High-flying Velocity Gold and Platinum members have long enjoyed Delta lounge access before domestic and international flights in the US. This perk is better than what Delta’s own frequent flyers get!
Sadly, this is set to change from 1 September 2021, with Velocity Frequent Flyers losing lounge access before domestic Delta Air Lines flights in the US. While this news is unlikely to affect the majority of Velocity’s frequent flyer base in Australia, the move does represent a gradual erosion of benefits with the program’s international partners.
Trimming Delta domestic lounge access could be seen a cost-cutting measure as part of Virgin’s mid-market strategy, as Velocity currently foots the bill for its members accessing Delta Sky Club lounges.
Delta lounge access from 1 September
Once the change is in effect, Velocity’s Gold and Platinum frequent flyers will no longer be able to enter Delta Sky Club lounges before domestic flights within the US.
The only exception is when that domestic flight is paired with a same-day international journey – this is now in line with the access that Delta’s own frequent flyers get.
(Indeed, the practice of not offering lounge access to elite-status members and even First Class passengers before a domestic flight is commonplace throughout the US. Instead, a lounge membership is usually required).
Qantas’ own frequent flyers have a distinct advantage in the States now. Under oneworld rules, members with Qantas Gold status or higher will continue to enjoy lounge access before domestic American Airlines flights. Paid-up Qantas Club members also have access through reciprocal arrangements.
Like the previous Velocity-Delta arrangement, Qantas Frequent Flyers have better lounge access rules in the US than American Airlines’ own AAdvantage members.
Summing up: Delta lounge access for Velocity
The standardisation of Delta’s lounge access rules for Velocity Frequent Flyers is unfortunate, but not all that surprising. Earlier in September 2020, Delta also paused the offer of complimentary Comfort+ upgrades to Velocity status members.
COVID-19 has a lot to answer for, of course. The real question will be how Velocity’s international partnerships will fare once we’re able to travel abroad a bit more widely, whenever that may be.