Virgin Australia has committed to extending paid airport lounge memberships by six months due to the COVID-19 travel shutdown.
A Virgin Australia spokesperson confirmed to Australian Frequent Flyer that Virgin Australia Lounge members will be notified shortly. Extensions will be processed in the “near future” and members will be contacted directly once this happens. There is no need to contact the airline as the Virgin Australia Lounge membership extensions will be processed automatically.
Virgin Australia offers Lounge membership for a $330 joining fee, plus a $420 annual fee. Velocity Silver members can take advantage of a lower $300 annual fee and waived joining fee.
Virgin Australia also offers lifetime membership of its lounges for $9,750. But, as former Ansett Golden Wing Club members will know all too well, this may only last the lifetime of the airline – not the member!
Virgin Australia’s lounges, like all airport lounges in Australia, are currently temporarily closed. With many flights also cancelled and some state borders shut, the Virgin Australia Lounge membership extensions acknowledge that paid-up members are currently unable to use the benefits of their membership.
It is not clear whether complimentary lounge passes, such as those offered with some credit cards and to Silver Velocity Frequent Flyer members, will also have their validity extended.
Qantas announced last month that it will extend paid-up Qantas Club memberships and the validity of complimentary lounge invitations by six months. Both Qantas and Virgin Australia will extend the status of their existing Silver, Gold and Platinum members by one year.
Virgin Australia entered voluntary administration yesterday. It continues to operate scheduled flights for now, but the long-term future of Virgin Australia’s lounges is currently up in the air. If Virgin Australia continues operating as a full-service domestic competitor to Qantas beyond the current travel shutdown, it is likely that the lounges will re-open and continue operating as normal. But this will ultimately depend on the outcome of the current administration process.
Virgin Australia has said publicly that Velocity points and flight credit vouchers remain safe, but the airline did not directly respond to our questions on how lounge memberships may be affected by the voluntary administration.