Delta Removes Third Party Lounge Access For Elite Members

Delta announced a massive devaluation to SkyClub access yesterday. Under the new policy those with a basic club membership and those that access SkyClubs through a credit card benefit will no longer have guesting privileges (previously they could bring in two guests or their immediate family). Instead they’ll now be able to pay $29 per guest. The only way to bring guests into the SkyClub for free is through their executive membership, which will cost a staggering $695 per year.

However, it appears as if this is only the beginning of their lounge access cuts, as they’ve also made a huge devaluation to lounge access for SkyTeam Elite Plus customers (Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion members).

As of May 1, 2014, SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers will no longer have access to third party lounges:


What does this mean in practice? There are many airports that Delta serves where they don’t have their own SkyClubs, so they contract it out to a third party lounge. As you would expect/hope, business class passengers and SkyTeam Elite Plus customers would still get lounge access. After all, it’s not their fault that Delta chooses not to operate a SkyClub in those cities.

It seems that policy is changing as of May 1, 2014, as they’ll no longer offer third party lounge access to SkyTeam Elite Plus customers. Delta uses third party lounges in the following airports:

Latin America and the Caribbean:

  • Bogota, CO (BOG)
  • Caracas, VE (CCS)
  • Lima, PE (LIM)
  • Quito, EC (UIO)
  • Rio De Janeiro, BR (GIG)

Europe, Africa and the Middle East:

  • Accra, GH (ACC)
  • Arlanda, SE (ARN)
  • Athens, GR (ATH)
  • Barcelona, ES (BCN)
  • Brussels, BE (BRU)
  • Copenhagen, DK (CPH)
  • Dakar, SN (DKR)
  • Dubai, AE (DXB)
  • Dublin, IE (DUB)
  • Dusseldorf, DE (DUS)
  • Frankfurt, DE (FRA)
  • Instanbul, TR (IST)
  • Lagos, NG (LOS)
  • London Heathrow, GB (LHR)
  • Madrid, ES (MAD)
  • Malaga, ES (AGP)
  • Malpensa, IT (MXP)
  • Manchester, GB (MAN)
  • Moscow, RU (SVO)
  • Mumbai, IN (BOM)
  • Munich, DE (MUC)
  • Nice, FR (NCE)
  • Pisa, IT (PSA)
  • Roberts, LR (ROB)
  • Shannon, IE (SNN)
  • Tel Aviv, IL (TLV)
  • Zurich, CH (ZRH)

Asia Pacific:

  • Bankok, TH (BKK)
  • Beijing, CN (PEK)
  • Fukuoka, JP (FUK)
  • Guam, GU (GUM)
  • Hong Kong, HK (HKG)
  • Nagoya, JP (NGO)
  • Osaka, JP (KIX)
  • Saipan, MP (SPN)
  • Shanghai, CN (PVG)
  • Singapore, SG (SIN)
  • Sydney, AU (SYD)
  • Tokyo (Haneda), JP (HND)

Unbelievable. Actually, who am I kidding? This is Delta, it’s very believable.

(Tip of the hat to Will Run For Miles)

Filed Under: Delta
  1. Well, I’m not sure about American, but I know United already doesn’t give this type of access to their Gold+ elites traveling in economy. I’m actually shocked to hear that Delta does (did) give this access; I had never tried to visit a contract lounge when traveling in coach on the assumption that it wouldn’t be covered.

    Also, in Istanbul and London Delta uses the SkyTeam lounge, which elites would still have access to.

  2. As an AA Plat (OneWorld Sapphire), I have definitely been allowed to access third party lounges operated on behalf of a partner One World carrier. (For example, in Singapore, Cathay Pacific uses a third party lounge, which I was allowed to access as an AA Plat.)

  3. @Bgriff that is not correct. United does allow their Star Alliance Gold members (1k, Plat, Gold) to access 3rd party lounges when traveling in Y if United doesn’t have a lounge. They allow you to access any Star Alliance Gold lounge (including contract lounges). I have been to numerous *G contract lounges while in Y on an int’l ticket as a UA 1k. This is a HUGE blow to Delta.

    Funny thing is that Delta added this benefit in 2011, I believe. Anyway, I was flying DC to international and denied access to a skyclub even after showing them the updated policy. Delta never continues to shock me, it’s the worst domestic airline.

  4. What’s the difference between a SkyTeam lounge and a third party lounge? I flew KE to BKK last year, and used the Air France lounge. Was that the lounge Delta used, and it’s not off limits? If not, why is BKK n the list?

  5. @ Neil S. — Delta has a few different lounges you can use in Bangkok. You can can continue to use the Korean Air one, but you can’t use the contract one anymore (which wasn’t a SkyTeam airline lounge).

  6. They don’t want their members to see how good everyone else has it and at Delta’s expense! I have been in some of those lounges and everyone of them blew any DL lounge away. These bits of information just seal my move to Alaska Air.

  7. Delta should have just CHARGED elites in economy for access to these lounges. That’s how you reduce overcrowding, isn’t it?

  8. Sorry, confused noob here… I thought Gold Medallion don’t get complimentary SkyClub access, only Discounted membership. But this chart says they do?

  9. Ah, got it. I actually didn’t know Gold even had access to these third party ones, so this will be nice… until May. 🙂

  10. Delta hasn’t been permitting partner Elite Plus members access to 3rd party lounges in Accra for as long as I remember. I have argued this point with them maybe 3? years ago when flying ACC-ROB and they insisted that third party lounge access was not a Skyteam benefit.

  11. This is unfortunate given that DL is reporting record profitability and forecasting continued good times ahead. The SkyClubs are crowded because DL has bundled access in so many of its products and/or been selling day access right and left. It all seems a rather haphazard way to run things, like the endless shifting of banks of RJs around the country to try to establish beachheads in markets when no one wants to fly RJs anyway.

  12. @A When at the UA contract lounge in AMS in summer 2013 (via PP), I saw some people get turned away when trying to enter based on UA *G in coach. May have been a misinformed agent.

  13. Both London and IST now have Skyteam lounges that are new; I think your list must be outdated.

  14. @ THEsocalledfan — It’s not my list, it’s the one Delta just published. I think at both airports they have contract lounges in addition to the SkyTeam lounges, which would explain it.

  15. Was denied yesterday access to Delta 3rd party lounge in Lagos even though I was #1 on their upgrade list with 13 empty seats in Delta One cabin (eventually got upgraded to Business Class but too late to get back to the lounge with the new boarding pass). When I went to Air France lounge with my Sky Club card and ElitePlus status, they also denied me access telling me to go to Delta lounge since I was flying with Delta (basically, if Delta does not want you, why would Air France take you?)

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