Forget departure lounges: Virgin Holidays is actually planning a departure beach where holidaymakers can check in and go for a dip

Rebecca Smith
How the departure beach will look
How the departure beach will look. Probably not coming soon to Heathrow (Source: Virgin Holidays)

Gone are the days when a comfy chair and a place to plug in a mobile or laptop were all that was needed from a departure lounge.

In fact, Virgin Holidays is thinking bigger – and sandier – with its newest announcement. It is planning "the departure beach", an area in Barbados for holidaymakers to squeeze out the last spot of sun before heading home.

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Travellers will have access to a private air-conditioned lounge, Wi-Fi gaming areas and check-in facilities. And it's also throwing in a beach-friendly bar and restaurant, check-in facilities and a bath and shower area, all actually on a beach.

Virgin said that many accommodation spots and cruises in Barbados need customers to check out before midday, but many flights don't return until late in the evening, essentially meaning a lost day for travellers.

Construction of the beach is starting imminently, with it due to open in May next year.

To use the facility, customers need to add it to their booking at any point before departure. A Virgin Holiday transfer will pick up the holidaymakers from their hotel, take their hold luggage away and take it to the airport. They can they check in on the beach, collect their boarding pass and then relax until their flight.

As for who can access it and for how much: entry is included for any customers staying at Savannah Beach in Barbados or on a cruise that terminates there. Other customers can add it to their booking for an opening promotional price of £20 per adult and £15 per child. And it's only available to Virgin Holiday customers.

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