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.
The 2014 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’s core program has come to a close, after a spectacular week of runway, beauty and business events. Audiences were wowed by the likes of Camilla, Michael Lo Sordo, Sass & Bide, Carla Zampatti and many, many more, all showcasing their latest collections.
The festival’s theme of See.Feel.React focussed on making the events accessible to everyone, not just those in the fashion industry. The festival team hoped that the accessible nature of the events would allow visitors to embrace their interest in fashion and attend whichever event they desired. That didn’t stop the big name celebrities from attending, with Megan Gale & Eva Longoria being spotted in the front row at the Grand Showcase by Camilla.
As the principal partner of the festival, our stylish Cabin Crew were on hand to welcome guests and ensure they had a fantastic experience. If you weren’t able to attend this year’s festival, we hope to see you at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival in 2015!
Ahead of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF), we asked world-renowned designer Camilla Franks, creator of Camilla, about the inspiration behind her latest collection, and what fans can expect from her during the Grand Showcase runway show on Wednesday, 19th March.
What inspired your collection this year?
This season my AW Collection And God Created Woman was born from my inner voices and yearnings. It is a calling “To all the women with a little bit of crazy…”. I feel that as women we wear many “hats”. The collection has many exclusively designed and embellished prints that relate to each of these personas. All of these are a representation and illumination of my “psyches.” It’s a direct homage to my triumphs & my struggles and an acceptance of who I am- and all I can be.
What can people look forward to seeing?
In addition to our signature styles, we continue to evolve with new silhouettes – beautiful knits, and more fitted and streamlined silhouettes. The prints and embellishments are incredible and winter perfect.
The show will be big on impact & theatrics. We have Eva Longoria sitting front row (it is the only show she will attend for the week!), we have an exciting live music collaboration and if that isn’t enough, an incredible, almost couture styled show.
What’s your favourite look in the collection?
How can I choose! It’s like picking your favourite child! I am particularly drawn to the War Of Inhibition story of prints- there is a strong Rock n Roll feel couped with my signature feminine soul. This print collection marks the point in my life where I let go of fear, judgement and embraced disorder- kind of like putting on a show really!
This year we are celebrating ten years of CAMILLA and featuring in the Grand Showcase is the perfect way to kick off the celebrations! We have our successful Hawksburn store and will be opening a new boutique in the Emporium Centre in April, so it seemed like the perfect time to show in Melbourne with VAMFF & to connect with my Melbourne tribe.
Favourite travel location in the world?
I am a global wanderer obsessed & inspired by the world, it’s people & cultures, nature. To name a few favourites…..My home Australia, India (my spiritual home), Peru, Vietnam, Mexico, America, Indonesia, China, Greece, Italy, Spain, Laos, Japan, Maldives, the Middle East.
India will always be my second home, the people, the culture, the sights & the sounds. It is so alive & vibrant.
We’re proud to officially unveil the new Virgin Australia Melbourne lounge, designed to enhance the travel experience for leisure and business travellers out of the Melbourne domestic terminal.
During the six-month transformation project, we’ve doubled the existing space in size to become the most expansive lounge in our network, and feature new service elements including a Wine Bar and an Espresso Bar.
Wine Bar at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge
In conjunction with the lounge, we’ve also launched our first Premium Valet service at Melbourne domestic airport, allowing guests to drop off their car seamlessly before their flight.
But we’re not done yet.
The Melbourne lounge experience will soon include its first ‘Premium Exit’ in July 2014. Located within the lounge, the dedicated security screening point will allow guests to move seamlessly to their departure gate. We know that time is of the essence for many travellers and we look forward to introducing this innovative service, allowing guests to save time and enjoy more of the lounge prior to their flight.
The 1209m2 lounge seats 604 guests and features:
All day-dining and barista service
Two meeting rooms
A Wine Bar, offering a premium selection of wine and beer
An Espresso Bar
Business services including complimentary Wi-Fi, power, PCs and printers
Entertainment options including newspapers, premium magazine titles; and 10 high-definition televisions featuring FOXTEL and free-to-air programming.
For more information on our lounge network, and to find out how to become a lounge member, please visit our website.
As the hype of Wimbledon starts to ebb and wane, our focus remains on tennis with the exciting announcement that we’ve signed on, for the fourth year running, to be the official airline and proud sponsor of the Australian Open.
