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Earlier this month, Delta announced that it was jacking up membership fees for its SkyClubs, and restricting guest access for certain members (those with the new Individual membership level) and cardholders of the Amex Platinum and Delta Reserve cards. Delta justified it by saying they have invested $50 million in lounge renovations but their members have been complaining of overcrowding in the lounge and that the airline wants to continue offering a premium experience to their members.

DSCFebruaryProductTesting_EmailHeaderWell, at least they do appear to be trying, because this morning, Delta announced that it would be testing out some new options in an attempt to elevate the lounge experience, saying:

“Select Club locations will be testing new premium products and services from mid-February through late April.

You’re invited to come by and enjoy these new options, and then provide your feedback via an in–Club survey. The items that receive the most positive customer reviews will be included as part of a product investment upgrade in Clubs this summer (my bolding).

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the products and services you may experience:

  • More food options, including pancakes and upgraded bagels for breakfast, sandwiches and hot soups mid–day, and hors d’oeuvres, antipasti and dessert choices in the evening
  • Nourishing snack choices, including energy bars, fresh fruit, popcorn, nuts and smoothies
  • Select complimentary services, including shoe shines, manicures and relaxing chair massages (my bolding)— perfect for a busy day of travel
  • In addition, based on your feedback, we will immediately upgrade the current complimentary vodka offered across all Clubs to Finlandia Vodka.

Stop by the test Club locations in Atlanta (Gate A17 and Concourse F locations), Dallas–Fort Worth, Detroit (across from Gate A38), Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, New York–LaGuardia (Terminal D location), Raleigh–Durham and Seattle to try some of these new premium offerings.”

You get 10,000 bonus miles for a new SkyClub membership, though it's expensive.
You can test out some of the new items at select SkyClubs.

My travels should take me through at least some of these like LA, Miami and New York, so I’m hoping to test them out for myself and will be reporting back. While I’m still disappointed by the new membership rates and restricted access policies, at least it does appear that Delta is trying to add tangible benefits to SkyClub membership.

As a reminder, here are the changes being instituted by Delta in terms of membership and access:

1. Increase membership prices from $450 to $695 annually. Executive Membership will continue to allow two complimentary guests.

2. For those who rarely bring guests, beginning in the Spring of 2014 you can purchase an Individual Membership for $450 annually and you will be charged $29 per visit for guest access.

3. Beginning May 1, 2014, all customers who receive complimentary Delta Sky Club access as a benefit of their eligible credit or charge card will no longer receive complimentary guest access. A $29 fee per guest will apply.

If you stop by one of the test club locations, let us know by reporting back on your experience in the comments below!

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