Last week I wrote about Delta introducing priority lanes for SkyClub access due to massive overcrowding and long lines to enter their lounges.
Today, Delta announced a number of major changes, also with the hope to decrease overcrowding.
- As of 1/1/23, Delta will increase the annual individual Club membership fee from $545 to $695 (or 69,500 Skypesos) and the annual executive Club membership fee from $845 to $1,495 (or 149,500 Skypesos).
- As of 1/1/23, Delta will no longer sell or renew lounge memberships unless you have Delta elite status.
- This isn’t a big deal for most people as non-elites can still get a less expensive lounge membership by having a Delta Reserve Consumer AMEX or Delta Reserve Business AMEX and they can access Delta lounges for free if they have an AMEX Consumer Platinum or AMEX Business Platinum card or for payment with a Delta Consumer Platinum AMEX and Delta Business Platinum AMEX.
- As of 2/2/23, the fee for lounge guests for members and AMEX cardholders will increase from $39 to $50 (or 5,000 Skypesos).
- As of 2/2/23, the fee for lounge access for Delta Consumer Platinum AMEX and Delta Business Platinum AMEX cardholders will increase from $39 to $50 (or 5,000 Skypesos).
- As of 2/1/23, Individual Membership and Credit Card Guest Pass access will no longer be offered as choice benefits for elite members to select.
- As of 2/1/23, Diamond Medallions will need to burn 3 choice benefits to select an executive membership.
- As of 2/2/23, SkyClub members flying on basic economy will no longer have lounge access.
- It’s noteworthy that AMEX cardholders (Delta Reserve Consumer AMEX, Delta Reserve Business AMEX, Delta Consumer Platinum AMEX, Delta Business Platinum AMEX, AMEX Consumer Platinum, AMEX Business Platinum card) will still have lounge access on basic economy tickets.
- As of 2/2/23, Delta Gold, Platinum, and Diamond members who don’t have an eligible AMEX or SkyClub membership will no longer be eligible for lounge access when flying internationally in Main Cabin or Comfort+. They will have continue to have lounge access in Delta Premium Select.
- Delta One and partner business class continues to allow lounge access regardless of elite status.
Delta notes that while their own Elite Plus members will no longer have lounge access, Elite Plus members of other SkyTeam airlines will continue to have lounge access when flying internationally in any class of service. Delta 360 members are also unaffected by these lounge access changes.
Delta says that they will also help with overcrowding by displaying how busy clubs are based on 4 occupancy levels in the Delta app. They will start displaying this information with Atlanta and Detroit clubs in mid-December, due to the high number of clubs in those airports, allowing passengers to choose a less busy lounge.
@Delta is there anyone you don’t allow into your lounges 🙄 might have to stop chasing that annual status. Crazy. pic.twitter.com/EEqetA5TBt
— MW711.eth (@NYC_711) August 23, 2022
Delta also notes that they will open a massive new 11,000-square-foot club in Kansas City’s new airport terminal, which will feature two all-weather Sky Decks. They will also open a new lounge in Minneapolis-G in April, in JFK-T4A in June, an expansion in Fort Lauderdale in September, a new lounge in Boston-E late next summer, a new lounge in Newark-A next fall/winter, an expansion in Miami in December, and a renovation of Atlanta-E next winter.
It’s hard to see how much of this will solve overcrowding, but it will help at the margins I suppose?
As long as Delta still allows AMEX access, which has a long term and lucrative contract, Delta lounges are likely to stay overcrowded. Clearly, Delta values the money from AMEX more than paid lounge members and their own elite members.
However once Delta opens business class lounges, which American and United already have and Delta plans to do, it should help alleviate some of the overcrowding.
Are you a Delta elite negatively affected by these changes? Will any of these moves chase you away to another airline, or are you already accustomed to these sort of negative changes from Delta?
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19 Comments On "Ouch: Delta Is Making Major Changes To Lounge Access"
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The club experience has been lousy, I guess by keeping us riff raff Diamond members who opted not to spend $5,000.00 to fly Premium out, they can satisfy someone!
Sadly, Delta has been a grave disappointment in many areas. Their service is garbage, their lounges are overcrowded and nothing to write home about, their flights are delayed…
A once great airline is now a middle of the pack average player.
That said, I don’t think there’s a better airline experience than Delta. Curious if you believe there are better alternatives?
American? If you’re connecting through Chicago forget about a pleasant travel experience. It was less than a year ago their mechanics were sabotaging planes (Google that one).
United? No thank you.
Southwest? Great employee attitude, pay for what you get.
Frontier /Spirit? Pay for the opportunity to travel and the chance to maybe make it to your destination.
JetBlue? Only if you’re based in Boston.
Why is Delta better than United today?
Better customer service. United international managed to lose my meal in my last 3 international flights in the last 3 months. Also internet was not working on the planes and they gave no reimbursement. Delta one is better than United Polaris. Also I am told delta’s upgrade benefits are far superior than United
Not sure who told you that, but Delta’s international upgrades are awful.
When United loses my meal, that’s $250 in flight credit for me. Always a win there.
United lost my meal three times and they never wrote an apology or any note and no offer of any credit whatsoever so do not know what to do to get a credit. When delta loses a meal I get an apology and a credit. When there is no internet delta immediately gives me credit with United nothing.
When I was diamond I got global upgrades and always was able to use them
Did you write to them?
I often fly regionally into NYC area airports and United service to /from EWR is horrid. If I can jump on a Delta flight, I do every chance I get.
United interiors also feel dated compared to Delta. Last time I flew first class on United I connected through ATL en route to SFO and the seats were sagging, dated, and uncomfortable.
Every Delta flight I take the experience has been much more positive vs. other domestic carriers.
Delta app and digital experience is also much better. I can cancel flights booked within 24 hrs inside the app or online for an instant refund. I don’t even have to call customer service.
I’m not an expert, and recently I’ve flown primarily United but that was after years of loyal Delta flying. I can’t say which is worse, but the Delta of today is significantly worse than the Delta of 10 years ago when I switched to them from United.
American is a disaster – but nothing’s changed there. They’ve been a disaster for the past 20 years.
Flying, in general, is a wretched experience. I flew United this week – paid for an upgraded seat and had a mountain of a man sitting next to me. There was no chance that he’d fit into his seat and he spilled well over into my seat. It was impossible for me to sit there, but there were no other open seats on the plane. I sat for three hours with someone sitting on top of the left side of my body. It was unbelievably uncomfortable and inappropriate. The worst part of this is that there’s nothing I can do about it.
The exit row on many planes have a solid divider that should prevent someone from overflowing into your seat
Hey Delta, not sure how you can make these changes, I amassed 2 million sky miles knowing that I had access to the sky clubs, now you unilaterally just take away privileges that I earned??!!
I’m sure some other airline would have been very happy for my loyalty over the years.
Fix your internal issues, don’t take away perks your loyal customers have earned.
Miles don’t get you into any lounge for any other airline… even 2 million, so not sure what you’re really saying
2 million miler gets lifetime Gold, which is losing lounge access as per this post.
2 million mqms not skymiles is million miler
I’m a delta platinum, i will be taking my business to united , much better benefits than delta
And the fact they added basic economy and put up the price of main cabin to Israel is a huge chutzpah
Five international and two domestic trips this year, none with Delta. The prices are unbelievably high and the connections are truly awful. Delta used to be my favorite airline, United works best for me now.
loved their new lounge in lax
hands down nicest lounge ever