How To Access Delta SkyClubs

How To Access Delta SkyClubs

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Want to learn more about accessing US airline lounges? See my series about how to access Alaska LoungesAmerican Admirals ClubsDelta SkyClubs, and United Clubs.

Every airline has a different approach when it comes to offering lounge access, though Delta is in a whole different league when it comes to discouraging memberships and day passes, and rather focusing on offering lounge access through credit cards.

In this post I wanted to take a closer look at how Delta Air Lines lounge access works.

What should you expect from Delta SkyClubs?

Delta operates a network of over 50 SkyClubs around the world (find all the locations here). In my opinion, Delta SkyClubs are superior to American Admirals Clubs and United Clubs, as they generally have much better service, and significantly better complimentary food.

I find that SkyClubs have actually decent and enjoyable food that’s often better than what you’ll find aboard, and also better than the cubed cheese and veggies you’ll find in many other airport lounges.

Delta SkyClubs offer pretty solid food options

SkyClubs also have complimentary beer, wine, and cocktails, and then they have premium drinks available for purchase. Funny enough, some of the premium drinks can be a great value with miles (though not as good of a deal as they used to be).

I’ve redeemed 10,000 SkyMiles for a bottle of Krug

How to access Delta SkyClubs

Among the “big three” US carriers, I’d say Delta gives people the most options for accessing lounges, though the airline also has so many restrictions associated with each type of access. I would speculate that Delta has a higher percentage of non-club members using lounges than American or United, given the credit cards that offer SkyClub access.

Let’s take a look at all of the options for accessing SkyClubs, ranging from a membership, to having the right credit card, to buying access.

Buy a Delta SkyClub Executive Membership

The option to access SkyClubs with the fewest restrictions is to buy an Executive Membership. You can purchase this for a year for $845 or 84,500 SkyMiles, and there’s no discount if you have elite status (though there is one other option for getting this if you’re a Diamond Medallion member, which I’ll address below).

With an Executive Membership:

  • You can bring two guests, or a spouse/domestic partner and children under 21
  • You can also bring up to an additional two guests for $39 each per club visit
  • You can only use SkyClubs when traveling on Delta or a partner airline same day
An Executive Membership offers guesting privileges

Buy a Delta SkyClub Individual Membership

While the Executive Membership comes with the most privileges, you can also purchase an Individual Membership annually for $545 or 54,500 SkyMiles. Once again, there’s no discount if you have elite status.

With an Individual Membership:

  • You can’t bring any guests for free, though you can pay to bring two guests for $39 per person per visit
  • You can only use SkyClubs when traveling on Delta or a partner airline same day

Select access as a Delta Diamond Medallion Choice Benefit

Delta Diamond Medallion members can select three Choice Benefits every year, and some of those include SkyClub access. Specifically:

  • You can redeem one of your three Choice Benefits for a SkyClub Individual Membership
  • You can redeem two of your three Choice Benefits for a SkyClub Executive Membership
  • If you already have SkyClub access through a credit card, you can redeem one of your three Choice Benefits for a guest pass, allowing you to always bring two guests with you into SkyClubs

The same access policies apply regarding having to fly with Delta or a partner airline the same day.

Have an Amex Platinum Card

There are several cards that offer SkyClub access when flying with Delta same day. Let’s start with the Amex Platinum cards, which include the following:

If you have one of these cards then you can access SkyClubs either on departure or arrival, as long as you have a same day Delta ticket. You’re allowed to bring in two additional guests for a fee of $39 per person.

The Amex Platinum comes with SkyClub access

Have a Delta Reserve Card

In addition to the Amex Platinum Card, the Delta Reserve cards also offer SkyClub access:

You need to be flying Delta same day to access SkyClubs with these, though there are a couple of additional things worth noting:

  • Those with the Reserve Card get two SkyClub guest passes per year, which they can use to bring guests into the lounge at no additional cost (each is valid for one person for one visit)
  • Those with the Reserve Card can bring up to two additional guests or immediate family members into SkyClubs at the rate of $39 per person per visit

Buy access for $39 with Delta Platinum Amex

While the Delta Platinum Amex cards don’t offer complimentary SkyClub access, they do offer discounted access. The following two cards are eligible:

You need to be flying Delta same day to buy access to SkyClubs:

  • You can buy access for $39 per person per visit
  • You can buy access for up to two additional guests or immediate family members at the rate of $39 per person per visit
With the Delta Platinum Amex you can buy SkyClub access for $39

Book an eligible Delta One ticket

Delta One is the name of the Delta’s business class experience. If you’re booked on a Delta One ticket then you receive access to SkyClubs throughout your same day travel journey (both at your long haul gateway and on connecting flights, though you don’t receive lounge access purely on arrival).

