Virgin Australia’s revamped invite-only lounge, Beyond, has opened its doors for the first time in two years for the airline’s high-rolling frequent flyers.
Previously dubbed The Club, the Beyond program is an exclusive, invite-only program reserved for Virgin’s high-status VIPs alongside its biggest corporate spenders, which now boasts private lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The Club program was put on pause when Virgin entered administration in April 2020, and has since seen a major facelift, according to Virgin. However, two previous Club lounges in Canberra and Perth will not be reopened.
Lounges are accessed via an unmarked door, often hidden near Virgin’s domestic lounges, which can be opened using their Beyond program membership card.
Virgin CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said key aspects of the new lounge and its facilities were shaped in consultation with its most loyal guests and members.
“We also spend a lot of time, in the design of this experience, talking to our guests to make sure that we understood what mattered to them,” Hrdlicka said at a press conference in Sydney on Wednesday, to mark the opening of the Beyond lounges.
“Overwhelmingly there were a handful of things. One was to have a private space to get out of the hustle and bustle of the airport.
“Two was to have a place where they get special access to a concierge to help them if they had issues with their bookings, and somebody who understood their special needs and requirements when they are travelling.
“And three was to have a dining experience that included their favourite foods.”
Virgin Australia Group chief customer and digital officer Paul Jones added, “Last year, our members told us privacy, comfort, functional spaces and relaxed dining experiences are important in a private lounge. And this is what we have delivered today.
“The dining experience is exceptional. Dishes take anywhere from five to 15 minutes to prepare and range from quick and convenient light dishes to more substantial items depending on the time of day and the duration of the members’ visit.
“Our various seating zones also mean guests can dine with others or in private.”
Last week, Australian Aviation reported that Virgin had sent out its exclusive invitations to the newly overhauled Beyond program.
While many previous members of The Club have already received their prestigious invitations to Beyond, reports suggest some high-profile former members were notably passed over after publicly defecting to Qantas’ rival program, the Chairman’s Lounge.
Virgin’s biggest corporate spenders are expected to be on the exclusive list, with membership often negotiated as part of corporate contracts with the airline.
New members will see a six to nine-month trial in the program, while previous members will get a full 12-month membership.
Along with access to the exclusive lounge, Beyond members can access dedicated phone lines and email contacts to ensure their customer service needs are met quickly and can share all membership benefits with one spouse or partner.
Membership also offers four complimentary upgrades to business class per year, as well as one complimentary Velocity Gold frequent flyer membership for the primary member’s executive assistant.