Live: Major Delta Sky Club Access Changes 2023

Live: Major Delta Sky Club Access Changes 2023

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For quite some time, Delta Air Lines has been having major issues with airport lounge crowding, to the point that there have regularly been long lines outside of Sky Clubs. The situation has gotten so bad that Delta has introduced priority entry lanes, so that the airline can prioritize which customers it wants to minimize wait times for.

For the past years or so, entering the Sky Club JFK has kind of been like entering New York’s hottest nightclub (except the metrics that get you priority access differ a bit). 😉

The airline knew it needed to make some radical changes to its lounge access policy if things were going to change, and that’s exactly what has happened. This was first announced in November 2022, and all policies have been implemented as of February 2023. Now that the new rules are live, I wanted to recap what has changed, and ask the OMAAT community if they’re noticing any crowding changes.

How Delta Sky Club access policies have changed

As of 2023, Delta has completely overhauled its policy for accessing Sky Clubs. It’s good news for those with co-branded credit cards, and bad news for just about everyone else. Here are the changes that have been made to Sky Club access as of early 2023:

  • As of January 1, 2023, Delta is only selling lounge memberships to Diamond, Platinum, Gold, and Silver Medallion elite members; non-elite SkyMiles members are no longer able to purchase lounge memberships
  • As of January 1, 2023, annual lounge membership fees have increased — Individual memberships have increased in cost from $545 to $695, while Executive memberships have increased in cost from $845 to $1,495 (you can also redeem SkyMiles toward a membership, at the rate of one cent per mile)
  • As of February 2, 2023, the fee for bringing companion guests into Sky Clubs has increased from $39 to $50, regardless of whether you’re a member, or bringing a guest based on credit card access
  • As of February 1, 2023, the ability to get Sky Club access with Diamond Medallion Choice Benefits has changed; it’s no longer possible to select an Individual membership via Delta’s Choice Benefits program, and an Executive membership requires three Choice Benefits selections, rather than two
  • As of February 2, 2023, Delta Sky Club members flying on basic economy tickets no longer have lounge access
  • As of February 2, 2023, Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion elite members no longer get Sky Club access when traveling on international itineraries on account of their status, unless they’re flying in premium economy (Premium Select) or business class (Delta One); in other words, Delta has eliminated SkyTeam Elite Plus lounge access perks for its own frequent flyers for the purposes of Sky Club access
  • As of February 2, 2023, Delta employees and their companions on non-revenue tickets are no longer able to use Sky Clubs, even if they have an Amex Platinum or lounge membership

There have been no updates to Sky Club access eligibility for Delta 360 members, SkyTeam Elite Plus members with programs other than Delta SkyMiles, Delta One passengers, and those accessing lounges with credit cards (except the cost to bring guests has changed).

Here’s how Dwight James, Delta’s SVP of Customer Engagement & Loyalty, described these changes late last year:

“It’s incredibly important to us that Delta Sky Clubs continue to deliver an industry-leading experience for our guests. While we’re thrilled to see so many customers enjoy the fruits of our teams’ hard work, our goal now is to balance the popularity of the Clubs with the premium service and atmosphere for which they were designed – and that our guests deserve.”

Delta has made major changes to Sky Club access policies

My take on Delta Sky Club access changes

I was skeptical as to whether or not Delta would actually make major changes to lounge access, so I’m impressed to see that the airline has actually done something. These adjustments should help somewhat with lounge crowding.

The overall implications here are interesting as well, and reflect what we’ve known for so long. US airlines make a lot more money with their credit card contracts than they do with actually flying passengers. That’s reflected with Delta’s prioritization here.

Very little has changed if you access Delta Sky Clubs with an Amex Platinum Card, for example. A first time flyer in basic economy with an Amex Platinum gets Sky Club access, while a Diamond Medallion member on a basic economy ticket with a $1,495 annual Executive membership doesn’t get Sky Club access.

Clearly Amex is paying a lot of money for offering cardmembers lounge access, and Delta views that as being more profitable than actually providing lounge access to its own members and frequent flyers. That’s fair enough, and shows just how much profit centers for airlines have changed over the years.

While I do think this will help somewhat with crowding, I suspect Sky Clubs will still be really crowded. Entry requirements are very similar to Amex Centurion Lounges, and we know how crowded those get. A few thoughts:

  • How many non-elite members were really buying Sky Club memberships? I suspect a vast majority of Sky Club members are elite members, since it doesn’t make sense to buy a membership if you only fly a few times per year
  • A lot of Delta flyers already have the Amex Platinum Card, and I suspect these changes will just cause even more Delta flyers to pick up an Amex Platinum Card
  • On some level this seems to also be about getting customers to book more expensive fares; for example, this gives Delta Medallion elite members an incentive to book non-basic economy tickets
  • I can’t help but wonder if the biggest implication here is that we eventually see the annual fee on the Amex Platinum Card increase again, to reflect the increased relative value for Sky Club access

So while this might help with crowding somewhat, in reality I doubt this will suddenly make Sky Clubs a calm oasis.

Will these changes significantly impact crowding?

Use the Delta Sky Club crowding tracker

As of December 2022, Delta has started rolling out a new feature to allow customers to track how crowded Sky Clubs are. This is available via the “Delta Sky Club” section of the “Fly Delta” app.

This was initially introduced in Atlanta and Detroit, and should expand to all Sky Clubs in the first half of 2023. Clubs will display four occupancy levels, ranging from “not busy” to “extremely busy,” to help customers better plan their visits.

Delta Sky Club lounge crowding tracker

Here’s how Dwight James, Delta’s SVP of Customer Engagement & Loyalty, described this late last year:

“Empowering Delta Sky Club customers with greater visibility via the app is a small change that we believe will make a big difference. With a digital window into Club occupancy levels, we can give customers more control over their airport journeys and better set expectations when the airport is busy. We chose ATL and DTW for the initial rollout because of the high number of Clubs at both airports, so they can select an alternate Club if their preferred Club is at capacity.”

It’s now easier to determine lounge crowding levels

Bottom line

Delta has ripped the band-aid off, and has made major changes to Delta Sky Club access. This primarily impacts those with a membership, as well as SkyMiles Medallion elite members. Meanwhile Delta One passengers, as well as those with an Amex Platinum or other card offering lounge access, are impacted least.

If you’re visiting Sky Clubs in the coming days, I’d be curious to hear some data points as to whether lounges are suddenly less crowded.

What do you make of these Sky Club access rule changes?

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  1. iamhere Guest

    You did not mention the priority access to the Delta lounges. It is interesting that Platinum Amex members have highest priority.

  2. Manny Guest

    The problem is all of the leeches that work for the airlines. Now that they’ve cut those Kato Kaelins off, it will be better.

    1. B.White Guest

      Obviously by your writing skills you are not a very intelligent or educated being. This is a prime example of how corporate greed backfires. They’ve over promised and oversold an amenity by pushing AMEX Platinum cards in every isle of their hubs. They never stopped to think about the repercussions of their greedy efforts.

  3. Nola New Member

    The situation will get better, but these tweaks aren't what will really do it. The overcrowding will decrease when the airlines have the equipment to run more banks in and out of hubs and the number of people using clubs at the same time decreases because there aren't as many people in the hub at the same time (and with longer layovers). This is just a function of the airlines not having enough planes and...

