Virgin Australia Golds lose LAX lounge access

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DavidFlynn

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Heads up: from this Wednesday, Virgin Australia Gold frequent flyers travelling in economy or premium economy will no longer have access to the LAX Star Alliance lounge, following a crack-down by Star HQ on non-Star airlines using the lounge.
 
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The Star Alliance Lounge in Los Angeles has recently conducted a review and has since limited access to guests travelling on a Star Alliance airline. Due to this change, we have temporarily been unable to secure lounge access for Gold members departing the US back to Australia in Premium Economy or Economy Class. In the interim, we’re providing food and beverage vouchers at premium outlets for Gold members plus one accompanying guest to enjoy before their flight. To apologise that this level of service is not up to our usual standard, we are also crediting these members’ accounts with 10,000 Velocity Points.

The Velocity Team
 

Dannyism

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BRUTAL.

Lounge access is the number 1 reason I obtain status...

No doubt once the VA/Delta move from TBIT to T2/3 is complete VA gold/plat/J will use the Delta lounge. Quite the downgrade sadly.

Furthermore, I understand change is inevitable, but I feel less compelled to book VA because of the uncertainty around lounge access.
 

Ausbt

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Once the Delta lounge comes on stream, those SGs will be wishing they could still get the USD$40 voucher + 10K points. Such a shame to lose the *A lounge, that terrace is a pleasant spot and I'm really over the Delta lounges, tipping and the need to understand which drinks are included and what is excluded.
 

MH_fan

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Quite a sneaky way of VA providing another clear WP benefit over SG actually...
 

Denali

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Dear sweet lord.

Major disappointment and we travel J anyways - its embarrassing.

Meanwhile, the announcement has just been made on VA1 for their return
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Mattg

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To apologise that this level of service is not up to our usual standard, we are also crediting these members’ accounts with 10,000 Velocity Points.

Sorry, but I don't really buy this. There are all sorts of gaps with lounge access for Velocity frequent flyer members.

Not too long ago I flew out of WLG on your partner Singapore Airlines and was told that no lounge access was available. There's also no lounge access when flying out of BNE on Hawaiian, or PER on South African Airways. And not to mention sending your own passengers flying from MEL to NAN to the domestic lounge in Melbourne!

This latest debacle with LAX lounge access is just another reason Virgin should seriously look at joining Star Alliance.
 

Jack_OC

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Sorry, but I don't really buy this. There are all sorts of gaps with lounge access for Velocity frequent flyer members.

Not too long ago I flew out of WLG on your partner Singapore Airlines and was told that no lounge access was available. There's also no lounge access when flying out of BNE on Hawaiian, or PER on South African Airways. And not to mention sending your own passengers flying from MEL to NAN to the domestic lounge in Melbourne!
.

I agree that all of that is bad, but no lounge access for Velocity Golds flying on VA metal on its flagship international routes is another level of insult. There is hardly a week that goes by without VA/Velocity becoming even more shambolic.
 

dajop

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Conspiracy theory: Q1: Who operates the * lounge in LAX? Q2: Who recently sold their equity in VA?
 

Pleb Status

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Can VA WP elect to take the food voucher and 10k points instead of using the EY lounge?

I would seriously consider it if I was not on a very long connection (>2hrs).
 

Dannyism

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Conspiracy theory: Q1: Who operates the * lounge in LAX? Q2: Who recently sold their equity in VA?

Nailed it.

I imagine *A see all the (easily obtained) VFF-SG pax as devaluing their product. When I was there the LAX TBIT *A lounge was packed out.
 

Denali

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The Star Alliance Lounge in Los Angeles has recently conducted a review and has since limited access to guests travelling on a Star Alliance airline. Due to this change, we have temporarily been unable to secure lounge access for Gold members departing the US back to Australia in Premium Economy or Economy Class. In the interim, we’re providing food and beverage vouchers at premium outlets for Gold members plus one accompanying guest to enjoy before their flight. To apologise that this level of service is not up to our usual standard, we are also crediting these members’ accounts with 10,000 Velocity Points.

The Velocity Team

According to ATB, its a $40USD voucher.

https://www.ausbt.com.au/virgin-australia-velocity-gold-flyers-lose-lax-lounge-access

... but as of Wednesday January 11, 2017, they'll instead receive a US$40 (A$54) food and beverage voucher to spend within the LAX international terminal ....

As Gold members can bring one guest into an airport lounge, Virgin Australia will also issue a second US$40 voucher (but not a second serve of points) to Velocity Gold members travelling with a companion on the same flight.
 

Jack_OC

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Can VA WP elect to take the food voucher and 10k points instead of using the EY lounge?

I would seriously consider it if I was not on a very long connection (>2hrs).

Nailed it.

I imagine *A see all the (easily obtained) VFF-SG pax as devaluing their product. When I was there the LAX TBIT *A lounge was packed out.

I thought Pleb Status was implying this was down to Air New Zealand in particular rather than *A in general? If NZ was trying to shaft VA, so to speak, it would seem odd that NZ continues to be part of a Trans Tasman alliance with VA, and continues to allow VA Golds to access actual NZ lounges. I think the second part of what you (Dannyism) say is probably correct though - the powers that be at *A (as opposed to NZ specifically) may have decided to pull the plug because of capacity issues. I think Velocity members were the only non *A status pax allowed in, and therefore the only ones that they could stop allowing in!

It's still embarrassing for VA - especially as it seems they got little or no notice and therefore not enough time to sort an alternative out. The fact that they couldn't even persuade *A to at least keep it going until they move to the DL terminal (only months away) is truly shocking. As someone else asked, what kind of contract did they have?
 

Bagpuss

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There's a few things to take note on this:

- The high number of Gold members with the airline. (I assume the SC adjustment comes into play from 1st Feb)
- The fallout with Air NZ
- Impending move to T2/T3

The whole status with airlines become a bit of a joke. If you were on the VA2/8 flight which "missed" Christmas as were a platinum member in economy you would have got access into the lounges plus a whooping 100,000 points which I would value at $1,000 ... Just the value of the points really gave you free flight.

(FYI, I'm a platinum member)
 
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