Another Major Delta Devaluation: SkyClub Access


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Delta has sure been at it lately with all their devaluations to their SkyMiles program and award charts but this latest change has to do with their SkyClubs.

Delta is drastically increasing their membership fees and slashing guest access for all credit cardholders and individual SkyClub members.

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The following changes are being introduced:

  • Effective immediately, membership price is $695 annually. This Executive Membership will continue to allow two complimentary guests.
  • For those customers who rarely need guest access, an Individual Membership at the current rate of $450 will be introduced Spring 2014. This membership will allow guest access for $29 per visit.
  • Beginning May 1, 2014, all customers who receive complimentary Delta Sky Club access as a benefit of their eligible credit or charge card will no longer receive complimentary guest access. A $29 fee per guest will apply.

Bottom Line

Increasing their membership to $695 is extremely steep especially since the benefits are fairly sparse. Delta has cut all their premium liquor so now you must pay for it, they do not serve any food in the lounge except for some meager snacks, so I can’t see anyone paying for lounge access.

Delta is also taking away guest access for all credit card holders including the Amex Platinum cardmembers and Amex Reserve cardmembers. This is another devaluation for the Amex Platinum card since they are losing American Airlines and US Airways lounge access, and now they will lose guest access to Delta SkyClubs.

When it comes to lounge access on Delta now, it appears they are trying to nickel and dime their customers by charging a $29 guest fee for everyone.

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Comments

  1. I think you may wish to clarify your post about this change. My understanding is that AMEX Platinum cardholders will retain the ability to access Delta lounges, without charge, while flying on Delta metal … but that the $29 fee will apply to additional guests that the cardholder might wish to bring along into the Sky Club.

  2. As a DM who travels mostly for business, I see this as being a huge IMPROVEMENT. I hope this dramatically reduces the crowding that exists in many of the clubs I go to, especially of those casual users who talk on the phone, or carry on loud conversations in the quiet rooms.

    Yeah, there’ll be some pain on the few trips I take with my family after 2014, but I expect that, on balance, it’ll be well worth it.

    Bloggers constantly bash Delta (and other airlines) about always nickel and diming their customers. I guess it will have to be seen, but I think THIS change will be revenue negative, and customer experience positive!

  3. JEM – a customer improvement would be to offer better food (think warm options), and free alcohol that is not better suited for a fraternity party.
    Nobody in their right minds is going to pay $695 so that they can drink Miller in a half-empty lounge. And DMs deserve better than that too…

  4. I applaud CEO Eddie Bastian on this move. We must keep the peasants out of the SkyClubs and put them out on the streets where they belong, with their pitchforks and scythes. Like Eddy sez, “Let them eat cake (in some other lounge)!”

  5. I feel that this amounts to “bait and switch” by Delta for the Delta Reserve Card, which promised one thing (complementary access for card holder and two guests)–and now takes away a substantial component of that offer. I do not travel very often and thus do not use the lounge frequently. This increases the sense of the devaluation being significant for what was paid, based on the promise of what the card should deliver. Further my next air trip (this summer) would be with my wife and newborn child if all goes well-are they going to treat the infant as an additional guest?

    I would have thought it much more fair (and less high-handed) to phase any such change in more slowly, and perhaps offer for the first transitional year something like 6 guest passes a a way of reaching out to Delta Reserve card holders who are significantly impacted by this change. It would also be a much better way of honoring their commitments.

  6. $29 for formerly qualified guests is a pretty stiff charge for a soda and a cookie. I think I’ll take a PASS on Delta – AND their domestic lounges. If I want a coach class lounge, many other airlines provide them free!

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