Virgin Australia will open a second temporary lounge at Melbourne Airport on Monday morning (3 May 2021) to ease overcrowding at the existing temporary lounge, amid a surge in travel demand.
The new, temporary pop-up Virgin Lounge will be located adjacent to “AFL Kitchen and Bar” in Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 3. This is located before security, near the Virgin Australia service desk. This space will be available to Velocity Gold members, Virgin Lounge members, frequent flyers of eligible partner airlines, Amex Platinum & Centurion cardholders, and anyone using a complimentary single-use lounge pass.
With the new space opening, from Monday, access to the current temporary Virgin Australia Lounge in the space of the old “The Club” VIP lounge will become restricted to Business class passengers, Velocity Platinum members and The Club members.
The additional lounge space is sorely needed in Melbourne as the current temporary lounge has not had the capacity to cope with high demand in recent weeks. Since March, AFF members have complained of lounge overcrowding with some saying that lounge staff were deliberately calling flights early so guests would leave.
Frequent flyers have complained of long lines and waiting times to enter the current lounge, particularly during busy periods, with one writing last Monday:
MEL lounge situation is quite poor currently. Currently a 25 minute wait to get into the lounge and those with a boarding time of 30 minutes or less being turned away and told “they won’t have enough time to get into the lounge”
– jase05, 26 April 2021
The regular Virgin Australia Lounge in Melbourne is currently undergoing renovations, which are expected to be completed around the middle of this year.
In an email to Velocity members, Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said:
Operating hours for our temporary Melbourne lounges will remain unchanged, opening 60 minutes prior to the departure of our first flight each day and closing at the departure of our last flight each day. The food and beverage offering in each Lounge will be similar, with an added ‘grab and go’ option available in our new pop-up Lounge. And of course, our friendly team will be on hand to offer you the fantastic Virgin Australia service you love.
Virgin rolls out upgraded catering to more lounges
Meanwhile, Virgin Australia has now rolled out the same improved lounge menu that was already available in Adelaide and Canberra to its lounges in Sydney and Brisbane.
The improved menu features freshly prepared salads, wraps, sandwiches and healthy snacks, and debuted at the new Adelaide lounge when this opened in February 2021.
Once the second temporary Virgin Australia Lounge opens in Melbourne on Monday, Virgin says it will also roll out a new menu at its Melbourne lounges. However, salads will not be available in Melbourne until the renovated lounge reopens.
Virgin’s Perth and Gold Coast lounges still have a limited food menu for now, with snacks limited to things like muffins, chips and pre-packaged sandwiches. But Virgin says its upgraded lounge menu will also be rolled out to these lounges in mid-May.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Melbourne Virgin Lounge using old “The Club” Space – Overcrowded!