To the surprise and consternation of Delta regulars at London Heathrow, Delta recently re-shuffled its flights between Terminal 3 and Terminal 4, affecting access to Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse lounge.
The goal of the recent reshuffling was to co-locate as many Delta and Virgin Atlantic flights as possible, but flights to Atlanta and Seattle have moved from Virgin’s Terminal 3 back to Terminal 4. A notice was placed on delta.com this spring, but there appears to still be some confusion with passengers going to the wrong terminal.
The change means that Atlanta and Seattle-bound passengers can no longer access Virgin’s much-touted Clubhouse in Terminal 3. Instead, they must use the branded SkyTeam lounge in Terminal 4.
But is that all bad news? Not necessarily. For example, Delta Sky Club members are not permitted to use the Clubhouse lounge while they are given access to the SkyTeam lounge. For them, this is a positive change. SkyTeam Elite Plus Platinum and Diamond Medallion members were permitted to use Virgin’s lounge, but not Gold Medallions. The move back to terminal 4 gives SkyTeam lounge access back to Gold Medallions (they were specifically excluded from the Virgin agreement in terminal 3 unless traveling in a premium cabin).
All business class passengers on a SkyTeam carrier departing terminal 4 receive access to the Skyteam lounge, which has a small spa, oxygen bar, self-service bar and buffet, work areas, and napping rooms. While not as elaborate as Virgin’s lounge, it is only a minor disappointment and comes with the tradeoff of providing more lounge access to qualifying passengers. The vertical garden/living wall made up of 60 specially selected plants designed by botanist Patrick Blanc is not bad to look at either!
When it comes to arrivals lounges, those arriving at Terminal 3 can use the Delta Arrivals lounge located outside of baggage claim. Those arriving in Terminal 4 are given vouchers to make use of a room and shower at the landside Yotel.
As of now, Delta flights between London and to Boston, New York JFK, Newark, and Los Angeles use Terminal 3. All others (Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, and Seattle/Tacoma) use Terminal 4.
Have you used either the SkyTeam or Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow? Which one do you prefer…and why?
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