The Lounge. The coffee!!!

Discussion in 'Virgin Australia Velocity' started by Yada Yada, Jun 29, 2006.

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  1. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    1,872
    7
    1F
    I tried out The Lounge today for the first time in both SYD and MEL and thought I would share a few comments.

    SYD - The Lounge here is located airside to the left after you come down the escalators from the security screening point. It is nicely decorated with a servery area, a dining area, a lounge area, and a separate business/computer area. It is small compared with the SYD QP so I wonder how they will handle growth. Nonetheless it is very nice.

    I was there for breakfast and found similar fare to that offered in the QP - a selection of cereals, a selection of breads and a toaster, spreads, yoghurt and fruit. There were two types of juices, chilled water, filter coffee, and tea.

    There was also a barista on hand to make real coffee. And let me tell you it was bloody good! Best coffee I have tasted in T2. There were plasma screens tuned to Sky News, lots of papers and magazines, etc.

    In short, aside from the smaller size, it was the equal of the QP although the coffee was far superior. The other notable thing is that the staff are great - they are friendly and actually talk to you. I have no complaint with the QP staff but they seem to have been trained to be background workers and rarely say a word.

    MEL - as posted previously, this is a large lounge, I'd guess with almost as much floor space as the QP. It has lots of glass looking out between the two piers at the DJ end of the terminal. It is located down the escalators after check-in and to the left but is landside, so when called for your flight you must go through security (which is right next to it so no big deal).

    The food available mid-afternoon included bread and bread rolls (the toaster was still out), two types of cold meat, cheese, tomato and other salad items, a selection of sauces/mustards/etc, and nibblies (chips, cookies, etc). There was a selection of wines - two types of white wine, not sure how many reds, a number of types of beers, soft drinks, juices and chilled water.

    Again, there was someone behind the counter at all times making espresso coffee and serving the alcohol. The coffee was fantastic, again, and the service was great. The staff are personable and engaging.

    It seems that wireless internet is not yet available (my PC did not detect any network) but dotted around the lounge were network access points. I parked myself at one of the low-slung workdesks where they had power points and network access points built into the table under a hinged flap. Internet access was free, a nice difference to the QP where I must pay for access via Telstra. :D

    There is a Sony Wega theatre at one end, a section of lounges with plasma TV screens tuned to different channels, a nice sized pool table(!) and stacks of papers and magazines. The restrooms seemed new and were nicely done, and they also have showers.

    One other nice difference is that it relatively quiet. I have had trouble lately finding somewhere to sit in the QP during peak times, so I really appreciated the quieter ambience and ease with which I could find somewhere to work.

    All in all, Virgin Blue have done a great job with their new lounges. It is wonderful to have competition at last, and at the present time I feel The Lounge has an advantage over QP's by virtue of their great staff, the food, and the relative quiet. Oh, and the coffee. ;)
     

  2. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
    12,227
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    A good report. Seeing work sometimes puts me on DJ, I'll have to try the lounge next time I fly them.

    Now the important AFF question:

    What beers do they stock? :D
     
  3. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    39,976
    8,534
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Great report Peter, and great to hear that you enjoyed your experience.

    No point in me asking any detail questions as I won't be flying with DJ in the near future!
     
  4. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    1,872
    7
    1F
    Sorry Mal, I went for the wine and did not pay attention to the beer selection. Wine has more alcohol in less liquid and has prettier colours. :eek:

    C'mon John. It's time you took a Virgin Blue flight. You'll only miss out on 10 SC's. :)
     
  5. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

    Jun 30, 2002
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    Hmm, somewhere to get a good coffee!! I could be tempted, being the caffeine addict that I am.
     
  6. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    1,872
    7
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    In both SYD and MEL it had a big, thick golden crema. Perfect.

    Apparently a new DJ lounge will open soon in Adelaide. And at SYD, the T2 rennovations are nearing completion so it is vastly improved terminal.
     
  7. Commuter

    Commuter Active Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    793
    3
    At what point (as in number of times one gets to the Lounge) do you feel it would be worth it to pay the joining fee and the annual dues?

    I mainly fly on QF (schedule more suited to me, SCs, QC etc), but I seem to fly on DJ about 2-3 times a month.

    In other words, how good is it really? Is it worth joining for the quiet environment, nibbles, soft drinks and coffee (I won't be drinking - or I'll be turning up to work drunk)?
     
  8. AnonymousCoward

    AnonymousCoward Established Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    3,199
    2,461
    Sydney, Singapore
    Well, how about this rationalisation. Suppose you fly 3 times a month = 6 flights. Four of those flights you have time to visit the lounge. That's 48 visits in a year. Assuming you get $10+ worth of value, you're ahead. If your employer provides you with salary sacrifice facilities, then you're looking at a much lower cost ($5-7/visit, depending on your marginal rate of tax).

