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How do most SkyClub visitors get access?

How do most SkyClub visitors get access?

Old Dec 28, 18, 11:51 pm
  #1  
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How do most SkyClub visitors get access?

Iíve flown more Delta this year, and almost every club Iíve been to (JFK, LGA, various ATL clubs, SFO, SEA, MCO) has been totally mobbed every time. I have access with the Amex Platinum, and it seems like a large majority of people have access via this card. Is this fair? Itís a very easy card to get, and it seems to result in very crowded clubs.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 12:02 am
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
Iíve flown more Delta this year, and almost every club Iíve been to (JFK, LGA, various ATL clubs, SFO, SEA, MCO) has been totally mobbed every time. I have access with the Amex Platinum, and it seems like a large majority of people have access via this card. Is this fair? Itís a very easy card to get, and it seems to result in very crowded clubs.

We can't really know this information because only DL does and AFAIK they don't publish it. Two other large groups of club users are those flying international business class on Delta or Sky Team partners and also all Sky Team Elite Plus passengers who are traveling internationally in any class of service.

I'm surprised that SFO was mobbed when you were there. I'm based here and I've never seen it that way, and the few times I've been at SEA it was also fine. JFK is certainly often mobbed and they could probably do with building another club in T-4 (perhaps a business class only lounge, though this would undoubtedly result in cut backs in service in the main lounge).
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Old Dec 29, 18, 12:04 am
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Another big category would be those with the Reserve card.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 12:17 am
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I’ve flown more Delta this year, and almost every club I’ve been to (JFK, LGA, various ATL clubs, SFO, SEA, MCO) has been totally mobbed every time. I have access with the Amex Platinum, and it seems like a large majority of people have access via this card. Is this fair? It’s a very easy card to get, and it seems to result in very crowded clubs.
A Sky Club membership is "easy to get" too (by paying the requisite fee, of course). As is getting Sky Club access through the Reserve card. If I had to guess, a lot more people get Sky Club access through the Reserve card than the AmEx Platinum. And if I had to guess, the amount of guests gaining access through the AmEx Platinum isn't that significant or the benefit would have been cut a while ago.

Two other related points:
  • One of the changes for 2019 is that Delta is now requiring a same-day ticket on Delta (rather than any airline) to access the Sky Club, even for paid members. This might thin crowds a little, but honestly I'd be surprised if there are that many Reserve card holders or Sky Club members that frequently fly on other airlines. This restriction already existed for the AmEx Platinum as far as I'm aware.
  • Many people expect Delta and AmEx to eventually kill access to the Sky Club for AmEx Platinum cardholders once there are enough Centurion lounges nationwide. The AmEx Platinum actually used to grant access to the United Club and Admirals Club but that's since been cut.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 12:22 am
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Originally Posted by rucksack View Post
A Sky Club membership is "easy to get" too (by paying the requisite fee, of course). As is getting Sky Club access through the Reserve card. If I had to guess, a lot more people get Sky Club access through the Reserve card than the AmEx Platinum. And if I had to guess, the amount of guests gaining access through the AmEx Platinum isn't that significant or the benefit would have been cut a while ago.

Two other related points:
  • One of the changes for 2019 is that Delta is now requiring a same-day ticket on Delta (rather than any airline) to access the Sky Club, even for paid members. This might thin crowds a little, but honestly I'd be surprised if there are that many Reserve card holders or Sky Club members that frequently fly on other airlines. This restriction already existed for the AmEx Platinum as far as I'm aware.
  • Many people expect Delta and AmEx to eventually kill access to the Sky Club for AmEx Platinum cardholders once there are enough Centurion lounges nationwide. The AmEx Platinum actually used to grant access to the United Club and Admirals Club but that's since been cut.
AmEx Plat once gave access to PMNW WorldClubs as well as the CO airport lounges when flying those carriers. In additon, either the card or the associated PP membership was good for US lounges. Finally, there was a way to use the AS lounges, for example the newish T6 one at LAX, with such credentials when flying DL.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 12:28 am
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Originally Posted by rucksack View Post
If I had to guess, a lot more people get Sky Club access through the Reserve card than the AmEx Platinum. And if I had to guess, the amount of guests gaining access through the AmEx Platinum isn't that significant or the benefit would have been cut a while ago.
I seriously doubt this. The Amex plat card offers significantly more value for the annual fee and also has been around much longer than the Reserve card. Lots of people have the Amex card.

Also, remember that the Amex-Delta partnership is reported to be extremely profitable for both companies. I don't see DL turning away the income it gets from all of those Amex swipes, but more importantly, I don't see DL doing anything to turn down the massive income it gets from the Delta branded Amex cards, and this is likely all part of one negotiated deal.

With Sky Club being the only remaining legacy lounge network that the Amex plat card grants access to, I would think that Amex would work very hard to preserve that benefit as they would risk loosing many cardholders were it to go away.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 12:43 am
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
I seriously doubt this. The Amex plat card offers significantly more value for the annual fee and also has been around much longer than the Reserve card. Lots of people have the Amex card.

Also, remember that the Amex-Delta partnership is reported to be extremely profitable for both companies. I don't see DL turning away the income it gets from all of those Amex swipes, but more importantly, I don't see DL doing anything to turn down the massive income it gets from the Delta branded Amex cards, and this is likely all part of one negotiated deal.

