Breakups are never easy, but the time has come for Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines to go their seperate ways, in the wake of Virgin’s new alliance with United AIrlines.
D-day for Delta is Sunday June 12; as of the following day, Virgin loyalists will no longer be able to earn and use Velocity points on Delta flights, or make changes to existing Reward bookings.
For its part, Delta Air Lines has stated it will continue connecting Sydney and Los Angeles without Virgin’s support, revealing plans to boost flights up to 10 per week by the end of the year.
The SkyTeam member currently employs its flagship Airbus A350-900, featuring sleek Delta One Suites with privacy door and fully flat bed in business class, on the trans-Pacific leg.
It also features Premium economy, branded as Delta Premium Select, providing a comfortable reclining seat with a sturdy leg-rest, ample legroom, high-definition entertainment and more, not to mention complimentary inflight messaging via Delta WiFi.
But now is not the time to dwell on the past. Instead, it’s a chance to embrace new beginnings, with passengers eager to enjoy the perks of Virgin Australia’s new United partnership.
Among them, frequent flyers will be able to earn points and status credits on United flights, as well as enjoy status-based benefits such as access to United Club lounges plus priority check-in, security clearance and boarding.
United has also opened Velocity point redemptions on its flights, with its upgraded Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners – sporting the airline’s latest Polaris business class suites and Premium Plus premium economy seating – now flying from Sydney and Melbourne to the US, with Brisbane-San Francisco coming in October.
There’s a lot to take in, as our handy guide will explain, including accessing priority perks on United and the airline’s ‘triple gateway’ approach of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston, which gives Virgin travellers significantly greater access to the US.
The United partnership is just one aspect of Virgin’s 2022 resurgence, which has seen it unveil a new Business Flyer rewards program, rebrand its invite-only airport lounges to Beyond, and even ink a surprising strategic partnership with Gulf carrier Qatar Airways.
Additional reporting by Chris Ashton