Delta Air Lines announced yesterday what has been expected for a while – that Delta and Virgin Atlantic will begin co-habiting in Heathrow Terminal 3. Delta will (partially) move from Terminal 4 on April 2nd 2014. This stems, of course, from Delta’s purchase of 49% in Virgin Atlantic earlier in the year.
Delta services to New York, Boston and Seattle will move across. Other routes, such as Atlanta, will remain in Terminal 4.
Schedule tweaking has also been done to meld together the schedules of the two airlines. Virgin’s Boston flight will depart two hours later to open up a bigger gap with Delta’s morning departure. VS1, a Newark flight, will move to a morning departure.
In addition, Delta is adding a 2nd flight to Dallas – to depart from Terminal 4 – in June.
The key issue for many will be what happens to the Virgin Clubhouse in Terminal 3. Whilst many people will moan about Virgin crew, Virgin seating and Virgin food, you will rarely hear anyone say a bad word about the Clubhouse. It routinely ranks on lists of the top airline lounges in the world.
How it will cope with an influx of Delta passengers remains to be seen. I foresee particular problems if SkyTeam elite members are given access when travelling Economy, although it is possible that Delta and Virgin will arrange access to a separate lounge for non-Upper Class passengers.
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