Review: Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane

Location
BNE, Domestic
Date
November 2022
Rating

After spending four nights in Queensland, I had a flight from Brisbane to Newcastle to catch up with some friends.

Knowing that we’d have access to the Virgin Australia lounge from the domestic terminal at Brisbane’s airport, we had a very light breakfast at the Westin Brisbane and saved our appetite for the lounge.

I was particularly excited to check out Virgin Australia lounges during our trip ever since Air Canada and Virgin Australia announced lounge access for some Aeroplan Elite members travelling in any class of service on Virgin Australia flights. 

In This Post

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Access

The Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane is located across from Gate 41 in the domestic terminal. It’s open every day from 60 minutes prior to the first departing Virgin Australia flight until the last Virgin Australia flight departure.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Access

The entrance is easy to spot, with the airline’s iconic purple wall giving way to its Flying Maiden logo adorning the walls of the entryway. The Flying Maiden logo is found on Virgin Australia aircraft as well, and is similar to the Scarlet Lady on Virgin Atlantic aircraft.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Entrance
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Flying Maiden logo

Inside, you have the choice of scanning your boarding pass on an automatic machine against the back wall or heading to the desk for assistance. 

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Boarding pass scanner

We had to approach the desk for assistance with our check in, since we were flying in economy and didn’t have elite status with Virgin Australia. 

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Check-in desk

There was a small line when we arrived, but it was dealt with in no time. 

We enjoyed access to the lounge through our Aeroplan Elite status, thanks to my Super Elite status and my wife’s 50K status. Guests with Aeroplan 50K, 75K, or Super Elite status can access Virgin Australia lounges when departing on a same-day flight in any class of service, and are entitled to bring one guest.

Passengers flying in business class on a Virgin Australia flight can also enjoy access, but aren’t allowed to bring a guest with them.

Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum members may bring up to three adults and three children with them to a Virgin Australia lounge. Passengers with Velocity Gold status, Virgin Australia Lounge Members, and Virgin Australia Lifetime Lounge Members can access lounges with another adult and up to three children in tow.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Seating

Upon being welcomed into the lounge, I did a lap around to get acquainted with my surroundings. My immediate impression was that the lounge was quite spacious, and that finding seating wouldn’t be much of an issue during the morning rush.

To the left of the entrance is a long hallway that leads to the dining area and some seats set behind partitions. There appeared to be some extra stations set up for staff along this desk, which I imagine is where Virgin Australia might place staff during busy times to assist guests. 

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Hallway
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Check-in desk
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Seating

To the right of the entrance are two rows of simple purple chairs with coffee tables nearby. There is an escalator near this area that was cordoned off during my visit. 

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Seating

Walking through this area leads to a quiet aisle with two armchairs around a table, as well as some lounge chairs set up around the partitions.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Seating
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Seating

Heading into the carpeted area, the lounge opens up into a large room with a long, brown leather bench and some purple bucket-style armchairs.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Seating
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Seating
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Seating

Tucked away in the corner is a small desk with four ergonomic chairs set against a vibrant purple wall. Closer to the windows, you’ll find some comfortable armchairs overlooking the parking lot, which appeared to be quite comfortable.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Desk
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Seating

Heading around the bench seating, you’ll arrive at a series of high-top chairs which double as work stations. It was also a popular spot for travellers to sip on a barista-made coffee while waiting for their flight.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – High-top seating

Through here is the central attraction of the lounge: the barista coffee station. Having arrived in the lounge quite early for our flight, we were very pleased to find this busy island serving up freshly made caffeinated beverages to guests.

You can choose to sit up at the bar, or if you wish, you can take a seat in the nearby dining area to enjoy your coffee alongside a meal.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Barista station

The main dining area is close to the barista station, which has high-top chairs surrounding tall tables.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Dining area seating

Overall, I felt that there was a great selection of seating available for guests in the Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane. I appreciated that there were quiet spaces, areas conducive to working, and comfortable seats available for conversing over a drink. 

The lounge is also quite spacious, and during a subsequent visit on a connecting flight a few days later, it was again quite busy. We didn’t have any issues finding a spot to sit then, even if it was just for a quick coffee before running to our connection.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Dining

The main dining area is at the end of the entrance hall, close to the barista station. Here, you’ll find a long buffet offering both hot and cold food items.

During our visit, breakfast was being served. Available hot items included potato röstis with a side of baked beans and skinless chicken sausage. Towards the far end of the buffet was also a pancake machine.

There were a number of cold items and baked goods available in the lounge, including fruit salad, Greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt with raspberry or passionfruit purée, berry bircher, a selection of muesli, and freshly baked ricotta and blueberry muffins.

The potato röstis really hit the spot, but the rest of hot buffet food was unremarkable, albeit better than most contract lounge food I’ve had. My wife and I both enjoyed the passionfruit yogurt, too. 

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Breakfast spread

The baristas take orders at one end of the station and then call out names at the other end. We both ordered flat whites to enjoy alongside our breakfast, and then got another one to take on the plane with us.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Barista station
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Espresso machine
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Take-away coffee

Alcohol is served as of 12pm in the lounge. On both of our visits, we were in the lounge in the morning, so we didn’t get a chance to have a drink this time around.

You’ll also find soft drink and water dispensers located throughout the lounge, with still and sparkling water available from the taps.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Soft drink & water dispensers

I can’t say enough about how nice it was to have a great coffee in an airport lounge. If you have access to a Virgin Australia lounge, it’s worth popping by just for a coffee, which was amongst the best I’ve had to date in airports. 

Far too often, airport lounges have automatic coffee machines, and I was very grateful to bring a nice coffee with me on the plane towards Newcastle.

Virgin Australia Lounge – Showers

Another great feature of the Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane is the availability of showers. This is a feature sorely lacking in many domestic lounges around the world, and even in many international lounges.

The restrooms are located in between the buffet area and the check-in desks. 

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Restroom access

Along the way to the restrooms, there’s also an alternative exit which leads right back into the terminal. Simply hit the green button on the wall and a door will slide open.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Alternative exit

The restrooms were spacious and clean, with jet-black walls, tall mirrors, and light floors.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Restroom

The shower rooms are at close to the entrance of the restroom. Use of the showers is one a first-come-first-served basis, and towels are available at the front desk.

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Shower room entrance

Inside the shower rooms, you’ll find a sink, a toilet, and a shower stall. 

Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Shower room overview
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Shower room amenities
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane – Shower

Conclusion

The Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane is a spacious, relaxing lounge with barista-made coffee, hot food, and shower stalls. You shouldn’t have a problem finding a spot in the lounge, and there are great seating options for people who wish to work, dine, relax, or converse.

Air Canada’s lounge access agreement with Virgin Australia is a great perk for anyone who qualifies. Since most flights within Australia are relatively short, having a meal and a drink at the lounge is surely enough to tide most travellers over until they reach their destination.

Furthermore, since Virgin Australia doesn’t partner with Priority Pass, Plaza Premium, or any other method of lounge access, there is a lot of value for Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elites travelling on Virgin Australia flights. 

I’d be happy to come back to Australia and fly in economy with Virgin Australia as long as I can enjoy the lounges before my flight. Being able to bring a guest also opens up the door to extending the privilege to a travel partner.