United Airlines new Virgin Australia / Velocity Partner

Must...Fly!

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Currently this is not stated on the website. The Velocity website makes no mention of this starting on 24 May.
What it says is "Access to 3rd party lounges (e.g. Star Alliance owned and operated) lounges is currently not included in your ticket unless you travel in Business Class on a United Airlines operated flight."

I take that as the negotiations are happening, but not yet finalised for Velocity status holders. Which lounge do UA pax get directed to in Sydney currently?
 

justinbrett

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What it says is "Access to 3rd party lounges (e.g. Star Alliance owned and operated) lounges is currently not included in your ticket unless you travel in Business Class on a United Airlines operated flight."

I take that as the negotiations are happening, but not yet finalised for Velocity status holders. Which lounge do UA pax get directed to in Sydney currently?

You’d think VA will sort out lounge access for its own flights (NAN) before worrying about codeshare pax.

I saw this on Twitter, which implies nothing is imminent:

 

HS-TQE

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You’d think VA will sort out lounge access for its own flights (NAN) before worrying about codeshare pax.

I saw this on Twitter, which implies nothing is imminent:


I would think VA would at least negotiate with Swissport to regain access to the "The Lounge" which VA previously used for international flights prior to their Voluntary Administration filing in 2020.
 

Mattg

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justinbrett

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In many ways, Velocity is a great program. But as soon as you start trying to fly overseas, the gaps and flaws emerge.

And it’s a pretty safe bet the QR deal will be similar conditions to this UA one.
 

MooTime

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Just fly J or pay to enter a lounge.
Or get a credit card that gives you couple free lounge passes.

I know not the point being discussed.

Vast majority fly Y so these lounge issues not relevant.
AFF of course different kettle of pups.
 

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Mattg

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Just fly J or pay to enter a lounge.
Or get a credit card that gives you couple free lounge passes.

I know not the point being discussed.

Vast majority fly Y so these lounge issues not relevant.
AFF of course different kettle of pups.

Which lounge in Sydney do you suggest "just" paying to enter when flying to LAX on UA?

It's not unreasonable for a Platinum member with VA flying Y or PE (Premium Plus) on United, soon to be one of Virgin's key partner airlines, to expect lounge access when flying out of VA's home market.
 

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"Do we have lounge access"? is literally the first question my wife asks me when we start discussing who to fly to where...
 

MooTime

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Which lounge in Sydney do you suggest "just" paying to enter when flying to LAX on UA?

It's not unreasonable for a Platinum member with VA flying Y or PE (Premium Plus) on United, soon to be one of Virgin's key partner airlines, to expect lounge access when flying out of VA's home market.
Just spoke with Virgin Lounge on phone re Lounge access on UA flights.

I was informed even as a Platinum there is no lounge access flying Y UA out of Aus. (as no UA lounges in Aus)
I asked about if in J class, was informed currently it stands you'd receive entry to either Air NZ or SQ international lounge.

Was also told that as the partnership starts 24th May, there may be further announcements.

Yes I agree disappointing as a Platinum to have no lounge, guess it's a bugger of not being part of an alliance.

Could they in the future give access to Plats & not Golds to other lounges (to limit the cost & have more privileges for Plat)?? Or would that be a slap in the face to VA Golds??

re paid Syd lounge flying to LAX on UA, I have no idea without research, but I assume there's always a paid lounge you can enter (barring capacity limits).
 

justinbrett

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Which lounge in Sydney do you suggest "just" paying to enter when flying to LAX on UA?

It's not unreasonable for a Platinum member with VA flying Y or PE (Premium Plus) on United, soon to be one of Virgin's key partner airlines, to expect lounge access when flying out of VA's home market.

The issue here is usually (at least in oneworld) it's the operator paying for the lounge access - both for status and class of travel. And that makes sense, because you could do a majority of your flying on other carriers and do the bare minimum on your home carrier, which is obviously flawed if they then had to pay for all of your lounge access.

Whilst the profit margin on a Y pax might be small, at least they are making some profit from you and can cover the lounge cost.

So it's quite understandable that VA and/or Velocity doesn't want to pay for lounge access - I'm not sure how much they get out of selling a code share but it would be pretty slim, especially for a Y pax.

