Delta backtracks on new Sky Club access restriction after flyers push back

May 12, 2022

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Fear not, you’ll still be able to grab a snack and take a shower in the Delta Sky Club upon arrival.

The Atlanta-based carrier just backtracked on one of its major new lounge access restrictions, citing the “feedback received in response to the updates,” which were first announced on May 4.

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Specifically, the airline is rolling back the planned changes to access on arrival. On May 4, the carrier announced that it’ll no longer allow access upon arrival to the Sky Club as of June 1. (The only exception to this rule, as announced at the time, would be for those arriving in Delta One, the airline’s long-haul business-class cabin.)

The airline  seems to have received enough negative feedback to now backtrack on its planned change. In an email to its customers, Delta says that “just as you can today, customers with Delta Sky Club access may continue to use Clubs upon arrival.”

For those who use the club on arrival — whether it’s to refresh (with a shower) after landing or to recharge ahead of a meeting — will undoubtedly appreciate Delta’s move.

By cutting access on arrival, Delta’s Sky Club access policy was poised to become the strictest of the major U.S. airlines. Neither American nor United bar flyers from accessing their clubs after landing.

Shower suite in Delta’s new Sky Club in Los Angeles (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

That said, lounge overcrowding has become rampant across the U.S., especially as travelers take to the skies in numbers not seen since 2019. With a busy summer travel season ahead, airport clubs are going to be as crowded as ever.

Delta had originally made this change to limit overcrowding, so it’ll be interesting to see what, if any, effect reversing the arrival access does to Sky Club overcrowding.

While the airline is rolling back the planned change to access on arrival, it will shortly begin enforcing the other major access change it announced on May 4.

As of June 1, you’ll no longer be eligible to access a Sky Club more than three hours before the scheduled departure time of your flight.

The three-hour policy does not apply to those accessing the Sky Club at a connecting airport. Those with connections longer than three hours will be admitted to the lounge at the connecting airport(s).

The move to limit access before departure may come as unwelcome news for some travelers, especially if you’re the type to frequently use the Sky Club well before your flight. For example, some travelers like to get to the airport early if they don’t receive a late checkout from their hotel. Others may enjoy getting to the airport early to catch up on work, which will no longer be possible under the new model.

On the flip side, assuming that Delta’s changes do indeed cut down on overcrowding, then some travelers may appreciate the move, especially those who’ve been inside a Sky Club when it gets packed to the gills.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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