Restricted access to Etihad Lounge in Sydney

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Gredgy69

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VFF, I was wondering why the access to the soon to be opened Etihad lounge in Sydney will be restricted to only passengers flying to AUH? From all the press releases over the last year or two they indicated the lounge was going to be a shared lounge with access for all Etihad and Virgin Business and First passengers and gold and platinum FF. Why can't passengers to the US have access rather than putting up with the average Koru Club? It mightn't be so bad if the Koru Club was renovated but when I was there last August it look very run down - computers not working massage chairs not working and the whole place just looking tired. If Virgin refuses to join an alliance, then they at least need to extract better benefits out of their partners and have consistency with those benefits with all partners.
 
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Hi Gredgy69, thanks for your interest in this. As you’re aware, we offer a range of lounge access options for our guests departing Sydney on international flights, depending on their destination. Eligible guests can access the recently opened SilverKris Lounge when travelling with Singapore Airlines and the Koru lounge when travelling to the US with Virgin Australia or trans-Tasman with Virgin Australia or Air New Zealand. The new Etihad Airways Sydney lounge provides access for Business Class, Velocity Platinum and Velocity Gold guests travelling with Etihad Airways or Virgin Australia to Abu Dhabi. Thank you again, we really appreciate your feedback.
 

TonyHancock

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I think Gredgy69 makes a fair point, and hopefully VA will consider it. One of the things that prevents me making a commitment to VA for my international travel is these ad hoc arrangements. When I fly Qantas I know what to expect as a One World Emerald frequent flyer, and it that consistency that keeps me locked into QF and OneWorld.

With the recent enhancements to the QF FF program I have just over year to consider my options, and sadly at the moment VA does not really figure in those options. I may very well stick to QF in the end, or move to BA, but I need more certainty when I travel if I am to move to VA. That certainty involves things like seat selection, lounge access, SC and points earn, priority check in/boarding etc.
 

jneufeld

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It would be a very positive move to see the EY Sydney lounge become the 'default lounge' for SYD, replacing the worn out Koru Lounge. Allowing anyone travelling on a VA coded flight access.
 

bullerdude

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Hi Gredgy69, thanks for your interest in this. As you’re aware, we offer a range of lounge access options for our guests departing Sydney on international flights, depending on their destination. Eligible guests can access the recently opened SilverKris Lounge when travelling with Singapore Airlines and the Koru lounge when travelling to the US with Virgin Australia or trans-Tasman with Virgin Australia or Air New Zealand. The new Etihad Airways Sydney lounge provides access for Business Class, Velocity Platinum and Velocity Gold guests travelling with Etihad Airways or Virgin Australia to Abu Dhabi. Thank you again, we really appreciate your feedback.

I realised you have to provide the commentary based on your current arrangement and offering but when it comes to VA the situation is laughable; although I do acknowledge improvement such as LAX Lounge which is excellent.

Qantas is simple: Travel on QF or One World coded flight you get the QF Business/First lounges (or the other One world lounges if you so choose).

VA is all over the shop: Awesome Etihad lounge for AUH flights, Decent Singapore lounge for Singapore flights and the LOUSY AND BORING AirNZ lounge for everything else.

Seriously, can you PLEASE just give us ONE AWESOME lounge for all VA Flights (aka. Etihad). Until then you are so far behind Qantas with Lounge Access it really is laughable.
 

erkpod

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I realised you have to provide the commentary based on your current arrangement and offering but when it comes to VA the situation is laughable; although I do acknowledge improvement such as LAX Lounge which is excellent.

Qantas is simple: Travel on QF or One World coded flight you get the QF Business/First lounges (or the other One world lounges if you so choose).

VA is all over the shop: Awesome Etihad lounge for AUH flights, Decent Singapore lounge for Singapore flights and the LOUSY AND BORING AirNZ lounge for everything else.

Seriously, can you PLEASE just give us ONE AWESOME lounge for all VA Flights (aka. Etihad). Until then you are so far behind Qantas with Lounge Access it really is laughable.

Unless of course you are a VFF SG/WP member at TBIT travelling to NRT/SIN on SQ (VA codeshare) & you get no lounge access at all
 

AviationNZ

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It mightn't be so bad if the Koru Club was renovated

This is due to happen very soon, along with BNE and AKL lounges. Whilst EY certainly set the benchmark, the newly renovated Koru lounges will be a big improvement on the current offering.
 

Gredgy69

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It would be a very positive move to see the EY Sydney lounge become the 'default lounge' for SYD, replacing the worn out Koru Lounge. Allowing anyone travelling on a VA coded flight access.

jneufeld, we can only hope!!
 

Gredgy69

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I realised you have to provide the commentary based on your current arrangement and offering but when it comes to VA the situation is laughable; although I do acknowledge improvement such as LAX Lounge which is excellent.

Qantas is simple: Travel on QF or One World coded flight you get the QF Business/First lounges (or the other One world lounges if you so choose).

VA is all over the shop: Awesome Etihad lounge for AUH flights, Decent Singapore lounge for Singapore flights and the LOUSY AND BORING AirNZ lounge for everything else.

Seriously, can you PLEASE just give us ONE AWESOME lounge for all VA Flights (aka. Etihad). Until then you are so far behind Qantas with Lounge Access it really is laughable.

bullerdude, my sentiments exactly.
 

