Delta Cuts Domestic Lounge Access for Velocity Members

Delta Sky Club at Minneapolis
Delta Sky Club in Minneapolis. Photo: Delta.

Gold and Platinum members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program will no longer have access to Delta Sky Club lounges when travelling with Delta on a domestic flight from 1 September 2021. Velocity is also making changes to points earning rates with Delta Air Lines from the same date.

From 1 September 2021, Velocity Gold and Platinum members will only be able to access Delta Sky Club lounges when departing on an international Delta flight, or connecting on the same day to an international flight with Delta on the same ticket.

By Delta’s own definition, “international travel” does not include flights to/from the Caribbean, Guam, Palau or Saipan. But it does include flights between the USA and Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa or Australia.

This is the same rule that applies to most of Delta’s own frequent flyers and SkyTeam Elite Plus members travelling with Delta Air Lines. But for many years, there was an agreement where Virgin Australia Velocity Gold and Platinum members also got lounge access on domestic itineraries with Delta, just as eligible Delta SkyMiles Medallion members can access Virgin Australia lounges when travelling within Australia.

Qantas Club and Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold, Platinum & Platinum One members still receive access to American Airlines Admirals Club lounges on US domestic itineraries.

Now, to access Delta Sky Club lounges when travelling within the United States, you would generally need to be a Delta Sky Club member or hold a qualifying Delta SkyMiles credit card. But Australians with an American Express Platinum card are also eligible to use Delta Sky Club lounges, so this could be another option for Velocity members who will no longer otherwise have access on Delta domestic flights.

Delta Sky Club at Atlanta Concourse F
Delta Sky Club at Atlanta Concourse F. Photo: Delta.

Changes to Velocity point earn rates with Delta

From 1 September 2021, Virgin Australia is also making changes to the rate at which Velocity points are earned for Delta Air Lines flights.

The number of Velocity points earned per mile flown will slightly increase for flights in Premium Select, which is Delta’s equivalent of premium economy. But the earn rate on Discount Economy “E” class fares will be cut in half.

According to the Velocity Frequent Flyer website, here are the current Velocity earn rates for travel on Delta:

Velocity point earn rates on Delta flights until 31 August 2021
Velocity point earn rates on Delta flights until 31 August 2021.

And here are the new rates from 1 September 2021:

Velocity point earn rates on Delta flights from 1 September 2021
Velocity point earn rates on Delta flights from 1 September 2021.

Delta SkyMiles also made some slight adjustment to mileage earning rates on Virgin Australia from 1 June 2021. Economy “G” class fares now earn more SkyMiles, while “M” class fares earn fewer SkyMiles.

Gradual reduction in Velocity benefits on international partner airlines

Last year, Velocity Frequent Flyer already reduced benefits for its members travelling with Delta and other partner airlines. Since September 2020, Velocity members no longer have access to complimentary Comfort+ seat upgrades on Delta. Around the same time, Velocity also axed lounge access for Gold & Platinum members travelling with Alitalia, Hainan Airlines and Hong Kong Airlines.

The change in September last year came around the same time that Virgin Australia’s trans-Pacific joint venture with Delta Air Lines expired and was not renewed.

ACCC authorisation for Virgin Australia to coordinate with Etihad Airways also expired last year, and Virgin’s alliance with Singapore Airlines is due to expire next month. Virgin has not renewed either of these alliances.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Velocity benefits on Delta

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]