Date Posted 19/08/2018
Virgin Australia has begun construction on their Melbourne Airport Terminal, Terminal 3 (T3). This upgrade was announced way back in December last year and re-enforced the airlines commitment to redeveloping its domestic terminals. The upgrades will also see a premium lounge entry for Business Class passengers as well as their high-tiered velocity members. Thankfully there will be a new ramp built connecting Terminal 3 (T3) to Terminal 4 (T4), removing the security bottleneck between the two terminals while also reducing passenger congestion at peak travel periods.
Earlier this month, Virgin Australia’s self check-in kiosks have been removed, they are set to be replaced and reconfigured with brand new software, allowing passengers to expedite the check-in process, print boarding passes and bag tags all from the one kiosk. New customers service desks and pods will also be installed for those passengers who prefer to check in the old fashioned way or have any general enquiries.
Virgin Australia hopes to have a majority of the automated bag drop facilities in operation by the end of the year, prefect for the school holidays and the festive season peak travel periods. Once the new bag drop is in operation it will reduce congestion and allow all passengers to pass through quickly and more efficiently they ever have before.
“Melbourne is one of our busiest hubs with over 100 return flights operating each day, and it’s imperative we have the infrastructure to support that. We also want to move our Ground Crew into more of a concierge-style role, where they are brought out from behind counters and are able to better assist the needs of our passengers.” Said Virgin Australia’s Airline Group Executive, Rob Sharp.
So in effect, Virgin Australia is removing those old clunky check-in machines and replacing them with a whole new set up, when fully complete will be similar to the system that Qantas currently use in all their major terminals throughout Australia. The biggest advantage to this system I think is going to be the automated bag drop machines, as this removes the need to line up at the counter to just drop you bags, customers will be able to process all their luggage themselves.
“We’re taking a phased approach to construction, so proactive communications will be sent to all passengers travelling during those periods advising that it’s best to check-in online via the website or the Virgin Australia App, and to arrive at least 60 minutes prior to their flight departure.” He commented.
The majority of the construction at Virgin Australia’s check in area in Terminal 3 is set to all be complete prior to Christmas this year, there will be extra Virgin Australia group crew stationed in and around the check-in area to assist passengers over the transitional period that will be focused with more of a concierge-style role.
Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation, Simon Gandy said ““We’re excited to commence the works on the new guest experience that Virgin Australia will bring to Terminal 3.
“This is an instrumental project that will streamline and dramatically enhance the check-in experience for Virgin Australia’s guests flying from T3. It marks the commencement of the broader development plans we have with Virgin Australia for Terminal 3 and importantly, it integrates with the wider development works underway throughout the airport. We are forecasting a record-breaking Christmas and New Year period so it will be great to have this new experience in place ahead of this.” He added.