This includes domestic flights marketed as Delta One (like New York to Los Angeles), as well as international Delta One flights, including to Europe, Asia, South America, Central America, Africa, Canada, and Mexico (travel to the Caribbean, Guam, Palau, and Saipan, is excluded).

This means that a standard domestic first class ticket won’t get you SkyClub access, while a flight marketed as Delta One will get you access.

Business class passengers can’t bring any guests into the lounges for free.

A Delta One ticket comes with SkyClub access

Book an eligible SkyTeam business or first class ticket

Beyond Delta One, you also get access to SkyClubs if you have a same-day international SkyTeam business or first class ticket. The definition of international is the same as for Delta One.

This means if you’re flying Air France from Atlanta to Paris you’d get SkyClub access in Atlanta, if you’re flying Kenya Airways from New York to Nairobi you’d get SkyClub access in New York, etc.

Business class passengers can’t bring any guests into the lounges for free.

A same day SkyTeam business class ticket gets you SkyClub access

Book an eligible WestJet business class ticket

WestJet business class passengers can access Delta SkyClubs with a same day international WestJet business class ticket, even at connecting airports on an itinerary. No guests are permitted.

WestJet business class passengers get SkyClub access

Be a SkyTeam Elite Plus member on an eligible itinerary

SkyTeam Elite Plus members (including Delta Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion members) receive SkyClub access when flying internationally the same day. They can even bring a guest into the lounge with them.

Lounge access is provided at all connecting and transfer points, though not upon arrival. The only “international” flights that don’t qualify are travel between the United States and the Caribbean.

Be a Virgin Australia Velocity Gold or Platinum member

Virgin Australia Velocity Gold and Platinum members have Delta SkyClub access whenever flying Delta the same day, even if it’s domestic. These members are allowed to bring in one additional guest at no charge. As of now this is still a benefit, though I’d imagine this will be cut soon, given that Delta and Virgin Australia are cutting ties (as United and Virgin Australia have a new partnership as of early 2022).

Be a WestJet Gold or Platinum member on an eligible itinerary

WestJet Gold and Platinum members have Delta SkyClub access with a same-day transborder boarding pass on either Delta or WestJet. These members are allowed to bring one guest into the lounge with them.

WestJet elite members can access Delta SkyClubs

Delta doesn’t sell SkyClub day passes anymore

This is perhaps specifically worth calling out. Aside from the above eligible passengers, Delta no longer sells SkyClub day passes. If you don’t have access through one of the above means, you can’t just buy a day pass to a SkyClub anymore.

Is Delta SkyClub access worth $39?

As you can see above, many options for SkyClub access involve paying $39 for guests. Is it worth paying $39 to be able to access a SkyClub? I’d say if you have an especially long layover, are hungry, or plan on having a couple of drinks, it’s probably worth it. But if you just have 30 minutes to relax in the lounge, I’d say it’s not really worthwhile.

In many cases, terminals have gotten better, with more comfortable seating options, for power ports in gate areas, free Wi-Fi, and I’m just as happy sitting in the gate area as sitting in a lounge.

I would say that you should view the math a bit differently if you have complimentary access and you have to pay $39 for your companion. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t use a lounge and leave my companion to fend for themselves in the terminal.

So for me the question becomes whether it’s worth paying $19.50 per person to access the SkyClub, since I view it as a package deal. Of course not everyone will think that way, but for those that do, I think that’s worth keeping in mind.

Is Delta SkyClub access worth $39?

Bottom line

As you can see, Delta is unconventional when it comes to lounge access. The airline doesn’t sell day passes without having the right credit card, and in many ways, the airline discourages you from getting a membership.

Assuming you’re not traveling on an eligible international ticket or a SkyTeam Elite Plus member, the best way to access SkyClubs is with an Amex Platinum or Delta Reserve Card.

Hopefully the above clears up everything you could want to know about Delta SkyClub access. If I missed anything, please let me know.

Conversations (9)
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  1. Sandra Watkins Guest

    This was very clear and very comprehensive. Thank you. Next, please go through all the ways to get access to partner lounges when flying international. This especially becomes important after a long flight and access to a lounge with showers on arrival is nice.

