Virgin Business Lounge

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by freqbugsmasher, May 30, 2006.

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  1. freqbugsmasher

    freqbugsmasher Junior Member

    May 26, 2006
    22
    0
    From News.com.au
    BUDGET carrier Virgin Blue was aiming to capture more business travel by upgrading its passenger lounges, the airline said today.


    Virgin said it planned to spend about $2 million this year upgrading lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

    Full story

    HTML:
     http://finance.news.com.au/story/0,10166,19305203-462,00.html


    Anyone been in the Lounges? I'm Perth based and they don't have one over here. (Poor cousin mentality kicking in)
     

  2. N860CR

    N860CR Established Member

    Nov 30, 2004
    3,255
    672
    Brisbane & Sydney
    The bluerooms aren't really anything too special, just a place to escape the crowded gate areas. No free food and drinks however there are some business facilities. It is a lot cheaper than Qantas Club though so that's the trade-off
     
  3. Hi there

    Blue Room is history, they have been relaunched as the lounge.

    Food & beverages are now included with membership, which has increased to $349

    Current Blue Room members can use their existing membership until expiry date.

    Cheers
    DJ737
     
  4. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    Congrats DJ. The right move as you start to build your FF program and tie everything together.

    Those who followed my advice here http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/community/65763-4-post.html

    would get some bennies now. :)
     
  5. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Getting there ..... now all that needs to happen is for Virgin to join * alliance, and they can seriously think about taking more of the Qantas pie.
     
  6. Standby

    Standby Active Member

    May 25, 2006
    616
    55
    First post so here goes.
    I always like to read the fine print of any offer
    Some things that i noticed.
    1/DJ's lounge in MEL in "outside" security so you wouldnt want to be in rush/how early will they have to call a flight on a Friday night to get thru the rush??
    2/The one off entrance fee of $30 seemsreasobale ,especially if you latch onto a sub 100 fare .The foodand beverage you'd have to pay onboard on anything over an hour or 2 brings the cost down for some peace and quiet..good...but hidden in th fine print access is limited to 2 hrs prior to flight..seems a tight Ars*d approach and you wonder if it will be enforced
    3/Access ONLY on the day of travel.I've heard QF won't allow you in a peak times if yr not travelling/only meeting someone but I haent been knocked back yet and just a standard QF clubber not Plat
    3/Conf rooms are extra..how much ...who knows...Your either an all inclusive or not
    4/Food and beverage included but not much on when and how much. I wouldnt be happy paying $30 to find there is a time when "drinks" arent avail.They need to flesh out this info quickly. R there showers?
    The facilities look pretty good but as others have said really need to offer another alliances member entrance (UA obvious choice as they codeshare along with Virgin Atlantic and maybe EK) this will do more to grow their inbound prenetration .
    5/Minor point but card not linked to Velocity as QF club is..so it doesnt look like an integrated product..one card shud cover all especially as Velocity is free
    overall looks promising but still a lot to be fleshed out and unfortunate on the back of issues related to disabled access in the media today really hurts their aim of moving out of the cheap and cheerful bracket.They must recind this as it has the potential to be a PR nightmare
    I have mates in DRW and PER who have said DJ push immobile pax on QF at any opportunity. JQ arent much better.
    Appologize for the lengthy post but if DJ get this right with the introductory price ,especially govt travellers,will do well.
    Look forward to adding my 2 cents worth to other discussions soon
     
  7. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    1,872
    7
    1F
    Here is a link to DJ's website page about the new lounge:
    http://www.virginblue.com.au/thelounge/

    Looks good at first glance. The joining fee is a little high IMO because I split my flying between QF and DJ and may therefore not use it enough.

    I agree that the MEL location is a bit of a PITA, and that security point is notoriously slow too.

    I'm doing a SYD-MEL day trip tomorrow so if I get the time I will fork up the $30.00 and take a look.
     
  8. Maca44

    Maca44 Established Member

    Sep 2, 2005
    1,254
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    Sydney
    #8 Maca44, May 30, 2006
    Last edited: May 30, 2006
    You have got to watch the fine print where, under FAQ's it states:
    [​IMG]</IMG>

    How much is The Lounge membership?


    How much is The Lounge membership?
    Annual membership is available for $349 (inclusive of GST) plus a one-off joining fee of $199 (inclusive of GST).

    edit: You don't have to pay the one-off $199 if you are already a member of the Blue Room.
     
  9. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
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    Standby,

    Welcome to AFF and thanks for an informative post.

    Seems to me that DJ are finally making a few of the moves that they probably should have done a few years ago. This will be interesting to watch :!:
     
  10. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    40,244
    8,718
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Virgin Blue touts free Wi-Fi in airport lounge battle

    More news on the Virgin Blue lounge and wi-fi access

     
  11. bfmi

    bfmi Intern

    Feb 8, 2006
    55
    1
    DJ need to join an alliance - *A would do it, then they will have a good chance at grabbing the real market.

    I joined Velocity just to help them with their membership count. With the underlying hope DJ would publish a press release telling the market how many high tier QFF have signed up.
     
