Last year, Virgin Australia dropped lounge access for Gold members. The airline also stopped using both the Star Alliance First Class Lounge and the brilliant Star Alliance Business Class lounge. Both decisions made people quite angry, especially for Gold members.

Los Angeles Star Alliance lounge (Image – Star Alliance)

The airline announced they would be using the Etihad lounge for Business Class and Platinum guests. I haven’t yet visited the lounge but heard it’s great but quite small and gets very busy.

For Gold members in Premium Economy and Economy, they would receive 10,000 Velocity points and a $40USD voucher if you’re travelling alone or $80USD if you’re with a guest. The disappointing part about it all, besides the lack of lounge access is where you could use the vouchers. Only 3 out of 47 eateries at TBIT would take the voucher.

You could use the voucher at:

  • Luckyfish
  • Drink LA
  • 3 Forks

However today, Virgin Australia have now enhanced lounge access giving Gold members lounge access back and even giving Platinum members a new lounge to use.

Gold members can now access the Etihad lounge along with Business Class passengers. If you’re a Gold member you can also bring one guest with you. 

Etihad Lounge Los Angeles (Image – Etihad Airways)

Now for the most interesting and surprising news with the changes in lounge access.

Platinum guests can now access the EMIRATES lounge!

Yes, you read that correctly, Platinum guests can access the Emirates lounge in Los Angeles. The change is such a strange move and I can’t stop thinking about why they are now using Emirates’s facility.

Emirates Lounge Los Angeles (Image – Emirates)

Qantas and Emirates have an extremely close relationship and Virgin Australia and Etihad have a very close relationship. The first thing I want to know is what Qantas think about the access for VA guests and I’d love to know what Etihad thinks about VA moving to their opposition lounge. The second thing I’d like to know is why Virgin haven’t renewed getting access to the Star Alliance First lounge which they previously had access to. That would seem like a more logical and understandable change.

What do you think about the lounge changes, especially with Platinums now having access to the Emirates lounge?

Featured Image – Bernard Proctor