Gredgy69

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This is due to happen very soon, along with BNE and AKL lounges. Whilst EY certainly set the benchmark, the newly renovated Koru lounges will be a big improvement on the current offering.

swan_tim, do you know when this is likely to happen? From all the posts I have seen over the last couple of years this has been a long time coming.
 

under the radar

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bullerdude, my sentiments exactly.

VAinternational is basically a 'virtual' airline and will never come close QFs international brand presence in airports (even if QF are reducing its flying 'metal')... I think it's pretty poor form that VA doesn't even have a VA branded INTERNATIONAL lounge at ANY Australian port...you cant even enjoy a VA lounge in MEL/SYD/BNE when flying VA 'metal' to LA..
 

AviationNZ

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swan_tim, do you know when this is likely to happen? From all the posts I have seen over the last couple of years this has been a long time coming.

I don't have any exact dates, but I understand the design process is well underway. Also, considering NZ is performing very well financially, the refurb's will hopefully be announced sooner rather than later!
 

notzac

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Hi Gredgy69, thanks for your interest in this. As you’re aware, we offer a range of lounge access options for our guests departing Sydney on international flights, depending on their destination. Eligible guests can access the recently opened SilverKris Lounge when travelling with Singapore Airlines and the Koru lounge when travelling to the US with Virgin Australia or trans-Tasman with Virgin Australia or Air New Zealand. The new Etihad Airways Sydney lounge provides access for Business Class, Velocity Platinum and Velocity Gold guests travelling with Etihad Airways or Virgin Australia to Abu Dhabi. Thank you again, we really appreciate your feedback.

VFF,

Beautifully worded answer ;) I'd like to offer you some additional feedback with the hopes that it would reach appropriate eyes in your organisation:

As a Platinum member, I want to be provided with decent lounge options when I travel internationally. In Sydney, for most of my travel I'm going to be sent to the NZ lounge (which is written very clearly in to the benefits of the program, so I don't feel entitled to anything else), but .. have you or anyone in your loyalty team actually been to the NZ lounge recently? It was nice a few years ago, but the furniture is aging, the food & bev options have diminished, the wifi is painfully slow and the cleanliness is frankly sub-par. Maybe that's fine for a cheapy-cheap-cheap Pacific Island or New Zealand flight, but if I drop $7k - $8k on a J ticket to the US, I'm going to be pretty unhappy about it .. especially if you consider that a QF Platinum dropping the same kind of coin on a J ticket to the US would get in to the QF First Lounge. Has anyone in your team done a competitive analysis of international lounges for SYD and MEL?

tl;dr - I really like VA .. but the lounges you have available for international trips are very, very ordinary. Pls2be fixing.
 

Gredgy69

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notzac, thankyou for the beautifully crafted response to VFF's beautifully worded response to my original query. Even for a cheapy cheap Pacific Island flight I don't think the Koru Lounge is appropriate.
 
D

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Even for a cheapy cheap Pacific Island flight I don't think the Koru Lounge is appropriate.

I've only been to the BNE Koru Lounge and I've said before that I prefer the main terminal. The BNE Koru is genuinely awful.

On a brighter side, as I'll be flying SYD-AUH in Jan with VA, I'm assuming me (plat) wife (then gold) and daughter (red) will be entertained in the EY lounge? Hopefully one of us will be allowed one guest.
 
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I just had to comment, I am a loyal Virgin flyer with gold status and as a self funded traveller I am grateful for any lounge access and always thought the Koru Lounge in Sydney was a fabulous bonus. However just flew Qantas to HKG, first time flying Qantas International for 30 years! Managed to get a couple of complimentary passes and I was just so impressed with the Qantas Lounge experience in both Sydney and of course Hong Kong. I also think Qantas staff are trying so hard with their customer service, it was incredible. Anyway have my next flight SYD-AUH in June with VA, looking forward to using the new Etihad lounge. Sure, these are "first world problems" to the extreme, but I save hard to travel and maximise points earnings using Velocity credit cards, shop via Velocity e store etc but really Qantas is starting to look very tempting, so Virgin please listen to your loyal flyers.
 

anat0l

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The interesting part here is that one can complain a lot about the Koru Club, but VA can't directly do much about it (i.e. it's not their lounge). Either their options are, (a) tell Koru Club to up their game, and it would seem a considerable lift required; or (b) negotiate with another, more superior lounge.

Not related as such to this thread or VA, but it's quite funny how VS uses the Koru Club as their contracted lounge in Australia. "Fortunately" for them, they only have less than a month to go, so answering to their critics about the quality of the facilities in Sydney will be a non-issue very soon.

If it's a consolation, I suppose if and when NZ have to renovate the SYD Koru Club, they'll need to divert all pax to another lounge in the airport. So if VA don't have a new lounge access plan by then, they'll be inadvertently forced to in one way or another (or give out cash vouchers, which I doubt will happen). Of course, when that does happen, "latest and greatest"... you would like to think that NZ will have a pretty decent and competitive offering that will likely divide who will want to access what lounge as a VA elite!
 

tinkybelle

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Can anyone tell me if I am plat virgin or elite gold( yes I am both) can I access the EY lounge when flying Virgin to bali it seems a bit loose on the access site.
 

777

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Can anyone tell me if I am plat virgin or elite gold( yes I am both) can I access the EY lounge when flying Virgin to bali it seems a bit loose on the access site.

No. Generally only on flights to AUH. At the moment it also includes longhaul flights to LA but that's as a result of the NZ lounge being made over.
 
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