Initial reports that Capital One Venture X and American Express Platinum cardmembers will soon lose access to at least some Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounges in the USA appear premature: Plaza Premium has now clarified that cardmembers will continue to have access to all five Virgin Atlantic lounges in the USA.
Virgin Atlantic Will Not Cut Clubhouse Access For American Express + Capital One Cardholders Who Accessed Lounges Via Plaza Premium
Yesterday, it appeared that Virgin Atlantic, which partners with Plaza Premium to manage its lounges outside the USA, would be cutting access for American Express Platinum and Capital One Venture X cardholders.
Virgin Atlantic maintains US lounges in:
- Boston (BOS)
- Los Angeles (LAX) – closed, perhaps permanently
- New York (JFK)
- Newark (EWR)
- San Francisco (SFO)
- Washington (IAD)
Indeed, reports emerged of travelers being denied access at New York (JFK). Furthermore, the Plaza Premium website was updated to reflect:
- No access, effective immediately, to clubhouses in Boston (BOS) and New York (JFK)
- No access, effective February 28, 2023, to clubhouses in San Francisco (SFO) and Washington (IAD)
- Clubhouses in Newark (EWR) would remain in the Plaza Premium network
But both Capital One (H/T: View From The Wing) and Plaza Premium (H/T: One Mile At A Time) have now issued clarifying statements that nothing is changing: AMEX and Capital One cardholders will continue to enjoy access to Virgin Atlantic lounges in the USA. The Plaza Premium website has also been updated to reflect this.
That’s great news, of course. But it begs the question, what happened behind the scenes? Why was this change announced on the website, then rolled back. Was it made too prematurely or perhaps made without consulting relevant partners like American Express or Capital One?
On the surface, the changes were regrettable, but logical. During my visit to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK, it became very crowded during the afternoon rush ahead of Virgin’s multiple flights to London (Delta passengers can also access the lounge). it would make sense to at least limit the time during which Plaza Premium access was granted to credit cardholders if it the lounges became too crowded for Virgin’s valuable “Upper Class” passengers to enjoy.
Therefore, it would not surprise me to see these changes come at a later point, perhaps with more warning. But at least for now, the status quo continues.
American Express Platinum and Capital One Venture X cardholders will continue to enjoy access to Virgin Atlantic lounges in the USA. This is very good news, especially considering Venture X cardmembers just lost Priority Pass restaurant access. As for what caused the temporary policy change this week, we can only guess.