UPDATE | Virgin Australia says it will not impose any time limit for passengers visiting its new international lounges at Sydney and Melbourne, over-ruling a statement made overnight by lounge operator No1 Lounges.
As reported earlier today, No1 Lounges spokesman Duncan Cargill said that Virgin's business class passengers and top-tier frequent flyers would be allowed to stay in The House lounges at Sydney and Melbourne for only "four hours before (departure) - in line with Virgin Australia’s policy."
However, Virgin Australia spokeswoman Kieran Debney has since contacted Australian Business Traveller to advise that its passengers wouldn't see a countdown timer ticking away when they call into The House, nor at Brisbane's new My Lounge.
"We recommend guests arrive at the airport 120 minutes before their international flight departure. however guests who arrive early or have a long connection will be welcomed at our lounges" she confirmed.
This is in line with Virgin Australia's lounge access policy, which doesn't specify a limit on the length of a visit and states 'All you’ll need is your same-day boarding pass and Velocity membership card or lounge membership card to access lounges operated by our airline partners or third-party operators.'
PREVIOUS| Virgin Australia's new international lounges at Sydney and Melbourne will impose a four hour time limit on business class passengers and top-tier frequent flyers.
The move will likely cause little inconvenience for the majority of passengers but could catch out transit passengers making connections from regional towns who will be faced with unavoidably long time before their international flight departs.
The House lounges at Sydney and Melbourne – which were both previously Etihad Airways lounges, and now serve as the home of Etihad as well as Virgin Australia – are managed by London-based No1 Lounges, and like many independent lounges imposes a standard three-hour time limit on how long guests can stay before their flight.
According to the terms and conditions listed on the No1 Lounges website, "You can arrive three hours prior to your flight time. You can also buy extra hours in advance or while you're in the lounge – if your flight's delayed and you want to stay longer for example."
However, No1 Lounges spokesman Duncan Cargill told Australian Business Traveller that the time limit for Virgin Australia was "four hours before (departure) - in line with Virgin Australia’s policy."
It's not known if travellers who need a 4+ hour stay due to unavoidably long connection times would have to pay an additional fee.
Also yet to be revealed: if this same time limit will apply at Virgin Australia's new My Lounge, which will also be operated by No1 Lounges and is due to open later this year at Brisbane Airport international terminal.
Travellers on airlines other than Etihad and Virgin Australia will soon be able to visit The House by paying a flat rate, which is rumoured to be around $90 for a three hour period.
"We will announce a walk up rate when we launch this formally, in the near future," Cargill told Australian Business Traveller.