Not much more than a skip across Australia, the Adelaide to Sydney Virgin Australia flight is a comfortable way to transport oneself to the east coast. I will admit: I have read Sir Richard Branson’s autobiography three times, and I am a fan. Branson’s charisma, daring nature, and customer-first philosophy are evident through the smiles and care from all Virgin Australia crew which extends beyond the luxurious comfort of Business Class…but for now let’s talk about travelling, Virgin style.
Route: Adelaide to Sydney
Aircraft: Virgin Australia 737-800
Flight Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Check-in: Smooth sailing despite arriving at the airport during the morning rush hour. With three priority check-in counters open for Business Class guests, there’s no waiting in line and we merge immediately to the counter where a bright-eyed, big-smiled staff member greets us cheerfully. The entire process takes under ten minutes, and our luggage is checked right through to our final destination, Abu Dhabi.
The Lounge: Virgin Australia Lounge Adelaide
Crisp and modern with a subtle hint of formality, the Adelaide lounge is a fitting addition to the reborn airport. Spacious without being overwhelming, charcoal interiors dull the splashes of white walls and natural light that filters into the lounge through west-facing oversize glass windows, providing an intimate feeling and not a bad place for airport relaxation.
Guests are perched comfortably in form-fitting horseshoe shaped leather seats that continue the grey theme; simple work stations are in place for anyone looking to log into the office whilst on the fly. A small-scale business area holds two PC computers and a copy machine, tucked away from the main dining area.
A maroon mosaic-tiled bar serves barista coffee and alcohol (no booze early in the morning), while herbal teas are on offer for self-service beside a petite buffet serving up cold ham, boiled eggs, cheese, yoghurt and fruit. On the sideline you can find a basic selection of breads ready for toasting; three kinds of cereals; and a fresh juice dispenser. I find myself nibbling away at everything while secretly wishing for a big cooked breakfast. Hubby settles for toast.
For the tech savvy, there’s enough to keep you connected: free wifi, flat screen TVs playing the latest news, power points, and a printer/copy machine. If you must bring children into the lounge (I’d prefer you didn’t – especially when I’ve left mine at home with the relatives and am trying to enjoy a second honeymoon), there are high-chairs but no play area. All lounge guests are welcome to browse a decent selection of magazines and newspapers.
The staff are close to perfectionists in customer service and I can’t fault a single one of them during my lounge visit. Or maybe I can…they forget to call us out for boarding and when we finally venture out ourselves to the gate we find the plane well into preparation for take-off. Whoops…