    The situation will get better, but these tweaks aren't what will really do it. The overcrowding will decrease when the airlines have the equipment to run more banks in and out of hubs and the number of people using clubs at the same time decreases because there aren't as many people in the hub at the same time (and with longer layovers). This is just a function of the airlines not having enough planes and crew to run the pre-pandemic schedules.

    It would actually be an interesting analysis to look at the differences in the number of people and lengths of layovers compared to pre-pandemic.....

  4. Nola Guest

    The situation will get better, but these tweaks aren't what will really do it. The overcrowding will decrease when the airlines have the equipment to run more banks in and out of hubs and the number of people using clubs at the same time decreases because there aren't as many people in the hub at the same time (and with longer layovers). This is just a function of the airlines not having enough planes and...

    The situation will get better, but these tweaks aren't what will really do it. The overcrowding will decrease when the airlines have the equipment to run more banks in and out of hubs and the number of people using clubs at the same time decreases because there aren't as many people in the hub at the same time (and with longer layovers). This is just a function of the airlines not having enough planes and crew to run the pre-pandemic schedules.

    It would actually be an interesting analysis to look at the differences in the number of people and lengths of layovers compared to pre-pandemic.....

  5. SadStateofOurCountry Guest

    Woke...

    Never underestimate the stupidity of maga imbeciles on welfare system fighting for tax breaks for corporations and voting for politicians scheming to destroy social programs.

    They obviously have no trouble one-upping marjorie TRAITOR green who said yesterday that one school district received $5 billion for woke programs.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      The true "SadStateofOurCountry" is people not even doing fact checks and believe what ever propaganda they want to hear and go against everything they don't want to hear.

      I know the SadStateofOurCountry affects the many behaviors of people in America but how does this relate to SkyClub?

  6. Scotty Guest

    Was at SLC yesterday and still long lines. It's made no difference. Dwight James is the typical corporate pontificator. Using fancy phrases which mean nothing. It's time to add a spend requirement for all the AmEx Plats leeching access via their card. $25k sounds like a good number.

  7. Cole Guest

    I am at Fort Lauderale this morning on Delta. Line so long they built an overflow area for those to sit waiting to get into the club along with snacks and water. I asked agent if made any difference they laughed and said no

  8. Tim Dunn Diamond

    in significant Delta news of the day, Delta is adding service from Dallas Love Field to both NY LGA and LAX to become the only airline to serve 3 of the top cities - including ATL - from both Dallas area airports. Delta is upgrading its DAL Love Field flights to A319s.

    This is all the result of Delta's success in finally getting a gate of its own at Love Field, a result of years...

    in significant Delta news of the day, Delta is adding service from Dallas Love Field to both NY LGA and LAX to become the only airline to serve 3 of the top cities - including ATL - from both Dallas area airports. Delta is upgrading its DAL Love Field flights to A319s.

    This is all the result of Delta's success in finally getting a gate of its own at Love Field, a result of years of legal efforts and foot dragging by the city of Dallas and opposition from Southwest. When it became clear that Alaska was in violation of its gate usage agreements at Love Field, Delta pounced and the city had to accommodate Delta which had a request in to grow its presence at Love Field even before Southwest added dozens of flights there pre-covid.

    1. MaxPower Guest

      For a guy that loves to berate others for being off topic when it doesn’t suit you, you sure are off topic.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      If you're going to go off topic, at least do it on thing that people gives a ****.

      Like reminding people to pick their choice benefits a few days ago, a thing that non Delta flyer like OMAAT would fail to cover. Much more useful for calling ATL a top city or the small amount of people who actually cares about DAL vs DFW.

    3. Mark Guest

      Always good to hear the shill from Delta weigh in on something that has NOTHING to do with the topic.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      The Delta-Amex relationship IS a key part of Delta's ability to move into competitive markets just as it has been in its coastal hubs - and American says the same thing about its growth in NYC.

      Delta still has a large loyalty base in Dallas two decades after its hub closed. They will use the Amex relationship to grow in hub markets just as AA and DL have done on the coasts.

      Sadly, 3 people that claim to be knowledgeable about the airline industry don't get it

    5. MaxPower Guest

      Cough cough
      #graspingforstraws

      Tim telling others they don’t know about the airline industry. There’s a rich joke. The guy comes to blog comment sections to feel relevant.

  9. Amit Guest

    Is there any difference in longe access for Amex delta reserve card vs Amex platinum? I am not sure it it’s really worth keeping both cards. The reserve doesn’t really seem to do much nowadays.

  10. Rick Guest

    Last time I was in a United lounge was in ORD traveling on a business class ANA ticket to TYO. The lounge had almost nothing except free Bud Light and a blow of gross looking hummus that I literally saw a kid sneeze in. Is there any improvement in those lounges?

    1. jetset Gold

      Sounds like that was many years ago so…yes of course they’ve changed.

      If flying business class on United or star Alliance as you were, you get access to the Polaris lounge which is among the nicest airport lounges in the US. Full service dining room, premium alcohol selection (complimentary), showers, etc.

      United also opened a new regular United Club in the C concourse which is quite nice. Decent food selection and a nice...

      Sounds like that was many years ago so…yes of course they’ve changed.

      If flying business class on United or star Alliance as you were, you get access to the Polaris lounge which is among the nicest airport lounges in the US. Full service dining room, premium alcohol selection (complimentary), showers, etc.

      United also opened a new regular United Club in the C concourse which is quite nice. Decent food selection and a nice bar though premium alcohol options are for a fee.

  11. BIGd Guest

    so if im a delta diamond, and i am in main cabin, then can i access af lounge at cdg still??

    1. Mlloyd996 New Member

      Yes, because your skyteam elite plus. But, being a DM, flying main cabin (and if you don't have a membership as a choice benefits), you don't get access in the US sky lounges

  12. traveling musician Guest

    As a diamond medalion, If I fly on KLM or AF economy, will I be able to use the lounge at JFK?

    1. Matt Guest

      I think the answer to that is: yes. As long as the lounge is run by AF or KLM and not American Express (Delta).

  13. edmund Guest

    Question?

    What if a Platinum member has the purple color Delta Rewards AMX card? If the Platinum member buys a standard delta Economy? Will the individual be allowed into the Lounge?

  14. Roberto Zee Guest

    Embarrassing for jet setters . Credit card mileage accumulation for miles is not like earning flying worldwide in seat with mask on. I will have my lounge at home

  15. Anthony Joseph Guest

    The US airlines are seriously "lost". The fallout on loyalty to Delta will be impacted negatively. Comp. Upgrades are seriously limited, and now lounge access is seriously limited. Good for the Sales dept for profitable revenue but failure of executive management to reactive responses to overcrowding vs investing in additional capacity.
    Why don't other int'l carriers have sane issues. You are better off getting alliance elite status with a foreign carrier for domestic lounge...

    The US airlines are seriously "lost". The fallout on loyalty to Delta will be impacted negatively. Comp. Upgrades are seriously limited, and now lounge access is seriously limited. Good for the Sales dept for profitable revenue but failure of executive management to reactive responses to overcrowding vs investing in additional capacity.
    Why don't other int'l carriers have sane issues. You are better off getting alliance elite status with a foreign carrier for domestic lounge access...
    Or will US carriers reactively withdraw from the three int'l alliances next?

    1. Jim Guest

      Excellent I hope it works . Airports are not controlled by airlines for space. For lounges . This is controlled by port authorities. Airlines cannot make more space.

    2. Jim Guest

      We are not lost your just jealous.

    3. Jim Guest

      Airlines are just fine in USA thanks .