  12. But if you are not a current member you have to pay the $349 +$199 joining fee.
     
  13. cssaus

    cssaus Active Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    917
    63
    Sydney
    Wonder if the lounge is wheel-chair friendly:)
     
  14. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    1,872
    7
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    MINI REPORT

    I visited the new Virgin Blue lounge in MEL today before my flight home to SYD. As I only had about 10 mins before boarding, I chatted with the guy at the front desk to enquire about the changes and he invited me to enter for a quick look around.

    The business centre section of the lounge has not yet been completed but everything else was complete. The decor is modern and tasteful, with a selection of lounge chairs with coffee tables, shared bench tables with low stools, a large bar and a food service area. There are plasma screens in a number of locations.

    I'd never looked into the Blue Room so don't know if it has changed in size, but the space was larger than I expected - it will hold a lot of people and has a good view of the apron between the DJ and RX piers. The room is T-shaped (an upside down T) with the stem jutting out into the apron. This part is slightly raised, and in conjuction with the wide expanse of glass it has a nice ambience.

    The food on offer looked similar to that offered in the QP - gourmet style sandwiches and a variety of nibblies. I was there just before 3:00pm so I assume that other types of food would appear later in the afternoon and there was plenty of space on the servery for more. The bar was well stocked and there was a bartender on hand to pour drinks and make espresso coffee from a real machine.

    The staff were very friendly, and when we walked in we were immediately greeted by the guy at the bar who invited us to serve ourselves from the food servery or to select whatever drinks we desired (we declined of course - didn't want to freeload).

    I didn't have time to inspect the restrooms.

    The guy at the front counter confirmed that unlike the Blue Room rules, the new lounge is only available to passengers travelling that day on Virgin Blue. However he said that the lounge is also available to arriving passengers, which is a bonus. I don't think that the QP allows this (aside from WP's I guess).

    From what I've seen, Virgin Blue have done a great job on the revamped lounge in Melbourne. The issue about it not being air-side might not be such a big deal - the security point (which is just around the corner) looks to have been revamped too with additional staff on hand to keep things moving quickly.

    I fly enough to MEL on DJ that I will probably take out an annual membership.
     
  15. BobD

    BobD Newbie

    May 4, 2006
    5
    0
    It is actually linked to your Velocity membership once you have signed up to the Lounge. There is no separate "Lounge card" being issued.

    You must be a Velocity member to join the Lounge and your Velocity card will be what gives you Lounge access - when you arrive at the door the staff will be able to confirm through the card that you have signed up - so there is product integration. Obviously you can't rock up just with a Velocity card having NOT joined the Lounge - the card will show you're not a member! (no doubt this will be attempted by some....!!)

    Have joined, used and been impressed - I know this.
     
  16. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    1,872
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    Thanks for the update BobD.

    Can you tell us what the refurbished lounge is like at Sydney T2?
     
  17. jad01

    jad01 Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    107
    10
    He may have been mistaken in providing that information.
    According to the Terms & Conditions, in particular point 8 relating to lounge access it states:
    8b. Members may access The Lounge by displaying their Membership Card or quoting their membership number and providing satisfactory proof of identity (eg driver's licence) along with the Member?s itinerary or boarding pass for onward travel on Virgin Blue that day, at the reception desk of The Lounge.

    and

    8e. Single Entry Visitors may gain one-off casual access to The Lounge by payment of the Single Entry Fee, as determined by Virgin Blue from time to time. Single Entry Visitors are entitled to access The Lounge in the relevant departure port if their next onward flight that day is with Virgin Blue, and must present an itinerary or boarding pass prior to entry. Casual Entry Visitors may access The Lounge a maximum of 2 hours prior to their flight?s scheduled departure time.

    The remaining points relating to lounge access make no mention of inbound passengers.

    JASON
     
  18. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    1,872
    7
    1F
    Thanks for the info Jason. So it still might be possible if one has their BP for their return flight (or onward flight) later that day. Not that I ever have time to do this! ;)
     
  19. BobD

    BobD Newbie

    May 4, 2006
    5
    0
    Have now been in The Lounge now in BNE, MEL and SYD. BNE is excellent (and huge). SYD is smaller but still extremely well laid out and quiet (mind you it was lunchtime). MEL probably in between the other 2 size wise. Very consistent themes and patterns.

    In all Lounges, food & drink & service of a very high standard. Work areas are neat, spacious and quiet. Haven't tried the movie theatre yet...... Have to say, a welcome change - nice one DJ. Next steps?
     
  20. bigjobs

    bigjobs Active Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    754
    72
    i think that DJ will eventually give membership based on amount of flying done in the same way that QF give QP membership on SCs. they will do this when they join an alliance - *A i think.

    not sure it will be an SC type system for determining membership, i do think they will come to a point where they give it away though, same as QF.

    i will keep my money, fly QF, get lounge access with them until they start giving it away AND join the *A

    they will also need to have a way of determining access rights for feed passengers who are members of other FF programs in the same alliance as DJ
     
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