    I put a premium on a nice seat away from the hordes :) I find that DJ gates, sometimes, are far more crowded and noiser than QANTAS gates, and much prefer the relative emptiness/quiet/tranquility of the lounge. The benefit of a nibble, coffee and/or beer is an added bonus
     
  9. Commuter

    Commuter Active Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    793
    3
    Actually, you're right. The thing I value most is the quiet area away from the crowds (I often work while waiting for my flight, so it is good to be able to get to a quiet place). I need to look into the salary sacrifice option. Thanks a lot.
     
  10. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    1,872
    7
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    As I am usually flying at peak times, the QP is often very crowded, so the relative quite at Virgin Blue's new lounges is great.
     
  11. Commuter

    Commuter Active Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    793
    3
    I agree, QP can be pretty crowded - almost nowehere to sit at times.
     
  12. jakeseven7

    jakeseven7 Active Member

    Sep 9, 2005
    566
    24

    Thats sad, I was hoping DJ would be attracting more business people by now to give QF some competition. Maybe some of the smaller more price sensitive businesses migrate across and start spreading some word of mouth.
     
  13. Hi there

    The Adelaide lounge opens Tuesday August 15 :D

    Cheers
    DJ737
     
  14. bravoecho1

    bravoecho1 Member

    Sep 10, 2004
    221
    0
    OOL
    Due to QF's pathetic effort to service the GC, I will be travelling DJ next week to SYD because the flight times suit my tight schedule (and I would never set foot on DeathStar). With the Lounge rollouts, I wonder whether OOL will be on the list? I know a lot of professionals on the GC are now using DJ for this reason and it would certainly ease the pain, but where would they put it?
     
  15. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    1,872
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    Yee-ha! Thanks for the info. This is just in time for my visit to ADL next month.

    I have no idea but GC may well be the next lounge. I would like to see one in PER but DJ probably have more traffic into/out of the GC so it would be a wise choice.
     


  16. OOL had its QP refurbishment a couple of years ago, so don't count on any more upgraded facilities there for a while. JQ might be a better bet after allocated seating is introduced in October. I have been on crutches and nearly knocked to my knees by other inconsiderate pax scrambling for a "good" seat on JQ:evil:
     
  17. smithym

    smithym Intern

    Jun 3, 2006
    88
    4
    OOL
    If DJ was to put a lounge at OOL I am sure that QF would loose alot of $ from the business traveller. The only reason I fly JetScar at the moment is because of the QP at OOL. I still cant believe that QF only have 3 flight out of and into OOL each day. I can see JetScar Intl flying out of OOL to Asia in the near future, that would be the only reason I would fly with them.
     
  18. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    1,872
    7
    1F
    I had the opportunity to use the SYD and MEL lounges again yesterday and thought I'd post some additional comments.

    Our company's Executive Vice President from the USA was visiting and we had to conduct an interview in MEL so asked the person to meet us in the lounge there. I am a member so took the boss in as my guest, and paid $30 for access for the interviewee. I'd arranged this the day before via phone and it was OK even though he wasn't flying.

    The interviewee arrived a bit before us so was invited into the lounge by the DJ staff. I had pre-booked a meeting room but as it was quiet the staff said we probably wouldn't need it, and we didn't, so they also saved us that expense.

    I cannot speak highly enough about the helpful, friendly staff in the Lounges and the quiet lounge atmosphere. Our company VP was highly impressed with the customer service both on the ground and on board. It really helped put a positive professional flavour on the day for us.
     
  19. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    My vote is for a lounge at CBR. Getting sick of the scrum that the QP there has become most afternoons. Flew CBR-MEL on DJ last Friday, was most impressed. Speedy boarding, relatively quiet general lounge area (compared to the QP anyway), and allocation of seat 3D with generous legroom (as opposed to somewhere between rows 17 and 23 which is where my WP forward aisle preference usually gets me on the equivalent QF flight). And I could enjoy a choice of food (albeit at a small fee) on the flight, rather than being offered a free packet of rice crackers - not that you need food on the short flight anyway. A lounge there would complete the equation.
     
  20. jazzamcc

    jazzamcc Junior Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    36
    0
    Sydney
    I decided to try The Lounge on Saturday night at MEL. I arrived at 610pm, for a 815pm flight back to SYD, and was greeted by a very nice guy. Paid the $30, and was told everything was included. He printed off my receipt, and I went inside. I had been to the blue Room in MEl in the past, and found it to be really no different. The only change was the pool table had been moved more towards the theatre, and new upholstery on the furniture. I went and grabbed something to eat, and I was shocked:eek:
    There was virtually nothing at all!! The were two or three different types of bread, and a few things such as salami, cheese, olives etc..That was virtually it!! I had to fill up on liquid to get my moneys worth. Soft drinks were self serve like at Hungry Jacks, and even the coke was flat like Hungry Jacks!!:D
    It was so dead in there. There were only 3 people including me. When I left, I said to the guy at the counter, that I was the last one, and he could go home now. He said that tonight was the quietest he had ever seen it. I hope so!!
    To me, it was definately not worth the $30. If they had more food, it may have been worth it, but value for money was poor to say the least.
    The only plus side was the friendly guys in The Lounge.
     
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