The brand new Virgin Australia lounge in Adelaide has finally opened its doors after long delays. The lounge is a significant upgrade compared to the current Virgin Australia lounges around Australia. Still, it’s interesting to note that the Adelaide lounge is really the work and vision of the previous administration. It’s clear that the lounge’s design is intended to be more on-par with the Qantas Business Lounges in Australia instead of the Qantas Club. Considering Virgin Australia doesn’t have separate lounge types, this is the perfect middle ground.
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Who Can Access The Virgin Australia Adelaide Lounge?
Using your credit card: American Express Platinum and Centurion card holders get unlimited Virgin Australia lounge access when flying Virgin Australia. Simply show your card at the front desk.
Frequent Flyers: Both Gold and Platinum Velocity Frequent Flyers get access to the Virgin Australia lounge and can guest in a friend who hasn’t got status.
Lounge Passes: If you have a Virgin Lounge pass, you may also use this to access the lounge. Credit card providers typically issue these as a perk for their members.
Lounge Membership: The sale of lounge membership is currently on pause, but those who already hold a membership can use this to access the Virgin Australia Adelaide lounge.
Virgin Australia Partners: If you’re Gold or above with Delta, Singapore Airlines or Etihad Airways, you will also be able to access the VA lounge.
The Virgin Australia Adelaide lounge is located in the domestic terminal. Once you make your way through security, turn left. The lounge is adjacent to the “food court” area in the terminal.
Virgin Australia has gone for a fresh new “retro-inspired” design throughout the space, which seats up to 283 guests. Stylish yet playful seems to be the agenda here, so there’s no doubt the design team took some inspiration from Virgin Atlantic’s lounges around the world. Bright neon signage and pop of colours in the lighting features work well to showcase that.
There’s plenty of variety when it comes to seating choices, and the lounge is segmented into different areas to cater to guests needs. There are 4 distinct sections which have all been named:
- The Library: A dedicated work area dubbed The Library features workstations with PCs, printing facilities, power sockets, and desk lamps, offering a functional environment to work on the fly (workspaces continue to be available throughout COVID-19).
- The Gallery Lounge: a chill-out zone adjacent to The Library, complete with lounge chairs and a large flat-screen television.
- The Sunroom: With a mixture of cosy seating arrangements, it’s the perfect space to sit with a loved one, friend or colleague in comfort.
- The Long Stay: Closely located next to the servery, the Long Stay is tucked away from the main entrance and provides guests with an inviting space, with a wide variety of seating options.
I felt the “Long Stay” area could have done with more integrated seating features in terms of furniture and design. All chairs are movable, which could create chaos when the lounge gets busy, and people start moving chairs to suit their group needs.
That said, I love the natural stone and gold trim look, which is visible throughout the lounge. Even the wall panelling is made out of some interesting materials which look very lovely in person.
Both bathrooms and shower facilities are well designed, and even a little bit luxurious — definitely a design touch from pre-covid days gone past.
Food & Beverage
With the new lounge comes a new menu and a new way to get your drinks and food. Virgin Australia Adelaide is trialling a table order system that works with QR codes printed on the table. Once you scan the code with your phone, you can order anything from the menu and get it delivered to you.
In theory, this is very nice. However, I can’t see this working very well once the lounge gets busy. It’s just much more efficient to have self-service and bar service available to guests in such situations.
Food has seen a vast improvement, and guests can now choose between complimentary sandwiches, salads, wraps and healthy snacks. Presentation of the food is also excellent, and disposable plastics are being avoided.
There’s also barista made coffee (naturally — we’re in Australia after all!), and alcoholic beverages are on offer after 12 noon. This includes South Australian wines, craft beers and a selection of spirits.
Food on offer:
Sandwiches and wraps
• Chicken, avocado, walnut and rocket sandwich, served with mayonnaise on country grain; and Roast vegetables, with red pesto and lettuce wrap.
• Falafel, beetroot, pickled cauliflower and lentil salad with tahini dressing; and Thai beef salad with coriander dressing.
• Crudité plate, with hummus, carrot sticks and pitta bread;
• Plated cheddar cheese and crackers;
• Protein bowl with wilted spinach leaves;
• Fresh cut fruit; and
• Greek yoghurt, topped with toasted muesli.
Service & Staff
Many of the staff have come over from the old Virgin Australia lounge, and I suspect many would have been without a job for some time while lounges were closed. Everyone seemed enthusiastic and happy to be back in a much larger and vastly improved lounge. Table service was prompt and friendly, but during my visit, the lounge was very quiet. It will be interesting to see how the QR/table service system works when things get busy.
Lounge wifi was on the slow side but workable. In terms of work areas, I enjoyed the “library” section of the lounge with its desk space and ample power and USD adapters available. I noticed that almost every seat in the lounge had access to power points and USB adaptors for device charging.
There are also 2 computers available for public use in the lounge’s Library section, so this is handy if you need to check something and perhaps didn’t bring your own devices.
Summing Up – Virgin Australia Lounge Adelaide
All in all, I love the direction the lounge design has taken. The current offering is rather dull and uninspiring, so this fresh new take is very much needed and welcome. However, I can’t help think that if this lounge were planned under the current ownership, we would have seen something vastly different. The products and finishes in the new lounge are definitely not “budget”, so it will be interesting to see if the same design ethos remains when lounges eventually get refurbished around the country.
Full Disclosure: Flight Hacks attended the lounge opening on invitation by Virgin Australia. This does not influence our opinion of this new space!