Virgin Australia reveals new 'international lounge network'

Virgin Australia reveals new 'international lounge network'

Virgin Australia will shift to the Etihad Airways lounges at Sydney and Melbourne, with those lounges being rebranded as The House, while also adding an all-new Brisbane space called My Lounge to its network.

Travellers on Virgin flights from New Zealand will have access to the third-party Strata lounge at Auckland and the Manaia lounges at Christchurch and Queenstown, while Wellington will see its very own Virgin Australia lounge.

The changes come as Virgin loses access to Air New Zealand lounges from October 28 as part of the airline's messy break-up – one which has seen the Kiwi carrier form a codeshare alliance with longtime rival Qantas – while Virgin also seeks to bring some more order to its lounge arrangements, which have previously varied according to where the destination of any given Virgin Australia flight.

Sydney and Melbourne will see each airport's Etihad Airways lounge taken over by operator No1 Lounges and rebranded as The House, the same as happened to Etihad's London Heathrow T4 lounge at the start of this month.

Both lounges "will provide a choice of self-service (meals) as well as a la carte dining throughout the day," says Virgin Australia, with the tended bar will remain and offering everything from fruit juice and smoothies to "a range of coffee options from around the world, cocktails, Champagne and a selection of great Australian wines."

Brisbane will get an all-new lounge dubbed My Lounge, designed in the style of a loft apartment with social lounging spaces, a games room and seating for more than 100 guests.

Travellers can look forward to a 'grazing menu of healthy and indulgent choices' plus barista-pulled coffee and a bar. My Lounge will also be managed by No1 Lounges.

Read more: See the first photos of Virgin Australia's all-new Brisbane international lounge

Across the pond, a new Virgin Australia Lounge will open at Wellington "in the next few months."

Here's the full roster:

All of these lounges will be open to Virgin's business class passengers along with Platinum and Gold members of the Velocity Frequent Flyer scheme.

The airline has yet to advise on lounge options for its flights from Dunedin.

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.
 

41 comments

  • Josh Kendrick

    banana0692

    17 Oct, 2018 10:49 am

    Am I reading this correctly? Does this mean "The House" lounges are becoming a joint Etihad + Virgin lounge?

    Hopefully this is a good change for us all. It has no mention of spirits however, I'd be really upset if they don't serve spirits. Hopefully just an oversight in the marketing materials.
    Member who gave thanks

    Madicken

  • Josh Kendrick

    banana0692

    17 Oct, 2018 10:52 am

    Oh I re-read the article, I get it now. Just virgin switching to "The House" lounges.
    No member give thanks

  • Dan

    DanV

    17 Oct, 2018 10:54 am

    Basically it's a joint Etihad/Virgin lounge in Sydney/Melbourne under the "The House" brand, but operated by a third party company called "No 1 Lounges" (which operate the former Etihad lounge in LHR).
    No member give thanks

  • Stm Aus

    stmaus

    17 Oct, 2018 02:02 pm

    Yes, one hopes the non-mention of spirits is just an oversight (they mention cocktails, and these always contain spirits?). G&T's go down well at any time of the day.
    No member give thanks

  • Josh Kendrick

    banana0692

    18 Oct, 2018 02:16 am

    I just did some research on their website. While it lacks detail on any of the new announcements for the existing lounges it does not appear to mention spirits anywhere...
    No member give thanks

  • Stm Aus

    stmaus

    17 Oct, 2018 02:03 pm

    Great news for VA customers.
    No member give thanks

  • Tim Davies

    Boeing-Tragic

    17 Oct, 2018 04:22 pm

    I'll let you know, I'm flying MEL-LAX-LHR next Monday in business and am counting on use of the (currently branded) Etihad lounge Monday.
    No member give thanks

  • StuParr

    StuParr

    17 Oct, 2018 10:56 am

    This could be good if No 1 are managing the lounges as it creates a more coherent structure for VA flights.
    Member who gave thanks

