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Inside Virgin Australia's Lounge at Sydney Airport

November 8, 2012 at 4:50 PM | by | Comments (2)

We've already told you about our experience onboard Virgin Australia's new(ish) business class product. It's now the time to give a peak into the airline's lounge at Sydney's domestic terminal.

After a short hunt like a mouse looking for cheese, we eventually worked out the signage and rode a virtually unmarked elevator to the second floor. A flash of our Business Class boarding pass and we were in. On first impression, the space looked quite tired and nothing like our visit to the shiny new lounge at Brisbane, but it's still a huge upgrade from sitting at the gate with everyone else.

Ample seating, heaps of natural light and plenty of places to work count among the positives. Although quite busy when we visited, the space didn't get loud or overcrowded since seats are spread out and the space is large. Our favorite spot was the solarium-type area overlooking the terminal roof with its variety of seating options, from high-tops to comfy sofas.

Pro tip: The lounge has a separate Premium Entry just off the curbside drop-off zone for biz passengers and gold- and platinum-tier flyers traveling with only carry-on baggage. Its perks include a dedicated reception and private security line to avoid the masses passing through to the regular terminal. Use of the special entrance means extra time to grab a barista-brewed latte and relax before your flight.

Our take: not super impressed. The lounge is a refuge to escape the hustle and bustle of an airport. There's with free Wifi, complimentary drinks and light bites. Alas, it doesn't offer much in the design department, nor does it reflect the Virgin brand very well. Since our visit, we have been told by our friends at Australian Business Traveler that Virgin acquired the space from now-defuct Aussie carrier Ansett, and has plans for a complete overhaul later this year.

[Photos: Rayme Gorniak/Jaunted]

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Those Cheapskates

Ansett went out of business in 2002. I cannot believe Virgin was so cheap to just use the 10 year old 'n tatty Ansett lounge. That's just cheap and tacky.

Actually...

outandabout: Just to correct you on some points -- Virgin didn't just slap a new sign over Ansett's when they moved in there -- they actually extensively remodelled the former Ansett Golden Wing Club in their own new look just prior to moving in during the middle of last decade. Ansett originally occupied both the ground floor and upper level. Because Virgin did not need the upper level originally, it was closed off and remained mostly unused - while the ground floor was re-designed with new flooring, bar area, carpet and furnishings to suit Virgin's look of the day. It only looks a little dated now because Virgin have since rebranded and refurbished the MEL and BNE lounges (also ex Ansett) into a stunning new look - and as a result, it now makes the SYD lounge look a little old & dated in comparison. Additionally -- the old Ansett Golden Wing at SYD was actually never "tatty". It had just undergone a multi million dollar rebuild just a year and a half before they went to the wall in time for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and it looked stunning. The Lounge area Virgin inherited as a result was almost in mint condition when they moved in. Lets hope the next refurbishment enhances it further!

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