Virgin Atlantic Is Joining the SkyTeam Alliance

Here's what that means for travelers.

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In a long-anticipated move, Virgin Atlantic is joining the SkyTeam Alliance, a global airline alliance with 18 members, including Delta, Air France, KLM, Korean Air, and Aeromexico.

As Delta owns 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic, and the airline has a close business partnership with KLM and Air France, joining SkyTeam is a logical fit.

"Our membership will allow us to enhance established relationships with our valued partners at Delta and Air France-KLM, as well as opening up opportunities to collaborate with new airlines," Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss said in a statement. "It will enable a seamless customer experience, with an expanded network and maximized loyalty benefits."

Virgin Atlantic passengers who are members of the airline's Flying Club loyalty program will now be able to spend and earn miles on all flights flown by the alliance's carriers, which serve more than 1,062 destinations worldwide—and have more than 760 lounges.

On the status front, Virgin Atlantic Silver card holders will be given SkyTeam Elite benefits, while Gold Club members will be given SkyTeam Elite Plus benefits—those include perks like priority check-in and priority boarding. Both membership tiers will also receive reciprocal benefits on SkyTeam airlines.

For what it's worth, Virgin Atlantic and Delta already offer their elites reciprocal benefits—Delta Gold Medallions and higher, for instance, can use Virgin Atlantic's highly regarded Clubhouse at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

"As a member of SkyTeam, Virgin Atlantic will benefit from increased opportunities to expand its global network through partnerships and synergies: customers will have more ways to earn and burn miles while enjoying the service for which Virgin Atlantic is renowned," SkyTeam CEO Kristin Colvile said in a statement. "Virgin Atlantic shares SkyTeam's values, caring for our customers, our employees, and the world in which they live, and we are excited to have them as part of the SkyTeam family."

Virgin Atlantic has not announced the official date it will join SkyTeam, but it's anticipated to be in early 2023.

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  1. Delta. "49 Percent Stake In Virgin Atlantic Acquired." June 24, 2013.

  2. Virgin Atlantic. "Virgin Atlantic To Join Skyteam Alliance." Sept. 27, 2022.