So it's up to UA whether they fund the lounge access - and what's motivating them to do so? Where you gonna go?

It's a quagmire - but I think shows why the global alliances trump these patchwork arrangements. I wonder what the financial cost of VA joining *A would be?
 

HS-TQE

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It's a quagmire - but I think shows why the global alliances trump these patchwork arrangements. I wonder what the financial cost of VA joining *A would be?

Expensive. There's also the CapEx required to upgrade the computer systems to talk to the other carriers, plus re-branding to include the Star logo.
There's also the requirement for all 26 members to approve their application, and it only takes one airline to veto the application. (as opposed to the Oneworld or SkyTeam method where only the founder members have the veto)

The other alternative is that Virgin Australia could be a "Star Alliance Connecting Partner" group (with existing members Thai Smile and Juneyao) where it's cheaper to join, still has Star benefits with their 'nominated partners', and the CapEx is only required to connect to their nominated partners (which requires a minimum of 3 existing Star Alliance members).
 

cbourl

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What it says is "Access to 3rd party lounges (e.g. Star Alliance owned and operated) lounges is currently not included in your ticket unless you travel in Business Class on a United Airlines operated flight."

I take that as the negotiations are happening, but not yet finalised for Velocity status holders. Which lounge do UA pax get directed to in Sydney currently?
Singapore Air and Air NZ bth Star Gold Lounges
 
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cbourl

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Great to hear-first here on Australian Frequent Flyer!!!! United Premier 1K recognition when flying Virgin Australia, and the bonus of Qatar Airways alliance (which decades ago was a United partner anyway for great redemptions and points earning) Go Virgin Go United Go Qatar Bye Bye to Qantas and the Oneworld failure
 

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But it is what you get as a QF gold travelling on AA. Not surprising, yes, but would have been nice. At least if it's all on one ticket it still appears access will be granted, but as you say let's see how it goes in practice
Yes you are right! I guess with AA they have to because it’s in the oneworld rules.
 

justinbrett

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Yes you are right! I guess with AA they have to because it’s in the oneworld rules.

Yep - but I think AA has gone above and beyond the requirements - by allowing OWS & OWE into their Flagship Lounges on domestic flights - something their own elites can't do even with paid AC membership.

It's very generous.

Also important to note that QF and AA have reciprocal paid lounge membership for those without status (though that is only QF & AC operated lounges).

Ill put this in the Speculative section.

Who knows what the details will be and how it will play out practically. Marketing and PR announcements has a way of making the story sound better than it really is.

I meant it probably won't be any better - on account of not wanting to cost VA money for no gain.

I'm sure it could be worse.
 

cbourl

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Yep - but I think AA has gone above and beyond the requirements - by allowing OWS & OWE into their Flagship Lounges on domestic flights - something their own elites can't do even with paid AC membership.

It's very generous.

Also important to note that QF and AA have reciprocal paid lounge membership for those without status (though that is only QF & AC operated lounges).



I meant it probably won't be any better - on account of not wanting to cost VA money for no gain.

I'm sure it could be worse.
Which is why American have closed their exclusive, often empty or 1-2 or us Flagship First Dining Rooms which were solely for International First passengers,and Domestic Flagship First passengers. Loved the ala carte dining and non stop champagne, much nicer than a cruddy Qantas First Lounge , and similar, but not comparable to Qatar Al Safwa First at DOHA which is positively non-bling but palatial)No OneWorld Platinums unless connecting to a OneWorld First Flight or flying American Airlines First A321T soley JFK-LAX/SFO/MIA vv in American Airlines. The outer Flagship First Lounges are/were much less exciting and full . Just my 5 cents worth
 

HS-TQE

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According to a paywall article in The Australian (News Corp), QF has written to the ACCC to reject the VA/UA codeshare & FF arrangement, which is probably a stretch for them considering their current dominant position in the TransPacific market with or without the current AA JV (which I'll assume that JV is currently suspended as AA are currently not operating TransPacific Australian flights atm).

In addition to the fact that VA aren't going to be operating Long Haul for the foreseeable future either.
 
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