Leo Kearse checks into the Virgin lounge at Perth airport.
As a low-level international comedian, I spend a lot of time flying Economy, shuffling around airports trying to avoid screaming kids, searching vainly for a power point or a cheap sandwich, and gazing enviously at the pristine doors of the Business Class lounges — the pearly gates to a nirvana of buffets, self-service bars and relaxed people who smell of success.
However, while flying from Perth to Adelaide, I bumped into my friend Yianni who, through pooling his family's flying points, gets access to the Virgin Lounge. He got me in as a guest.
First impression: The woman on the desk was super friendly and even allowed Yianni to bring in two guests — me and his girlfriend, which was lucky, because I don't think she'd have enjoyed waiting outside for us.
What's there: It's a large, open-plan room with a bar/buffet along one side. There's a bar in the middle, too. It's clean, pleasant and a little quiet — I'm a loud talker and I felt that everyone could hear my conversation. There are meeting rooms available if you need to go over the Q1 figures with the team.
Who's there: It wasn't very busy. If I could collate the clientele into a single demographic group, it would be "people who did better than me at school". Everyone looked like they turned off the television during dinner. The staff were genuinely friendly.
Tech stuff: There are plugs and USB sockets scattered generously throughout the lounge. There's free Wi-Fi too, obviously.
Reading material: There are magazines and newspapers but I didn't touch them. Magazines harbour and transfer germs and are completely unnecessary in 2019. I just jabbed at my phone, like a normal person.
The view: It's just planes and plane-related stuff — baggage handlers throwing suitcases, those funny little square trucks with the big wheels, that kind of thing. So if that's your thing, you're sorted.
Eating and drinking: The food was fresh and delicious. Everything looked clean. I concocted a chicken, mozzarella and pesto salad from the buffet and had a bowl of wild mushroom soup. An extensive range of snacks, coffees, juices was available. And the booze was great. In my 25 minutes I glugged three glasses of delicious shiraz, which ensured I arrived at my destination with a sore head and dry throat.
Final word: All in all, a fantastic lounge experience.
I wish I was a maths nerd so I could parlay my flights into some kind of points system and get lounge access, but I can't be bothered.