Virgin Australia passengers have lost access to Air New Zealand airport lounges, unless flying across the ditch. The changes come amidst reports that Virgin will also soon start charging domestic lounge guests for spirits.
The lounges available to Gold & Platinum Velocity members, as well as Business passengers, on international flights will now depend on the destination and airline being flown. For example, passengers in Sydney will now be sent to either the Etihad, Singapore Airlines, SkyTeam or Air New Zealand lounge.
In Melbourne, passengers flying Etihad will continue to enjoy to Etihad’s lounge. But Melbourne passengers flying Virgin Australia to Fiji are now restricted to the Virgin lounge, which is not even located in the international terminal. Velocity members remain without access to any lounge when flying on partners Hawaiian Airlines from Brisbane, or South African Airways from Perth. Virgin will continue to use the popular Star Alliance lounge in Los Angeles in the short term, however this too will be dropped in favour of the Delta lounge after Virgin switches terminals in mid-2017.
Our members are largely unhappy with the changes, particularly as many of the new lounges on offer are inferior to those previously available. The changes have also caused a large amount of confusion.
There have also been reports recently that Virgin will start selling spirits in its domestic airport lounges. Spirits were previously available for free for a short time, but are currently not offered. If true, our members are not impressed, particularly as lounge guests have generally spent a lot of money to be there in the first place. Virgin Australia's main competitor, Qantas, offers spirits free of charge in its lounges.
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