    4. Donna Diamond

      Anthony - You are wrong on all points.

  16. Piers Guest

    Delta's now primarily a credit card business. It sells airline seats to support its credit card customers.

    Personally I don't understand the economics. As a family we spent about $45k+ with them this year (actually a lot more if you include my 2 sons who are also going to abandon them). That money will now go to other airlines (at least in part). My Amex Plat card is +- $600. Not sure how they make the numbers work.

    1. Matt Guest

      Most likely has to do with KPI’s or some other marginal metric and contradicts simple economic theory. Sometimes it’s more important to meet random metrics in a corporate environment while imploding the company. It’s how corporations work… remember someone needs to earn their bonus…

  17. Seth Guest

    They may as well rename the Delta Sky Club. It's become an Amex Centurion Lounge with different colors.

    This is my final straw. Diamond status is no longer worth it, especially now that I can't get lounge access as a Choice Benefit and can't enter the lounge when flying on a coach ticket.

    Delta really had to do something about the crowding, but excluding their most frequent flyers was the wrong choice. They've shown clearly...

    They may as well rename the Delta Sky Club. It's become an Amex Centurion Lounge with different colors.

    This is my final straw. Diamond status is no longer worth it, especially now that I can't get lounge access as a Choice Benefit and can't enter the lounge when flying on a coach ticket.

    Delta really had to do something about the crowding, but excluding their most frequent flyers was the wrong choice. They've shown clearly that their loyalty is to their American Express contract, rather than to those who are most loyal to Delta.

    1. Tom Guest

      Delta is denying elites access to its Sky Club lounges, but granting access to a passenger ticketed in basic-economy or economy-class who just happens to be a Sky Team Elite Plus customer from Czech Airlines (an airline that basically no longer exists as it only has one plane and one route left) or an elite from TAROM (another basically bankrupt airline that doesn’t even have transatlantic flights). In what alternative universe is that remotely acceptable,...

      Delta is denying elites access to its Sky Club lounges, but granting access to a passenger ticketed in basic-economy or economy-class who just happens to be a Sky Team Elite Plus customer from Czech Airlines (an airline that basically no longer exists as it only has one plane and one route left) or an elite from TAROM (another basically bankrupt airline that doesn’t even have transatlantic flights). In what alternative universe is that remotely acceptable, not least for platinums and diamonds?

    2. Mark Guest

      Delta should've limited those with a credit card, not their top flyers. As a DM, I liked having lounge access, since I travel 75% or more of the year. Having a place to eat something pseudo healthy, while catching up on emails is important. Since Delta isn't rolling over all MQMs again, and with raising the MQD requirement, there will be less Diamonds. I could see Delta requiring 2 choice benefits for an individual lounge...

      Delta should've limited those with a credit card, not their top flyers. As a DM, I liked having lounge access, since I travel 75% or more of the year. Having a place to eat something pseudo healthy, while catching up on emails is important. Since Delta isn't rolling over all MQMs again, and with raising the MQD requirement, there will be less Diamonds. I could see Delta requiring 2 choice benefits for an individual lounge membership (AA does this), but getting rid of it all together won't stop the overcrowding.

      While in a layover at MSP today, I asked them about the access. They stated at only about 5% have a membership, so most of those in the lounge have one of the AMEX CC that allows access. And they get a free guest. So it's all about the money for them...but CC money (and whatever % they get from AMEX), instead of us road warriors that actually fly (and did all throughout the pandemic). I really hope they change this, but I fear they won't. Heck, the ladies in the lounge very passive aggressively pushed getting the credit card. How about not insulting your top flyers?!

    3. Tyr Guest

      Road warriors fly on company dime. Delta knows that their flights are picked by company. Givne hubs and destinations cornered by one of the big 3, road warriors will tend to continue to fly that airline, lounge access or not.

  18. iamhere Guest

    Sounds like they are giving priority to Amex Platinum members. I would be pissed if I paid for Delta One or had elite benefits and did not get access. Perhaps they should do what other airlines have done by having different types of lounges; however, there is a lack of airport space to do this. Perhaps Priority Pass lounges will get more crowded as a result.

    1. shza Member

      D1 gets the priority line. AmEx Plat does not. (There was still a line longer than I was willing to wait in for "priority" access the last time I was on D1 out of JFK anyway.)

  19. Mlloyd996 New Member

    So, I chose for one of my DM selections, individual membership for 2023 (I have executive right now). Email confirms my choice benefit. Does this mean starting 2/1/2023, I won't have lounge access as an "individual membership", or does this only apply to 2024 and beyond?

  20. Tom Guest

    Folks: It’s pretty obvious what’s next. Delta is going to eliminate complimentary upgrades for elites. That’s just painfully obvious if you look at all the devaluations in the last few years. Already, very few elites besides diamonds are getting upgrades anyways.

  21. Flieger Guest

    So, as a Delta Elite I will fly on Delta, say from DTW to AMS. While a Delta Elite at a Delta Hub and on Delta Metal, I won't have lounge access, but when I fly back from AMS, even on Delta Metal or KLM Metal, I will have lounge access to the Crown Lounge. This is entirely hilarious, and I would get angry if Delta´s lounges wouldn't be pitiful anyways and just not worth it.

    1. Tom Guest

      Even more hilarious are the elites on all the random Sky Team airlines that don’t even have transatlantic flights. Those customers will get Sky Club access in basic economy but a Delta diamond in comfort-plus won’t.

  22. JD Guest

    I have no status with Delta, but always fly business class between USA/Mexico. my apologies if this was covered in the article and I just missed it, but will I still be eligible for lounge access by booking business class?

    1. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      Only if "business class" is a Delta One - and it needs to be operated as D1 service - not "First" on a 757 / 767 with a D1 cabin.

    2. Amit Guest

      That’s retarded. Was flying a long time ago with delta in business class to Hawaii and they made me pay for my companion to access the lounge even though She was Also in business class. I was annoyed because I requested business class with perks like lounge access. I had a delta reserve card. My companion did not.

  23. Nick Thomas Guest

    I forgot that AA gives top-level elites flying internationally in economy access to the best One World lounges that are otherwise reserved for first or business classes. That means Delta is now worse than f-cking American Airlines. Who would have ever thought that? And yes, I think we can all assume that Delta diamonds will not have access to the Delta One lounges. Delta has already said these will be for Delta One and 360...

    I forgot that AA gives top-level elites flying internationally in economy access to the best One World lounges that are otherwise reserved for first or business classes. That means Delta is now worse than f-cking American Airlines. Who would have ever thought that? And yes, I think we can all assume that Delta diamonds will not have access to the Delta One lounges. Delta has already said these will be for Delta One and 360 customers only. More and more, 360 is the old diamond and diamond is the only platinum. Gold is completely worthless without lounge access. Next thing you know Delta will eliminate Sky Priority bag tags and check-in lanes. This is a complete violation of Sky Team rules.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Nick Thomas

      Off topic but you don’t think American will start cutting and closing lounges ? Your 5X daily flight you take will become only 2X daily. Leisure demand will cut down in 2023 and people are working remote. Businesses will be laying off people just like they did in 2009. We are going deeper into a recession.
      Good opportunity for credit card companies to offer lounge access with consumer debt at an all time high.

  24. George N Romey Guest

    A couple of things
    1. DL is joining AA in rewarding a new type of customer. One that spends like mad on a co branded cc but only steps foot on a plane once a month or so. Gone are the days of the road warrior being king of the airline
    2, DL over the past few years has moved from being seen as America's best run airline to America's wokest run airline....