    Madicken

  • Tom Wilson

    tommygun

    17 Oct, 2018 10:59 am

    The Manaia lounge in ZQN has $40pp pay at the door entry (any class of travel) if space is available. Adding VA pax will definitely reduce the chances of getting a paid entry - QF, JQ and VA intl flights ex ZQN mostly group in a narrow time spread in the afternoon. NB: this lounge is airside in the international part of the terminal.
    No member give thanks

  • Joshua Withers

    joshuawithers

    17 Oct, 2018 02:46 pm

    But Qantas/JQ wont use the Mania lounges now
    No member give thanks

  • silvyvc

    silvyvc

    17 Oct, 2018 03:46 pm

    so where will QF/JQ go then?
    No member give thanks

  • Joshua Withers

    joshuawithers

    17 Oct, 2018 03:49 pm

    To the Air NZ lounge. A win for QFF because the lounge is before security in ZQN.
    No member give thanks

  • Alan Su

    alansu

    17 Oct, 2018 03:54 pm

    But international flights on QF (and certainly not JQ) will not have access to the NZ lounge as lounge access is only for NZ-operated QF-marketed domestic NZ flights.
    No member give thanks

  • Joshua Withers

    joshuawithers

    17 Oct, 2018 04:13 pm

    Oh it looks like you’re right, sorry. I guess we’ll get stuck in Manaia lounge then.

    I wonder, are the Manaia lounges going to be the only lounges where Qantas and Virgin frequent flyers share a lounge now that Airberlin isn’t in operations?
    No member give thanks

  • henrus

    henrus

    17 Oct, 2018 05:56 pm

    Virgin Gold/Platinum card holders have used the Qantas Perth Business lounge for a few years now prior to Etihad operated flights. This all ends now that Etihad has terminated services from Perth.
    No member give thanks

  • AwaywithMike

    AwaywithMike

    17 Oct, 2018 11:58 am

    Exciting times! Question is where in Wellington can they squeeze in another lounge?
    No member give thanks

  • xtfer

    xtfer

    17 Oct, 2018 12:18 pm

    I was wondering the same thing...
    No member give thanks

  • readosunnycoast

    readosunnycoast

    17 Oct, 2018 12:36 pm

    Too late I called them a couple of weeks ago but they had no idea so I booked with QF for a December trip across the ditch.
    No member give thanks

  • robbo135

    robbo135

    17 Oct, 2018 12:47 pm

    Excellent news, the Sydney Air NZ lounge will be a much quieter place now that VA Gold/Plats have been turfed out :)
    Member who gave thanks

    StuParr

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    17 Oct, 2018 01:32 pm

    ....but logic says the number of flights or size of operating aircraft must also decrease as those "turfed out" VA pax are now not using NZ. NZ cannot codeshare with QF so their available AU pax pool has reduced and no Australian with a brain would bother with the rip-off that is NZ AirPoints.
    No member give thanks

  • Tom Wilson

    tommygun

    17 Oct, 2018 01:57 pm

    I think I read somewhere, 90% of the load on a typical NZ Tasman service is Kiwis anyway. What it does mean is that NZ have to stump up with their own metal now, especially sectors like ZQN-BNE where for quite a while they had no flights of their own..
    No member give thanks

  • Hils12345

    Hils12345

    17 Oct, 2018 04:38 pm

    You are right about the Sydney lounge but good luck getting a seat in the Koru Club Auckland in domestic with QF plats and golds having access now.
    No member give thanks

  • Dave

    Grannular

    17 Oct, 2018 01:05 pm

    Congrats to Virgin. A strong step forward that a lot of people have been waiting for.
    No member give thanks

  • Blake

    Blake

    17 Oct, 2018 01:38 pm

    Dunno if this is old news, but at LAX the VA Lounge is Emirates I was there a couple weeks ago.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    17 Oct, 2018 01:49 pm

