Delta Sky Club Access Price Increases as Much as 56 Percent For Guests as of January 30, 2020 — Plus…

Citing continued ongoing investments in order to provide an elevated experience for members, Delta Air Lines has announced that the cost to access Delta Sky Club airport lounges will increase for guests from $29.00 to $39.00 per visit effective as of Thursday, January 30, 2020 — which translates to an increase of almost 34.5 percent…

Delta Sky Club Access Price Increases as Much as 56 Percent For Guests as of January 30, 2020 — Plus…

Delta Air Lines Sky Club Concourse B Atlanta airport

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

…but if SkyMiles are instead used for the payment of a guest to have access to a Delta Sky Club for one visit, the redemption rate will increase from 2,500 SkyMiles to 3,900 SkyMiles — which is an increase of 56 percent.

Also effective on the same date is that Delta Sky Club access will no longer be available on the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card and Gold Delta SkyMiles Business credit card.

Although the aforementioned rate increase for guests to access Delta Sky Clubs per visit applies to the Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card and Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business credit card:

  • Delta Sky Club Executive Members — including Lifetime Members — will continue to be able to bring up to two traveling companions or a spouse or partner and children younger than 21 years of age, complimentary; plus two additional guests at the specified per-visit rate. This policy applies to guests of existing Delta Sky Club Lifetime Members, as Lifetime Memberships are no longer available for purchase
  • Delta Sky Club Individual Members will continue to be able to bring up to two traveling companions or a spouse or domestic partner and children younger than 21 years of age at the specified per-visit rate.

Past Membership Rate Increases

Membership rates for annual access to Delta Sky Clubs increased effective as of Tuesday, January 1, 2019, with passes for single visits no longer to be available effective as of Thursday, November 15, 2018.

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; and the rates for 2019 are highlighted in dark red type:

  • 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
    • 2019: $845.00 or 84,500 SkyMiles — which is an increase of $100.00 or 14,500 SkyMiles per year — or $75.00 per month, as specific monthly rates have not yet been announced
  • 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
    • 2019: $545.00 or 54,500 SkyMiles — which is an increase of $50.00 or 7,500 SkyMiles per year — or likely $50.00 per month, as specific monthly rates have not yet been announced

More Restrictive Changes in Policies to Access Sky Clubs

Delta Air Lines Sky Club Concourse B Atlanta airport

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

As I wrote in this article on Friday, October 21, 2018, customers must be flying as a passenger on an airplane operated by Delta Air Lines or its partners in order to gain access to Delta Sky Club airport lounges. Partner airlines include airlines which are members of the SkyTeam alliance, Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Gol and WestJet. The access policy varies based on the way you and your guests access Delta Sky Clubs, as detailed below:

  • Delta Sky Club Individual or Executive Members
    • Members and their guests may only gain access to the Club in conjunction with same-day ticketed air travel on Delta or its partner airlines.
    • Delta Sky Club Members will no longer have access to Air France, KLM Crown or Virgin Australia partner lounges.
  • Delta Reserve Credit Card Members from American Express
    • Card Members will continue to have complimentary access when traveling on a Delta flight or a Delta-marketed and Delta–ticketed flight operated by WestJet.
    • Card Members traveling on other partner airlines can access the Club for an exclusive per-visit rate of $29 per visit.
    • Card Members can bring up to 2 guests for an exclusive per-visit rate of $29 per person, provided the Card Member and their guests are traveling on a Delta or partner airline.
  • Platinum and Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Members from American Express
    • Card Members and up to two of their guests must be traveling on a Delta flight to access the Club for an exclusive per-visit $29 rate, per person.
  • Platinum and Centurion Card Members from American Express
    • Card Members will continue to have complimentary access when traveling on a Delta flight or a Delta-marketed and Delta–ticketed flight operated by WestJet.
    • Card Members can bring up to 2 guests for an exclusive per-visit rate of $29 per person, provided their guests are traveling on a Delta flight.
Delta Air Lines Sky Club Concourse B Atlanta airport

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion Members have SkyTeam Elite Plus Status and will continue to receive complimentary access to partner lounges when traveling on a SkyTeam international flight or a SkyTeam domestic flight connecting to or from a same-day international flight.

Delta One passengers will continue to have access to international lounges upon their departure or connecting flight.

Learn more about access and guest policies.

Summary

Delta Air Lines Sky Club Concourse B Atlanta airport

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Not much notice seems to have been given for the latest price increase for guests to access Delta Sky Clubs.

A reader of The Gate was so outraged about the news pertaining to the changes to the more restrictive access policies of the network of Sky Club airport lounges that he sent to me an e-mail message to please call to your attention to them; so I can only imagine how much angrier he must be after reading about the increase in prices for membership to Delta Sky Clubs — especially as rates had already increased effective as of Sunday, January 1, 2017, which is only two years ago…

…but he will get no sympathy from competitors, as American Airlines announced similar policy changes to its Admirals Club airport lounges, through which both rates will increase and access will be more restrictive. United Airlines also announced that access to its United Club airport lounges will be more restrictive as well. Even though this latest news from Delta Air Lines comes as absolutely no surprise, I have to admit that I must have been asleep while earning my Master of Business Administration degree during the class which apparently teaches that a company must exactly follow the lead of its competitors in order for it to be successful. After all, why bother taking the time to come up with anything original on your own?!?

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, and that is no longer an option as of today…

…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,

Although these policies will adversely affect many people, some will welcome the aforementioned changes, as they see them euphemistically as ways of the reduction of crowds in Admirals Clubs. This comment which was written by Donald Osborne — who is a reader of The Gate — pertaining to the more restrictive change to access to Delta Sky Clubs is one example of that mindset: “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.”

All photographs ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

2 thoughts on “Delta Sky Club Access Price Increases as Much as 56 Percent For Guests as of January 30, 2020 — Plus…”

  1. r m a h says:

    if you have a delta one ticket, domestic or int’l, does it get you access to the sky clubs at departure airport, arrival airport, both, or neither? thanks!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I know that a Delta One ticket for either domestic or international flights grants complimentary access to a Sky Club prior to the qualifying flight at the departure airport, r m a h; but I do not know whether access is granted after the flight at an arrival airport:

      https://www.delta.com/us/en/delta-sky-club/access

      I can try to find out specifically for you…

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