Some SkyClub access policy changes by Delta Air Lines will garner mixed reactions.

Delta’s new June 2022 SkyClub access restrictions

As of June 1, 2022, there will be new restrictions associated with Delta SkyClub access.

  • Guests will only be able to access clubs within three hours of their scheduled flight departure time; those connecting can use clubs any time prior to departure, and if your flight is delayed, you can still use a club within three hours of the original scheduled departure time
  • Club access will be limited to departing and connecting customers, and clubs can no longer be used on arrival; the exception is for Delta One passengers, who can continue to access clubs upon arrival (admittedly this has limited implications, since international Delta One customers typically have to clear immigration on arrival, and therefore logistically can’t access lounges)

The SkyClub access restrictions apply regardless of whether you buy a membership or use the Amex Platinum Card.

How much lounge access policies have changed over the years is amazing. If you purchased an airline lounge membership back in the day, you could access the club at any time of the day. Several years ago, clubs added requirements to be flying with a partner.

Delta is leading the way when it comes to adding lounge access restrictions. If American and United don't follow, I'd be surprised.

Delta SkyClubs will no longer be accessible on arrival for most

Are these access restrictions good or bad news?

These changes are intended to help ensure the best possible experience for you, so whether or not they are good news depends on what kind of traveler you are.

  • Delta SkyClubs tend to be the most crowded lounges of any of the “big three” US airlines, in my experience, given the credit cards that offer lounge access, as there are lots of people with the Amex Platinum
  • There have been many instances of Delta outright rejecting members from lounges due to crowding, so I can appreciate that something needs to be done about that
  • I do wonder to what extent this will move the needle when it comes to addressing this problem; I can’t imagine there are that many people choosing to visit lounges more than three hours before departure, or even upon arrival

I think the most striking thing about this policy is how it applies to everyone. Those who have a lifetime Delta SkyClub membership and have Diamond Medallion status will be treated the same as a first time Delta traveler with an Amex Platinum.

Those who paid for a Delta SkyClub membership may have the rules changed during their membership year. It's not cool to change rules after someone has already paid for something, and just a few weeks notice is being given for these changes.

It seems like more restrictions should be applied to those with the Amex Platinum. Amex Platinum lounge access is a significant revenue stream for Delta, and they are trying to keep things simple and consistent.

I think that club members are justified in being frustrated about the changes.

Some will like these changes, while others won’t

Bottom line

SkyClub access rules will be added by Delta in June of 2022. Unless you are in Delta One, you can't use SkyClubs on arrival.

Delta's lounges have crowding issues, at least at some airports, so I appreciate that something is being done to counteract that. I think it's not cool to change lounge access rules for members with such little notice, and I can't imagine this will make that much of a difference.

What do you think about Delta's lounge access restrictions?