Virgin Australia Platinums get first class lounge at LAX

Virgin Australia Platinums get first class lounge at LAX

From December 1, all Virgin Australia flights departing Los Angeles will use the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), with Gold-level Velocity members and business class passengers having access to the new Star Alliance lounge.

Certain to trigger a smile, the Star Alliance First Class lounge will open its doors to Velocity Platinum members, regardless of travel class and with one guest – something that isn’t actually offered to top-tier Star Alliance elites!

The change follows the previous cross-terminal arrangements, which saw Virgin Australia flights arriving into TBIT, though departing from Terminal 3 when returning to Australia.

For now at least, check-in facilities for the airline’s Australia-bound flights – VA2 to Sydney, VA8 to Brisbane and VA24 to Melbourne – will remain at Terminal 3, with TBIT just a short walk away:

Los Angeles World Airports
The terminals at LAX
Los Angeles World Airports

Passengers connecting from Delta Air Lines, Virgin America or Alaska Airlines services should be able to skip the check-in queues at LAX altogether, with baggage able to be through-checked and Virgin Australia boarding passes issued by these airlines at the start of the journey.

Access to The Loft in Terminal 3 will still be available for eligible passengers on Virgin America’s domestic services (ex-Los Angeles), though travellers on Virgin Australia’s international services will need to use the Star Alliance lounges from next month.

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


  • chrisjrn


    20 Nov, 2013 12:57 pm

    One of the best things about Velocity I've heard in a while. I'm excited.

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  • KG


    20 Nov, 2013 01:39 pm

    This is massive, VA Platinums getting access to the First Class section?!!? Not a published benefit for Star Alliance members, yet, they do broker deals with non alliance members and gtrant access? VA must have negotiated big time with Star Alliance and will probably have to pay a hefty fee per VA Plat entering the lounge. I am sure this will trigger outrage amongst most top tier FF from Star Alliance, not to mention the uber special tiers such as SQ PPS and LH Honorary Circle (to name a few), unless they also get access to the First Class section?

    Regardless of the above, a big win for VA Platinum grade FF!

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  • mckma


    20 Nov, 2013 03:21 pm

    As an Air Gold Elite / Elite, I was always granted access to the First Class section of the Star lounge in London. Not a published benefit, but it was consistently given. I had assumed that this was a benefit for all top teir Star members, but I may be wrong.

    In any case awesome news, good job Virgin!

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  • AusExpat


    20 Nov, 2013 04:55 pm

    I'm guessing this may have something to do with the fact that the LAX *A lounge is operated by Air NZ.

    The only thing I'm puzzled about... Check-in at T3, and then walk to TBIT???

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  • Chris Chamberlin


    20 Nov, 2013 05:14 pm

    You're correct on both counts AusExpat.

    Customers will need to complete check-in at T3 before proceeding to TBIT.

    I've asked Virgin to comment on how long this arrangement will be in place (assuming that there's currently no room for new check-in facilities at TBIT or that construction works are currently preventing this), though have not yet received a response.

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  • Martin  Slobodnik


    21 Nov, 2013 05:46 am

    Hang On, Vigin Australia code shares with Dela, Please clarfiy that If one is flying to LAX on VA codeshare with DL & then has a DL flight to NYC, they have to clear customes and then re check in at terminal 3 - Delta????
    Futhermore does this new change,  give any light that VA may join the Star Alliance Netwrok? 

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  • Orpheus


    21 Nov, 2013 08:14 am

    Regardless of the airline you fly and your onwards connection you need to clear customs first, then drop your checked in bag at the  Transfer area within TBIT or check in with your airline of choice at  their designated terminal. 

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  • chris_melbourne


    21 Nov, 2013 08:19 am

    Orpheus is right. Also, Delta have never used Terminal 3 at LAX anyway - so you'll need to walk to Terminal 5 for a DL connection.

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  • Ryan Hogan


    21 Nov, 2013 03:03 pm

    Agreed, this is absolutely fantastic (and frankly a bit unbelievable) news.

    Does anyone have a link to an article where this is confirmed by VA? I had a look at the velocity and virgin websites and nothing, although that in itself is not surprising.

    I will definitely ba meking use of this benefit if it's true!

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  • Chris Chamberlin


    21 Nov, 2013 04:41 pm

    Hi Ryan,

    You can find the information on VA's Los Angeles Airport Guide page – though I agree, it doesn't exactly make itself known!

    Specifically, the terminal change is mentioned under the 'Location' heading, and 'Lounge Access' details the new arrangements (as we've reported).

    I hope this helps!

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17 Jul, 2019 09:13 pm


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