Virgin Atlantic confirms Clubhouse lounge re-opening dates and change of management
Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.
Following our earlier article today about potential changes to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge network in the United States and South Africa, we now have full details from the airline.
This includes confirmation of the change of management and dates for the reopening of the US and Johannesburg lounges.
As a reminder, when Virgin Atlantic handed over the running of its Clubhouses to Plaza Premium, joining SkyTeam wasn’t on the table. The lounges in the United States were empty for much of the day when no Virgin Atlantic flights were operating. By letting Plaza Premium manage the spaces, they could be monetised as third party lounges during the quiet hours.
However, once Virgin Atlantic decided to join SkyTeam, the game changed in two ways:
- anyone flying with any SkyTeam airline would be able to enter a Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, which meant that there would no longer be any ‘quiet hours’ for Plaza Premium to monetise
- there are some airports with multiple lounges run by SkyTeam airlines, and there could be the potential to rationalise these
Sodexo confirmed as new manager of the international Clubhouses
Virgin Atlantic told us this morning:
“We worked in partnership with Plaza Premium Group (PPG) from August 2021 to deliver our signature Clubhouse experience for customers outside the UK, as travel restrictions eased and our international lounges reopened. With passenger demand returning strongly and our network strengthened, we’re pleased to appoint Sodexo Live! for the day-to-day running and management of our Clubhouses in New York-JFK, Boston, San Francisco, Washington and Johannesburg.
We thank PPG and their teams for their dedication and the hospitality shown to our customers, and look forward to delighting many more customers in our renowned and much-loved Clubhouses, with distinctive Virgin Atlantic flair. In order to support the necessary changes behind the scenes, our Boston, San Francisco, Washington and Johannesburg Clubhouses will be subject to short temporary closures and we’re grateful for our customers’ patience during this time. Alternative lounge access will be provided for eligible customers so they can continue to rest and recharge before their journeys.”
When are the lounges re-opening and what is the alternative?
The Clubhouse will close from 1st – 3rd March. Customers can use the Turkish Airlines Lounge during the closure.
The Clubhouse will close from 1st – 13th March. Customers can use the SLOW lounge during the closure.
The Clubhouse will close from 1st – 25th March. Customers can use the China Airlines Lounge during the closure.
The Clubhouse will close from 1st March – 14th April. Customers can use the Delta Sky Club Express during the closure.
The New York JFK Clubhouse is operating as normal.
As you can see, all of the Clubhouses will re-open and there is no immediate plan to migrate to alternative SkyTeam-operated lounges instead.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (March 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard
A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review
You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points.
(Want to earn more Virgin Points? Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)