Virgin Australia has launched invitation-only private Beyond Lounges in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, reserved for corporate partners, some high-status Velocity Frequent Flyer members and key opinion leaders throughout the country.
The Beyond Lounges are the airline’s answer to Qantas’s Chairman’s lounges which are located at most major airports.
The re-opening of the exclusive lounge network (previously known as The Club), is a key benefit of the new Virgin Australia Beyond loyalty program announced last year.
Virgin Australia Beyond is the highest tier of loyalty for Virgin Australia customers and sits alongside the airline’s Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty program which offers Red, Silver, Gold and Platinum status.
Beyond member benefits include:
- 12-month annual membership for the primary member with the option to also nominate a spouse/partner for Beyond membership to enjoy the same benefits. Membership is reviewed each year.
- Access to dedicated Beyond Lounges in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with an à la carte menu offering.
- Dedicated phone concierge service to make or change bookings.
- 4 x complimentary upgrades to Business Class each year.
- 1 x complimentary Velocity Gold membership for the primary member’s executive assistant.
Members enter via a discreet door with access granted through a sustainable digital membership card only given to Virgin Australia’s most loyal flyers.
Locations of the entrance doors will continue to remain unmarked but are located in close proximity to Virgin Australia’s existing domestic lounges in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
The airline said that in a survey of Beyond members conducted last year, privacy was found to be one of the most important attributes of the invitation-only lounges.
The lounge features leather-clad and oak timber walls, plush Chesterfield armchairs, bright greenery and secluded privacy pods.
The privacy pods contain timber cabinetry with built-in charging stations and have transparent frosted glass surrounds allowing for natural light to enter while maintaining discretion for those seated inside.
Numerous seating zones are spread throughout the lounges, providing members with different spaces to dine, relax, refresh and recharge. End of day facilities such as showers (available from July 1, 2022), towels and premium bathroom amenities by Appelles Apothecary Lab are also available for members.
Private offices and board rooms are also available in each Beyond Lounge and can be booked by members ahead of or on the day of travel.
To coincide with the opening of Beyond, Virgin Australia has launched a new à la carte menu featuring light and substantial fresh menu options using Australian produce. All food is freshly prepared on-site and can be ordered with the airline’s dedicated Beyond Lounge Hosts.
The breakfast and all-day dining menus will rotate regularly based on supply and seasonality, and include the following dishes.
- Breakfast options include eggs made to order;
- Superfood salads;
- Sandwiches and healthy wraps;
- Seafood and meat pasta;
- Decadent desserts;
Cheese boards featuring some of the best Australian cheesemongers; and
- Virgin Australia’s signature truffle fries, a firm favourite, members insisted on retaining.
To complement members will have access to a wide range of selected beverages, including spirits, Australian wine (white and red), cocktails, freshly squeezed juices, sparkling and still water, tea and coffee.
To maintain a quiet atmosphere the airline will do away with boarding announcements and instead provide personalised 1:1 boarding invitations from the dedicated Beyond Lounge Hosts, who will come by when it’s time for members to board their flight.
Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the opening of Beyond Lounges is a significant milestone in the airline’s transformation strategy.
“We are continuing to write a new chapter at Virgin Australia and this is the next wonderful edition of our transformation journey,” Ms Hrdlicka said.
“Virgin Australia is dedicated to providing exceptional service experiences and product offerings at great value prices, and Beyond is a great example of Virgin Australia investing in the products and services our guests value most.
“The program forms part of the wider offering Virgin Australia is bringing to the market. From airfare pricing to rewards through Velocity Frequent Flyer, and great travel experiences in our lounges and onboard our flights, we are incredibly focussed on having the right mix of products and services to meet our 33 per cent domestic market share ambitions this year.
“Virgin Australia is bringing more value and optionality to the market than ever before and we know Beyond is going to be very popular with business leaders who are looking for premium travel experiences for their businesses matched with great value airfares.
“And our value is second to none. Virgin Australia Business Class fares are up to 60 per cent better value than what they were prior to the pandemic, and in an independent airfare study released in July 2021, our Economy fares were found to be up to 67 per cent better value, so it’s going to make it very hard for any business to look past Virgin Australia at a time when value is more important than ever.
“Many months have gone into market research and listening to feedback from our premium loyalty members, including me personally speaking with some of our largest corporate clients. We are confident we have the right model in Beyond to drive exceptional loyalty from corporate Australia while delivering strong commercial outcomes for Virgin Australia,” she said.
Virgin Australia Group Chief Customer and Digital Officer, Paul Jones commented on the Beyond Lounge offering.
“We are laser focussed on creating great travel experiences for our guests and we have spent the last 12 months developing a service and product offering that we know is right for Beyond members,” said Mr Jones.
“Last year our members told us privacy, comfort, functional spaces and relaxed dining experiences are important in a private Lounge. And this is what we have delivered today.
“The dining experience is exceptional. Dishes take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to prepare and range from quick and convenient light dishes to more substantial items depending on the time of day and the duration of the members’ visit. Our various seating zones also mean guests can dine with others or in private.”