New Delta SkyClub Access Limits As Of June 2022 (Update)

New Delta SkyClub Access Limits As Of June 2022 (Update)

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In early May, Delta Air Lines announced some major SkyClub access policy changes, which garnered mixed reactions. The Atlanta-based airline has just partially backtracked on these changes, so let’s go over the details.

Delta adds three hour lounge access limit

As of June 1, 2022, Delta will be adding a major restriction when it comes to SkyClub access. Specifically, guests will only be able to access clubs within three hours of their scheduled flight departure time. Those connecting can use clubs any time prior to departure, and if your flight is delayed, you can still use a club within three hours of the original scheduled departure time.

These new SkyClub access restrictions apply regardless of which method you use to access the club, whether you outright buy a membership, or access with the Amex Platinum Card. The only exception is that the changes don’t apply to those with Delta 360 status, as well as those with the Amex Centurion Card.

It’s amazing to think how much lounge access policies have evolved over the years. Back in the day if you purchased an airline lounge membership, you could basically access the club any time you wanted, regardless of which airline you were flying. Several years back we saw clubs add requirements to actually be flying with that airline or a partner.

Now we’re seeing Delta “leading the way” when it comes to adding time restrictions to lounge access. I’m curious to see if American and United follow.

Delta SkyClubs will be accessible within three hours of departure

Delta won’t restrict lounge access on arrival

When Delta SkyClub access changes were first announced, the plan was for lounges to no longer be accessible upon arrival. Delta has today announced that it’s backtracking on this policy change due to customer feedback.

Delta SkyClubs will continue to be accessible for all eligible guests upon arrival, rather than just within three hours of departure. I imagine that a lot of SkyClub members and frequent flyers probably expressed frustration about these policy changes.

At the same time, I can’t help but find the final execution of these changes to be strange. You’ll only be able to access SkyClubs within three hours of your departing flight, while you can access them for as long as you’d like when arriving.

Delta SkyClubs will still be accessible upon arrival

Are these access restrictions good or bad news?

As Delta describes these changes, they’re intended to “help ensure the best possible experience for you.” Whether or not these changes are good news depend on what kind of traveler you are:

  • Delta SkyClubs tend to be the most crowded lounges of any of the “big three” US airlines, in my experience, given the credit cards that offer lounge access, as there are lots of people with the Amex Platinum
  • There have been many instances of Delta outright rejecting members from lounges due to crowding, so I can appreciate that something needs to be done about that
  • With Delta not even restricting lounge access for arriving passengers (as originally planned), I can’t imagine this new three hour rule will move the needle all that much when it comes to crowding

I think what stands out to me the most here is how this policy applies equally to everyone. Those who purchased a lifetime Delta SkyClub membership and who have Diamond Medallion status are being treated the same as a first time Delta traveler with an Amex Platinum.

Furthermore, those who paid for a Delta SkyClub membership are potentially having the rules changed on them part way through their membership year. Just a few weeks notice are being given for these changes, and it’s not cool to change rules after someone has already paid for something.

Logically it seems like more restrictions should apply to those with the Amex Platinum rather than those with a membership. But I’m guessing Amex Platinum lounge access is a significant revenue stream for Delta, and Delta is erring on the side of keeping things simple and consistent.

I can totally understand how club members aren’t happy about these changes, and I think that frustration is warranted.

Some will like these changes, while others won’t

Bottom line

As of June 2022, Delta will add stricter SkyClub access rules. Lounges will only be accessible within three hours of scheduled departure. Initially Delta was going to stop offering lounge access to arriving passengers, but the airline has backtracked on that due to customer feedback.

Delta’s lounges definitely have crowding issues, at least at some airports, so I appreciate that something is being done to counteract that. At the same time, I don’t think these policy changes will impact crowding levels in a material way.

What do you make of Delta’s new lounge access restrictions?

Conversations (86)
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  1. Emmanuel Miller Guest

    Just surprised by this change today and my family was turned away at the lounge because we are at the airport 4 hours before departure. Pretty ticked that my paid executive membership doesn’t work for me and the mid-year change is a breach of contract.

