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#961356 by gumshoe
16 Jul 2021, 11:36
HfP is reporting that the JFK Clubhouse reopens on Monday, under new management.

Plaza Premium is apparently taking over the operation of all Clubhouses outside the UK. ... a-premium/

As Rob correctly points out PP are easily the best of the contract lounge operators - and the VS Clubhouse branding will remain - but it’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, changes service-wise in the months and years ahead as one can only imagine VS is offloading them to save money and PP will want to keep a lid on costs.

On the plus side though, the press release talks of new PP/VS lounges at key destinations. Let the speculation begin! MIA? MCO? TLV? The return of LAX and HKG?
#961357 by ColOrd
16 Jul 2021, 12:44 ... um-guests/

Business Traveller reporting the opposite and that PP guests will be allowed in the other Clubhouses. Be interesting to see what the actual approach is. Priority Pass were using both LAX (before it closed) and IAD for a cut down service before VS check in opened for the respective relèvent flights.

How will this affect the CH service? Yet to be seen, where I have used Premium Plaza they are really
good and a little bit better than your Aspires and Number 1s etc. I’d like to think that VS will make sure they are kept CH branded and that service standards will be high!

One question will be around Manchester as that will be a hub, will it stay as part of the VS side or will
that open under PP?

If it helps generate additional revenue when business travel is low and the overall quality remains, I’m nervously optimistic!
#961359 by Raffles
16 Jul 2021, 16:17
Let me tell you about Manchester. This is slightly different to the version I put on HfP today.

The original plan was for a V-Room and a Clubhouse. As the plans for T2 came together (as it was explained to my by Virgin's lounges head) it was clear that the selection of food and drink for sale in the extension was looking better than what the V-Room was going to offer.

The decision was therefore taken to drop the V-Room aspect and stick with just a Clubhouse. (It wasn't clear if the V-Room space will be absorbed into a bigger Clubhouse or has been released to the airport.)

The Clubhouse is structurally built but it hasn't got any furnishings. I was told that Summer 2022 was the most llkely opening date, given the number of premium passengers per day required to make it viable. There was no mention of Plaza running it but it could obviously happen although they have no UK experience outside Heathrow.

As per the HfP article, you will get 1903 Lounge access until the Clubhouse opens.
#961360 by Raffles
16 Jul 2021, 16:19
Re buying access to the overseas Clubhouses - I have no idea where Business Traveller got that info from. I was sent separate press releases by Plaza and Virgin and neither mentioned selling access.

Even if true, however, I would guess that this will be for times outside of when Virgin Atlantic is operating flights, similar to the Priority Pass deal that was already in place at some of the US lounges. Clearly the economics don't work if you can pay a few dollars to get in and then get a full meal with wine and champagne ....
#961363 by ColOrd
16 Jul 2021, 17:29
The PP offering at the LAX CH was house wine, soft drinks, hot drinks and there was a basic snack offering.

Bare in mind Priority Pass is a lot less premium than Plaza Premium who generally are at the nicer end of lounge experiences. I’ve used them in both T2 and T5 and was very happy with them!
#961364 by ColOrd
16 Jul 2021, 17:30
Oh and a massive thanks Raffles for the update reference Manchester, as a northerner, even though I do live down South I am watching Manchester with baited breath!
#961366 by ColOrd
16 Jul 2021, 19:34
Closed for good. The plan is with LAX is that DL will have a new signature lounge in the head house for the new combined T2&3 and that will be one of the really nice SC's like Seattle or San Fran so VS will use that.
#961379 by RyanJW
18 Jul 2021, 18:30
I've been in the ex-VS Clubhouse in LAX a lot lately. It's definitely there to take overflow capacity from the SkyClub across the balcony as T2 is currently a mess with the demo/rebuilding of T3. Our Delta connection flights from SJC and SFO are doing remote stands and buses to the airplane/terminal which shocks a lot of fellow US travellers who are not used to the Ryanair/Easyjet experience and are used to Jet Bridges every time!!

They didn't change too much just added a bit more blue to complement of purple so maybe it will return as a VS outstation once the new massive SkyClub opens at the SkyWay in LAX. However I read that there a rumours of a DeltaOne part of this huge new SkyClub so maybe a VS outstation won't return.
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