Delta Sky Club Access Change Coming in 2019

Due to a significant change in the access policy which will be in effect in 2019, a reader of The Gate is so outraged at Delta Air Lines and its network of Sky Club lounges that he sent to me an e-mail message to please call it to your attention.

Delta Sky Club Access Change Coming in 2019

Delta Air Lines Sky Club Concourse B Atlanta airport

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

The following announcement pertains not only to members of Delta Sky Club and their guests, but also to holders of the Delta Reserve credit card and their guests:

Effective January 1, 2019, Delta Sky Club members may only use the Club in conjunction with same-day ticketed air travel on Delta or its partner airlines and will no longer have access to partner lounges.

For members of the Centurion Card and Platinum Card from American Express, the wording is a bit different, seemingly indicating that the new policy is only for guests of the members and not for the members themselves:

Effective January 1, 2019, guests of Platinum and Centurion American Express Card Members must be traveling on a Delta coded or Delta operated flight to access the Club.

“Even with a membership, you still can’t get in unless flying Delta!” the reader exclaimed. “Insane!”

Delta Air Lines Sky Club Concourse B Atlanta airport

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

In this article which I wrote back in November of 2016, the following membership options — payment plans of 12 monthly installments requires a one-year contract and initiation fee — included unlimited access to 251 Delta Sky Clubs and partner lounges amidst a price increase which became effective in 2017:

  • Executive Membership You can guest up to a maximum of two people per visit at no additional charge — which is your best option if frequent guest access is important to you. The rate for one year is:
    • 2016: $695.00, 110,000 SkyMiles or $59.99 per month
    • 2017: $745.00 or 70,000 SkyMiles or $65.00 per month
  • Individual Membership You can guest up to a maximum of two people per visit at the rate of $29.00 per person per visit — which is your best option if you typically travel alone and rarely need guest access. The rate for one year is:
    • 2016: $450.00, 70,000 SkyMiles or $39.99 per month
    • 2017: $495.00 or 47,000 SkyMiles or $45.00 per month

Summary

Delta Air Lines Sky Club Concourse B Atlanta airport

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

This is actually old news, as some weblogs first brought the policy change to the attention of their readers back in November of 2017 — but no source was yet available to quote it; so I held off on reporting on it.

I can understand why the reader — whose name I am keeping anonymous — would be outraged, which is the word he used: rates had increased two years prior to the forthcoming change in access policy; and access will be more restrictive. No longer can members use a Sky Club lounge if they are at the airport and preparing to fly as passengers on different airlines which are not partners of Delta Air Lines.

I offered my reasons in this article which I wrote on Monday, October 19, 2015 as to why I personally would not pay $59.00 for a one-time visit to a Delta Sky Club — but that is just my opinion…

…but then again, the Delta Sky Club at Concourse B at the international airport which serves the greater Atlanta metropolitan area is certainly very nice; and you can see 70 photographs of it at its grand opening in this article I wrote on Thursday, 

All photographs ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

12 thoughts on “Delta Sky Club Access Change Coming in 2019”

  1. Steve says:

    “the Delta Sky Club at Concourse B at the international airport which serves the greater Atlanta metropolitan area is…”

    Why all these extra words when just Atlanta airport will do? Are you getting paid by the word?

    1. Albert says:

      He is quite wordy. Content is helpful, but an editor is needed.

  2. Ghostrider5408 says:

    I am sure this will be one of many changes forth coming in 2019 affection FF’s of all airlines and hotels. The equity capital people are drawing the strings tighter. As I am sure you and many other credible bloggers have noted there is no good reason to bank points its not like a savings account or actually is but reverse interest rates !

  3. rmah says:

    do you know if the access rules will change for those with one day passes?

    thanks!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I searched for the answer, rmah; and I found no evidence as of yet that the access rules will change for those with one day passes.

      I intend to keep looking…

      1. rmah says:

        thanks brian!

  4. Gene says:

    @ Brian — If refunds are not honored for paying members, there will be a class action forthcoming IMO.

  5. Harvey says:

    Somebody needs to write a specific blog post if this policy change impacts those Sky Club members with LIFETIME memberships purchased prior to merger completion with NW. wonder if a lawsuit is in the works…

    1. TickedatDelta says:

      I’m in the same boat, and not getting any satisfaction from Delta so far.

  6. Donald Osborne says:

    I’m good with that. A dramatic reduction in the crowds in the Sky Club is much more important to me than the one or two times a year I might visit a Delta lounge when flying another airline. Delta is smart in this policy. They know that the most loyal flyers will like it and those who fly frequently fly non-Sky Team airlines but use the lounges anyway won’t. There’s no real incentive to make them happy so I get it.

  7. Raf says:

    Just to clarify, can one access the Sky Club with Plat AMEX card without flying Delta?

    1. Mike says:

      I’m confused by that as well. I tried to access a delta lounge with my platinum card over a year ago while flying united and Delta denied me entry. After that I always assumed I must fly Delta to use their lounge.

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