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-   -   Delta SkyClub Access Changes starting Jan 1, 2019 (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-air-lines-skymiles/1877901-delta-skyclub-access-changes-starting-jan-1-2019-a.html)

Qwkynuf Jul 24, 19 9:50 am


Originally Posted by buckbuck (Post 31337167)
Overcrowding in the JFK SkyClub has gotten so bad over the last year has gotten so bad (and it's not just because of construction), it is almost impossible to find a place to sit down. I asked one of the managers about it on my last visit (I'm there at least three times a month). She told me it's mainly driven by Amex Platinum card holders. Considering the overcrowding I've seen here and at many other SkyClubs seems that cost of entry is too low. I'm personally happy to see limitations based on day of travel. I'd also like to see an increase in cost for guests. Something has to be done. It's gotten so bad, inside the club is just as noisy and uncomfortable as outside the club. That's NOT what we're paying for.

I'm not disagreeing with you, but I wonder what you mean by "limitations based on day of travel"? To my knowledge, all methods of entry except grandfathered lifetime memberships require same day travel on a Delta flight (or certain international SkyTeam flights).

It's a little bit of a specious argument to suggest that cost should be used to manage capacity (the Disneyland solution - jack up the prices until only those who can *really* afford it can get in). In reality, Delta should be either expanding capacity to support the number of passengers that they are extending access to - or limiting the number who have access.

buckbuck Jul 24, 19 11:32 am


Originally Posted by Qwkynuf (Post 31337494)
I'm not disagreeing with you, but I wonder what you mean by "limitations based on day of travel"? To my knowledge, all methods of entry except grandfathered lifetime memberships require same day travel on a Delta flight (or certain international SkyTeam flights).

It's a little bit of a specious argument to suggest that cost should be used to manage capacity (the Disneyland solution - jack up the prices until only those who can *really* afford it can get in). In reality, Delta should be either expanding capacity to support the number of passengers that they are extending access to - or limiting the number who have access.

Yes...with regard to same day of travel, that's what I mean. It is a good thing that travelers must be traveling with Delta at the time that they enter the club.

In referring to my point of view which is subjective as "specious" (therefore not wrong or misleading), you've got me stumped. Generally like it or not, airport lounges are meant to be somewhat exclusive, otherwise everyone would be lining up for free champagne and snacks. Heck, in Germany, Lufthansa has increasingly exclusive lounges based on class of service. For a very long time I was unable to afford the annual fee for the Red Carpet Club until my company started paying for it. I was okay with that. Airlines can only expand capacity so much before they run out of room. The lounge at JFK is huge and it still can't support the number of people that enter every day. So...yes, I support raising the prices especially for guests.

As far as Disneyland is concerned (not the best comparator), that is a whole different story. It should not be limited to those with means, corporate sponsored beneficiaries, etc. There are lots of other ways to control crowds to theme parks. I agree with you there.

WillBarrett_68 Jul 24, 19 1:00 pm


Originally Posted by Qwkynuf (Post 31337494)
It's a little bit of a specious argument to suggest that cost should be used to manage capacity (the Disneyland solution - jack up the prices until only those who can *really* afford it can get in). In reality, Delta should be either expanding capacity to support the number of passengers that they are extending access to - or limiting the number who have access.

1) there's only a finite amount of space in most airports
2) why is using cost to manage capacity bad but "limiting the number who have access" ... not bad?

defrosted Jul 24, 19 1:15 pm


Originally Posted by WillBarrett_68 (Post 31338201)
1) there's only a finite amount of space in most airports
2) why is using cost to manage capacity bad but "limiting the number who have access" ... not bad?

1) Space can be added at airports (expansion), many Skyclubs are getting more space now or next year. Seattle seems like a cramped airport but the Skyclub is cavernous.

2) I would say limiting access would be more beneficial for those that still have access because it would be all upside. Increasing costs would mean those that still have access would now be paying more, and there is no guarantee it would work (Disney was a good example, now it costs a fortune and is still packed). So "bad" in this case depends on which side of the limited access determination you fall.

scubadu Jul 24, 19 1:29 pm


Originally Posted by Qwkynuf (Post 31337494)
<snip>Delta should be either expanding capacity to support the number of passengers that they are extending access to - or limiting the number who have access.

And of course one way to "limit the number who have access" is... wait for it... COST!

Not saying I'd pay continued cost increases, but it's a very legitimate way to control demand.

Contrary to another posters comment, not all airports are going to invest in a capital expansion just because an airline club has become overcrowded. It might be possible at some airports, particularly if an expansion is already in the works, but the idea that airports should just "expand" because FTers want to get into uncrowded airport lounges cheaply, probably isn't in the cards.

Regards

Qwkynuf Jul 24, 19 1:36 pm


Originally Posted by scubadu (Post 31338265)
And of course one way to "limit the number who have access" is... wait for it... COST!

Not saying I'd pay continued cost increases, but it's a very legitimate way to control demand.