    A couple of things
    1. DL is joining AA in rewarding a new type of customer. One that spends like mad on a co branded cc but only steps foot on a plane once a month or so. Gone are the days of the road warrior being king of the airline
    2, DL over the past few years has moved from being seen as America's best run airline to America's wokest run airline. As such they've taken their eyes off the fundamentals of the business. For example understanding capacity limitations at clubs and ensuring the club experience remains better than sitting at a crowded, noisy, dirty gate but with free finger food and booze.

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      What does “woke” mean?

      How does “woke” lead DL to not understand capacity limitations at clubs?

    2. Kit Guest

      Giving him the benefit of the doubt here, but maybe he meant to say "weakest"? lol

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Making sure you offering has basic level amenities is now "woke?"

      Do you have any idea how imbecilic you sound.....?

    4. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      Cute *old man yells at cloud* gif.

      Not a fan of these changes but DL is best-run, most profitable, US airline and the clearly the model that UA and AA are looking to emulate.

    5. Marty Guest

      "Woke"? ... Lol. You can't make this stuff up. .... Is this what you obsess about all day?

  25. Anthony Diamond

    A lot of people focus on the Amex Platinum, but the changes actually illustrate how the Delta Reserve can be a strong value proposition

    1) SkyClub Access
    2) Centurion Lounge Access
    3) Companion pass that can be worth hundreds
    4) 2 SkyClub Guest passes ($100 value now)
    5) Upgrade priority
    6) Ways to spend towards status

    For $550 the card delivers a lot of value. I could see a lot of mid tier elites signing up for the card given this change

    1. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      As a DR card holder - this was true - especially at $450. Now, if I book a DL operated flight marketed by VS they want $50 to use a lounge I'd been previously able to access with a $550 credit card. I'm increasingly skeptical - $25k spend on any Delta Amex card has a significant opportunity cost when return is a paltry 1x SkyMile/$1 spent and other cards return much higher returns

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Which is obviously the intent of these changes. Some diamonds will be dropping to platinum after a couple years of status rollovers due to covid or the new, higher MQD spending threshold. Many people will want to get the card in the hopes the upgrade tie-breaker makes the difference as a platinum, which is possible on many routes but not marquee routes.

  26. D3kingg Guest

    Delta is a US based corporation. Joe Biden said he will make sure the corporations pay their fair share of taxes. Who do you think the corporations pass the costs on to ?

    Middle class America will be taxed beyond recognition in 2023. Airlines can just schedule less frequencies so don’t worry just because there will be less passengers the flights will still always be full.

    1. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      *slow-clap* Way to drink the FauxNews Kool-aid.

      Corporations pay effective tax rates much lower than people.

      Globally the US falls in the middle of the pack in Corporate tax rates, which have fallen precipitously since 1980. But nice try.

    2. Harry Guest

      People pay ALL taxes eventually. C corp pays taxes on profits. Then the stockholders pay on the dividends they receive. So the taxes the C corp pays is at the expense of less of a dividend to the shareholder. Hence the old double taxation bit. The biggest spin ever to come out of DC.

      The so called little guy, wonder where they think their 401k/IRA are invested? You're paying the double tax bit, just don't see it.

    3. TravelinWilly Diamond

      “Joe Biden said…”

      Blame Biden!

      Drink!

  27. P.O. Guest

    Delta has slowly been f*cking over frequent flyers in favor of cardholders for a long time. Delta really does not care about keeping customers; they care about AmEx cardholders.
    There are really no benefits to any Medallion status after the two-checked-bags-free perk at Silver, and Delta itself is not really worth the extra cost above other airlines like American and United. Unless you have a branded AmEx card, there's no reason to buy a...

    Delta has slowly been f*cking over frequent flyers in favor of cardholders for a long time. Delta really does not care about keeping customers; they care about AmEx cardholders.
    There are really no benefits to any Medallion status after the two-checked-bags-free perk at Silver, and Delta itself is not really worth the extra cost above other airlines like American and United. Unless you have a branded AmEx card, there's no reason to buy a Delta ticket and every reason to use any other airline at all. The in-flight experience is the same, and the only reason to pick Delta at all was for the benefits, which they have been removing over the years.

    1. Flieger Guest

      Bingo. I struggle to see value in Delta status beyond Silver without lounge access. Why go out of your way to spend more on Delta and even incur inconvenience in order to do so if it doesnt deliver any benefit? Silver is decent enough then and beyond that I may go with whomever is most convenient or cheapest.

  28. jim Guest

    This totally sucks for loyal elites who have no room in their lives for owning yet another credit card, particularly a worthess Delta co-branded Am Ex one. But is it at least clear that, moving forward, Delta elites traveling internationally will still have access to AF/KLM lounges?

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      So the card that essentially grants you everything, is somehow "worthless"...?

      Hmm, interesting logic.

    2. jim Guest

      Well, Delta's miles have the values of pesos and, all things considered, I'd rather have a solid travel rewards card with transferable points like the Chase sapphire or Venture X than a Delta cc..

  29. tipsyinmadras Diamond

    Definitely end of my line for my Delta Reserve card, limiting access on partner-operated flights is a real deal-breaker for a $550 card - especially when they own 49% of Virgin, part of AF/KLM, and are in a JV with both. I can get added as an authorized user on my spouses Amex Platinum for $175 and retain the access I currently have, downgrade to Delta Platinum card for MQD waiver.

  30. Franz Christian Guest

    How is this not a direct violation of Sky Team rules?

    "SkyTeam Elite Plus members, regardless of their travel class, are allowed access to a SkyTeam lounge at a particular airport if traveling on or connecting to/from a same-day international flight operated by a SkyTeam member airline. Simply present your boarding passes and a valid Elite Plus membership card for the lounge agent to validate for admission."

    https://www.skyteam.com/en/about/faq/lounge-access

    1. Flieger Guest

      Delta practically owns Skyteam, so they can probably do whatever the heck they want, and Delta has also demonstrated that they dont really care about Skyteam either.

  31. internationaly traveling musician Guest

    I am a Diamond medaloin member since its introduction. Each year benefits are reduced.... now no lounge access. As an Elite Plus of the system, I will have access to AF or KLM lounges, but not to th Delta ones... shame. Getting to my 2M in a couple of months, will collect my plastic suitcase tags and a small gift....Time to leave. Miles are anyway not worth much, and you get close to nothing if...

    I am a Diamond medaloin member since its introduction. Each year benefits are reduced.... now no lounge access. As an Elite Plus of the system, I will have access to AF or KLM lounges, but not to th Delta ones... shame. Getting to my 2M in a couple of months, will collect my plastic suitcase tags and a small gift....Time to leave. Miles are anyway not worth much, and you get close to nothing if you buy economy (if you buy same ticket on the same fligth on AF or KL, you will get more miles!!! and usually the ticket will be cheaper).

    Very disapointing news. I wish them good luck. BTW, Priority pass is a better deal... no degrading. The food at Delta is anyway not Michelen rated...

    1. Flieger Guest

      Yeah, that´s been annoying for years. If you fly a lot of long-distance economy on Delta you get MQM en masse but never anywhere close on MQD, which is frustrating.

    2. Jim Guest

      You can use your miles to purchase a membership so that does make it worthwhile to me. So many cheap people complaining here I think . Omg

  32. Mark Guest

    This will put more pressure on Priority Pass lounges. The lines will just move down the hall. What Delta, and all airlines need to do is upgrade the waiting areas for all premium passengers. No, you don’t need to feed them unlimited drinks and fancy food, but give them a large, separate area with more comfortable seating and basic snacks, like Amtrak Metropolitan lounges.

