Virgin Australia Sydney domestic lounge – the frugalfirstclasstravel review

Hi Frugalistas!

Membership or access to a premium lounge can be a great boon for travelers.  A good lounge offers a haven from the noise and bustle of the airport and offers good food and other amenities.  A bad lounge, well……..

virginlounge1

Virgin Australia has recently upgraded its flagship Sydney lounge in the Sydney domestic terminal.  MissG and I were fortunate to put it through its paces on a recent trip to Adelaide.

On arrival

For Gold and Platinum Velocity Members and Business Class travelers, the Virgin Australia premium product starts on arrival.  Those with no checked baggage can use the new separate terminal entrance, check in and security at the far end of the terminal entrance.  No queue and friendly service from both Virgin groundstaff and the security staff finds MissG and I through, and directly in The Lounge within less than 5minutes.  Those with checked luggage use the priority check in lane in the main terminal area, but can still wander down to the priority entrance to use the security and access to The Lounge.

The upstairs lounge area

The upstairs lounge area

The Lounge

The Lounge has been kitted out in the newer Virgin Australia Lounge style seen elsewhere – lots of white, and opaque glass to divide areas.  When The Lounge is busy I can imagine the glass must assist in reducing noise.  The downstairs part of the lounge is largely work based seating – high benches and stools, with a few (very modern) chairs and tables.  Upstairs is more relaxed, with deep comfy chairs and tables, perfect for chatting.  Like many lounges, a row of tables and chairs sits along the front of the lounge giving a great view out over the tarmac and towards Botany Bay.

The main downstairs area

The main downstairs area

Eating and drinking

Gone are the separate food and drinks areas of the old lounge, replaced by a single refreshment area.  Even at 11.30am the bar is open, and a good range of drinks available.  Help yourself to wine and champagne (and chilled water).  The barista will make you a hot drink and serve you a soft drink or a beer.

I always like the food in the Virgin Australia lounge.  At lunchtime it is easy to access a healthy option with plenty of light salad and vegetable options, with make it yourself toasted sandwiches, hot soup and sweet options for those who want something more substantial.  The food is usually Asian or Middle Eastern inspired, and is light and tasty.  I always go for the noodle salad if it is there.  It usually is, so must be a lounge favorite with other travelers as well.  As always, it’s delicious!

Lunchtime salads

Lunchtime salads

MissG makes herself a toasted cheese sandwich without too much trouble, and is welcomed at the barista area of the beverage area to help herself to water and a generous bowl of chips. (On the return leg from Adelaide she has a lovely chat to the barista who makes her a beautiful hot chocolate with marshmallows with a smile.)

My lunch of char sui pork, beetroot, fetta and spinach salad, and that gorgeous Asian noodle salad

My lunch of char sui pork, beetroot, fetta and spinach salad, and that gorgeous Asian noodle salad

Amenities

The loo facilities have been upgraded to a sophisticated black tile and chrome decor that are more than vaguely reminiscent of the Etihad Business Lounge in Abu Dhabi.  Despite the new decor, my favorite handwash and handcream are still there.

The very slick, sophisticated ladies'

The very slick, sophisticated ladies’

The frugalfirstclasstravel verdict

The new Lounge is a definite improvement on the old Sydney lounge.  The layout has been enhanced, and it looks brighter and lighter.  Divided areas add privacy, without losing out on the light flooding into The Lounge.  Access to food and drink, both upstairs and downstairs is improved.  Virgin Australia has managed to upgrade The Lounge without changing the things that work well – the food remains great (and definitely much better than the last time I was in competitor Qantas’ Qantas Club Lounge).  The separate check in and security arrangements are fantastically luxurious and make for a less stressful entrance to the Departures area.

What are your favorite airline lounges, and what makes them so great?

Author’s note:  the author accessed the lounge on the basis of her Gold Velocity membership status.  The author paid for her own airfare for this trip.

Related posts:

Virgin Australia domestic business class review

Virgin Australia International business class review

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