Deciphering Virgin Australia international lounge access

By green | Jul 05, 2017, 03:40 PM
Can anyone decipher virgin lounge access. E.g. for Delta the relevant virgin page says "Based on your eligibility status and operating airline, pre-departure lounge is available to you from the following international airports." However, what is this operating airline condition? E.g. when you're flying on Delta plane with Delta flight number domestically within the USA can you get into the lounge if you're velocity gold? 

This question is prompted by QF removing one of the last worthwhile perks for status (free exit rows on domestic flights). If it was easy to decipher the international lounge rules I'd have changed carriers some time ago.
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By green | Jul 06, 2017, 02:41 PM
if it's useful for anyone else swapping from QF to VA - after a night spent reading tedious frequent flyer details on Delta, Virgin, Alaska, AirNZ, Singapore and here's where I landed: I'll use the VA ff program and Accelerate corporate program as:
  • This gets you lounge access in Australia 
  • Delta and partner airline flights earn at a good status rate in Virgin's velocity program (unlike say AA in QF)
  • The reverse, use delta's milage program, means you end up with no lounge access if only flying domestically (in USA or Australia)
  • Alaska FF is similarly limited (no domestic access to lounges in Australia if just flying in Australia). Similarly, no access to lounges in USA if just flying domestically on Alaskan with QF status.
  • I'm QF lifetime gold and current platinum so in economy X seats can use the Virgin lounge on its current promotion.
  • Economy X domestically in Australia is generally cheaper than normal QF and that's before paying for a QF exit row seat on top of this.
  • Delta in the USA is a better airline for me (shorter layovers and connections for my routes) than any of the other options.
  • Direct routes out of Adelaide are better on Virgin's partners (Sing, AirNZ) than QF (QF usually involves a change). EK out of Adelaide in economy has tiny seats that I avoid at all costs.
  • The only thing I'll really miss is the Sydney first lounge but, hey, I'm not based in Sydney anyway.

So, despite a very tedious Wednesday evening of research I think I need to say thanks to Qantas for charging for exit row seats. Its prompted me to shift - bye QF!
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By ChrisCh | Jul 07, 2017, 01:01 PM
Just a note on Delta: Skymiles Gold Medallion, Platinum Medallion, Diamond Medallion and Delta 360 members can visit Virgin Australia domestic lounges prior to an onward Virgin Australia flight, even if their travel the same day is only domestic. The same obviously doesn't apply in the USA unless at the Diamond tier or holding Sky Club membership.
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By green | Jul 09, 2017, 04:19 PM
Ah, thank you Chris, I missed that Delta can use VA lounges all the time quirk. Which moves it a little bit in favour of accruing delta sky miles but, overall, it really looks like virgin's velocity is still a better choice. Air NZ and Sing routes out of Adelaide plus domestic delta lounge access sooner by accruing virgin points and with VA's accelerate program win the day.

BTW for anyone doing similar comparisons I also looked at accruing with Air NZ for star alliance and VA access but the high number of AirNZ only flights you need to keep elite makes this impractical for me. 
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By JohnGB | Jul 11, 2017, 12:49 AM
I live in New York but I am an VA Gold member hence I try to fly Delta domestically across the US. Access to the Delta Sky Club is not a problem, you do not need to be flying internationally to access the lounge. I get access prior to any Delta flight by showing my velocity card
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By xtfer | Jul 12, 2017, 05:46 PM
For any given Virgin flight or codeshare, there is almost always a lounge and its usually the one supplied by the codeshare partner, or the regional partner. In Sydney and Melbourne there is a partner lounge for international flights. Not especially complicated. 

The only really complicated one is LAX, and since the lounges are actually next to each other, its not hard to resolve. 

As JohnGB notes, Velocity access to Delta lounges is better than what Delta members get. The SkyPriority people probably won't know this, but the lounge staff do. The NY lounge is quite good too.
Last edited by xtfer at Jul 12, 2017, 05.54 PM.
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By Tracie | Jul 13, 2017, 05:50 AM
I returned from the USA just over a week ago. Received an email a few days before saying the LAX lounges had changed, but the lounge was open 4 hours before flights depart. I was on VA24, being Platinum this meant the Emirates Lounge access. I rock up at the check in desk at 5pm, only to be told the lounge only opened at 6:30pm. I may be blonde, but that isn't 4 hours before my flight. I thought I'd go and see anyway. Turns out, the Etihad lounge as open and a Virgin staff member allowed myself and a number of other "early" guests in. 
Sort yourself out Virgin.
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