Since Virgin Australia’s divorce with Air New Zealand in October last year, Virgin passengers have no longer been able to use Air New Zealand lounges. Since then, Virgin Australia has built new lounges or made alternative arrangements at most international airports across Australia and New Zealand. For example, it opened a new lounge at Wellington Airport in April.
This has not been the case at Dunedin Airport. As a relatively small airport with just one international flight, the airport only has one airport lounge – the Air New Zealand lounge – and no room to build another one. So passengers flying with Virgin Australia from Dunedin to Brisbane do not have access to any lounge.
To make up for this, Virgin Australia has started offering a $35 café voucher to all Business class passengers departing from Dunedin Airport. The voucher can be redeemed at the Fuel to Fly by Airspresso Café, which sells drinks and a variety of hot breakfast options.
In addition, Virgin Australia Business Class passengers returning to Dunedin are entitled to complimentary airport parking. This can be redeemed by exchanging the parking ticket and Virgin invitation card for a validated parking ticket at the Airport Information Desk when arriving in Dunedin.
These benefits are exclusively for Virgin’s Business Class guests in Dunedin. There are no additional benefits offered to Velocity Gold or Platinum members flying in Economy.
Considering that Virgin is unable to offer lounge access at Dunedin Airport, this seems like a pretty good compromise. AFF member jch recently flew out of Dunedin and was happy with the quality of the food available with the Virgin voucher. This member has posted a photo of their meal in Dunedin on AFF.
Unfortunately, eligible New Zealand-bound passengers departing Brisbane on Virgin still don’t have access to a Virgin Australia lounge. However, this is only temporary as Virgin plans to finally open its new Brisbane lounge next month. In the meantime, there are alternative lounge arrangements in place at Brisbane Airport.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: VA DSC Dunedin Run