Virgin Australia To Stop 'Anytime Access' to their Lounges

1st Aug 2012

The good times will be over soon to those who hold Velocity Platinum and Gold membership in Virgin Australia's frequent flyers program, as the airline will no longer implement the ?anytime access? provision on their lounges.

Starting August 15, Velocity Platinum and Gold members of the program are no longer allowed to use its airport lounges if they are not taking Virgin flights. The 'anytime access' is a provision which has been Virgin's premium service extended to frequent travelers even without flying their airlines or even not traveling at all.

According to Virgin Australia spokesperson, the decision was made to make sure they give the best lounge experience to all their guests traveling with them.

Apr?s-flight access for Platinum, Gold.

But not all bad news for them. Velocity Platinum and Gold members still get consolation as they can still access the lounge to while their time away after their flights on Virgin, provided that they show boarding pass as a proof. This is a welcome treat to those business travelers who want to stretch their muscles and fill their stomach with a hot sandwich and a fresh brewed coffee to relax their mind before proceeding to their office.

For most other travelers, they can only access the lounge prior to their flights on Virgin or any of the group's partner carriers.

In February of 2011, Qantas made a difficult decision at that time when it removed its 'anytime access' privilege to its domestic lounges across the country. A sure sign of bad business to come, British Airways followed suit by also taking off its 'open door' privilege in June that same year, leaving Virgin the only airline keeping such privilege to its airport lounges.

The 'anytime access' has been a very wonderful and useful service especially when you have a meeting or even seeing off someone very important at the airport.

The privilege, however, was prone to abuse by many of its members. There were suspicions that Virgin discovered the abuse by some of the card holders who took advantage of the Velocity status match against Qantas Platinum or Gold card but shunned Virgin flights. All the while, they kept using the lounge as their own private club.

Self-service lounge check-in.

Recently, a new innovative service was introduced by Virgin Australia allowing guests to access the lounge without passing through the reception desk. The member will only need to swipe their card on the card terminals to get into the lounge.

According to airline officials, they will deploy the machines in most of its domestic airport lounges in the coming weeks. Their aim is to streamline access to their lounges during peak hours.

Lifetime lounge membership cards as well as both Velocity Platinum and Gold cards will work when used on these terminals.