Virgin Australia opens new 'boutique' airport lounge at Wellington

Virgin Australia opens new 'boutique' airport lounge at Wellington

Virgin Australia's new lounge at Wellington Airport is now open to the airline's business class passengers and Velocity Platinum and Gold frequent flyers, along with Virgin Australia Lounge members.

It's a decidedly cosy space, with room for just 32 passengers – hence why Virgin is describing the lounge as a 'boutique' offering.

The lounge will be open to passengers only 90 minutes prior to the departure of each Virgin Australia-operated flight, and due to limited capacity there's no use of lounge passes (issued to Velocity Silver members plus through partner credit cards of American Express, Virgin Money, ANZ and Westpac) and no guesting from international airline partners.

However, as is the case with other Virgin Australia lounges, there's guesting for one adult and two children for Velocity Platinum and Gold card-holders and Virgin Australia Lounge members.

Virgin's Wellington Airport lounge is located in the international departures area above gate 48, beyond customs and security, with views across the tarmac.

Those passengers who do get through the door will enjoy free WiFi, a buffet (with catering operated by the Rydges Wellington Airport Hotel) with a rotating menu of hot food for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and a selection of self-serve beer plus red, white and sparkling wine, Nespresso coffee and Madam Flavour Tea.

Also worth noting: the lounge lacks bathrooms, so passengers needing to spend a penny will need to pop back into the terminal to use the airport's own facilities.

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.
 

33 comments

  • CityRail

    CityRail

    17 Apr, 2019 12:50 pm

    No guesting for international airline partners - I wonder how Virgin's main shareholder Singapore Airlines will think about that?
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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    17 Apr, 2019 02:15 pm

    SQ guests get access to NZ lounge under Star rules so they are probably cool with VA's restrictions.
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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    17 Apr, 2019 02:24 pm

    Sorry, I should've been clearer. They get access to NZ lounge when travelling with a SQ code. I guess they miss out if travelling with a VA code.
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  • Alex_upgrade

    alex_upgrade77

    20 Apr, 2019 06:28 am

    SQ will probably be happy as it may encourage pax to book the SQ code now?
    No member give thanks

  • James C

    Carrots

    17 Apr, 2019 12:50 pm

    Arh David - thanks for the hilarity in your review.

    I've not heard that line for quite a while "passengers needing to spend a penny" - brilliant!

    Sounds like they've made do as best as they could with the space available?
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  • Saab34

    Saab34

    17 Apr, 2019 01:25 pm

    As there only is really one flight at a time 32 seats should be enough. Average Tasman flights are only 120-150pax full so I’d be amazed if a quarter of the flight is gold/plat.l


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  • Dave

    Grannular

    17 Apr, 2019 01:27 pm

    I wonder if this is because they couldn't get access to a larger space, didn't want to spend the money, or if they genuinely don't need space for more than 32 people. Space for 32 people only does seem quite small.
    I wonder if we will hear reports of getting rejected from the lounge in the coming weeks as it is already at capacity.
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  • xtfer

    xtfer

    17 Apr, 2019 03:15 pm

    Wellington Airport is far too small, but the International departures area is TINY, being the original International terminal that was in use before the current main terminal concourse was built. The Air NZ lounge itself is like a living room in size. I'm surprised they even found room for a lounge at all.


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  • Longreach

    Longreach

    22 Apr, 2019 12:58 pm

    It's a tiny country.
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  • L Mck

    Lmc

    17 Apr, 2019 01:34 pm

    For a port that only see’s 2 flights a day, 32 seats seems perfect. Im still amazed they opened a lounge.
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  • wdeguara

    wdeguara

    17 Apr, 2019 02:15 pm

    Some days see more than 2 flights - for example, Sundays have 2 BNE flights, 1 SYD flight and there is the VA5468 codeshare for MEL. The early morning BNE and SYD flights leave at roughly the same time so this lounge could get a bit busy.
    No member give thanks

  • sgb

    sgb

    17 Apr, 2019 01:39 pm

    I think I'll stick with the Qantas lounge where you can spend a penny and even have a shower. First lounge I've ever heard of that doesn't have a WC. Yuck. Boutique sounds one up from Pop Up.
    No member give thanks

  • Dean

    deanr

    17 Apr, 2019 01:42 pm

    You obviously haven't visited the Krisflyer Gold lounge in Singapore that VA Gold and Platinum use when flying SQ. Same deal: no showers, no toilets. To use the loo, you have to exit the lounge.
    Member who gave thanks

    AwaywithMike

  • David Ryan

    David69

    17 Apr, 2019 01:57 pm

    I was about to mention the same lounge.
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  • sgb

    sgb

    17 Apr, 2019 01:44 pm

    The poor person on the Lounge Desk will get sick of customers coming back in saying they have just returned from the public lav, fingers crossed no change over of staff shift occurs during their visitations or there could be a recognition problem getting back in...
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  • AwaywithMike

