Delta Is Raising SkyClub Membership Fees In 2017

Filed Under: Delta
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It has just been announced that Delta is increasing the cost of SkyClub memberships starting in 2017. Before we get into the details of these changes, there are a couple of interesting things about Delta’s SkyClub membership policies:

  • Delta gives Diamond Medallion members a free SkyClub membership, which is a bit surprising, given that no other US carriers give their top tier elite members a lounge membership
  • Delta offers an individual membership and an executive membership — the individual membership doesn’t come with guesting privileges, but rather you need to pay $29 per guest, while the executive membership lets you bring in two guests at no additional cost

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Delta SkyClub San Francisco

So, how much is the cost of a SkyClub membership increasing?

  • Individual SkyClub memberships are increasing in cost from $450 to $495
  • Executive SkyClub memberships are increasing in cost from $695 to $745

What’s interesting is that Delta is lowering the cost of SkyClub memberships if redeeming SkyMiles:

  • Individual SkyClub memberships are decreasing in cost from 70,000 miles to 47,000 miles
  • Executive SkyClub memberships are decreasing in cost from 110,000 miles to 70,000 miles

So this is great news for those who pay for their SkyClub membership in miles, while it’s bad news for those who pay for their membership in cash.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego

This further reinforces that Delta is trying to position SkyMiles as a currency worth roughly one cent per mile. Delta lets you redeem miles for one cent each towards the cost of a flight, the cost of a premium drink in a SkyClub, or even the cost of a private jet rental, so this shift hardly comes as a surprise.

As was the case before, I think the best way to get SkyClub access is either by being a Diamond member, or otherwise by having The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. Either of those cards gets you access to SkyClubs in conjunction with a same day Delta flight, though you do have to pay $29 per guest.

Bottom line

As far as lounges run by US airlines go, Delta’s SkyClubs are probably the best. So while this price hike is frustrating, Delta continues to offer complimentary SkyClub access to Diamond members and those with the Amex Platinum Card, so in the grand scheme of things we can’t complain too much.

(Tip of the hat to @IadisGr8)

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  1. You get two cents per mile if redeeming for premium drinks at the bar– a great deal if you were going to pay for the drink anyway!

  2. @Alex – You truly feel dumping SkyMiles to pay for 10x over priced drinks (that should be free since you paid to get into the club) is a good value?

    Please email me as I have some amazing swamp land in Florida (don’t mind the sink hole) that we have to talk about. You will love the value!

  3. Weird that Delta is trying to sell people on pennies. Don’t they know there are at least a handful of credit cards out there that give you TWO pennies per dollar?

  4. @Rene Sarcasm abound. But mostly just pointing out that it’s the one place where DL is valuing Los SkyPesos at more than 1CPM

  5. @R hirsch – There are no more day passes. They are single visit for that price. Ben blogged about it here:
    @Alex – Fair enough but even when I pay for a drink at a bar I know there is no value there it is over priced period. I value my SkyMiles way to much to spend them on drinks in a club where drinks should be free after the expensive price of admission (however you got in)!

  6. If you’re smart and buy select bottles, the pricing is actually QUITE fair. 😉

    Assume this does not affect Lifetime Membership’s guesting policy. If someone knows different, please let us know.

  7. The Sky Clubs are fine as a “free” amenity — that is, one given to top-level elites and passengers on certain airfares in certain classes of service — but I honestly don’t know if paying for access to a Sky Club, regardless of the currency used (miles or dollars), is actually worth it for the average domestic business traveler.

    Sure, you have premium Sky Club locations like New York J.F.K., San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles (though I actually think L.A.X. is inferior compared to J.F.K. and Seattle), but many of the Sky Club locations are overcrowded, outdated and offer only limited food.

    I value a Sky Club visit at about $20, as I consume two or three Coke Zero beverages — I reckon each would cost $4-5 in the airport terminal, grab a newspaper or two, plug-in and maybe, depending on the time of the day, have breakfast or a light salad for lunch/snack. If I’m on a longer visit or flying international, I might use the shower.

  8. Wonder if this means the price of an Amex platinum is going up?? Why would you pay for skyclub membership instead of getting the card that also gives you $200 back on travel, priority pass etc

  9. I have lifetime skyclub card ( carried over from nw membership)

    have not stepped foot in a delta lounge for years

  10. My thinking is inline with FNT’s — not worth the cost overall. Even moreso considering Amex’s Centurion lounges and the Priority Pass network, especially abroad for the latter. I can’t imagine ever paying the full rate ($59 USD) for a single visit pass. Even the elite guest rate of $29 USD seems rough to me.

    The Club at ATL is more than sufficient for my needs and is less hassle to get to than fighting the crowds in Terminal B. The staff at the lounge have always been outstanding when I’ve used it. Protip: when the train gets to the F station, keep walking south on the platform and follow the hallway to the left of the escalators. Eventually it’ll dead-end at two elevators. Take the elevator to the top floor, which will dump you off right in front of the lounge.

  11. Thanks for the tip, AlexS! I’ve only been in The Club at ATL once and found it kinda meh. Has the food offering improved any? It’s been over a year since my last visit.

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