Swimming in the ocean, sunbathing, and enjoying cocktails and meals have traditionally been part of many meeting groups’ downtime activities in Barbados, and thanks to a new program they now can also be a part of their departure experience.

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Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays, Richard Branson’s tour company, recently unveiled the Departure Beach option, which enables passengers to forego waiting for departing flights in the airport, and instead continue their destination experience on a beach under the Bajan sun and in a comfortable lounge.

The Departure Beach option is particularly suitable to groups and individuals that have late afternoon or early evening flights, but need to check out of their hotel at around noon.

After breakfast, participants hand their luggage to Virgin Holidays staff, who take it straight to the airport. The participants then are transported to Brownes Beach in Carlisle Bay, where they check in and receive a boarding pass. Virgin Holidays representatives are on site to take care of everyone’s needs.

Participants then are provided with a locker and have the option of receiving a beach towel and small plastic bag to store their wet beachwear.

They are then set to enjoy the beach, with sun loungers and umbrellas, and the air-conditioned lounge area, which provides:

  • Full-service bar (soft drinks, tea and coffee are complimentary)
  • Complimentary buffet lunch
  • Games console-equipped children’s area
  • Plasma screens
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access

Other enhancements will be added at some point.

Participants can freshen up in the full shower and changing facilities before they are transported to the airport.

Access to the Departure Beach experience is subject to availability and costs approximately $33 per adult and $23 per child. Passengers on Virgin Holidays cruise ships whose itinerary terminates in Barbados also are eligible. Guests staying at Savannah Beach in Barbados are granted complimentary access to Departure Beach.