What the new Delta / Virgin Atlantic joint venture means for you

I posted back in December about the acquisition of a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic by Delta Air Lines of the US. I also reported on the later statement by Virgin that, surprisingly, it will not be joining Delta in the SkyTeam alliance in the short term.

Delta and Virgin have now published a lengthy statement about how their new joint venture will work.  (EDIT: link removed as now dead)

Virgin Delta

The key points, to me, seem to be:

There will reciprocal lounge access for Virgin and Delta customers. However, as Virgin and Delta currently operate from different terminals at Heathrow, the Clubhouse is not about to be overrun by Delta elites. It is more of a worry at JFK in New York, where Delta and Virgin share Terminal 4 – it is difficult to see any Delta flyer NOT wanting to use the Virgin facility!

Virgin customers will be able to earn and spend miles on Delta, and vice versa. The exact details have not yet been released.

Each airline will keep its individual brand and culture

Timetables will be co-ordinated on US routes so that Virgin and Delta offer a well-spaced depature roster throughout the day. This is the same thing that BA and American Airlines did when they formed their joint venture.

Passengers booking with Virgin Holidays may find they are booked on a Delta aircraft in future

The co-ordination of timetables and pricing needs regulatory approval and will not happen until late 2013. The bilateral earning and spending of miles will begin earlier.

There is no impact of any sort on Virgin America, Virgin Australia or Virgin Atlantic’s existing codeshares to Hong Kong

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles? Click here to see recent articles on Virgin Atlantic, Little Red and Flying Club, and click here for the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

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Comments

  1. I wonder if using you Virgin miles with delta will incur a fuel surcharge.

    • what a stupid question Simon! (edit)

      • Seems a fair question to me. Delta has no surcharges of its own, but we have seen how BA adds ‘fake’ surcharges to AA flights transatlantic.

      • Hi Carlos, thanks for taking the time to be rude.

        Raffles keep up the good work hoping my 400k virgin miles might work well with delta.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Conversely, with DL Skymiles as a membership rewards partner, could be an avenue into VS redemptions with lower YQ.

      • I’m a regular Delta flyer so my bum-in-seat earned points are SkyMiles. Their FF currency is often referred to as Skypesos because of the scarcity of low level awards on their own flights. (They have three levels of redemptions and the medium and high levels are very poor value.) However, all their partner awards price at the low level and their partnership with Virgin Australia seems always to have good availability. I just redeemed 150,000 SkyMiles for SYD-PER-MEL, SYD-LAX in their business class product, which gets great reviews. The tax and charges only came to £115 :-)

        If would be great if there turns out to be similar availability with VS, although taxes will always be higher when departing from the UK, if course. But if so, transferring MR points from Amex could provide good value.

        • Jeez, what’s wrong with me (writing this comment too early in the morning, probably!)

          My VA redemption is LAX-PER-MEL, SYD-LAX, not SYD-PER-MEL, SYD-LAX.

          As well as the 15 hour trans-pacific flights in their fully flat bed, this itinerary also includes two flights on their Coast to Coast product: A330s offering an international long haul style business class product.

          Can’t wait! This is my first ‘big’ redemption of points. All my other internal flights in Aus are being paid for with Avios – just 4,500 each. Great value!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Not a whole lot has been implemented yet, but Virgin has a page dedicated to the changes (HT: Head for Points). […]

  2. […] Via View From the Wing, you can get free Silver elite status with Virgin Atlantic.  Silver status in Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club is mid-tier status, but you may be able to eventually get benefits such as priority boarding and free checked bags on Delta because of the recent Delta and Virgin Atlantic partnership. […]