Virgin Atlantic to affix SkyTeam on March 2 — here is what this might imply for present elites
It is official — Virgin Atlantic will be a part of SkyTeam in lower than a month. Virgin Atlantic’s CEO Shai Weiss formally instructed TPG that the London-based airline will be a part of the 18-member alliance March 2.
Since Virgin Atlantic shaped a three way partnership with Delta Air Traces, Air France and KLM in 2019, there was hypothesis that Virgin Atlantic would be a part of SkyTeam; nevertheless, this wasn’t confirmed till September 2022. For reference, Delta owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic.
Different distinguished SkyTeam carriers embrace Aeromexico, China Airways and Korean Air.
Here is what Virgin Atlantic’s membership in SkyTeam might imply for elite members.
SkyTeam elite advantages
Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership has two elite standing tiers: Silver and Gold.
SkyTeam additionally has two elite standing tiers, which, in principle, ought to apply on all SkyTeam-operated flights with an elite frequent flyer quantity. For instance, this implies a Virgin Atlantic elite member will likely be entitled to advantages on all SkyTeam member airways as long as they connect their Flying Membership quantity to their reservation. Likewise, an elite member of one other SkyTeam airline ought to obtain these advantages when flying Virgin Atlantic as soon as the airline joins the alliance and totally integrates its techniques.
We count on Silver to obtain SkyTeam Elite, whereas Gold members will possible be given SkyTeam Elite Plus. Listed below are the important thing advantages of SkyTeam elite standing:
- Precedence reservation waitlist.
- Precedence airport standby.
- Precedence check-in.
- Additional baggage allowance.
- Precedence boarding.
- Most well-liked seats.
- Mileage upgrades.
SkyTeam Elite Plus
- SkyTeam Elite advantages.
- Assured reservation.
- Precedence safety and immigration.
- Lounge entry on worldwide flights.
- Precedence baggage dealing with.
Some TPG staffers have reported challenges receiving their SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus advantages on some less-common SkyTeam carriers. For instance, ITA Airways nonetheless hasn’t totally built-in with SkyTeam regardless of being a member of the alliance. We hope that Virgin Atlantic integrates shortly into SkyTeam so its elite members can take pleasure in reciprocal advantages immediately.
It is also value noting that Virgin Atlantic elite members already obtain advantages on some SkyTeam airways, like Delta Air Traces, because of present partnerships.
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Potential adjustments to non-alliance partnerships
We count on Virgin Atlantic members to have the ability to redeem Flying Membership factors throughout all SkyTeam member airways sooner or later. Nonetheless, this might take a while: For instance, when Alaska Airways joined Oneworld two years in the past, alliancewide redemptions took some time to be applied. Be aware which you could already redeem Flying Membership miles on Air France, KLM and Delta because of present partnerships.
We would additionally see Virgin Atlantic drop partnerships with among the present companions that are not a part of SkyTeam. For example, Virgin Atlantic presently has partnerships with many Star Alliance carriers, together with Aegean Airways, ANA, Air India, Air New Zealand, SAS, Singapore Airways, TAP Air Portugal and Singapore Airways.
Virgin Atlantic additionally has a tie-up with Hawaiian Airways, which works head-to-head with its three way partnership companion Delta on some key routes to the Aloha State.
Whether or not these non-SkyTeam partnerships will stick round is anybody’s guess. However simply in case they’re slated to be terminated sooner or later, you would possibly wish to lock in among the airline’s finest companion redemptions earlier than they go away. For instance, maybe our favourite candy spot is reserving ANA enterprise class for simply 90,000 miles round-trip from the U.S. West Coast to Japan.
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Some TLC is lengthy overdue within the SkyTeam alliance. In 2019, China Southern Airways quietly left SkyTeam, and SkyTeam suspended Aeroflot from the alliance when Russia invaded Ukraine a 12 months in the past.
When Virgin Atlantic joins SkyTeam subsequent month, SkyTeam elite members will obtain their Elite and Elite Plus advantages on the service. Flying Membership members will possible have the ability to earn and redeem their factors all through the alliance, although that leaves the airline’s non-alliance partnerships in query.