  33. Stephanie Guest

    This was a key benefit of maintaining Platinum status for me. I guess this gives me the flexibility to fly whoever is cheapest now! Miles have already been severely devalued and now this :(

  34. sxc7885 Member

    Glad to see the change but dont see it having that much of an impact I still believe that in order to curve the over crowdedness of the lounges they will need to increase the AF of the plat to at least 1K-1.2K and raise the AF to AU cards since that usually can be justified in 2-3 visits.

  35. JW_M New Member

    The Amex Platinum (AP) and Delta Reserve (DR) card both give access. I could see Delta wanting to push consumers to get the DR by removing access to those with the AP. I have no insight into the Amex-Delta relationship, but I have always found it odd how those two cards compete.
    I think the worst part for Delta Elites is the removal of access when flying internationally in a non premium cabin. Time will tell if this is just a push for them to get a AP or DR card.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Of course, it gives Delta an excuse to announce an "enhancement" by restoring Sky Club access to elites in economy and comfort-plus once the standalone Delta One lounges open by this time next year or early 2024.

  36. Kaitlin Guest

    Wow. I upgraded to the Reserve card this fall and was so excited to usher in this next year of vacationing with my new fiance. Part of the reason I splurged on this card was so I could have him and I enjoy the club together when flying Delta. This new policy makes it punitive in the extreme- most of our layovers are an hour and a half or less. To spend $50 for that...

    Wow. I upgraded to the Reserve card this fall and was so excited to usher in this next year of vacationing with my new fiance. Part of the reason I splurged on this card was so I could have him and I enjoy the club together when flying Delta. This new policy makes it punitive in the extreme- most of our layovers are an hour and a half or less. To spend $50 for that short of a period is not ok. I love Delta, and I appreciate the difficulties having a popular club can create. But this new measure is unfair and honestly comes off as greedy, rather than a crowd control effort.
    Delta should consider activating pay-to-play measures on a per-day basis, i.e. weekends from Nov 10-Jan 5. There are other ways to implement changes in a more rolling way that don't come off harsh and unhelpful. I may become one of the shortest Delta Reserve card holders if the benefits continue to be slashed this severely. Why pay $500 for the card? After nearly 10 years being a Platinum+ statused Delta member, I have never felt the need to comment on a policy change. But this one really needs a reevaluation.

    1. Harry Guest

      As a former holder of the Reserve card, SkyClub access was not my reason to hold/cancel. Remember you get a companion 1st class ticket in the lower 48. That'll pay for the card on most routes. My problem out of DFW were connections and Delta did not allow open-jaw tickets (multi-city). Round trip or nothing. Take out the Platinum card and designate your second airline on your card $200 benefit. I go to SkyClubs for...

      As a former holder of the Reserve card, SkyClub access was not my reason to hold/cancel. Remember you get a companion 1st class ticket in the lower 48. That'll pay for the card on most routes. My problem out of DFW were connections and Delta did not allow open-jaw tickets (multi-city). Round trip or nothing. Take out the Platinum card and designate your second airline on your card $200 benefit. I go to SkyClubs for "free" and Admirals club 3 times a year. Retired, that works just fine. And if you use Hilton, get the Aspire card and that'll get you 4 more trips to your second airline like AA. Club access is low on my list of card benefits.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      with all due respect, the $175 authorized card user provides the same access as you and pays for itself in less than 4 visits. If the two of you don't access the Sky Club together that much, is the cost for you even worth it?

    3. Harry Guest

      P2 has her own Platinum. Again club access to any airline is not our main consideration on our cards. Just happens we can access Delta anytime and Centurion too, together or separate. No AU on either card. Not good for 5/24.

  37. GBOAC Diamond

    Best laugh line in Ben's report
    "We chose ATL and DTW for the initial rollout because of the high number of Clubs at both airports, so they can select an alternate Club if their preferred Club is at capacity.”

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      not sure why that is laughable.

      I have never seen a line at more than one Sky Club in either airport....and both do have the most Sky Clubs.

    2. Jim Guest

      Excellent I hope it works . Airports are not controlled by airlines for space. For lounges . This is controlled by port authorities. Airlines cannot make more space. True me too so many cheap people here . Wow . Only ones complaining .

  38. Kit Guest

    Another reason for people to just switch to Priority Pass.

  39. Franz Christian Guest

    If American or United were smart, they would instantly offer a status match for diamonds to executive platinum or Premier 1K.

    Delta elites can no longer trust Delta to live by what it literally just said a couple months ago. What about the diamonds that have already selected 2023 choice benefits? Will those selections be honored?

    The idea that Delta is giving the giant middle-finger to diamonds and platinums who fly international economy or comfort...

    If American or United were smart, they would instantly offer a status match for diamonds to executive platinum or Premier 1K.

    Delta elites can no longer trust Delta to live by what it literally just said a couple months ago. What about the diamonds that have already selected 2023 choice benefits? Will those selections be honored?

    The idea that Delta is giving the giant middle-finger to diamonds and platinums who fly international economy or comfort plus -- many employers, including the government -- prohibit business-class on flights under a certain number of hours -- while at the same time rewarding infrequent customers with a credit card is quite incredible.

    1. Harry Guest

      How's your new status match going to get you in Admirals Club?

    2. shza Member

      United does not give any club access based on status. As a 1K, I get like a $100 discount on the totally-not-worth-it price of a United Club membership. If Diamonds think they're going to get a better situation matching to United or AA, they've got another thing coming.

  40. ak Guest

    is there any data on what percent of lounge users enter via credit card only

  41. Andrew Guest

    Will AMEX Plat members who book basic economy tickets still get access?

    1. Grand Guest

      Yes. Or a ticket on any other airline. Doesn't need to be DL at all.

    2. Nathan Guest

      Incorrect. Need to be flying delta. Always have.

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "Doesn't need to be DL at all."

      That's definitely false.

  42. Donna Diamond

    Not sure this is the end of this DL lounge saga. The fallout from the elites who either bail or pushback in other ways has yet to be seen. A new Amex contract could change significantly resulting in higher annual fees for cardholders who also bail. Their lounges may no longer be overcrowded but remain highly overrated and now overpriced. Their best customers are not oblivious to these realities.

    1. Lee Guest

      Donna, for as much hootin' and hollerin' there is, the question is whether the revenue needle moves as a result. If it doesn't, it must not be that big of a deal. Look at the hotel loyalty programs. In spite of the elimination or devaluation or lack of fulfillment of tier benefits, the hotel networks are at record revenues. Why would Hilton or Marriott or whomever not continue on their path?

      I'm not suggesting that...

      Donna, for as much hootin' and hollerin' there is, the question is whether the revenue needle moves as a result. If it doesn't, it must not be that big of a deal. Look at the hotel loyalty programs. In spite of the elimination or devaluation or lack of fulfillment of tier benefits, the hotel networks are at record revenues. Why would Hilton or Marriott or whomever not continue on their path?

      I'm not suggesting that Delta has that mindset regarding its lounges. As a practical matter, if Delta or AA or United want their lounges to be an upscale experience, then they need to ensure the experience is in fact upscale and price it accordingly. I've commented elsewhere that a gimme-gimme-gimme attitude has arisen regarding the lounges. And, all of the millennials who received an Everyone-Gets-One (aka EGO) pee-wee soccer trophy feel they're entitled to lounge access. Or, with a chip on their shoulder saying, "Why do the people in first class get the champagne and we in economy don't? It's not fair."