  2. Hazem Hussein Guest

    Or be a lifetime Executive member like me!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Careful, airlines are always finding ways to take that away.

      You were luck there are few of the lifetime members that fought and got the any airline access back.

      I was expecting Covid to decimate the travel industry and have these airlines hotels cruises to offer some lifetime member for cashflow. Trump and CARES act screwed me. I've even set aside money for the next AAirpass equivalent.

  3. Anthony Diamond

    SkyClub access via credit card is key to the Delta/Amex strategy, it works for them… crowding is an issue especially at clubs like Atlanta B, which is a zoo. But I guess it is still better than the gate. Best club experiences I have had this year are SFO (basically empty club, great service), ORD (older club but it was much improved versus how I used to remember it, got some good mimosas and service...

    SkyClub access via credit card is key to the Delta/Amex strategy, it works for them… crowding is an issue especially at clubs like Atlanta B, which is a zoo. But I guess it is still better than the gate. Best club experiences I have had this year are SFO (basically empty club, great service), ORD (older club but it was much improved versus how I used to remember it, got some good mimosas and service to help change a flight), LGA (convenient), PBI. ATL/LAX the most annoyingly crowded

  4. iamhere Guest

    Problem is that so many methods can let you into the lounge. Nicer than at the gate and has some perks than being at the gate, but equally over crowded and service issues, etc. No longer exclusive.

  5. Janet Guest

    One of the reasons I got a Delta branded Amex card was it got me entrance to the lounge for a small fee…$25 I think. Delta took that away almost immediately…I got to use it once or twice. Oh well. ( I flew Lufthansa on a flight connecting in Frankfurt recently, had a 5 hour layover. I purchased access to the lounge for 40+ euros and felt it worth it, although all I had was 3 cappuccinos!

  6. Jerry Gold

    SkyClubs, like all things with Delta, are made out to be much nicer than they are in reality. In my experience, Sky Clubs are always insanely crowded... even in ATL where there are 7 to chose from!

    And while the food offering is a little better than AC/UC there's nothing really premium about it. For crowding alone, I'd prefer an AC/UC over a SC, and my goodness, the Sky Club in AUS smells like a baseball stadium that was built in the '70s. It's gross!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      I think there are 9 SkyClubs in ATL not 7. LOL

      The worst crowded SkyClub has to be LAX. ATL for most part is not as bad as LAX.
      But I still find AC or UC as crowded as SC. At the worst times, none of the 3 ever been to a point I can't find an open space in a few minutes. The Centurion Lounges are the ones I consider insanely crowded and most people seems to be there forever like they don't have a flight to catch.

  7. Eskimo Guest

    The very confusing aspect of SkyClub access is the guest rule.

    Never really got an unanimous answer even after asking few different SkyClub.
    Some of the questions I've asked.

    1. Have 2 valid Amex cards. Can I pay for 4 guest? (2 per each card)
    2. Have the DL Reserve card. Can I use 2 annual pass + pay for 2 guest? (4 guests total)
    3. Have SkyClub Executive member and a...

    The very confusing aspect of SkyClub access is the guest rule.

    Never really got an unanimous answer even after asking few different SkyClub.
    Some of the questions I've asked.

    1. Have 2 valid Amex cards. Can I pay for 4 guest? (2 per each card)
    2. Have the DL Reserve card. Can I use 2 annual pass + pay for 2 guest? (4 guests total)
    3. Have SkyClub Executive member and a valid Amex card. Can I use 2 guest benefit + pay for 2 guests?
    4. Have no status flying DeltaOne and have a valid Amex card. Can I pay for 2 guests?

    I'm assuming the the final decision is still decided by the dragons' mood that day.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Sandra Watkins Guest

This was very clear and very comprehensive. Thank you. Next, please go through all the ways to get access to partner lounges when flying international. This especially becomes important after a long flight and access to a lounge with showers on arrival is nice.

0
Eskimo Guest

Careful, airlines are always finding ways to take that away. You were luck there are few of the lifetime members that fought and got the any airline access back. I was expecting Covid to decimate the travel industry and have these airlines hotels cruises to offer some lifetime member for cashflow. Trump and CARES act screwed me. I've even set aside money for the next AAirpass equivalent.

0
Hazem Hussein Guest

Or be a lifetime Executive member like me!

0
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