Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

SKYTEAM LAUNCH: What are the new Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse access rules?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

As of today, Virgin Atlantic is officially a member of the SkyTeam alliance, joining partners such as Delta, Air France and KLM.

One of the main concerns we had when Virgin Atlantic announced its plans to join was whether the airline would let SkyTeam business class and elite status members use its Clubhouse lounges.

This is particularly pertinent for the Heathrow Clubhouse, which often runs at or close to capacity. Even if Virgin Atlantic wanted to, it would simply not be possible to cater to all SkyTeam elites, particularly now that Air France and KLM have moved into Terminal 3 from their previous home at Terminal 4.

What are the SkyTeam Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse access rules?

We now know the exact entry rules for the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses, which apply from today.

The bottom line is that the Heathrow Clubhouse will NOT become the default lounge for all SkyTeam airlines. However, entry is more lenient at international Clubhouses.

Virgin Clubhouse access for SkyTeam flyers at London Heathrow

Due to space constraints, the Heathrow Clubhouse has the most stringent entry rules. It has effectively been limited to long-haul flights.

That means you will not be able to use the Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Clubhouse on a short-haul ticket when flying a shorthaul hop with Air France or KLM, regardless of your status or cabin class. KLM and Air France will continue to use the Club Aspire lounge at Heathrow, reviewed here.

Who can get into the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge at Heathrow?

Anyone flying in the following cabins will automatically get access to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse:

  • Upper Class passengers on Virgin Atlantic (including one guest)
  • Delta One passengers on Delta
  • Passengers connecting to La Première on Air France (including one guest)
  • Clase Premier passengers on Aeroméxico

Other SkyTeam business class passengers do NOT get access.

Can you get into the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow with SkyTeam status?

Access to passengers with elite status has been equally restricted. You’ll only be able to use the Heathrow Clubhouse if you are:

  • Virgin Flying Club Gold, flying on a Virgin Atlantic, Delta or Aeroméxico flight (including one guest)
  • Delta SkyMiles Diamond or Platinum Medallion, flying on a Virgin Atlantic or Delta flight (including one guest)
  • Air France / KLM Flying Blue Platinum, flying on a Virgin Atlantic or Delta flight (including one guest)
  • Any SkyTeam Elite Plus member, flying on a Virgin Atlantic, Delta or Aeroméxico flight (including one guest)

Which non-SkyTeam elite flyers can access the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow?

The following non-SkyTeam elites also get access:

  • Virgin Australia Velocity Club Gold, Platinum and The Club members flying Virgin Atlantic
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold, Solitaire PPS Club and PPS Club members flying Virgin Atlantic
  • Air New Zealand Gold or Elite members flying on Virgin Atlantic to San Francisco.

As you can see, the Heathrow Clubhouse has been restricted to those travelling on Virgin Atlantic, Delta or Aeroméxico flights.

What are the SkyTeam Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse access rules?

Virgin Clubhouse access for SkyTeam flyers at international lounges

In addition to the flagship Clubhouse at Heathrow, Virgin also operates six further Clubhouses internationally:

Access rules for these Clubhouses is far more lenient than at Heathrow, as Virgin will typically only have a couple of flights operating from each destination per day. This leaves more capacity available that can be mopped up by SkyTeam passengers.

At these lounges, any SkyTeam Elite Plus members can use the Clubhouses, as long as they are travelling on an international flight operated by a SkyTeam airline.

What SkyTeam statuses are treated as SkyTeam Elite Plus?

The following SkyTeam status levels are considered SkyTeam Elite Plus:

  • Aerolíneas Plus Platino
  • Aerolíneas Plus Diamente
  • Aeroméxico Club Premier Platinum
  • Aeroméxico Club Premier Titanium
  • Flying Blue Gold
  • Flying Blue Platinum
  • China Airlines Dynasty Flyer Emerald
  • China Airlines Dynasty Flyer Paragon
  • China Eastern Eastern Miles Gold
  • Czech Airlines OK Plus Gold
  • Czech Airlines OK Plus Platinum
  • Delta SkyMiles Gold Medallion
  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion
  • Delta SkyMiles Diamond Medallion
  • Garuda Miles Platinum
  • ITA Volare PREMIUM
  • Korean Air SKYPASS Morning Calm Premium Club
  • Korean Air SKYPASS Million Miler Club
  • MEA Cedar Miles Gold
  • MEA Cedar Miles Platinum
  • Saudia Alfursan Gold
  • Vietnam Airlines Golden Lotus Plus Platinum
  • Xiamen Airlines Egret Club Platinum
  • Xiamen Airlines Egret Club Diamond
What are the SkyTeam Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse access rules?


