BNE: Virgin Australia Lounge - Brisbane
NEWS: Renovation of the Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane are now ongoing, as the lounge gradually expands. A new section has been tacked on the window side of the lounge, expanding this part of the terminal towards the airtrain terminal. There are new seats, computers, and a funky bar. A fast-track Premium Entry door will let business class and top-tier Velocity members enter the lounge straight from the kerbside valet service.
The Virgin Australia Brisbane lounge is right at the end of the main 'spine' of the domestic terminal, just before the concourse turns sharp left by Gate 41. Beyond the sliding glass doors is a large entrance area – on the pillar is an automatic self-entry card reader for Gold and Platinum members.
The lounge has a certain wow factor: with white walls and ceiling, scores of designer chairs and tables, and large floor to ceiling glass-walled area which lets in lots of natural light. Alas there is no view of the runway: instead you have to make do with a great view of the narrow gauge airport trains in the station opposite.
New work to double the size of the Virgin Australia Brisbane lounge resulting in it having room for 450 seated guests in 1200 square metres of space has also added a skylight. This is in the central part of the lounge, which now boasts natural sunlight. Alas, this part of the lounge is also blighted by loud music and the curse of the Nitelife music video jukebox, which now shows on the TV screens instead of Sky News.
The flowing space in the Virgin Australia Brisbane lounge is carefully divided into several 'zones' , depending on how long you will spend in the lounge, and these zones work quite well.
At the entrance to the lounge is the quick-stop area, called the hearth, just to the left of the entrance, with round tables and chairs. To the right of this is a communal area built around a long snaking table dominated by people working on laptops.
The bar itself extends out into a pier to create a subdivision for this area, and then spears back to create 'the long bar' which is both the coffee area, bar, and at the far end the food service area.
Curving right, Virgin Australia's new Brisbane Airport lounge has a great magazine rack on the shelf at the far end, where there are also two more long snaking tables, and then right again to the central part of the lounge.
You now enter the new ‘expanded’ part of the lounge, where again there is the white bendy benchtop.
Further over, there is the viewing area; however, there is alas no way of seeing any aircraft unless you take the two pairs of seats next to the ‘second’ magazine rack. Here of you look to the extreme left you can just see aircraft tail fins.
Instead, the view is all about the airport train opposite. There are some great Z frame reclining chairs, here, and pairs of seats overlooking the carpark.
Back behind the entrance, and reception desk, is the large 'library' area, with big white curtains: this is normally the quietest part of the lounge, with the most spare seats: the curtains do a good job of blocking out the sound of the rest of the lounge.
There is one other, very hidden part to the lounge that only frequent travellers know about. At peak times, 4pm to 6pm, there is a totally separate 'overflow' lounge. To get to it, go right out of the main door, and head to the doors again marked Virgin. There is a much smaller bar in here, and little food.
FoodFood is slightly more basic in the Virgin Australia Brisbane lounge, but it does include that rare delight of make-your-own toasted sandwiches.
There is a fridge-trough with salad, cheese and ham in 12 bowls, which also has pasta salad and meatballs, beside which is the small grill for DIY toasted sandwiches.
There is a tub of hot soup, and desserts are either in the fridge or later in the evening some of the staff sometimes come through offering drumstick ice creams, or the latest addition to the lounge: the Perfect Fruit stall.
Finding somewhere to eat is occasionally a problem in the lounge: there are just five tables in the hearth area. However with the lounge expansion there are cocktail tables with high stools to the left of the central skylight area, and laptop work benches which also double up as great dining tables.
BarThe bar in the Virgin Australia Brisbane lounge is similar to those in all the Virgin lounges, which means good complementary wine and beer, but there are no spirits available at all.
Virgin Australia is introducing new wines from smaller vineyards, and the Queensland bar is no exception, with good bubbles, including Morgan's Bay sparkling cuvee, and Veuve D'Argent Blanc de blancs. Three other whites are in the trough, and three reds are on the counter.
Exclusive to the Brisbane lounge is the Queensland beer Great Northern, and there are the usual other beers including Fat Yak, Blonde, VB and Fourecks.
The bar opens at 11am, and the barista service is open around the clock.
With the expansion of the Brisbane Virgin Australia Lounge, on the new central white bench there is a new beverage corner with tea, coffee and chilled water, plus bowls of fruit.
BathroomsIn lounge, and looking rather swish, with one shower at the far end of the toilet block.
Business FacilitiesBusiness Facilities are not as good in the Virgin Australia Brisbane lounge as elsewhere, with just four rather slow internet PCs, at the far end of the lounge, with a basic black and white printer. Along the long benches there are plenty of inbuilt AC power points for laptops, and there are also nifty little USB charging ports. There is free wireless internet: the Virgin Brisbane Lounge password is on small signs dotted through the lounge.
There are a few newspapers in the lounge, including the Courier Mail, AFR and even one lonely copy of the SMH, but there are also a large number of magazines all on the worktop at the far end of the lounge, with copies of everything that has the words CEO, BRW and MBA in the title.
AccessVirgin Australia Business Class, or Virgin Velocity Gold or Platinum get free access, plus top-tier members of some other Frequent Flyer schemes such as Virgin Atlantic, Air Berlin, and Etihad.
You can buy a one year lounge membership, or there is access on the day with a Virgin Australia Lounge day pass for $65. This Virgin Single Entry is payable at lounge reception by credit card only and can only be used a maximum of 2 hours before departure time, with a Virgin Boarding card.
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