Ahead of a domestic flight to Brisbane, I had the privilege of visiting the Virgin Australia Lounge Melbourne.
Following a temporary closure in March 2020, the lounge underwent an extensive renovation, which culminated in its grand reopening in 2021.
Virgin Australia Lounge Melbourne – Access
The Virgin Australia Lounge Melbourne is located in the domestic departures area in Terminal 3 of Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. To find it, you just need to head down the escalators after security and take a left turn.
Passengers with Aeroplan 50K, 75K, or Super Elite status who are departing on a same-day flight with Virgin Australia have access to the Virgin Australia Lounge Melbourne. Additionally, you can bring a guest with you, thanks to the partnership between Air Canada and Virgin Australia.
If you don’t have Aeroplan Elite Status, access to the Virgin Australia Lounge Melbourne is available to those flying in business class, or if you’re a Velocity Platinum or Gold member.
The lounge opens one hour before the first Virgin Australia flight, and stays open until the last Virgin Australia flight departs. Therefore, it covers all the flights throughout the day.
As I arrived, I was greeted by a striking crimson entrance that embodies Virgin Australia’s signature style.
A pair of automatic glass doors ushered me into the check-in area, which is decorated with a marble stone finish. At the check-in area were associates standing by to assist, with the words “Hi Flyer” emblazoned on the wall behind the desk.
I had the choice of scanning my boarding pass at a contactless entry point, or opting for assistance from an agent.
I checked in with the staff, who confirmed my eligibility through my Aeroplan Elite Status, and then headed into the lounge to check it out.
Virgin Australia Lounge Melbourne – Seating
Just ahead of the entrance likes a refreshing, modern, and laid-back space. The clever use of wooden elements, glass partitions, and a touch of greenery adds a sense of intimacy and warmth to the lounge.
Looking up, you’ll notice Virgin’s signature leaf pattern stretching across the ceiling, which provides a stylish touch.
With a seating capacity for up to 650 guests, this particular lounge holds the title of the airline’s largest lounge in its network. Within the lounge, there’s well-designed and purposeful spaces that are thoughtfully arranged.
The lounge has a location immediately next to the tarmac. Large windows provide ample lighting, and offer attractive views of the aircraft outside.
There’s a cluster of diverse seating options at the heart of the lounge. This area is referred to as “The Gallery Lounge”, and offers optimal views of the tarmac.
Comfortable armchairs, accompanied by small tables, are arranged in groups of two, three, or four. Furthermore, curved work benches with comfortable seats can be found here.
Next, you’ll find The Sunroom, which consists of a mixture of cozy seating arrangements.
Lastly, there’s a workbench area, well-suited for those wanting to catch up on some work or stay productive before their flight. These well-equipped spaces offer power and data connections.
Alongside these dedicated areas, the lounge boasts several high-definition televisions and numerous USB charging stations.
Overall, the Virgin Australia Lounge Melbourne strikes an attractive balance between spaciousness and coziness, which combine for a comfortable pre-flight experience.
I particularly appreciated the well-designed array of spaces, and the vibrant, airy feel of the lounge.
Virgin Australia Lounge Melbourne – Dining
Upon entering the lounge, your attention is drawn to a long, well-appointed counter. It features a buffet spread, a selection of beverages, an enticing bar, and a barista station.
In true Melbourne fashion, a barista is on-hand to whip up specialty coffees at the coffee bar known as “Wake Up”.
There’s also secondary bar at the far end of the lounge known as “Wind Down”, which didn’t seemed to be staffed at the time of my visit.
The morning spread lasts until 10:30am, after which the all-day options take over. Barista-made coffee is available from the lounge’s opening until its closing time, and the bar’s offerings are available from noon onwards.
On offer were sandwiches and wraps, as well as hot and cold buffet options, including chicken wings, Thai chicken soup, and Thai noodle salad.
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Moreover, chilled, self-serve wine is available for guests. At the bar, complimentary beverages such as soft drinks, juices, ciders, beers, and wines are available.
At the time of my visit, self-service was suspended and orders were placed with staff at the buffet counter.
Before my flight, I enjoyed a Thai noodle salad as a light snack, and I must admit that I was quite tempted to have a barista-made flat white even despite having already had three coffees earlier in Melbourne.
Overall, the lounge impressed me with its varied buffet spread, although it didn’t stand out as extraordinary.
Nevertheless, the food spread should be enough to satiate your hunger, and you can always go back for seconds. The cherry on top is indeed the barista-made coffee, which is a fantastic addition to any lounge.
Virgin Australia Lounge Melbourne – Other Facilities
Beyond the second bar lie two meeting rooms and a dedicated business centre, which come well-equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi, power outlets, computers, and printing facilities.
Meandering further into the middle of the lounge, you’ll stumble upon the bathrooms. Characterized by muted green hues and speckled grey tiling, these emanate an air of sophistication within the lounge.
Inside the bathrooms, you’ll find a generously sized shower area, which offers plenty of space. Towels are available at the check-in.
The Virgin Australia Lounge Melbourne serves as a great space to relax before a domestic flight, with varied seating options and areas designated for work and rest. The lounge also has a satisfying buffet spread, barista-made coffee, and a wine bar.
The extensive renovation has given new life to the lounge with a fresh, bright, and airy look. I’d definitely recommend leaving aside some time to enjoy the lounge if you have access.
With generous access policies for higher-tier Aeroplan Elite Status members, hopping through Virgin Australia lounges can be a fun ritual when travelling domestically within Australia, and I look forward to continuing my visits on my next trip down under.