Virgin Australia’s new lounge at Adelaide Airport finally opened yesterday. The lounge was originally due to open around twelve months ago. However, 2020 didn’t go quite to plan for Virgin Australia. But better late than never, and the 238 seat lounge is now open for business.
A new look for Virgin Australia’s new lounge
Virgin Australia’s original lounge at Adelaide Airport was comfortable enough but frequently suffered from overcrowding. It also lacked the design aesthetic of Virgin Australia’s other lounges. If you weren’t a fan of that clinical white Virgin Australia lounge look, this was a plus.
However, the new Adelaide lounge is the next step in Virgin Australia’s lounge evolution – at least in terms of the look. Having perhaps decided it’s hard for guests to relax in a space that reminds people of an operating theatre, the low slung chairs, hard edges, and harsh white tones are being abandoned in favor of something a little more soothing.
“Not only is the new Adelaide Lounge the best airline lounge at Adelaide Airport, but it’s fun, relaxed, and a place that everyone will feel welcome and comfortable,” said Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka.
“The new lounge we’ve unveiled today will be the foundation for the Virgin aesthetic and experience we will roll out across the network.”
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
What’s new with Virgin Australia’s Adelaide lounge?
So what’s new? Gone is the well-known Virgin Australia color palette. Instead, it’s muted tones of grey, brown, and scaled back shades of white. Those low-slung chairs are ditched in favor of proper padded chairs and stools. The new-look is by no means radical. In fact, as modern airline lounges go, it’s pretty typical. But it looks comfortable, warm, and inviting. This writer looks forward to sliding by when he next flies out of Adelaide.
Checking out what Virgin Australia has to say about its food and beverage offering at the new Adelaide lounge, it seems hot food is off the menu. Is this adieu to the VA ham and cheese toasties? Virgin Australia says it will offer a “selection of sandwiches, salads, wraps, and healthy snacks” for lounge guests. There is table service, and food and drinks can be ordered via a QR code.
Virgin Australia’s in-lounge coffee has always been good. This continues at Adelaide with a staffed coffee bar. At night time, that coffee bar converts into a wine bar.
On the subject of wine bars, there’s a dedicated space in the lounge for South Australian wine growers to bring their cellar door into the lounge for wine tastings. What’s not to love about that?
On mundane but important matters, the bathrooms look sharp and include showers. Towels and grooming kits are available from the lounge’s service desk.
New lounges on the cards, but not more of them
Virgin’s Jayne Hrdlicka noted yesterday that the airline would be investing significantly in its lounges over the next few years. This doesn’t flag an expansion but an overhaul of the surviving lounges, bringing them up-to-date and giving them the Adelaide look.
Virgin Australia never had anywhere near the Australian domestic lounge footprint of competitor Qantas, with some notable holes around the network. Those holes have expanded since Virgin Australia closed about half a dozen domestic lounges late last year. In the Northern Territory, Tasmania, North Queensland, and up the West Coast, Virgin Australia is a lounge-free airline.
That’s a considered commercial decision by Virgin Australia. It will have seven lounges open around Australia shortly. But it’s a significant weakness compared to the Qantas network of 30 plus domestic lounges. Still, for the time being, Virgin Australia reckons it has the best lounge in town at Adelaide Airport.
Access to the new Virgin Australia Adelaide lounge is available to lounge pass holders, Gold and Platinum Velocity frequent flyers, business class passengers, certain top tier credit card holders, and high-status frequent flyers from Virgin Australia partner airlines.