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
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.
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 $39 per guest.
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)