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Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will join the SkyTeam alliance in early 2023.
Although this announcement comes as a bit of a surprise – Virgin Atlantic has long avoided joining an alliance, despite many approaches – it’s not hard to see why it is happening. Virgin Atlantic is already owned 49% by Delta Airlines. Those two airlines also operate a transatlantic joint venture with Air France – KLM.
I bet that you will struggle to think of another SkyTeam airline besides Delta and Air France – KLM. So the typical “benefits” of alliance membership might not make much difference to the typical UK reader.
Virgin Atlantic regulars might be most concerned about other airlines’ elite members clogging up the much-loved Virgin Clubhouse. At the moment, Virgin Atlantic says…
Virgin Atlantic will officially enrol in SkyTeam in early 2023, at which point we will offer eligible customers, such as SkyTeam Elite Plus customers, access to our Clubhouse lounges, and in return eligible Virgin Atlantic customers can enjoy the lounges of SkyTeam and its member airlines. These benefits remain on the horizon for now, but more information will be available soon.
As regards to Virgin Red / Flying Club…
One of the very best things about our new partnership is you’ll have so many more opportunities to earn and redeem Virgin points with our new partners.
Of course, you might have zero interest in redeeming Virgin points on Aeromexico or Saudia, but are substantially more concerned about Flying Club members losing an important sweetspot – awards in First and Business Class on All Nippon Airways to/from Japan.
When it comes to actual travel on Virgin Atlantic, this news should make little difference. But Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members might worry about its impact on lounge access and award sweetspots…