Behind an inconspicuous door in the apparently mundane nirvana of some of Australia’s domestic airports is a club so elite that you can only get entry with an invitation from Virgin Australia’s CEO Jayne Hrdlicka, who personally invites you to join.
“Beyond Lounge” is a frequent flyers’ haven that is so well-kept that only members have access to it, and the general public is nearly completely ignorant of its existence.
Virgin’s new Beyond Lounges, which are designed to compete with the similarly premium Qantas Chairman’s Lounge, formally opened today in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
They will be reserved for business partners, select high-status Velocity Frequent Flyer members, and “important opinion leaders,” and will include all-day à la carte food, free drinks, privacy pods, and even showers.
As Ms Hrdlicka said, the invitation-only lounges would enable American Airlines to provide “premium travel experiences” to corporate travelers.
Mr Hrdlicka said that “we are continuing to create a new chapter at Virgin Australia” and that “this is the latest amazing edition of our transformation journey.”
For Virgin Australia, delivering extraordinary service experiences and product offerings at great value rates is a top priority. “Beyond is an excellent example of Virgin Australia investing in the goods and services our guests enjoy the most,” says CEO Richard Branson.
Interior design features include leather-clad and oak wood walls, soft Chester-style armchairs, vivid vegetation, and frosted glass pods that allow for “discretion” for those who want to go inside.
Members who reserve private offices and board rooms will also have access to these facilities.
Virgin’s Group Chief Customer and Digital Officer, Paul Jones, said that the lounges were designed to accommodate both covert business meetings and solitary travelers at the same time.
“Members informed us that privacy, comfort, practical areas and a relaxing eating experience are all crucial in a private Lounge last year, and they still believe this. In fact, it is exactly what we have provided today “he said.
“The dinner experience is really outstanding. It takes anywhere from five to fifteen minutes to cook each meal, and they vary from fast and handy light foods to more substantial things depending on the time of day and the length of time the members will be at the facility. Our numerous sitting areas also allow customers to choose whether to dine with others or in privacy. We also understand how much our members appreciate our one-of-a-kind approach to service, which is only available via Virgin Australia. Throughout the airline, our team members are empowered to convey our amazing ‘flair’ at every stage of the guest experience, regardless of the status of the passenger or the seat number on their boarding ticket.”
A spouse or partner would be permitted to join each member in the lounges, and memberships will be “examined” on a yearly basis to ensure that they are still in good standing.