    2. Harry Guest

      Your comments got my vote. People it's about $$$. In spite of all the social want everything for free, someone has to tote the note. Amex apparently does. Remember where the airlines all went, besides us (taxpayers), during the covid were banks (cc) with points/miles. It's not rocket science. For the ones that don't have the card, get one (I'd say most complainers here have one). Otherwise, kids, your toy has just been taken away, so grow up.

    3. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Nobody seems to be pointing out that Delta claims it will open Delta One lounges in late 2023 or early 2024. What happens to the regular Sky Clubs at that time? It's conceivable that the quality of food and alcohol, both of which are mediocre at best right now and highly variable depending on the airport, will decline as Delta pivots the better food and alcohol to Delta One lounges.

  43. Never In Doubt Guest

    “Entry requirements are very similar to Amex Centurion Lounges, and we know how crowded those get.”

    63 days until the new Centurion lounge guest entry rules kick in.

    Getting my popcorn ready!

    1. shza Member

      That statement from Ben is pretty bogus anyway. The most obvious huge difference in entry requirements is that to get into a Delta lounge, you have to be flying Delta. I can fly Frontier and get into a Centurion lounge with everyone else who's flying every other airline that day.

  44. Franz Christian Guest

    In other words, AmEx owns the Delta lounges. Full stop.

    "As for Delta's perspective, James shared that 'this initiative is something that we're doing in unison and making American Express aware that this is something we need to do and they wholly support and agree because they look at these customers as theirs as well.'"
    https://thepointsguy.com/news/delta-sky-club-access-changes/

  45. Alonzo Diamond

    Amex Plat about to be a grand for the AF. So long sipping Dom P in the Skyclub for 12k Skymiles...

  46. Noa Guest

    Are there actually any delta platinum/diamond elites who don't have the amex cards? I have yet to meet one

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Good question.

      If you look at how they've raised the fee for the individual Sky Club membership, it's more expensive than both the platinum and reserve credit cards.

      You would have to be an idiot to buy the membership and not get the credit card, especially since the reserve card is a tie-breaker for purposes of domestic first-class upgrades. The only reason I can see to buy a lounge membership is the tax...

      Good question.

      If you look at how they've raised the fee for the individual Sky Club membership, it's more expensive than both the platinum and reserve credit cards.

      You would have to be an idiot to buy the membership and not get the credit card, especially since the reserve card is a tie-breaker for purposes of domestic first-class upgrades. The only reason I can see to buy a lounge membership is the tax deduction. If you use the lounge 100% for business purposes, it's as far as I know an allowable tax deduction.

      Will this actually thin the herd by any significant number? I'm not sure. I guess we'll find out in about three months' time.

    2. Christian Guest

      I'm based in Japan and am a Platinum elite. The US Amex cards aren’t available to us in Japan and there's no comparable cards here so I guess no more lounge access when flying economy out of Haneda.

    3. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      You should complain. Maybe you'll get an exception, just like elites based outside the 50 U.S. states are exempt from the MQD spending threshold.

    4. PN Guest

      I don't have an AMEX Card and have Diamond status since years. I also am Senator with Lufthansa and was just giving my focus to Delta but with all these changes will revert and rather fly United/LH in the future.

    5. Eve Guest

      You do know there are members who do not reside in US and do not have access to US cards?

    6. Gabe Guest

      I for one have Platinum Medallion status and I got rid of my Amex Platinum years ago. Did the spreadsheet with my spending and realized I got much more value from the Chase Reserve + Freedom. Also, I’ve come to realize that I’m better off at the airport just buying a meal and a drink that I will enjoy vs. the basic food and drinks from the Sky Club. Now, everyone has a different situation, but just saying, we are out there.

    7. Khatl Diamond

      Been Platinum and Diamond for many years. For most of those, never had the credit cards as I'd already churned/burned them, but also as I consider earning Skypesos to be significantly outweighed by earning rewards instead on credit cards offering at least 2x/$1.

    8. Mlloyd996 New Member

      I don't have it, and I started flying Delta in 2020. Earned Platinum that yer, Diamond in 2021 and this year...because I fly almost weekly for work. With a company CC, no point in me having it. So in 2024, I won't have access to the lounge as a choice benefit unless I use all 3 for an executive membership. I travel alone...so why should I have to get an executive membership? Delta seems to not care about those of us road warriors that spend $20k+ each year.

  47. Tim Dunn Diamond

    It would be interesting to know how many passengers actually access Sky Clubs via each of these "targeted" types of access. While many people frequently say "there are probably not that many people for type X of access" the cumulative numbers add up.

    It is good that Delta has finally - and hopefully for the last time - changed the rules instead of the band-aid approach to one new rule change after another that has...

    It would be interesting to know how many passengers actually access Sky Clubs via each of these "targeted" types of access. While many people frequently say "there are probably not that many people for type X of access" the cumulative numbers add up.

    It is good that Delta has finally - and hopefully for the last time - changed the rules instead of the band-aid approach to one new rule change after another that has been 2022.

    It should be abundantly clear that the Delta-Amex relationship is the most valuable in the entire global airline industry. All global and legacy airlines are seeing record demand for premium services but the Amex relationship is simply more valuable. For every person that says they will bail because of these changes, another 2 people are likely to increase their spending with Amex. It is hard to believe that anyone that tells us how loyal they have been to Delta will really walk away from the Sky Club perks by not getting or upgrading their Amex relationship.

    and, yes, Amex pays Delta hundreds of millions of dollars per year for Sky Club access for cardholders.

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      It’s actually billions of $/year that Amex pays to Delta for the co-branded cards, points, and lounge access; where did you see a breakdown of how much of that goes to Sky Club access?

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      there is a breakdown of misc. income in DAL's 10K that specifically notes that it includes Amex reimbursements for Sky Club access.
      The entire Amex relationship drives $5 billion/yr for Delta set to go to $7 billion/yr.

      And none of us know how much more Delta keeps from its own branded Amex portfolio cards including the Reserve but it is certain that a chunk of the income in that "other" category is platinum non-Delta...

      there is a breakdown of misc. income in DAL's 10K that specifically notes that it includes Amex reimbursements for Sky Club access.
      The entire Amex relationship drives $5 billion/yr for Delta set to go to $7 billion/yr.

      And none of us know how much more Delta keeps from its own branded Amex portfolio cards including the Reserve but it is certain that a chunk of the income in that "other" category is platinum non-Delta cards. There are more of them and they have better non-DL benefits. If you choose the Reserve card, you are specifically giving up some non-Delta benefits for better DL benefits.

    3. SwimBikeFly Guest

      Whoa whoa whoa. Reading a 10k? Looking at an airline as a business? Not at this gossip website!!

  48. Eskimo Guest

    Would they can just cut all the crap already and start to rebrand them as Skyclub Lounges - The Centurion® Studio Partner.

  49. Anthony Diamond

    1) It seems like Delta is at least preserving the ability of elites (Gold and up) traveling in economy to access SkyTeam lounges like Air France at CDG, KLM at AMS, and partner lounges like Virgin Clubhouse?

    2) A lot of people are saying Delta can't change Amex card club access until new contracts - that may be true, but they did just increase the guest fee to $50 and increased the Delta Platinum Amex...