Not only are we the Open’s official airline; our holiday program, Blue Holidays are also on board as an official tour operator.
In anticipation of the thrilling action of the Grand Slam, Blue Holidays are set to offer tennis fans an experience like no other, with the introduction of a range of tailor-made event packages for the Australian Open 2013.
Virgin Australia General Manager Marketing, Michael Betteridge, said “The tournament is one of the most prestigious events on the sporting calendar and following the success of the Australian Open 2012, Blue Holidays will offer new and exclusive packages allowing guests to book airfares, accommodation and courtside tickets in a few quick easy steps online”.
Join the colourful crowds this summer amid the festive atmosphere of Melbourne Park’s world-class tennis facilities … Catch all the courtside action and witness the world’s best players go head to head, with an Australian Open event package.
Not only have we begun the year with the inaugural commercial flight between Brisbane and Emerald, but we have announced that from today, tickets are on-sale for a double daily return service between Melbourne and Perth, operated by our Airbus A330.
From May 14th 2012, the Airbus A330 will operate two daily return services including a daily peak-return morning service from Melbourne to Sydney. Read more »
Research released today by Virgin Australia shows that over the next few days, baggage carousels will be filled with up to 40,000 hats and over 55,000 lip glosses, which will be flown especially to Melbourne for The Cup and the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival.
With most believing that the Spring Racing Carnival is more about the social occasion, champagne and fashion (74%) than the racing (22%), it’s no wonder that getting their luggage there on time and intact is a top priority. Virgin Australia’s research revealed that the baggage carousels may be filled with an estimated $40 million worth of luggage this racing season.
Nikki Phillips flying with Virgin Australia to Melbourne's Spring Racing Carnival
Virgin Australia Group Executive Corporate Communications, Danielle Keighery said the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival is a positive boost for the Australian economy and the tourism industry in general.
“The Victorian Spring Racing Carnival has developed a reputation as one of the most important events on the sporting calendar, attracting domestic and international visitors alike. Last year, the carnival generated $728 million for the Australian economy, with a similar contribution expected this year”.
“We are committed to supporting the Australian tourism industry and will be putting on 36 additional flights into and out of Melbourne over the key racing period. Virgin Australia is well-prepared to transport Australia’s latest fashion trends as 40,000 hats, 110,000 dresses and pairs of heels make their way through carousels across the country”, Ms Keighery said.
Virgin Australia’s top tips for packing for the Spring Racing Carnival:
* Check the dimensions of your hat box. If it exceeds the carry-on allowance, check it-in at least 30 minutes before your flight.
* Pack an extra pair of shoes. A day at the races carries the high risk of broken high heels, mud and sore feet.
* Prepare for all weather conditions. With the unpredictability of the Spring season, you never know when you might need a warm jacket or an umbrella.
Other findings from the survey included:
* For most women Melbourne Cup is an excuse to splash out on new clothes and accessories with 80% of women willing to purchase a new dress for the race
* The average amount Australian women are prepared to spend on new items to look their best at Melbourne Cup is $370 – and that’s even before they have placed a bet
* Dirty shoes (48%), broken heels (42%) and fashion faux pas (23%) at the top of peoples ‘stress list’ when it comes to attending the races, explaining the sheer volume of luggage that travels to Melbourne
* The must-have beauty items for the race include lip-gloss (51%) and concealer (36%)
 Galaxy Research conducted 6/10/11, with a sample of 1510 respondents aged 18-64 across Australia.
 Figures provided by Victorian Racing Club and based on National Gross Economic Benefit – the total amount generated by the MCC in Australia by all Australians and international visitors.
 Refers to 29 October to 5 November 2011.
To book flights with Virgin Australia, visit the website here
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.
Our sister airline, Virgin Blue, is one of the sponsors of the event, but that’s not the only reason we’re excited. The amazing entertainment showcase that is the Australian Open is something we love to behold. Mixing world class tennis with world class entertainment, facilities and technology. An energetic sporting carnival, that blends the fun and enjoyment of tennis with social and cultural attributes that celebrate Australia’s iconic love of the great outdoors and fun in the sun. Click here to learn more or better yet click here to join us and book your Australian Open Blue Holiday.