Airport lounges are typically a place for rest and relaxation before your next flight, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be entertaining as well. At Virgin Australia, we like to ensure our lounge guests thoroughly enjoy their time with us, by offering a range of different experiences during their stay.
Virtually an orchestra
Virgin Australia is proud to be the Principal Partner of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and this week, welcome their unique Virtual Experience to our Melbourne lounge. Located in a dedicated room within the lounge, the experience surrounds any guest that enters with projections of the musicians and their rich recordings. A touch-screen ‘music stand’ allows visitors to spotlight the sound and visuals of the ensemble, highlighting one particular musician, a section of instruments, or their own desired selection of players. A streaming score runs under each musician, allowing the audience to understand the complexity of the musical arrangement – and even play along! The Virtual Experience will be featuring in our Melbourne Lounge until 3rd June.
Baby Grand Piano
You may have recently spotted a Baby Grand Piano, also in our Melbourne lounge playing many favourites to soothe your ears while you relax. The Yamaha Baby Grand has been popular addition to the lounge over the past few weeks, and will be a feature until 28 May 2014.
Last year, as travellers headed south for the “race that stops the nation”, we launched our flagship Sydney lounge by offering race-goers a unique Melbourne Cup Carnival Hat Valet service.
Not only did we have porters on standby to offer eligible guests a personalised Hat Valet service, shoe shines and blow dries were also offer to guests, to ensure they looked their very best for the carnivals.
Stay tuned for our next surprise and to learn about the array of benefits of Virgin Australia lounge membership, click here. And don’t forget, non-members can purchase Single Entry to the lounge on the day of travel with a valid Virgin Australia boarding pass.
We’ve heard from our frequent flyers that more hot food would be appreciated in our Lounges
In addition to the toasties, soups, salads, themed meal and pass-around pizza and cocktails pies (5-7pm), you can now enjoy a hot dog, curry, or Mexican feast. A sample of what’s on offer (Sydney lounge dinner menu) follows:
Luke Mangan self-service Hot Dogs
Pass arounds 5-7pm – mozzarella pizza, lamb and rosemary mini-pies; minestrone soup; Israeli cous cous, Thai noodle, potato with sour cream and herbs salads; make your own Greek salad – meatballs, tzatiki, Greek salad (no feta), marinated feta cheese, pita pocket, Mexican cantina – chickpea & chorizo, tortillas, avocado dip, sour cream, corn chips, caramel slice, and a cheese plate. While hot dogs are on Melbourne’s menu, and curry is in Brisbane.
This has of course been designed by our chef, Luke Mangan! Read more »
We have today announced the opening of our first-ever Lounge at Mackay Airport as well as including extra weekday flights between the central Queensland city and Brisbane.
On sale today for travel from 5 March 2012, the new service will see us operating a total of 78 flights per week between Mackay and Brisbane, which is the greatest frequency offered by any airline on this route (we also operate a daily direct, return Sydney-Mackay service on our Embraer aircraft). Read more »
We have today announced with our alliance partner Singapore Airlines, the first two milestones of our recently approved alliance: new international and domestic routes to Darwin and the launch of frequent flyer programme co-operation.
As part of a joint plan to increase services to northern Australia, Singapore Airlines’ regional full service airline, SilkAir will begin a four-times-weekly service between Singapore and Darwin from 26 March 2012, and Virgin Australia will complement these services with a daily service between Sydney and Darwin from 2 April 2012.
We have also confirmed that from 20 December this year, we will commence reciprocal frequent flyer recognition, enabling KrisFlyer members to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Virgin Australia’s network and Velocity members will be able to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Singapore Airlines operated flights. Reciprocal lounge access is also available for eligible customers.
Singapore Airlines Executive Vice President Commercial and SilkAir Chairman, Mr Mak Swee Wah, said: “We are delighted to be adding Darwin to our network and providing more travel options for our customers as a result of our alliance with Virgin Australia. Our partnership enables us to better service this important market, particularly with the introduction of a strong business class product and extensive international connections.
Silk Air A320 (M Radzi Desa-airliners.net)
“The launch of reciprocal frequent flyer programme ties will also be particularly exciting news for our loyal customers. Our partnership with Virgin Australia will be delivering tangible benefits to customers, with more choice for domestic and international travel combined with seamless service.”
Virgin Australia Group Executive of Alliances, Network & Yield Management, Ms Merren McArthur said: “The alliance with Singapore Airlines enables us to open up important new routes in Australia and Asia and we have moved quickly to identify and realise this opportunity with our new partner”.
“Darwin is the gateway to the Northern Territory’s popular tourist destinations and is an increasingly important commercial hub. Together with Singapore Airlines we will be able to offer visitors from Singapore, Asia and Europe the opportunity to visit the Northern Territory and then travel onto Sydney and the East Coast of Australia. Our services will also be attractive to business travelers who now have the option of a quality business class service from Sydney to Darwin and on to Singapore and beyond.”
“From next week, Virgin Australia customers will be able to enjoy the first benefits of the alliance, with the ability to earn and burn frequent flyer points and status credits on Singapore Airlines’ network of destinations and access over 14 lounges around the world. We look forward to bringing our customers further exciting benefits as the alliance develops,”, Ms McArthur said.
We can also announce that we will open a lounge at Darwin Airport for our eligible Virgin Australia guests as well as those of its alliance partners.
We expect to commence codesharing on each other’s services from early 2012.
Do you have travel to Singapore planned in 2012? Will this new news change how you book your flights?