As predicted, Virgin Atlantic has restricted entry to its Heathrow Clubhouse for SkyTeam airlines, maintaining the premium lounge experience and hopefully preventing overcrowding.

The news is more positive for SkyTeam Elite Plus members at international Clubhouses. The rules are less restrictive and you’ll be able to access the Clubhouse so long as you’re flying on an international, SkyTeam-operated flight.

Long term, it is possible that Virgin Atlantic opens a larger, second-tier lounge at Heathrow to cater for other SkyTeam airlines and elites. Right now, these airlines have a patchwork of agreements with the various third party lounges.

Our guide to the Virgin Clubhouses is here, and you can also read our review of the Heathrow Clubhouse here.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (May 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):

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points. Apply here.

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (to 13th June) 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 60,000 Virgin Points) – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus 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.)

Comments (74)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Wenby says:

    Not sure why it’s been filtered out but I they sent the skyteam email to my email address with someone else’s name on it

  • MilesOnPoint says:

    Does this mean I could hypothetically use my ITA Premium Volare status (Sky Team Elite Plus) to gain entry to the LHR Club House on a Virgin Atlantic economy ticket then?

    That would be a bit of a result! (I can see that lounge getting very busy though)

    • Wiseoldman says:

      Same position here; recently downgraded from Virgin Gold to silver but have ITA Volare PREMIUM and travelling Virgin next week. Was going to use Amex Centurion lounge but can now potentially use Clubhouse? Do i need to change the FF numbe ron the booking to ITA Volare or just show the card at the door?

    • AL says:

      Yes, I believe so.

    • Rhys says:


  • Andrew J says:

    That’s good news that La Premier passengers will have access to the LHR Clubhouse.

    • Jonathan says:

      They already get access to the La Première lounge in CDG, as long as it’s not a tight connection layover, then you’ll just want to be in the flight…

    • Mikeact says:

      @Andrew J +1

  • Wiseoldman says:

    if i change my FF on my booking to Volare I will also get additional bag and potentially checkin a Business class?

  • Chris D says:

    The obvious solution is for Virgin to take over the Admirals’ Club downstairs, and move the reception forwards. That’s a huge space and Virgin would then have a two-floored clubhouse.

    • Rhys says:

      Not sure how AA feels about that one!

    • Jonathan says:

      More OneWorld airlines need to move to T5, it half baffles me is why some are located in T4.

      I think T2 is only used by Star Alliance airlines, which makes sense, so someone who’s flown from United onto Lufthansa on the same ticket doesn’t need to move half way around the airport, and talking to a fellow passenger once on a QR flight he said how bad LHR is when you’ve got to move to a different terminal for your next flight…

      • Richie says:

        Should they get on with satellite T5D?

      • VALittleRed says:

        T5 isn’t big enough, it can barely handle all the BA flights let alone all of oneworld too. I’m sure BA would love all their flights in T5 and not have to worry about T3.

      • Rhys says:

        Aer Lingus operates from T2 as a bit of an oddity.

        • Jonathan says:

          Ah right, so not a terminal exclusive to Star Alliance airlines, although there probably wouldn’t be much in the way of flights since most would only have 1-2 arrivals (plus departures) per day and the rest would be the others notably Lufthansa getting people off to their hubs, mainly for connections

          • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

            It’s also the only other terminal at LHR configured to allow domestic flights.

  • VALittleRed says:

    Any chance you can re-review the Club Aspire T3 now post-Covid as last one was in 2016. Seems a lot of lounges etc need re-reviewing post Covid to see if service matches up to prior

    • Rhys says:

      We will do it as we get round to it – agree that we need to update a number of reviews.

  • Ironside says:

    What about the reverse situation? Do VS status pax now have benefits on SkyTeam carriers?

  • Wiseoldman says:

    just on line to Virgin and they say they dont have anyway to add Sky team FF numbers to the booking? this cant be right?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.