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Virgin’s flying start

New lounges allow travellers to fly with fast-track convenience.

There's no way to avoid the mad rush to the airport and delayed flights but it's now possible to avoid the scrum at check-in.

Guests at Virgin Australia's new Sydney Airport lounge can bypass the terminal entirely by arriving at a kerbside entrance at the western end of Terminal 2 and completing check-in and security screening in the lounge. The refurbished split-level lounge has doubled in size to cater for up to 500 passengers, many of whom will order coffee at three barista stations and refuel with all-day buffets. Design features include illuminated bars, curved-glass privacy screens and a ceiling pattern of leaves.

The Sydney upgrade is part of a flurry of lounge activity at Virgin Australia. It opened its first lounge at Cairns Airport in November, following the introduction of business class on flights to the city. The lounge at Melbourne Airport has also doubled in size to seat about 500 guests. The space has similar design elements to the flagship Sydney lounge and features a "premium exit" with its own security screening lane to fast-track to departure gates.

Qantas, meanwhile, has opened a new lounge in Tamworth, upgraded its Perth lounge and is working on a new Broome lounge.

Related: more travel news.

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