Delta Airlines has made a slew of negative changes to its Sky Club access policy. As usual, when Delta makes negative changes, there was no fanfare or announcement, and the airline just changed its T&C’s without a peep. All the changes affect Delta Sky Club access, and none are positive.
New Sky Club Policies
The new changes are outlined in Delta’s main Sky Club Access page, and are as follows:
- You now can now only access the Sky Clubs with a same-day boarding pass for a Delta or Delta Partner Flight- this is a significant devaluation since you used to be able to access the Sky Club regardless of the airline you were flying
- Amex Platinum and Centurion Cardholder guests now have to pay a fee of $29. I addition guests also have to be traveling on a Delta ticket)
- Sky Club members have lost access to Flying Blue and Virgin Australia Partner Lounges.
- American Express Delta SkyMiles Gold & Platinum cardholders are now required to be traveling on Delta or Delta partners airlines to be able to pay $29 to access Delta Sky Clubs.
- American Express Reserve cardholders still have free access when traveling on Delta operated or market flights as well as Delta ticket stock. If they wish to bring a guest, the guest must pay a $29 fee, and be traveling on Delta or a Delta partner airline
When Do the Changes Happen?
Fortunately, the changes do not take effect immediately; all the changes will take effect on January 1, 2019. Giving advance notice is not a traditional hallmark of Delta, although in this case with many people holding memberships through the end of the year, it would be seriously bad news if Delta switched the terms during the year.
Devaluation Across The Board
The latest change is quite a big devaluation, being able to use your Sky club membership regardless of the airline you were flying was a huge perk, especially if you are flying route delta does not operate or taking a flight when a Delta Alternative would have been inconvenient.
The other annoying aspect of the new terms and conditions is the inherent devaluation of the Delta co-branded credit cards. Especially for the Premium American Express Reserve card and to a lesser extent the American Express Delta SkyMiles Gold & Platinum cards.
Does this move come as a surprise? Not really, Delta has a long history of devaluations and stripping away nice little perks and benefits that travelers are using to get some good value. So, it is no surprise, and I would expect to see more similar moves in the long run.