Rohit

When COVID-19 struck, Virgin Australia closed down all its lounges, some permanently. But while places such as Brisbane, Sydney and elsewhere started inviting guests towards the later half in 2020, Virgin loyalists in Adelaide were made to wait-out their pre-departure hours with the hoi polloi in the airport terminal, until February this year.

That was because unlike other ports, a full remodelling of Adelaide lounge was underway when COVID struck. The pandemic and subsequent falling of Virgin into administration meant the work was never finished under airlines’ previous owner. The fate of the airline, and by extension all its lounges remained in limbo for several months until Bain Capital took ownership.

To its credit, Bain got on with the work at hand and have expeditiously delivered a lounge that all Virgin Australia flyers, particularly those calling Adelaide home can be genuinely proud of. I recently passed through Adelaide airport and spent some time in the lounge prior to my flight.

Location

It helps that Adelaide is a one terminal airport. Once you pass security, turn left and follow the signs. The lounge is located at the end of the concourse near Gates 10-16 from where most Virgin Australia flights depart.

Virgin Australia Lounge sign Adelaide
Signs to Virgin Australia Lounge, Adelaide Airport

Directions to Virgin Australia Lounge
Signs to Virgin Australia Lounge, Adelaide Airport

As you enter, there are couple of DIY check-in kiosks located on the left. Scan the boarding pass and let yourself in.

For those seeking human intervention, there is a small check-in desk straight-up, although with COVID restrictions still in place, you will probably be scanning the bar code yourself here too.


Check-in desk, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

The Lounge

Stepping into the main section of the lounge, there is a small sitting area to the right.


Seating, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

The padded bench backing on to the wall is reminiscent of seating at the American Express Lounge – Sydney Airport.


Seating, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

In the opposite direction, there are 2 service desks which Velocity elites will find handy with processing any last minute changes or upgrades to their flights.


Service Desks, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

I love how Virgin have given a retro feel to such a modern lounge with clever use of bold colours. They instantly grab your attention.


Service Desks, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

Moving further in, the lounge opens up into a vast, fluid space with endless seating options. A real contrast to the pre-pandemic facility which was cramped and highly inadequate.


Broad view of Virgin Australia Lounge, Adelaide Airport

I will let the pictures do the talking.


Seating, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport


Seating, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport


Seating, Virgin Australia Lounge – Sydney Airport


Seating, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

Jet-setting executives travelling on business will appreciate the well designed working pods, these come equipped with communal desk, chairs, power outlets and multiple USB ports to keep the gadgets in tip-top shape.


Communal work pods, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

Power socket & USB Ports, Virgin Australia Lounge - Adelaide Airport
Power socket & USB Ports, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

Sadly, wifi speeds were a hark back to the older Virgin Australia lounge. It was slow to start off and progressively got worse as the lounge filled up. A quick speed test taken on the phone revealed numbers many would consider unacceptable in 2021.

Speed Test, Virgin Australia Lounge - Sydney Airport
wifi speed, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

There is another sitting area at the end of the hallway which was cordoned off at the time of my visit, but can be utilised to accommodate guests during busier hours.


Auxiliary seating, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

Male & Female Toilets are located back near the entrance.

Toilets, Virgin Australia Lounge - Adelaide Airport
Toilets, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport


Bathroom, Virgin Australia Lounge- Adelaide Airport

Further down the corridor, there is a baby change room, showers and more toilets. The shower was not in use at the time.

Parents Room and Ambulant Toilet, Virgin Australia Lounge - Adelaide Airport
Parents Room and Ambulant Toilet, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

Showers, Virgin Australia Lounge - Adelaide Airport
Showers, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

Dining

An elegant wrap-around buffet forms the centrepiece of all things dining and drinking.

On one end, a dedicated barista whips up cups of hot and steaming beverage of your choice,


Cafe bar, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

the other end is bit like a bar which opens at mid-day. It also doubles up as a cellar door for many wineries from nearby Barossa Valley offering seasonal wine tasting.


Bar, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

It may be tempting to approach the bar staff, but ordering of food and drinks is to be done exclusively via QR codes pasted on desks and tables across the lounge.


Food & Drinks ordering QR Code, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

The lounge runs a breakfast menu from open until 10:30 am where guests can tuck into crowd favourites such as ham & cheese toasties, protein bowl and yogurt & muesli pot amongst others.

All day dining menu takes over at 10:30 am and continues for the rest of the day. During this time, guests can nibble on an assortment of chips, cheese plates, nuts and so on.

I wasn’t very hungry when I first arrived at the lounge, but wanted something to munch on while doing my work. So I ordered an apple cider and a bowl of grain waves chips which were delivered to my seat in less than 2 minutes.


Snack, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

Those seeking something more substantial, the light meal options include roasted vegetable wraps, thai style beef noodle salad and beetroot & falafel salad.

At a later time during my stay, I ordered the wrap which was served cold and did not taste nice.


Roasted Vegetable Wrap, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

The drinks menu, besides tea and coffee offered juice, soft drinks, wine, beer and a small selection of spirits.

Drinks Menu, Virgin Australia Lounge - Adelaide Airport
Drinks Menu, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

Drinks Menu, Virgin Australia Lounge - Adelaide Airport
Drinks Menu, Virgin Australia Lounge – Adelaide Airport

The overall offerings are substantial, except for the hot food options which were conspicuous by their absence. Something like ravioli, or rice and curry, which can be rustled up at scale would add immensely to the lounge experience without adding too much to the logistics of running the facility.


Curry is generally a popular choice with lounge patrons

Having said that, the lounge has been open little more than 2 months and Virgin Australia are said to be slowly expanding the options, so for now at least, any criticism should be held back.

In Conclusion

Traversing COVID-19, insolvency, and a bitter bidding war for it’s future, the rebirthed Virgin Australia have come a very long way. The wait for Virgin loyalists, specially those based in Adelaide has been even longer as the old lounge downed its shutters long before the pandemic struck. But hasn’t the wait been worth it ๐Ÿ˜‰

The city now boasts a truly iconic facility that leaves every other lounge in Virgin’s network dead in the water.

We know the airline plans to eventually renovate all it’s lounges with work on the Melbourne facility well under way. If the Adelaide lounge is a peek into things to come, Virgin Australia flyers have a lot to look forward to.

Have you visited the Adelaide Lounge? Leave a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 × five =