    1) It seems like Delta is at least preserving the ability of elites (Gold and up) traveling in economy to access SkyTeam lounges like Air France at CDG, KLM at AMS, and partner lounges like Virgin Clubhouse?

    2) A lot of people are saying Delta can't change Amex card club access until new contracts - that may be true, but they did just increase the guest fee to $50 and increased the Delta Platinum Amex access fee to $50, so some changes were made there. They also reduced access to the Amex Delta Gold card a couple of years ago. So Delta/Amex have made some adjustments. They clearly though see the Delta Reserve / Amex Platinum cards as huge drivers of revenues for both companies, so they have to protect it...

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      I think the days of accessing the Heathrow Clubhouse will be coming to an end. Virgin Atlantic has already said it will designate it a first-class lounge upon joining SkyTeam. I think the handwriting on the wall says Delta elites in economy will be denied access moving forward.

  50. TravelinWilly Guest

    So someone with AF Flying Blue gold or plat status flying in DL economy gets Skyclub access?

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Yes. Absurd. But it stops other Sky Team elites from retaliating against Delta elites abroad.

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Other Sky Team airlines *

    3. Lee Guest

      Just to clarify, SkyTeam lounge access rules are NOT life OneWorld and Star Alliance lounge access rules.

      Someone with Flying Blue status (or any other non-US program) will have SkyClub access IF the person is traveling on an international itinerary (irrespective of cabin class). Someone has Flying Blue status will NOT have SkyClub access IF the person is flying on a purely domestic Delta flight (irrespective of cabin class, Delta One excepted).

      So, a US-based...

      Just to clarify, SkyTeam lounge access rules are NOT life OneWorld and Star Alliance lounge access rules.

      Someone with Flying Blue status (or any other non-US program) will have SkyClub access IF the person is traveling on an international itinerary (irrespective of cabin class). Someone has Flying Blue status will NOT have SkyClub access IF the person is flying on a purely domestic Delta flight (irrespective of cabin class, Delta One excepted).

      So, a US-based traveler would NOT be able to gain SkyClub access via FB status. Set your mind at ease.

    4. TravelinWilly Diamond

      Oh, my mind is very much at ease! :)

      I have the Amex *and* FB status, so I’m fine two times over! :) :) :) :)

    5. Khatl Diamond

      @Lee Whereas on OneWorld, a US-based traveler on domestic itineraries would get AA lounge access through OneWorld Sapphire or above status (& Emeralds even get flagship lounge access)

  51. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    The change that keeps elites flying economy or extra-legroom economy from the lounges tell me that Delta will not be opening Delta One-only lounges in 2023.

    It's also interesting to see further codification of special 360 benefits whereas this was previously a hidden status with no defined benefits over and above diamond.

    1. Anthony Diamond

      You have said this a few times, but only one (JFK) has really been confirmed. It looks based on the press release today that the additional "regular" JFK Club will open before any Delta One club there...

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      The Detroit one is already built. They've delayed designating it a Delta One/360 lounge for at least a year now.

      It's been operating as an overflow space for the main Sky Club at DTW, although of the five lounges at DTW it's the only one with a premium bar. That's kind of interesting.

      Presumably, the Delta One/360 lounges -- if they ever open -- will have complimentary premium wines. Paying $7,000 for a...

      The Detroit one is already built. They've delayed designating it a Delta One/360 lounge for at least a year now.

      It's been operating as an overflow space for the main Sky Club at DTW, although of the five lounges at DTW it's the only one with a premium bar. That's kind of interesting.

      Presumably, the Delta One/360 lounges -- if they ever open -- will have complimentary premium wines. Paying $7,000 for a Delta One ticket only to be denied a glass of real champagne would be laughable.

  52. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Very clever for Delta to price annual Sky Club memberships HIGHER than the AmEx platinum or AmEx-Delta reserve credit cards. Sure, this may thin the herd a little bit but I suspect most people who are suddenly out in the cold will just get the credit card.

    1. Greg Guest

      I'm surprised a material number of people were buying the membership outright vs the card already

      The Diamond choice change is a material one though - I'll bet lots of them don't do the math and keep choosing it because it was the benefit they were used to from the old days

  53. Khatl Diamond

    I live in Atlanta. My last experience in the Atlanta Skyclub was horrendous due to overcrowding (and the fact that they are not selling Dom anymore). The primary reason for overcrowding is solely one of Delta's own making. Yet, it's loyal Delta passengers who are being relegated in priority. It's interesting that while AA/BA is building an elite specific lounge at JFK no matter the class of travel (and that lounge being a step up...

    I live in Atlanta. My last experience in the Atlanta Skyclub was horrendous due to overcrowding (and the fact that they are not selling Dom anymore). The primary reason for overcrowding is solely one of Delta's own making. Yet, it's loyal Delta passengers who are being relegated in priority. It's interesting that while AA/BA is building an elite specific lounge at JFK no matter the class of travel (and that lounge being a step up from the regular biz lounge), Delta is going the opposite direction to treat its elites worse than biz class passengers, and has no dedicated lounges.

    1. Lee Guest

      AA elites do NOT have access to its lounges (irrespective of cabin class) unless traveling on international or transcon itineraries. ANY person without status who is traveling AA international or transcon in first or business will have access.

      For BA elites, it's a different story. For AA elites, it's not.

    2. jfkaaflyer Guest

      But this is precisely the access that Delta just removed - elites flying internationally. They get no lounge, whereas American elites in those same shoes get the new nicer lounge.
      As an JFK based AA elite, I'm not complaining. It's a nice change where I think AA is doing better than the competition.

    3. Khatl Diamond

      AA/OneWorld Emerald elites do have access to an elite specific and better than business lounge when on the itineraries you note. And AA/OneWorld Sapphires have access to the biz lounge on those same itineraries. Delta has no elite lounges. And if travelling internationally or transcon in basic economy Delta elites get no lounge access. So AA is way better than Delta when providing lounge access to elites.

  54. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    This is quite the middle-finger to elites. So, Delta will recognize and grant lounge access to a person flying economy with Sky Team Elite Plus status from some random airline but not to their best, most loyal customers with Diamond status? What about all the diamonds whose companies won't pay for Boston-London business-class due to the short duration of the flight? This is absurd.

    At the same time, it's evil brilliant because that same...

    This is quite the middle-finger to elites. So, Delta will recognize and grant lounge access to a person flying economy with Sky Team Elite Plus status from some random airline but not to their best, most loyal customers with Diamond status? What about all the diamonds whose companies won't pay for Boston-London business-class due to the short duration of the flight? This is absurd.

    At the same time, it's evil brilliant because that same diamond medallion can just get a credit card to gain access. In other words, Delta wants you to pay TWICE to get access.

    Wow.

    I sincerely hope everyone complains, big time. This has worked before.

    1. Eve Guest

      It is sad, and I thought Marriott Bonvoy was being evil with their changes over the years but this is just much worse. It is an outright middle finger to frequent flyers who have spend over $10k to gain their status, especially ones who do not have access to US credit cards (and there are quite many of them).

      I have given up on switching from Flying Blue at this point, at least they...

      It is sad, and I thought Marriott Bonvoy was being evil with their changes over the years but this is just much worse. It is an outright middle finger to frequent flyers who have spend over $10k to gain their status, especially ones who do not have access to US credit cards (and there are quite many of them).

