Review: Virgin Australia Lounge, Sydney, Terminal 2
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This guy with the man-bun is on-brand for this lounge.
Content of this Post:
Premium Entry – direct from the street
The Premium Lounge Entry is direct from the street, either up a ramp, or a short set of steps. It means you avoid going through the rest of the airport and given how horrible Terminal 2 can be – that’s a pretty good advantage.
Once you have identified your eligibility to enter the lounge (in my case a Business Class ticket), you turn left and go through security, and after that, you are in the lounge. There is a small seating area directly in front of you, and the rest of the lounge to the right.
Once you turn right into the main lounge you are greeted by a reception desk. I had no need to use this, so I walked on by (do do-di do di do) into the almost-completely-full lounge.
There is also an extension of the lounge up on Level 4, although some of the signage directing you up there is a little confusing (signage pointing to doors that are locked!). Here is the promotional video, which quite correctly points out the advantages.
The problem with the video is that it doesn’t reflect the overcrowding I encountered which made it akin to a zoo until I discovered Level 4 which was far less crowded.
Then they had to go and make a public address announcement, directing patrons upstairs, which meant that it too became part of the menagerie.
This is a good looking lounge, with the airlines signature purple, red and white reflected in the chain-link fence motif evoked in the ceiling and the design of walls, bars and barriers.
The chairs have also been refreshed since I visited the lounges soon after opening – back in 2011 – gone are those very 1988 bucket chairs (although you can still find them in the Adelaide lounge) – and replaced with something a little more contemporary.
Food and Drink
Food and drink are fairly limited. On both occasions I visited the food displays, it was basic salads and the fixings for toasted sandwiches, plus soup, or a hot casserole and rice.
Drinks are limited to beer, wine, soft drinks and coffee. No spirits, and no sparkling wine as far as I could see.
Overcrowded and uncomfortable
I found the staircase up to Level 4 which was far less crowded initially, but after a PA announcement, it filled up too.
I settled myself down at a small table, and did about an hour’s work, and had a couple of white wines. The food didn’t look that appealing, and I figured I would be getting dinner on the flight anyway.
There are showers and toilets in this lounge. I didn’t get a chance to check out the showers, but I did get a shot of a cubicle. Too many people around in the rest of the bathroom to take pictures without seeming like a pervert.
WiFi was hot and strong, with connection seeming quicker than over at Qantas.
I headed down to board my flight about 10 minutes before boarding was scheduled to open at 5:45 pm. Down the stairs from level 4 . . .
. . . and onto the main floor of the lounge which had an unstaffed shoeshine stand at the exit/entrance into the main terminal 2 concourse.
Then its an escalator down . . .
. . . and into the main terminal.
There is a set of screens listing flights as soon as you exit the lounge and turn left.
You then enter the inevitable shopping mall that has overtaken all airports these days.
In terminal 2 at Sydney Airport, all the gates are arranged either side of one main corridor.
So there is little confusion about where you have to go and the signage is good.
I headed off to Gate 36 – hoping to board early so I could take some cabin snaps. I didn’t realise how early I was . . .
The Premium Lounge Entry to T2 direct from the street, without having to negotiate the horror queues of the main check-in and luggage drop off of the main terminal is a major advantage of travelling with Velocity Gold status (or above), or a Virgin Business Class ticket.
The Virgin Lounge at Sydney T2, although beautifully designed, when full of eligible passengers at peak times (I was there about 4:30 pm on a Tuesday) is just plain horrid. It just doesn’t have enough space to be comfortable.
A large section of the lounge appears to be closed, which may have contributed to the overcrowding.
I’m glad I didn’t decide to pay for access to this Sydney Lounge – or, indeed the Adelaide lounge – you can read about that soon.
Am I wrong? Fight about it in the comments below.