Tasty food! Smiling staff! Cold beer! A power outlet! These all, believe it or not, genuinely exist at an airport. Any airport from which Virgin flies in Oz, as a matter of fact (well, pretty much).
A decent domestic airline lounge is a carefully considered concept. It needs to evoke comfort and relaxation; non-chalance, even. It has to walk the tightrope between the hoy-polloy of an international lounge, somewhere rich folks wait for hours on end for a connecting flight, drinking Glenfiddich, and a place where business deals can actually be performed.
An international lounge is easy. Wear a white jacket and smile a lot and you’ve pretty much nailed it. Free champagne, free vodka, cigars (if you’re in the right country) and an afternoon between flights (or boredom before your one flight) is completely sorted. Add to that the constant supply of food and, usually, a spa treatment: you’re laughing.
A domestic lounge, however, is a different story. It’s harder to get right. It requires a certain attitude for sensibility. It needs practicality and comfort, without any of the wank afforded to the jet-set. It needs to be unpretentious.
This is why Virgin’s recipe for domestic lounges, right across the country, is successful.
Take Sydney Domestic, for example. It’s the busiest terminal (actually, two) in Australia. With more travelers than anywhere else in the country, people are here briefly, before departing swiftly. It’s as much a place for transient businessmen jotting around town as it is single mums on their way to Noosa for a cheeky getaway with the kids. Business class.
Which is why becoming a Velocity member makes so much sense. Virgin is irrefutably one of the two best carriers in the country for domestic flights. They have put a lot of effort into this reputation, too, matching QANTAS with regards to baggage allowance, meals, and booze if you’re on an evening flight. This is a big deal. They’re still one of the most affordable airlines, yet they continue to outperform every competitor on service and inclusions, at every price bracket.
Which is why you should not only fly Virgin every time, you should join their Velocity program, and start making it work for you. The benefits you can grab after only a few domestic flights’ worth of points is the difference between a cloth-bound chair at the gate and a white leather lounge with some complimentary bubbles in-hand. Just for buying tickets with the same airline. And for no more money.
A trip is a trip. Whatever the reason, it involves as much of the good as it does the bad. And the bad is usually dealing with the bullshit of an airport. Virgin allows you to by-pass that, and enjoy your time before the flight, instead of suffering a $28 cheeseburger and warm Peroni at whichever place didn’t have a queue.
Domestic flights are often an unexciting inevitability. In fact, I would proffer that most seats on a domestic flight are ensconced, briefly, by unenthusiastic travelers. Businessmen and businesswomen jerked around one of the largest (by land mass) countries in the world, who would rather have their significant other (or children) in one arm and a glass of Pinot in the other.
Get your points. Travel the way it should be. The best way, and take it from a seasoned traveler, is with Virgin.