An eagle-eyed Virgin Australia follower has picked up that the recent construction at the Gold Coast (OOL) Airport is for our new Lounge!
Announced earlier this year, the Lounge will join a list that includes the recently redesigned and renovated Melbourne and Brisbane Lounges, as well as Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, and Canberra.
Designed by renowned architect Tim Greer of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, the Lounge will be a key tool to providing an improved experience for those Guests visiting an important tourism destination such as the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast Lounge
The Lounge will be completed in 2012.
Are you excited by this addition to our Lounge network? Will you make good use of the Lounge?
Mackay’s newest sporting and entertainment venue will now carry the name Virgin Australia Stadium Mackay, following our three-year naming rights sponsorship announcement.
As part of our commitment to the area, we will also be opening a new Lounge and offering Business Class services before the end of 2011.
The new 260m² Mackay Lounge will offer:
· lounge seating for up to 70 Guests
· Premium Luke Mangan designed refreshments
· A premium selection of beverages
· Business services including complimentary WiFi, power, PC and printer
· Entertainment and relaxation with newspapers, premium magazine titles and a Panasonic high definition flat screen television featuring FOXTEL and free-to-air programming.
Our new Virgin Australia Lounge experience is a stylish yet practical space in which to work, socialise or unwind in comfort prior to your Virgin Australia flight departure from selected domestic airports.
Offering a great selection of complimentary benefits including a new Luke Mangan designed buffet menu and premium wines, business services, news, and entertainment, the Virgin Australia Lounge is your airport haven.
We’ve just been released a new TV commercial to promote the Lounge (see below).
The new Brisbane Domestic Lounge opened last week (27th July), joining the flagship Melbourne Lounge as both being recently renovated by renowned architect Tim Greer of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer. – see the photos here
To find out more, including entry rates or how to join visit the website here
Have you already experienced either of these two fantastic spaces prior to your flight? Favourite part? Any tips for your fellow travellers when using them?
Virgin Australia today opened Melbourne as the first of its contemporary new airport lounges, designed by renowned architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer (TZG).
Welcome to the new Melbourne Lounge
Virgin Australia Group Executive of Product and Guest Services Martin Daley said: “Our new lounge showcase Virgin Australia’s focus on providing a seamless, first-rate travel experience for business and leisure travellers.
“The crisp contemporary design balances the functional requirements of frequent travellers with luxury finishes, providing an inspiring and relaxing space for Guests to escape. Featuring multiple zones for meetings, wireless internet capabilities and a “quiet library”, the lounge is well-equipped to cater for modern business needs; while the high bar acts as the dynamic hub where Guests can celebrate and socialise.
“We’re also very pleased to announce that we are extending our culinary
Luke Mangan designed Food & Beverage offering
partnership with Luke Mangan, offering a fresh seasonal menu that draws on Luke’s extensive experience in fine food.” Mr. Daley said.
The new menu will be offered in all Virgin Australia lounges*. In designing the menu, Luke Mangan focused on the very best seasonal and flavoursome Australian produce, as he did with the inflight menu. “I took great care in tailoring the selection to the busy travel schedules of Virgin Australia Guests who are looking for a quick but delicious snack.
A beautiful continental breakfast with fresh fruit is served in the morning; seasonal salads and soups are offered throughout the day (with hot treats in our larger lounges); and evening introduces delicious Australian cheeses as well as mini cakes and gourmet biscuits to satisfy a sweet tooth”, Consultant Chef for Virgin Australia, Luke Mangan, commented.
We understand that Guests will come into the lounge looking for a tasty bite to eat and it is a priority to ensure the selection will change frequently with the seasons,” Mr. Mangan said.
The Flying Lady
TZG architects Director, Tim Greer, said the new design focused on creating a haven for guests to escape and imagine.
“An airport can be seen as nothing more than a place of movement: movement of planes, luggage and people. I have taken this idea as the starting point for the design of Virgin Australia’s Melbourne lounge and created a deliberate flow from one space to another, demonstrating and facilitating the ease of travel.
“In essence, the Melbourne lounge is designed with plane-inspired organic and streamlined architecture and reconnects with the glamour days of air travel, when it was a time to relax in a luxurious setting”, Mr. Greer said.
Key features of the new Melbourne lounge include:
* Contemporary design, featuring modern digital artwork Imaginary Object #1. #3, #4, 2007 – 2008 by Australian artist Daniel Crooks, illuminated Marblo bars, intricate timber paneling, vertical glass screens, natural light and expansive views;
* Multiple quiet zones for meetings;
* Wireless internet with power and data throughout, workstations and PCs;
* A “quiet library” retreat;
* High comfort contemporary designer furniture including Walter Knoll leather chairs;
* A Luke Mangan-designed menu, offering high quality meals and snacks;
* Premium wine and beer selection from 11am;
* All hours barista service;
* Australian made and owned GROWN organic skincare products.
Virgin Australia launched the lounge program in May 2006 and now has six lounges in the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth domestic terminals.
Sydney Premium Entry
Today’s announcement follows the April launch of the Sydney loungePremium Entry and Premium Valet service, offering an exclusive entry, check-in and security screening point for Velocity Gold members, Business and Premium Economy Guests at the Sydney T2 Domestic terminal. Priority Screening was introduced in Melbourne earlier this month, providing these premium Guests with an exclusive security screening lane.
“These are all key parts of our plans to provide travellers with a streamlined, hassle-free experience both in the air and on the ground”, Mr. Daley said.
* Luke Mangan designed menu is not available in the Brisbane temporary lounge facility this will be available upon opening of the new Brisbane lounge.