There are frequent long lines outside of Sky Clubs at the airport lounge of Delta Air Lines. The situation has gotten so bad that Delta has introduced priority entry lanes so that they can prioritize which customers they want to serve.
The metrics that get you priority access differ a bit, but entering the Sky Club JFK is similar to entering New York's hottest nightclub.
There needs to be radical changes to the lounge access policies of Delta if they want to take lounge crowding seriously.
Delta will no longer allow access to Sky Clubs as of 2023. Good news for people with co- branded credit cards and bad news for everyone else. Sky Club access will be changed as of the year 2023.
Sky Club access eligibility for Delta SkyMiles members, SkyTeam Elite Plus members with programs other than Delta SkyMiles, and those accessing lounges with credit cards will not be changed.
These changes are described by Delta's VP of Customer Engagement and Loyalty.
“It’s incredibly important to us that Delta Sky Clubs continue to deliver an industry-leading experience for our guests. While we’re thrilled to see so many customers enjoy the fruits of our teams’ hard work, our goal now is to balance the popularity of the Clubs with the premium service and atmosphere for which they were designed – and that our guests deserve.”
I was skeptical as to whether or not Delta would make changes to lounge access, so I am happy to see that they are doing something. Lounge crowding should be helped by these changes.
The implications are interesting and reflect what we know for a long time. US airlines make more money with credit card contracts than they do with actual passengers. Delta prioritized here.
If you have an Amex Platinum Card you can access Delta Sky clubs. A first time flyer in basic economy with an Amex Platinum would get Sky Club access, while a Diamond Medallion member on a basic economy ticket wouldn't get Sky Club access.
Delta views Amex's lounge access as being more profitable than providing lounge access to its own members and frequent flyers.
Sky Clubs will still be crowded even though I think this will help. We know how crowded Amex Centurion Lounges are. There were a few thoughts.
I don't think this will make Sky clubs a calm place.
Customers will be able to track how crowded Sky Clubs are in December of 2022. The "Delta Sky Club" section of the "Fly Delta" app will be where this will be found.
This will be available in Atlanta and Detroit in December, and should be available to all Sky Clubs in the first half of the following year. To help customers better plan their visit, clubs will display four different levels ofOccupancy.
Delta's VP of Customer Engagement and Loyalty describes this.
“Empowering Delta Sky Club customers with greater visibility via the app is a small change that we believe will make a big difference. With a digital window into Club occupancy levels, we can give customers more control over their airport journeys and better set expectations when the airport is busy. We chose ATL and DTW for the initial rollout because of the high number of Clubs at both airports, so they can select an alternate Club if their preferred Club is at capacity.”
Changes have been made to Delta Sky Club access. Those with a membership are most affected by this. Delta One passengers as well as those with an Amex Platinum are unaffected.
What do you think about the Sky Club access rules?