Airlines love to increase the cost of lounge access every so often, justifying it by referencing the “investments” that they’re making in the guest experience. Well, Delta has just announced their latest such price hike, though it doesn’t impact the “primary” members directly.
Delta increases SkyClub guesting cost
As of January 30, 2020, Delta will be increasing the cost to guest people into SkyClubs, which impacts those with basic SkyClub memberships, as well as those entering with credit cards:
- Currently the per guest cost is $29 or 2,500 miles
- As of January 30 the per guest cost will be $39 or 3,900 miles
As you can see, they’re increasing the cost by 34% when paying cash, and by 56% when paying with miles. It’s also interesting to see Delta go from valuing each mile at ~1.16 cents to valuing it at one cent, which is in line with the trend from the airline.
Who does this really impact?
Delta is unique in how they go about selling lounge access. With American and United, club memberships allow you to bring in two guests or immediate family, and even club memberships issued through credit cards have those same privileges.
Delta takes a very different approach. With Delta, only SkyClub Executive members (including lifetime members) can bring in any guests for free. For anyone who buys a basic SkyClub membership, or who accesses a SkyClub through an Amex Platinum Card or Delta Reserve Card, you don’t get any free guests.
Just the cardmember can access the lounge, and then additional guests need to be paid for. That’s who the price hike impacts.
On top of that, the Delta Platinum Card offers discounted SkyClub access, so those members would be paying the new, higher cost.
On the surface price hikes are never good, though at the same time Delta does have an issue with lounge crowding at some airports.
Whether or not this development is positive obviously depends heavily on how you access SkyClubs. If you’re someone who never guests anyone into SkyClubs then arguably this is good, since it will reduce crowding. Meanwhile if you do, this is obviously bad.
What do you make of Delta’s move to increase the cost of SkyClub guests?