    Yes, it's been that way for a while - a nice lounge!
    Member who gave thanks

    Sam Butler

  • Stm Aus

    stmaus

    17 Oct, 2018 02:15 pm

    Actually a big upgrade for VA, over the NZ lounge in SYD/MEL, with a la carte dining. Will they keep the Arabian coffee?
    No member give thanks

  • Mitchell Dennis

    Mitchd31

    17 Oct, 2018 02:50 pm

    The Wellington lounge will be on the mezzanine level above Intl departure gates 27.
    No member give thanks

  • AwaywithMike

    AwaywithMike

    17 Oct, 2018 02:56 pm

    do you mean the mezzanine upstairs in the 'rock' ?
    - that would be too small... no?
    No member give thanks

  • Yvan J Drake

    MRYJDrake

    18 Oct, 2018 11:36 am

    I was going to joke that they'd use some scaffolding and just rig up a lounge on top of the rock.. Didn't realise that was the actual plan.
    No member give thanks

  • UpUpAndAway

    UpUpAndAway

    17 Oct, 2018 03:03 pm

    My Lounge looks like a great marketing idea, my personal thoughts on lounges are if I'm in a lounge I've been at the airport to long.
    No member give thanks

  • Alex_upgrade

    alex_upgrade77

    17 Oct, 2018 03:20 pm

    Presume Velocity Gold and Plats flying Economy on SQ will only get access to the Krisflyer Gold lounges at Changi and not the nicer SilverKris lounges?
    No member give thanks

  • Stm Aus

    stmaus

    18 Oct, 2018 09:38 am

    Yes, one would assume that stays the same because it is a SQ decision. Boooo! SQ, please at least give VA WP's access to Silverkris!
    No member give thanks

  • gazzax2

    gazzax2

    17 Oct, 2018 03:22 pm

    Would be great to focus on Domestic lounges first eg. Townsville, Hobart, Newcastle

    its also great to see lounge Access for Hainan airlines clarified for the first time
    Member who gave thanks

    Xanthetas

  • oxy

    oxy

    17 Oct, 2018 04:08 pm

    Well if nothing else it has simplified the lounge entitlements somewhat, especially ex MEL! Well done VA.
    No member give thanks

  • Hils12345

    Hils12345

    17 Oct, 2018 04:32 pm

    It is not uncommon to forget Dunedin but any update on lounge access for VA flights Dunedin to Brisbane?
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    17 Oct, 2018 04:35 pm

    Hi Hils, Dunedin was mentioned in the story: "The airline has yet to advise on lounge options for its flights from Dunedin."
    No member give thanks

  • Scott Brown

    DownSouth

    17 Oct, 2018 04:36 pm

    This is a great move, both sides of the Tasman fully covered, and further lounge upgrades in Aust particularly in BNE for international flights. As per previous posts the standardisation and Virgin input to the lounges will greatly lift the lounge experience.
    No member give thanks

  • Mike K

    Mjkcan

    17 Oct, 2018 05:47 pm

    Do SQ golds flying on VA metal to LAX (in Y) get this benefit as well?

    And on the return flight as well?
    No member give thanks

  • henrus

    henrus

    17 Oct, 2018 06:01 pm

    Will be interesting but I'd say no.

    Officially the VA/SQ tie up only covers airline operated lounges. It'll be interesting to see if this MyHouse lounge is counted as a partner or not. I'd also assume that SQ Gold would get lounge access in Wellington if it's indeed going to be a VA branded lounge.
    No member give thanks

  • J GW

    stompsy

    17 Oct, 2018 10:10 pm

    Call me cynical, but I really doubt they'll have champagne...
    No member give thanks

  • AWSH

    AWSH

    18 Oct, 2018 11:27 pm

    any thoughts on whether Virgin Lounge passes will be able to be used to bring in extra guest into The House or My Lounge? VA Plats used to be able to take 3 guests into the AirNZ lounge from memory, now it's down to just 1 (+ 2 kids).
    No member give thanks

Guest

21 May, 2019 07:17 pm

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