Delta Makes Negative Changes To Sky Club Access Rules 4

Delta Sky Club Seattle

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.

Delta Sky Club ATL Sky Deck 1_0
Delta Sky Club’s Sky Deck at Atlanta

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
Delta Sky Club Seattle
Delta’s Sky Club in Seattle

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.

Delta Sky Club at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Delta Sky Club at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

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.

Final Thoughts

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.


  1. I’m not going to be one of those people who proclaim I’LL NEVER FLY DELTA AGAIN because of this. However, I will say that at my company we prioritize airlines for business travel and employees must book flights based on their position on the list. I have the final say regarding where each airline is prioritized on the list and Delta will absolutely be moved down the list as a result of this change, which apparently even applies to the higher tier Sky Club memberships (e.g. Executive and grandfathered Lifetime). So, will I and other employees still fly Delta in the future? Yes BUT far less than before. I’m fed up with Delta talking-the-talk about how they’re a cut above their competition and yet repeatedly failing to walk-the-walk. Apparently they’re too deluded or short-sighted to realize that devaluing their brand will result in some people… DEVALUING THEIR BRAND!!!

  2. Respectfully, when will people realize what a bad deal this is? You’re going to pay $500 a year to drink free bud light and $7 dollar bottles of rot-gut wine in a jam-packed, seats nowhere to be found, lounge? Seriously? Get to the airport later or spend your money on a decent beer or wine outside the lounge. 90% of the time I walk in and immediately out of the Delta Lounge due to lack of seating and packed-in-like-sardines nature of the place. Absolutely no part of flying is luxury. Not the plastic cup you get with your cheap crap booze in first class, or cramped in a lounge!

  3. I have already adjusted to not fly Delta medal out of any European Airports to be able to enter contracted Lounges with my Delta Platinum Medallion status. Out of Asia I fly every SkyTeam Airline except Delta in order to be able to enter a contracted lounge. Now with the latest changes regarding SkyClub I see no more reason to continue with a membership and since there is no SkyClub at my home airport in Las Vegas this is going to safe me money. And while I am at it I’ll cancel my Delta AMEX platinum card because there is no more reason to pay the $195 fee, any free Visa card will do just fine). And while I keep flying SkyTeam and collecting MQMs on Delta I’ll only fly the short connecting flights on Delta and use SWA for other domestic flights. I’ll make Platinum each year easily without flying on Delta much and to avoid MQDs I’ll use my address in Europe.

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