Delta Is Restricting Sky Club Access in 2019
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Update 11/17/2017: Delta has provided the following statement regarding the restrictions on Sky Club access:
Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, Delta Sky Club members and their guests will only be eligible to access Delta Sky Club when traveling on a flight operated by Delta or its partner airlines. Delta’s investments in our Club experience mean the Delta Sky Club has become a reason to fly Delta for many of our guests. Allowing access to only Delta Sky Club members and their guests who are flying Delta or a partner airline reserves the experience for those who choose to fly with us.
Delta is restricting who can enter its Sky Clubs. As of January 1, 2019, members must have same-day travel booked with Delta or one of its partners in order to access its airport lounges.
Currently, all Sky Club members can access the lounges as long as you have same-day travel booked — it doesn't matter with which carrier you're traveling. However, in 2019, Delta is enforcing stricter regulations that, even if you're a Sky Club member, you must have travel booked with Delta or one of its partners.
The good news is that Delta is giving us more than one year of notice for these changes — it doesn't take effect until 2019. Until that date, if you have a Sky Club membership, you'll be able to continue using Sky Clubs as long as you have travel booked for that day.
With this announcement, Delta is also adding more restrictions for Sky Club members. As of the same date, Sky Club members will no longer be able to access partner lounges. Currently, Sky Club members have access to select Air France, KLM and Virgin Australia lounges.
Cardholders of the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express will continue to get complimentary Sky Club access as long as you're traveling on a Delta-coded or Delta-operated flight. If you're traveling with a partner airline, you can pay $29 to access, whereas you used to be able to pay to access no matter which airline you were flying. Reserve cardholders can also pay $29 per person for up to two guests — they must be flying with Delta or a partner airline. In addition, cardholders of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express will also have to be flying with Delta or one of its partners in order to pay $29 for access. Previously, you could purchase access to the club no matter which airline you were flying.
Not much should be changing for cardholders of the Platinum Card® from American Express and the Centurion Card. One of the benefits of that cards is complimentary Sky Club access when traveling on Delta-operated flights. That benefit and how cardholders access Sky Clubs will not be changing. In addition, guest access will remain $29 per person for Delta-operated flights.
Delta is likely making these changes to reduce on overcrowding in its lounges. That being said, the airline is giving plenty of warning until these changes take effect. Earlier this year, the carrier also increased the cost of both Individual and Executive memberships.
*Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that Amex Platinum cardholders currently pay $29 for guest access.
H/T: Loyalty Lobby