest

24 Sep, 2017 02:24 am

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