In an effort to eliminate overcrowding, more and more airport lounges have been changing their guest access policies as well as limiting access to certain credit-card holders. In a recent move to keep the crowds at bay, Delta Sky Club has announced that members would be allowed access only in conjunction with a boarding pass on a Delta Air Lines– or a partner-operated flight, effective Jan. 1, 2019.
Right now, passengers with Sky Club membership can enter the lounge without having to fly on a Delta flight. Simply holding a same-day boarding pass on any airline is enough, but the policy is changing about a year from now. The number of guests will not be affected and will apply as usual, depending on the type of membership.
Additionally, Sky Club members will no longer have access to partner lounges operated by Air France, KLM and Virgin Australia.
On the one hand, limiting access is bad news. On the other, having a year notice is a lot more than one could hope for from Delta and its frequent no-notice changes.
The Platinum Card from American Express and co-branded Delta SkyMiles cardholders will experience no changes to their Sky Club access options. The Platinum Card members already receive free access with same-day Delta travel only, and each guest pass costs $29.
Passengers who hold a Delta Reserve Credit Card will keep their complimentary Sky Club access for same-day travel with Delta or one of its partners. Guests, whose entrance cost will remain at $29, also have to fly Delta to access one of the Clubs.
Gold and Platinum Delta SkyMiles cardholders will be able to access the lounges at a reduced cost of $29, also with a same-day Delta or partner airline ticket. The same cost and policy applies to guests. It will not be possible to purchase access in conjunction with a boarding pass issued by other airlines.
In 2017, Sky Club costs went up from $450 to $495 for an Individual Membership and from $695 to $745 for an Executive Membership. Raising the price and then limiting access doesn’t work out in a customer’s favor. Having said that, Delta Sky Clubs are better than most domestic lounges, which puts them in high demand. In either case, members have a year to decide whether their annual Sky Club membership is worth keeping.
What do you think of the future Sky Club access policy? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.