That is unhealthy information for these with entry to Plaza Premium lounges, and (in all probability) excellent news for Virgin Atlantic passengers…
The Virgin Atlantic & Plaza Premium partnership
In mid-2021, it was introduced that almost all Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses in the USA would begin to be managed by Plaza Premium. Presumably this choice was motivated by a few components:
- It’s extra environment friendly to have an organization that makes a speciality of lounges managing and staffing the lounge, fairly than an airline attempting to do it by itself
- Plaza Premium may assist with higher monetizing Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses, since there’s fairly a bit of cash to be made with lounges, particularly along with premium bank cards
Up till not too long ago, we noticed all 5 Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses in the USA provide entry to non-Virgin Atlantic passengers by way of Plaza Premium, together with those in:
- Boston (BOS)
- New York (JFK)
- Newark (EWR)
- San Francisco (SFO)
- Washington (IAD)
For these not acquainted, Plaza Premium has a partnership with American Categorical and Capital One, which means that these with The Platinum Card® from American Categorical (assessment) and Capital One Enterprise X Rewards Credit score Card (assessment) may entry these lounges.
What’s fascinating is that this entry wasn’t simply supplied at instances when the lounge would in any other case be empty, however fairly entry was supplied on the identical time that Virgin Atlantic passengers would have entry, together with throughout peak night hours.
Nicely, that’s now altering…
Plaza Premium loses entry to US Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses
Whereas Plaza Premium will proceed to handle Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses, these with Plaza Premium lounge entry will now not have entry to a few of these lounges:
- The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse New York (JFK) now not gives entry to Plaza Premium company
- As of February 28, 2023, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses in San Francisco (SFO) and Washington (IAD) will now not provide entry to Plaza Premium company
- That leaves the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses in Boston (BOS) and Newark (EWR) as the one lounges that proceed to be a part of the Plaza Premium community… for now
This actually is a giant disappointment for these with Plaza Premium lounge entry. Plaza Premium lounges are a lot larger high quality than different contract lounges, and the group has numerous superior lounges exterior the USA. Nevertheless, in the USA, Plaza Premium solely has two of its personal lounges, in Dallas (DFW) and Orlando (MCO).
So previous to this alteration, Plaza Premium company had entry to a complete of seven lounges in the USA, whereas that quantity has now been diminished to 4.
What’s the motivation for this coverage change?
We are able to solely speculate as to the motivation for this alteration, although I believe it’s not too exhausting to make sense of what’s happening right here. Virgin Atlantic presumably favored the income of getting further company in its lounges, although I’ve to think about it began to decrease the expertise for Virgin Atlantic passengers an excessive amount of.
Clubhouses aren’t big, and when everybody with an Amex Platinum or Capital One Enterprise X has entry to those lounges, it creates a tough state of affairs. It’s my understanding that some Clubhouses have been beginning to constantly flip away Plaza Premium company sure hours of the day, and in some unspecified time in the future that simply makes it exhausting to handle expectations.
I imply, simply have a look at the queues we frequently see on the Delta Sky Membership JFK, and take into consideration the truth that most of these folks have Amex Platinums, and will additionally entry the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.
Again within the day, some Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses belonged to Precedence Go, however they have been solely open to these company throughout hours the place the lounge would in any other case be closed. It appears to me like that might be the right play right here, as it will enable Virgin Atlantic to maximise income whereas sustaining the expertise for Virgin Atlantic company.
Plaza Premium company (together with these with the Amex Platinum and Capital One Enterprise X) are shedding entry to some Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses. The JFK Clubhouse is now not accessible by way of Plaza Premium, and the IAD and SFO lounges will now not be accessible by way of Plaza Premium as of February 28, 2023. That signifies that solely the BOS and EWR Clubhouses proceed to supply entry by way of Plaza Premium.
Whereas Plaza Premium continues to handle Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses in the USA, I’m not stunned to see this alteration. I’m certain Virgin Atlantic appreciated the additional income, although I’d think about this all prompted some crowding points.
What do you make of Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses chopping Plaza Premium entry?
(Tip of the hat to Anthony)
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