With Sky Club being the only remaining legacy lounge network that the Amex plat card grants access to, I would think that Amex would work very hard to preserve that benefit as they would risk loosing many cardholders were it to go away.
You raise some good points.

I've just happened to notice a lot more Reserve cards than Platinum cards. And I think one reason why the Reserve card is so popular among Delta frequent flyers is the MQM boosts, which you can't get from the AmEx Platinum.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 1:07 am
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OTOH, I suspect that if one were to do the analytics, one would find that the regular Plat card people are more likelihood to be less frequent DL travelers on more expensive fares (or higher fare classes), while the Reserve card people are DL FFs and thus would either buy a SC membership or take it as a choice benefit (or use miles to pay for it) if SC access were toe be terminated for Reserve card people. Thus, if numbers are roughly equal, ti would be better for DL to keep SC access for those with the regular Plat card (who otherwise might take another airline) and terminate access for Resaerve card holders if one of these choices were necessary.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 1:49 am
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There is also the access via $29 another Delta American Express credit cards. My boyfriend and other friends uses regularly when they have a long layover.

with the recent sky club changes, I didnít think this would make a big difference Because given all the other ways of getting in to the club if you were people would actually buy the membership. I happen to get in on my lifetime membership for domestic flights, but would get in through my many international flights via my status

Delta has a product people want, lounge access, so therefore they need to be able to provide quality product and expand the main clubs.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 4:09 am
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90% of the time I'm in a SkyClub is because I'm flying biz class. The other 10% due to SkyTeam Elite+ on international itinerary. I don't have a Delta credit card and would never burn a choice benefit selection on SkyClub access. I have the Chase Saphire Reserve Visa and get Priority Pass Select as a benefit. My home airport is PDX and the Priority Pass benefit has paid for itself multiple times.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 5:14 am
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Originally Posted by rucksack View Post
A Sky Club membership is "easy to get" too (by paying the requisite fee, of course). As is getting Sky Club access through the Reserve card. If I had to guess, a lot more people get Sky Club access through the Reserve card than the AmEx Platinum. And if I had to guess, the amount of guests gaining access through the AmEx Platinum isn't that significant or the benefit would have been cut a while ago.

Two other related points:
  • One of the changes for 2019 is that Delta is now requiring a same-day ticket on Delta (rather than any airline) to access the Sky Club, even for paid members. This might thin crowds a little, but honestly I'd be surprised if there are that many Reserve card holders or Sky Club members that frequently fly on other airlines. This restriction already existed for the AmEx Platinum as far as I'm aware.
  • Many people expect Delta and AmEx to eventually kill access to the Sky Club for AmEx Platinum cardholders once there are enough Centurion lounges nationwide. The AmEx Platinum actually used to grant access to the United Club and Admirals Club but that's since been cut.
Reserve card members are already required to be flying Delta (or DL-marketed Westjet flights) in order to get Sky Club access. The change largely relates to those with actual Sky Club memberships (Rerserve cardholders are not Sky Club members) who will be required to be flying Delta or partners for access and will lose access to Skyteam partner lounges. Those with Gold/Plat Delta Amex cards and are subject to the $29 access fee could previously enter when flying other airlines, but will now be required to be flying Delta or partners effective Jan 1. Reserve cardholders will be able access Sky Clubs when flying partners effective Jan 1, but will be subject to a $29 access fee like the Gold/Plat cardholders.

Last edited by LBJ; Dec 29, 18 at 5:30 am
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Old Dec 29, 18, 7:31 am
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Originally Posted by rucksack View Post
You raise some good points.

I've just happened to notice a lot more Reserve cards than Platinum cards. And I think one reason why the Reserve card is so popular among Delta frequent flyers is the MQM boosts, which you can't get from the AmEx Platinum.
How are you noticing them? You don't need to swipe a Reserve card like you do a Platinum card.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 7:46 am
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Old Dec 29, 18, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by rucksack View Post
Many people expect Delta and AmEx to eventually kill access to the Sky Club for AmEx Platinum cardholders once there are enough Centurion lounges nationwide.
I don't really see that happening. It would cut a large part of the value prop of the card for me, and would require Amex building Centurion Lounges in Delta dominated airports, which for the most part they aren't doing, my guess is by design. I was rather surprised they picked JFK T4 for one of the upcoming lounges since there is already a large SC there, but I guess they think there are enough non-DL flying users to make sense of it.

Based off my purely anecdotal evidence of when I'm checking in, most people seem to get in simply with a scan of a boarding pass, implying a SC membership or Reserve card.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by krazykanuck View Post
Based off my purely anecdotal evidence of when I'm checking in, most people seem to get in simply with a scan of a boarding pass, implying a SC membership or Reserve card.
Also purely anecdotal - at least in ATL I see lots of BP-only scans during the week (Reserve, membership, Intl premium pax). But I see way, way more DL Amex scans (and slower lines) on weekends. There are tons of ATL people carrying around Gold/Plat DL Amexes because they are casual travelers only and jump at the $29 entry as a treat when on vacation. These are folks who aren't about to pay $450 for a Reserve or $550 for a unbranded Plat, but they'll absolutely pay $95 for free bags (there's a reason this is a popular benefit) or $195 for free bags and a companion ticket, and then pop SC entries on top when they want it.

I think DL/Amex actually make a killing off those $29 swipes.
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