Sky Club Beverage Changes Confirmed by Delta Air Lines

FlyerTalk members who were willing to swallow the increase in membership rates for Sky Club access announced back in February of 2013 to have been implemented in March do not seem to be willing to swallow the revised beverage selection, which has been confirmed by a spokesman at Delta Air Lines.
Here is the confirmation posted by FlyerTalk member DLCorpGuy — a company representative who is the manager of social media ambassadors for Delta Air Lines — along with the specific offerings:

“Delta Sky Clubs are changing the selection of both complimentary and for-purchase premium alcoholic beverages beginning tomorrow. Complimentary well-known alcohol brands will still be provided at the Club just as they have been.
“Altering our complimentary offerings will enable us to expand our portfolio of premium for-purchase products and maintain complimentary spirits, beer and wine as we continue to invest in the overall Club experience. We review our Club offerings periodically so that we are able to make changes based on customer feedback, financial considerations and other factors including the variety of options we offer our members.
“The new offerings are comparable to house/well brands in other airport lounges.

  • Complimentary spirits: Vodka – Gordon’s; Gin – Gordon’s; Rum – Myers’s Platinum; Scotch – Scoresby; Bourbon – Jack Daniel’s; Sweet Vermouth – Martini & Rossi; Extra Dry Vermouth – Martini & Rossi.
  • Complimentary beer: Budweiser and Miller Lite
  • Complimentary wine: no changes to current wine offerings

“Other brands will be available through our for-purchase options available through our Luxury Bar. Our goal is to offer members quality products and services at reasonable prices that are competitive with other airport lounges while continuing to provide good value for membership.”

Photograph by FlyerTalk member javabytes, who wrote the caption “What a sad sight...”

FlyerTalk member azeckel first found out about the beverage changes last month at the Delta Sky Club in Indianapolis — and many FlyerTalk members are certainly not reticent about their feelings, calling the changes “complete bull” and even wanting a refund of membership fees, expecting a “maintained higher level of service.”
Words such as shameful, outrageous, awful, disappointing, pathetic, insulting and mistake were also used by FlyerTalk members to describe the new beverage offerings.
Some of the alcoholic beverages which were once complimentary in Delta Sky Clubs will now supposedly be available for an additional charge, prompting FlyerTalk members to consider purchasing their alcoholic beverages elsewhere in the airport.
This is a cost-cutting move, claims FlyerTalk member Mendobrew, who compares the costs of the alcoholic beverages served in Delta Sky Clubs before versus the new offerings:

Alcoholic Beverage
Vodka, one liter bottle
Gin, one liter bottle
Rum, one liter bottle
Previous Offerings
Sky $204.25
Tanquery $279.00
Bacardi $215.00
New Offerings
Gordons $99.25
Gordons $128.25
Myers Plat. $149.00

As for me, I do not drink alcoholic beverages and therefore know nothing about about them — but what are your thoughts? How important is the quality of alcoholic beverages when they pertain to your airport lounge experience?

  1. This is disappointing and makes me not want to get a Delta Reserve Amex, which I was planning to get. Really, I do expect good quality drinks, and Sky Vodka and Tanquery Gin is pretty mid-level stuff. Downgrading to Gordons is insulting to their customers. Their customers are not cheap people.

  2. Seems reasonable to me. Better stuff is still available for purchase if people want something else. This day in age complimentary top shelf liquor is too much to expect from a us legacy carrier’s airport lounges.

  3. As a college freshman I drank a better offering than what the complimentary choices are going to become

  4. Where on earth are those prices coming from? I just bought a 1 litre bottle of Tanqueray and it was about £25. Surely it’s not 10 times the price in the US.

  5. I did not drink the well drinks straight before, so the change for me will be minimal. Mixed drinks can usually take lower quality alcohol. The Meyers Rum is my only concern. I’ve never tasted it, but expect it to be much worse than before.

  6. I was in an US Air lounge yesterday. Beer and wine free, all liquor was $7.00.
    My only choice Flying WN with Plat Amex.

  7. Lets face it but Sky Vodka is not considered top shelf, it is only a mid tier brand. The bums in Skid Row drink Gordons vodka and DL should really reconsider this move. As a result I would not even consider purchasing a SC membership..

  8. I understand the downgrade is substantial in the liquor selection, but all these people threatening about leaving the SkyClub – do you go there for no other reason but to drink? Sure, I love a vodka soda with a mediocre but respectable Sky Vodka as much as the next guy. However, being in the club is still substantially better than moping around in the gate area even with the downgraded liquor selection. The United Clubs, my clubs of choice, are mediocre to subpar on a good day but still worth the membership because I’d rather be in the club than at the gate area in Newark airport. Is SkyClub membership merely a year long open bar? Let’s take a step back here, as ridiculous as this move is.

  9. Is the Big D eliminating the microbrew choice from the SkyClub bars? I actually look forward to drinking Sweetwater 420, or some of the other choices you see in various places, such as Summit in MSP.
    As for hard liquor, I’ve cut back my consumption of these, but I’m not sure how much worse a bloody mary will taste with Gordon’s vis a vis Skyy. If you are having a mixed drink (i.e., Rum and Coke), it probably doesn’t matter whether they use Bacardi or Myers. Jack Daniels, although similar to bourbon, is not bourbon, as it comes from Tennessee, so they should stop referring to it as bourbon. I guess they could have gone for J. W. Dant.

  10. This move REALLY irritates me, especially seeing they gave one days notice. If they would have made this announcement last year, I wouldn’t have renewed my membership. I have emailed Delta requesting they cancel my membership and prorate it with no response.

  11. Do UA and AA sell lounge memberships? If they offer better booze, then why not tell Delta to go rot with their cheap booze and buy a different membership? Unless of course you have to fly on their metal.

  12. Also this explains why DTW Sky Club was out of vodka on 5/11/13 – switching over brands – thanks for the Prohibition Era Sky Club (sort of, they did have gin and whisky but wasn’t feeling it at 8am).

  13. As a lifetime Sky Club member, the changes feel as if Delta has unilaterally decided that it can stick it to me at its whim and discretion (which, I guess, is true). I have attempted to communicate with them, but as you might imagine, there has not been a meaningful response. A contact at Delta gave me the name of James Sarvis as the executive responsible for this, and his e mail is He has not responded either. It seems strange to me that they would do this when the profit margin one only one of my Asia business class trips will more than cover the lifetime delta b/n the cost of the swill they now serve and the acceptable mid-range brands they have eliminated. So, to others that are frustrated, let Mr. Sarvis know that Delta is losing valuable business due to its short-sighted, penny-pinching tactics of squeezing its most valuable customers: those that are in the Sky Club. Time to go shopping for a new airline!

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!