      I have given up on switching from Flying Blue at this point, at least they don’t force you to get a credit card to gain basic benefits

      Hopefully UA keeps up with their progression and don’t join the nosedived being pursued by DL and AA (referring to their short haul products and horrible international network)

    2. Jim Guest

      Yes bye bye to all the free loaders . Only ones I see complaining . Status with airlines has never meant much anyway if you think about it . Bye bye

    3. Lee Guest

      I think it is easy to jump to conclusions about what might happen.

      I think this will end up being like AA's lounge access rules. IF an elite is traveling on a purely domestic itinerary, buy a membership or get a card. IF an elite is traveling on an international itinerary (irrespective of cabin class), access will be granted.

      Personally, while I'm not a Diamond and never will be, I think Diamonds should be given...

      I think it is easy to jump to conclusions about what might happen.

      I think this will end up being like AA's lounge access rules. IF an elite is traveling on a purely domestic itinerary, buy a membership or get a card. IF an elite is traveling on an international itinerary (irrespective of cabin class), access will be granted.

      Personally, while I'm not a Diamond and never will be, I think Diamonds should be given access without restrictions.

      Until something is official and in operation and we see how it plays out, let's not get too worked up.

    4. Jack Guest

      This will have repercussions on SkyTeam Elite Plus as a whole, and give AF/KL some thoughts on how they will handle their own lounges.

  55. Rob Guest

    They may not have changed anything for cardholders because they are under contract, not necessarily due to profitability. When the Amex contract gets renegotiated, that will be when we learn how much it is really worth.

  56. shoeguy Guest

    I bailed on Delta in 2018 and have never looked back. The SkyClubs have always been a step above a cafeteria in terms of quality of food and presentation and always felt crowded, and over-used. The on-board experience on Delta has also slipped, badly, notably in the Delta One cabin, which I flew in to CDG last month. The plane was an A339 and had scratch marks everywhere on the walls and seats, crumbs on...

    I bailed on Delta in 2018 and have never looked back. The SkyClubs have always been a step above a cafeteria in terms of quality of food and presentation and always felt crowded, and over-used. The on-board experience on Delta has also slipped, badly, notably in the Delta One cabin, which I flew in to CDG last month. The plane was an A339 and had scratch marks everywhere on the walls and seats, crumbs on the floor around the seat, the flight attendants were brusque, and the food was a mixed bag of generally low quality. It makes perfect sense for Delta to cater strictly to its highest spenders from a revenue management standpoint, but the airline's shine and the illusion it creates that somehow it is a better carrier are quickly evaporating.

    1. Jan Guest

      It’s funny because it’s the opposite IMO - flyers who will spend 8-12k next year for Gold and Platinum status will get shafted for lounge access… but the dork with an Amex Platinum gets in. There are probably many more people with Amex Platinum and/or earn status through Amex cards than there are people who earn status without Amex cards and strictly through flying.

      DL should rename itself already to American Express Airlines… the credit...

      It’s funny because it’s the opposite IMO - flyers who will spend 8-12k next year for Gold and Platinum status will get shafted for lounge access… but the dork with an Amex Platinum gets in. There are probably many more people with Amex Platinum and/or earn status through Amex cards than there are people who earn status without Amex cards and strictly through flying.

      DL should rename itself already to American Express Airlines… the credit card is really the one running the show here.

  57. Jan Guest

    Poors like me are inching closer to free agency with these BS changes :D

  58. JP Guest

    I for one like the changes. I'd go further to say no day passes - no exceptions.

    I usually always see the clubs slammed with Diamond members (I'm primarily in ATL and DTW) that likely got the membership via choice benefit. Delta is moving clubs to be those that have to pay to get in.

    On the next AMEX negotiation you'll likely see the membership diminished with only a finite number of visits.

    1. Santastico Diamond

      Getting club access through Choice Benefits is a horrible choice. You can get it through a credit card and use the choice benefits for something better in my opinion. I always get the Global Upgrade as my choice.

    2. Mlloyd996 New Member

      As a DM, I choose the Global upgrades (these have been devaluated since the introduced PS), Lounge access (since I do at least 120 segments a year) and vary my last benefit. If you're a DM, what other two benefits do you select?!

  59. Zach Guest

    Curious as to how lifetime club members will be treated.

    1. Jimmy’s Travel Report Diamond

      So far Delta has grandfathered that group, retaining the original benefits. My guess is the population as a whole wouldn’t move the needle if Delta devalued access.

    2. SD Ron New Member

      Executive/Lifetime Members will be treated very well as usual:

      Effective February 2, 2023, Delta Sky Club Executive and Lifetime Members may bring up to two more guests to the Delta Sky Club, in addition to the complimentary two guests already permitted at a per-visit rate of $50 per person or 5,000 miles (previously $39 or 3,900 miles), per location.

  60. rjb Guest

    So glad I bailed out on Delta in 2020. They obviously don't want or need my puny $10k in spend every year. I need to find a way to monetize my SkyPesos.

  61. Kevin Guest

    I can see Amex raising the Platinum fee for 2024

    1. RJB Guest

      And then I'll be done with Amex Plat, too. These companies are making it easier and easier to slim down my credit card accounts.

  62. BB Guest

    WOW. Sacrificing their own fliers and elites so that they can let all the AMEX Plat members crowd the clubs. We know where the real $$ are coming from.

  63. Santastico Diamond

    “As of February 2, 2023, Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion members will no longer get Sky Club access on account of their status, unless they’re flying in premium economy (Premium Select) or business class (Delta One)”

    What do you mean by the above? When did anyone just got Delta Sky Club access based in their status? Will anything change for Amex Platinum and Delta Reserve card owners? Nothing will change of they keep giving the...

    “As of February 2, 2023, Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion members will no longer get Sky Club access on account of their status, unless they’re flying in premium economy (Premium Select) or business class (Delta One)”

    What do you mean by the above? When did anyone just got Delta Sky Club access based in their status? Will anything change for Amex Platinum and Delta Reserve card owners? Nothing will change of they keep giving the perk to anyone that has a Amex Platinum card. I have a friend that all his work colleagues get Amex Platinum Corporate cards from their company so they all get to do happy hour at the lounge when flying. Unless Delta makes more difficult for Amex holders to access the lounge it will continue to be a zoo.

    1. Ralfinho Guest

      SkyTeam Elite Plus members (which include Gold, Platinum and Diamond Medallions) currently get access when flying internationally the same day. No matter if flying Delta One, Premium Select, Comfort+, or Main Cabin.

      Amex Platinum card members will still get access if flying Delta.

    2. Santastico Diamond

      It seems Lucky clarified that on the post as it was not saying international travel. I actually never knew about this perk since I always used my Delta Reserve card to access the lounge.

    3. Jim Guest

      Only the free loaders complaining . This is too funny status never meant much except for same day fee waviers for me . If you want more you always have to pay more . All these people yelping won’t be able to free load anymore . Goood riddance. I don’t think this will solve the problem completely. Rates on cards will have to be increased period in 2024. Everyone has to pay to play we all know that.

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

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ConcordeBoy Diamond

Making sure you offering has basic level amenities is now "woke?" Do you have any idea how imbecilic you sound.....?

4
tipsyinmadras Diamond

*slow-clap* Way to drink the FauxNews Kool-aid. Corporations pay effective tax rates much lower than people. Globally the US falls in the middle of the pack in Corporate tax rates, which have fallen precipitously since 1980. But nice try.

4
TravelinWilly Diamond

What does “woke” mean? How does “woke” lead DL to not understand capacity limitations at clubs?

3
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