Inside Air Travel.
New York (AirGuide - Inside Air Travel) Fri, Nov 9, 2012
Virgin Australia to open new Sydney airport lounge next month Virgin Australia will unveil its slick new lounge at Sydney Airport next month, with a stylish design and sweeping panoramic views across the airport runways and out to Botany Bay. Intended to serve as the airline's flagship lounge, it will become a poster child for Virgin Australia's "brand experience" push and narrow the long-standing 'Sydney gap' between Virgin and Qantas. The lounge will open in two stages, with December seeing the expansion of an upstairs level which already houses the airline's invitation-only The Club [ETH] John Borghetti's equivalent of Qantas' exclusive Chairman's Lounge. The current and well-worn ground floor lounge will then be closed for its own extensive makeover. The competed split-level lounge is expected to have a total capacity for up to 560 passengers, almost double that of today's single storey space. The lounge will be modelled along the same clean, contemporary lines as its swish Melbourne and Brisbane lounges and will also contain the same set of features and five discrete zones informally designated as a 'quick stay' space, a library, a bar, a hub and a verandah. Here's how those spaces look and work, using examples from existing Virgin Australia lounges. Quick stay The short stay or quick stay area is intended for passengers who arrive in the lounge with only a short period of time before their flight. At the Melbourne lounge, shown above, a thin translucent screen helps define this space The quick stay zone is sensibly located close to the Lounge's entrance, as well as being near the food & drink area (above) and the service desk (below). The hub This is the primary workspace and gathering space for guests. It's located further into the lounge, near the food & drink area (and also the all-important bar). Each of these curved workbenches includes several handy pop-up AC outlets. The bar What's an airport lounge without a bar? And Virgin has perhaps the funkiest bars of its kind. Seen here snaking along the Melbourne lounge like a chic inner-city wine bar, it also doubles as a stand-up zone for socialising at the end of a long day. That violet glow you're seeing at the front of the bench comes from a grid of LED lights inside the fixture. The colour can even changed to suit different times of the day and reflect the different 'moods' of passengers, such as brighter for the morning and more soothing for the end of the day. The library Situated well away from the bar is a softer zone which Virgin Australia intends as a mobile phone-free area (although in both the Melbourne and Brisbane lounges the signage attesting to this needs to be much larger and more noticeable). Drapes around the windows and carpet on the floor helps deaden the sound. Fri, Nov 9, 2012
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