Delta Is Reducing Sky Club Lounge Access to Credit Card Holders
20.09.2023 - 13:37
In efforts to restrict overcrowding in Delta Sky Club airport lounges, Delta Air Lines has just announced some major changes that will be rolled out over the next few years.
As of Jan. 1, 2024, those who hold a basic economy class ticket on a Delta flight will not be allowed access to any of the airline’s airport lounges–even if they carry the Platinum Card by American Express or any other co-branded premium credit cards. Those passengers flying in Main Cabin economy with an eligible credit card still retain access.
The following year, in February 2025, Delta will also cap Sky Club visits to 6 visits per year for those who hold an AmEx Platinum Card; and 10 visits a year for those who carry the Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express.
According to the company, the restrictions are “part of Delta’s ongoing efforts to help balance the popularity of the Clubs with the premium experience they provide for our guests.”
The airline has recently launched a set of openings and expanded Sky Clubs all around the world, including its second lounge in New York-JFK’s Terminal 4 that opened this past summer. However, extremely busy lounge experiences—including waits on long lines just to enter—have continued to be a common occurrence for Delta travelers. Now, those who have previously indulged in the delicacy of a preflight recharge will fall short of Delta’s new standards, and must find a new safe space prior to takeoff.
The Platinum Card by American Express has long been favored by frequent travelers who see perks like lounge access to Delta’s Sky Clubs as a top-selling feature that justifies the card’s high annual fee, the AP reports. Over the years, more and more travelers have grown to take advantage of these benefits (particularly Millennials and Gen-Z travelers signing up for their own credit cards), which has led to overcrowding at these lounges. Now, with free lounge access being rolled back, many Platinum Card holders are expected to reevaluate if holding onto the card is worth it.
Despite these tweaks, AmEx has announced that they believe “the vast majority” of card members will continue to have access to the lounges, based on how much they fly. An annual $75,000 spend on their card will grant unlimited access to these lounges—but that total far exceeds the median AmEx card member spend.
In attempts to stem overcrowding, Delta has implemented some changes and restrictions over the past few years. From record-breaking numbers entering their lounges in 2022, the airline’s fees for the annual Sky Club memberships increased from $545 to $695 from the start of 2023, and have only been available for purchase by Diamond, Platinum, Gold, and Silver Medallion members. For companion guests, prices have