Contrary to another posters comment, not all airports are going to invest in a capital expansion just because an airline club has become overcrowded. It might be possible at some airports, particularly if an expansion is already in the works, but the idea that airports should just "expand" because FTers want to get into uncrowded airport lounges cheaply, probably isn't in the cards.

Regards

I guess my point is that I would prefer to hear Delta say "We have too many people in the Sky Clubs! We currently grant access in 10 different ways. Let's eliminate one of those and see what happens", rather than "We currently grant access in 10 different ways. Let's make everyone pay $50 for every entry...see if that thins things out a little". (as an example)

But if the goal is to make the place *even more* of an upper-middle-class-white-guy-club, then by all means....

WillBarrett_68 Jul 24, 19 1:51 pm


Originally Posted by defrosted (Post 31338234)
1) Space can be added at airports (expansion),

At some, sure. But even where it's possible, it's not instantaneous.


2) I would say limiting access would be more beneficial for those that still have access because it would be all upside.
uh, well, yeah, obviously


Increasing costs would mean those that still have access would now be paying more, and there is no guarantee it would work (Disney was a good example, now it costs a fortune and is still packed). So "bad" in this case depends on which side of the limited access determination you fall.
How crowded do you think disney would be if they lowered prices? You can't just say "Well it's crowded" and conclude "raising prices has no effect on demand"

af fp Jul 24, 19 2:15 pm

People who get access to the clubs are already paying quite a bit in some way (tickets, membership, elite flyers, entry fees) or they are affiliated with AmEx, Delta’s key partner. None of those ways to get access is that easy, not everyone can get an AmEx plat, and they pay AmEx a lot directly or indirectly, the club fees have gone up a lot, the benefits down, similarly getting elite status is much harder than it used to be...
Despite this the Clubs remain overcrowded, at this point I think a lot has been done to increase the cost to the user but not enough to increase the service. A crowded club for me is not really worth it and if I see this issue perpetuating I simply will not care about it, it won’t be a reason for me to pursue elite status or pay for business class, etc. DL should be well aware that the club offering is less valuable than it used to be.
First and foremost the club should be spacious, second the food and drink offering should be good... fighting through a crowd to get a glass of plonk and cold noodles in a paper plate is not a valuable experience.

scubadu Jul 25, 19 5:32 am


Originally Posted by Qwkynuf (Post 31338287)
<snip>
But if the goal is to make the place *even more* of an upper-middle-class-white-guy-club, then by all means....

Yea, sorry that dog doesn't hunt with me. There are plenty people of all shades, sizes, and types that are able to afford club membership, flying in paid business, etc.

Regards

FlyingWithers Jul 25, 19 8:13 am

I like the SkyClub changes. Good move.
 

Originally Posted by andrewk829 (Post 29067818)
Requirement to be traveling on Delta or a partner as a condition of lounge access seems reasonable. That is a de facto requirement in some airports where different airlines' gates are isolated from each other with respect to security checkpoints.

But, losing access to partner lounges kind of sucks. Is it possible that some people were gaming lounge reciprocity by, say, buying a club membership from the partner that had the lowest membership fee, even if that partner's lounges would get little or no use from that person?


WillBarrett_68 Jul 25, 19 8:22 am

As usual, this is a case of "Delta needs to tighten up on access, but not the access method *I* personally use, it's the other access methods that are out of control"

defrosted Jul 25, 19 12:21 pm


Originally Posted by WillBarrett_68 (Post 31338354)
uh, well, yeah, obviously

​​​​​​
You asked. No need to be snarky.


Originally Posted by WillBarrett_68 (Post 31338354)
How crowded do you think disney would be if they lowered prices? You can't just say "Well it's crowded" and conclude "raising prices has no effect on demand"

I didn't say it would have no effect, however I was saying that it may not make a noticeable difference because people may just pay more. In contrast to eliminating an access would probably have a more meaningful impact. Not saying either is feasible or a good idea, but your question was why is one bad and not the other. For example eliminating access via AMEX Platinum would have a drastic impact vs raising fees by 25%. I believe most people would just pay more, however less likely most Amex Platinum would then go get a Amex Delta Reserve.


Originally Posted by WillBarrett_68 (Post 31340977)
As usual, this is a case of "Delta needs to tighten up on access, but not the access method *I* personally use, it's the other access methods that are out of control"

Agreed, pretty standard NIMBY philosophy. Everyone wants the new highway to reduce congestion until they want to put it in your back yard. We shouldn't be surprised by this reaction, especially on the internet.

pfreet Jul 29, 19 4:35 am

Many airports are doing a terrific job at improving amenities. In some cases now, the concourse experience is better than the sky club. Especially when the club is overcrowded - I'm looking at you JFK and SLC. I've discovered I'd rather sit at the restaurant by my gate at DTW than walk all the way to the sky club to fight thru the crowd to make my own cocktail.


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