One of the nice perks of KrisFlyer Elite Gold and PPS Club membership with Singapore Airlines is lounge access when flying in Economy and Premium Economy cabins with a range of partner airlines around the world, including Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic.
Unfortunately there’s a benefit downgrade to report in this department from the British-based carrier, which is now directing KrisFlyer and PPS Club members to a third-party lounge at its London Heathrow base, withdrawing access to its fantastic Clubhouse in Terminal 3.
While this first took place a month ago, Singapore Airlines has now confirmed the new arrangement.
KrisFlyer and PPS Club members no longer get the Heathrow Clubhouse
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow Terminal 3 has long been renowned as one of the best Business Class lounges in the world (see this recent review).
I’ve personally visited a few times, albeit back in the late 2000s when I was based on London, and can vouch for the fantastic experience it offers. Though some facilities have since been slimmed back over the years, the dining options in particular were great, as was the Champagne and runway views.
It has therefore always been great that SIA’s top-tier KrisFlyer and all PPS Club members have been eligible to use the facility when departing with Virgin Atlantic in Economy Class and Premium Economy.
London Heathrow Clubhouse Access
However, since March 2023 Virgin Atlantic joined the SkyTeam alliance and since then there’s been a reshuffle for access eligibility to this lounge, probably designed to balance capacity constraints, rather than as some punitive measure against any particular partner airline’s frequent flyers.
London Heathrow Clubhouse Access
As you can see, it’s not just KrisFlyer Golds and PPS Club members who have lost out here.
The following travellers who could previously use the Heathrow Clubhouse can no longer do so:
- Delta SkyMiles Diamond or Platinum Medallion members flying Virgin Atlantic or Delta in Economy Class.
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue Platinum members flying Virgin Atlantic or Delta in Economy Class.
- Other SkyTeam Elite Plus members flying Virgin Atlantic, Delta or Aeroméxico in Economy Class or Premium Economy Class.
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold, PPS Club and Solitaire PPS Club members flying Virgin Atlantic.
- Virgin Australia Velocity Club Gold, Platinum and The Club members flying Virgin Atlantic.
- Air New Zealand Gold or Elite members flying Virgin Atlantic to San Francisco.
What’s the alternative?
Travellers who have now lost Clubhouse access at Heathrow, including KrisFlyer and PPS Club members, thankfully aren’t left without a lounge option.
The lounge gets decent-enough reviews for a third-party facility (see this recent one), but of course it’s no substitute for free-flow Mumm Champagne and à la carte dining at the Virgin Clubhouse.
Notice how Singapore Airlines is still advertising Heathrow Clubhouse access as a perk when you’re flying in Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic, but this isn’t actually a benefit of your KrisFlyer Elite Gold or PPS Club membership.
All Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passengers on revenue or award tickets departing from London Heathrow have access to the Clubhouse, regardless of their frequent flyer status (or lack thereof).
There’s still access to other Clubhouses
KrisFlyer Elite Gold members continue to benefit from Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse access before departing on a Virgin Atlantic flight in any cabin class, from Boston, New York JFK, Washington, San Francisco and Johannesburg.
Solitaire PPS Club members and those departing in First Class from New York JFK on Singapore Airlines flights can also snag access to the Virgin Clubhouse at the airport.
We have updated our comprehensive reviews of both KrisFlyer Elite Gold and PPS Club earning and benefits to reflect this new lounge access policy for Virgin Atlantic, which you can read in the dedicated articles linked below.
No more Elite miles earning on Virgin Atlantic flights
You may recall that since earlier this year KrisFlyer members no longer earn Elite miles on Virgin Atlantic flights, a perk that used to be in place for the carrier’s non-transatlantic services, helping members get a leg up the KrisFlyer Elite status ladder when travelling on these flights.
KrisFlyer members can continue to earn Elite miles based on the actual miles flown and any cabin class multiplier when travelling on paid flights operated by:
- Singapore Airlines
- Star Alliance carriers
- Juneyao Air
- Virgin Australia within Australia, Trans-Tasman, and between Australia and the Pacific Islands (these must be Singapore Airlines codeshare flights)
- Vistara within India (these must be Singapore Airlines codeshare flights)
Interestingly, Virgin Atlantic still awards its Flying Club members Tier Points (the airline’s own equivalent of Elite miles) when flying on paid Singapore Airlines fares, as outlined here.
Virgin Atlantic has removed access for a range of travellers to its excellent Clubhouse at London Heathrow airport, one of the best Business Class lounges out there, and unfortunately this includes SIA’s KrisFlyer Elite Gold and PPS Club members.
While you’ll still be able to access the Clubhouse when flying in Upper Class with Virgin, like anyone can, if you’re in Economy or Premium Economy it’s the third-party Club Aspire Lounge you’ll now be directed to – probably not worth getting to the airport early for.
(Cover Photo: Virgin Atlantic)