    AwaywithMike

    18 Apr, 2019 08:57 am

    the door is accessed by a scan-for-entry...
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  • readosunnycoast

    readosunnycoast

    17 Apr, 2019 01:50 pm

    Boy oh boy, there are one or two cats out there. VA are doing their best in difficult circumstances. I do recall years ago, my brother being invited into the Station Managers office in ZQN (I think it was there) when flying Ansett (due to a lack of lounge). Criticism is worthwhile if it adds to the situation. As my mother said, if you aint got nothin nice to say don't say nothin at all.
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  • Yvan J Drake

    MRYJDrake

    17 Apr, 2019 02:03 pm

    Sounds like the Palmerston North Air NZ Koru Lounge.
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  • sgb

    sgb

    17 Apr, 2019 02:15 pm

    Oh Dear, but Palmerston North is not the Capital City.
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  • AwaywithMike

    AwaywithMike

    17 Apr, 2019 02:56 pm

    Excellent result VA... given that there is no where else in the airport. With views of the apron, and high ceilings.. it trumps the Air NZ International Lounge. Sure, not toilets or shower.. but beats not having a dedicated VA space at all....

    Oh, and David; "due to limited capacity there's no arrivals access" - this would more be because the lounge is in the airside international departure zone - right?
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  • xtfer

    xtfer

    17 Apr, 2019 03:16 pm

    Indeed. There is no arrivals access full stop.
    No member give thanks

  • julius-grafton

    julius-grafton

    17 Apr, 2019 03:14 pm

    Just 2 flights a day..... we just gave up on using VA to Wello, and coming out is at 6am !! Hopefully the lounge means they will fix the frequencies.
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  • Ross  Anderson

    serfty

    17 Apr, 2019 03:27 pm

    There was a poor review on AFF this morning.

    No hot breakfast items contradicts the blurb.




    Member who gave thanks

    sgb

  • sgb

    sgb

    17 Apr, 2019 04:32 pm

    Glorified waiting room with stairs to climb!!!! OMG I hope SIA don't pull out of the AIRNZ lounge in Wellington and go to this.
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  • eminere

    eminere

    20 Apr, 2019 10:59 pm

    Why on earth would they?
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  • Sparksy

    Sparksy

    22 Apr, 2019 04:22 pm

    I read that report, the passenger turned up at 4.40am and was first in the lounge on first day of opening, I can give Virgin a little latitude for not having a hot three-course meal there. My brother visited the lounge this weekend and tells me the buffet included hot food in the form of a decent bacon & egg roll so I think the AFF report is not as reliable in the 'hot food stakes' because it was done before things were properly set up.
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  • Stm Aus

    stmaus

    17 Apr, 2019 04:42 pm

    A very decent offering from VA at such a small outstation.
    No member give thanks

  • mstyson22

    mstyson22

    17 Apr, 2019 09:51 pm

    Don't knock the Palmerston North Koru Lounge. It's one of the best Lounges in NZ. Full facilities, plenty of space and good food and wine.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris McKellar

    krisdude

    18 Apr, 2019 07:51 am

    So is Air NZ regional lounge in Hamilton (NZ).
    No member give thanks

  • NoAngelNZ

    NoAngelNZ

    19 Apr, 2019 04:52 am

    I found it really pleasant. There were only 7 people that came into the Lounge when we were there (including us 2). There were 2 staff, service was attentive. Small selection of food: croissants, cereals, yogurt, fruit, hot bacon and egg rolls. Nespresso machine, drinks selection. Wifi was fast, selection of magazines and newspapers. Only issue was small amount of powerpoints and no advance boarding call.


    Member who gave thanks

    David

  • cavemanzk

    cavemanzk

    21 Apr, 2019 06:12 am

    Ideally WLG just needs to build an single decent contract lounge for International, both the NZ/QF lounges need upgrades, but with only a couple of flights each an day it seems pointless for all 3 to have there own lounges.

    The Qantas domestic lounge space would of been great, but that became office space over the last couple of years, it could of been setup with direct accesss down into the Intertional area with minimal bluiding works require.

    In such an small airport - how NZ is able to get space for its 3x lounges is beyond me....
    No member give thanks

  • Andrew Wakefield

    anwakefield71

    22 Apr, 2019 03:11 am

    For the info of Cityrail
    SQ no longer holds a 49% in VS. DL bought the 49% under Agreement with VS. DL has since been sold 24% to KLM/AF (under EU rules no US Airline can own more than 25%).
    VX obviously no longer exists after Alaska Airlines purchased VX.
    Now Virgin Group only holds 15% in VS.
    No member give thanks

  • Dan

    DanV

    22 Apr, 2019 08:43 pm

    Pretty sure he was referring to Virgin Australia, which is the airline being quoted in this article. No where did it mention Virgin Atlantic.
    No member give thanks

Guest

22 May, 2019 03:15 pm

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