Virgin Australia has unveiled the new look for its top-tier, invitation-only private lounge network in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Previously branded as The Club, Virgin Australia’s new pre-flight high-end hangouts are now dubbed Beyond Lounges.
Reserved for corporate partners, some high-status Velocity Frequent Flyer members and very, very important people (VVIPs) throughout the country, the Beyond Lounges are accessed via a low-key doorway simply labelled as “Private”.
Virgin Australia says the re-opening of the lounge network, a key benefit of the new Virgin Australia Beyond loyalty program announced last year, marks a “major milestone in the airline’s transformation plan” and follows a long list of significant customer improvements since Virgin Australia relaunched in 2020.
Within the new lounge to maintain a level of privacy there will be no boarding announcements. Instead, personalised 1:1 boarding invitations from the Beyond Lounge Hosts will inform members when it’s time to board their flight.
Virgin Australia Beyond is now the highest tier of loyalty for Virgin Australia customers and sits alongside the airline’s Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty program which continues to offer 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 a relaxed 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.
Located near Virgin Australia’s existing domestic lounges, the Virgin Australia Beyond lounges will be accessed with a sustainable digital membership card, provided to the carrier’s most loyal flyers.
Responding to survey results of Beyond members conducted last year, privacy was viewed to be one of the most important attributes of the invitation-only lounges. With that in mind, members will experience a quiet and welcoming space, with design elements including feature leather-clad and oak timber walls, plush Chester-style armchairs, bright greenery and secluded privacy pods.
Privacy pods – member favourite in the lounges – contain timber cabinetry with built-in charging stations, making it easy for members to work or relax on the fly. Transparent frosted glass surrounds the pods 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 1 July 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.
Capacity at the Beyond Lounges is 109 guests in Melbourne, 91 in Sydney and 44 in Brisbane.
New à la carte dining with beverages to complement
To coincide with the opening of Beyond, Virgin Australia has launched a new à la carte menu for Beyond members, featuring light and substantial fresh menu options using the finest Australian produce. All food is freshly prepared on site and can be ordered with the airline’s dedicated Beyond Lounge Hosts who are on hand to deliver a personalised service experience.
The breakfast and all-day dining menus will rotate regularly based on supply and seasonality, and include the following dishes:
- Breakfast options including eggs made to order;
- Superfood salads;
- Sandwiches and healthy wraps;
- Seafood and meat pastas;
- Decadent desserts;
- Cheese boards featuring some of the best Australian cheesemongers; and
- Virgin Australia’s signature truffle fries, a favourite that members insisted on retaining.
Virgin Australia Beyond Lounge dining options include: 1. Organic buckwheat and date toasted muesli and yoghurt | 2 .Toasted sourdough, tomato pesto, serrano ham, piquillo peppers and Manchego cheese | 3. Grass-fed steak sandwich with Australian cheddar, pickle and gem lettuce | 4. Salted caramel tartlet, chocolate ganache, raspberry coulis, vanilla ice cream | 5. Salad of brown rice, beetroot kraut, broccolini, chickpeas, grapefruit and pecans
Virgin Australia Beyond members will also have access to beverages, including spirits, Australian wine (pink, white and red), cocktails, freshly squeezed juices, sparkling and still water, tea and coffee.
Beyond Lounge Hosts will also recommend meals from the all-day à la carte menu based on the duration of the members’ visit before their flight, heightening the service experience for Virgin Australia’s most exclusive member lounge.
Jayne Hrdlicka, CEO of Virgin Australia Group 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,” said Hrdlicka.
“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 on board 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,” Hrdlicka remarked.
“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,” she remarked.
Hrdlicka personally spoke with some of Virgin Australia’s largest corporate clients, alongside the airline’s own market research and gauging feedback from premium loyalty members, to assist with the evolution of the lounge concept.
“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.
Paul Jones, Virgin Australia Group Chief Customer and Digital Officer, 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,” Jones said.
“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,” Jones remarked.
“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,” he said.
Virgin Australia Beyond features a member list of business leaders from companies who hold a travel account with Virgin Australia as well as key individuals from the worlds of travel, politics, sport, music, entertainment and society.
Beyond Lounges will open 7 days per week, one-hour before the first flight of the day, closing upon boarding of the last flight.