Virgin flyers with Gold Velocity status will no longer receive lounge access in Los Angeles when flying on Virgin Australia.

Gold Velocity members previously enjoyed access to the Star Alliance lounge in Los Angeles. Instead, Virgin flyers departing from Los Angeles to Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne will now receive a $40 voucher to spend in the terminal. Affected flyers will also receive 10,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer points by way of apology.

This is what Velocity Frequent Flyer had to say:

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.

Thankfully, Platinum frequent flyers and Business class passengers will continue to enjoy access to Etihad’s lounge in Los Angeles. Ironically, Gold Velocity members can still access the Star Alliance lounge in Los Angeles when flying on Air New Zealand.

Our members are largely outraged by the news, with some saying they will fly a different airline on their next trip to the United States.

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

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.

Some members believe that the level of compensation provided is appropriate. Others opine that vouchers & points do not make up for the lack of access to amenities like showers ahead of the long flight back to Australia.

One member has already flown out of Los Angeles since the loss of lounge access. The good news is that their experience was positive:

Flying back on VA1 as gold… got the voucher for me and my guest and now enjoying a steak and bottle of wine on Virgin. You can use the voucher at IIIForks Restaurant, Lucky Fish or Drink.LA. Better food than in the lounge!

Virgin Australia claims to be working on a solution, but any new measures will only be temporary. Virgin will later this year shift its LAX flights to Terminals 2 & 3. After this change, all Virgin flyers will have access to the Delta Sky Club lounge. This should be good news for Gold members currently left without lounge access, although not everyone is convinced…

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.

Join the discussion HERE.

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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]