Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge Review
Does Virgin Australia's lounge deliver the goods at Australia's busiest airport? Amy Bradney-George dropped by to find out.
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Points Finder Lounge Rating:
Turn right after security screening at Sydney Airport's domestic terminal and you'll see the sign for Virgin Australia's lounge. The stairs up to the lounge are usually much quieter than the ones that take you down to the main thoroughfare and food court in this terminal.
Once inside the lounge, you'll find a mix of spaces, with semi-transparent dividers between most of them. The refreshments area is the centrepiece here, with a barista at one end and a buffet at the other.
A quick note before getting into the review: I visited early on a Saturday morning, when the lounge was packed. As I wanted to be respectful of the privacy of other guests, I didn't take many photos. So the images here are from my colleague, Angus Kidman, who thankfully visited the lounge when it was much quieter.
What I liked
- Premium entry. If you're travelling in business class or have Velocity Gold or Platinum status and aren't checking any bags, you can enjoy this perk. It allows you to skip the regular check-in and security screening lines by offering a dedicated entrance curbside to the terminal. As I was travelling in economy, I didn't have the chance to use it this time, but I can definitely appreciate the benefits it offers eligible guests.
- Variety of seating. There was something for everyone here. During my stay, I sat in one of the lower lounge chairs, then headed to the bar seating with a view, before making my way to a communal work table tucked away beyond the barista.
- Efficient staff. Despite it being a very busy weekend morning, the staff working here were very thorough in clearing up used cups and plates and miscellaneous traveller debris. I really appreciated this considering how crowded the lounge was.
- Surprising extras. As well as having many screens showing the flight schedule, Virgin Australia staff announced details of flights that were boarding – a handy touch that's not common in busy lounges (and may very well only happen when fewer flights depart). There was also a shoe-shining service set up near the entrance, although it wasn't staffed during my visit (or my colleague's visit).
What I didn't like
- All the room dividers. While I understand the dividers are designed to offer some privacy, on my visit it actually made the lounge feel quite claustrophobic. There were so many people that it became hard to find somewhere to sit.
- As I was on my own, I also felt like I needed to take my belongings with me whenever I wanted to get a drink or some food, as I couldn't have kept an eye on them otherwise. To be fair, I did see some people leave their stuff without any issue, but the fact it was so busy made me nervous – and I could see a few other guests felt the same.
- Noise levels. As it was busy, I really noticed the lounge's acoustics. It wasn't so disruptive on the weekend as most people weren't working and didn't seem to mind the buzz of conversation – but I do think it's worth mentioning if you're planning to get work done or make calls before a flight.
If you're planning to work in the lounge, you'll find plenty of powerpoints around the benches and communal tables. The area to the left of the buffet and barista also seemed to be the quietest spot during my visit, with people focused on work or weekend reading (rather than talking).
- Unused extra space. This lounge actually has a second level that opens up when it gets busy. While I don't think the lounge was at capacity when I was there, the number of guests visiting did make me wonder when they would open up the second level.
Points Finder Lounge Rating: 3/5 stars
THE POINTS FINDER TAKEThis lounge is designed to cater for high volumes of guests and offers a mix of spaces to suit different needs. The premium entry option is also a great perk if you're flying in business class, have the frequent flyer status to use it and aren't checking bags. Just keep in mind that you may need to search for a seat and avoid talking on the phone when the lounge is really busy – but the service and set-up still offer more than you'd get in the main part of the terminal.
Virgin Australia Sydney Lounge details
Location: Airside, after security screening at Sydney's domestic terminal (T2).
Opening hours: 90 minutes before the first flight's departure until the final flight is called.
Who can get access? Virgin Australia guests travelling in business class, as well as Velocity Gold or Platinum members (or those with equivalent status with a partner) and guests with a current lounge membership or invitation. This includes the single-use lounge passes you can get when you reach Silver Velocity status, or if you have an eligible Velocity Frequent Flyer credit card, such as the Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer or ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures.
Can you pay to get access? Yes, other Virgin Australia guests (non-Virgin Australia lounge and non-Velocity members) can purchase single entry access to the lounge on the day of travel with a valid Virgin Australia boarding pass for $65.
Who can invite guests? If you're a Virgin Australia Lounge member or Velocity Gold member, you may invite one guest to the lounge at no charge. If you have Platinum Velocity status, you can invite up to three guests at no extra charge. Guests do not need to be travelling with Virgin Australia to accompany an eligible member into the lounge. Learn more in our Velocity lounge overview.
How many Velocity Points can you earn flying from Sydney?
For domestic flights, Velocity Points are earned based on the amount you spend on your fare, with a base rate of 5 points per dollar and tier bonuses for Silver, Gold and Platinum Velocity fliers. That means you can't easily say " Sydney-Melbourne flights are worth 600 points". To learn more about how Velocity Points work, check out Points Finder's detailed guide to the Velocity scheme.
Virgin Australia offers direct domestic flights from Sydney to the following destinations:
- Ayers Rock
- Coffs Harbour
- Gold Coast
- Hamilton Island
- Hervey Bay
- Port Macquarie
- Sunshine Coast
More guides on Finder
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