  2. Ross Evans Guest

    Horrible change! No one purposely ends up at the airport 5 hours early because they want to! Say you have others in your party with earlier flights or cruise travelers who are taken the the airport! I ended up getting kept out today as we are here 6 hours early! Furious that they would not let me in club. Platinum Flier, Million Miler and loyal to delta for decades! No more! This was the dumbest thing they could have done!

  3. Anne Guest

    Since I don't read all of the dozens of email from Delta, I didn't learn of the change until I was turned away from the Delta lounge for being too early. I thought the woman was joking.
    For business travelers, this greatly reduces the value of the lounge. For international travelers, same thing. Travel is unpredictable. By putting such a short limit on the lounge, I now have much less flexibility to be productive...

    Since I don't read all of the dozens of email from Delta, I didn't learn of the change until I was turned away from the Delta lounge for being too early. I thought the woman was joking.
    For business travelers, this greatly reduces the value of the lounge. For international travelers, same thing. Travel is unpredictable. By putting such a short limit on the lounge, I now have much less flexibility to be productive while traveling.
    And why 3 hours before boarding? In many places that leaves a 2.5 hour stay to leave time to get to a gate.
    This change on top of the recent change to how upgrade certificates can be used really makes me doubt that I am valued as a loyal Delta customer.

  4. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    "Logically it seems like more restrictions should apply to those with the Amex Platinum rather than those with a membership."

    There's nothing logical about that at all.

    Compare contrast the price of direct membership with the annual fee of the card... notice a similarity? What difference does it make if we're giving the $500ish to DL or to AmEx, if it's going toward the same thing: club access?

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Unfortunately many people can't think logically anymore.

      But under your logic, What difference does it make if you're buying stuff for your wife or paying for a prostitute, if it's going toward the same thing?

      ;)

  5. WB Guest

    I agree 100% that it's the Amex Plat (no judgment folks!). I think maybe - where there is a Centurion Lounge - have the Amex Platty's go there for free and charge $39 for the Sky Club. Vice versa for the Reserve Card...free for the Sky Club...$39 for the Centurion.
    Unscientific but...when I speak to folks in the Sky Club it runs 3 out of 5 that are in via the Platty,

  6. Paul Black Guest

    Traveling Lax-CDG delta ticket AF flight
    With my 2 daughters.
    I have delta reserve card and Amex platinum can we all (3) use the cub ???

  7. Greg Guest

    I am glad they are backtracking on the arrival. I often find the arrival lounge access to be the most important especially off of a red eye flight. When I could use either a shower, or a cup of coffee and a snack to get feeling used to the new time zone.

    As well lounge access is a big part of the reason as a Westjet Elite that I choose to fly Delta as I...

    I am glad they are backtracking on the arrival. I often find the arrival lounge access to be the most important especially off of a red eye flight. When I could use either a shower, or a cup of coffee and a snack to get feeling used to the new time zone.

    As well lounge access is a big part of the reason as a Westjet Elite that I choose to fly Delta as I get free access to a Delta lounge + a guest. I also like the fact that I can get WiFi in the lounge as I don't have a USA data plan so being able to connect is also a big factor for needing lounge access on arrival.

  8. Donna Diamond

    Lounges have lost their allure in recent years. Bad or no food choices and crowding during the hours that I connect typically. I can tether off my phone and food choices in the terminal are better. Prior to the pandemic, I recall finding the terminal seating less crowded and a better working environment during peak club hours. If this helps with overcrowding, great. As for the arrival issue, I’m not a shower in the airport...

    Lounges have lost their allure in recent years. Bad or no food choices and crowding during the hours that I connect typically. I can tether off my phone and food choices in the terminal are better. Prior to the pandemic, I recall finding the terminal seating less crowded and a better working environment during peak club hours. If this helps with overcrowding, great. As for the arrival issue, I’m not a shower in the airport lounge person. I go directly to the hotel or home and since my flights are all long haul international ones, I don’t schedule work on arrival days.

    1. George Romey Guest

      Agreed. They've become just like the terminals but with some free food and booze. The only real value I see remaining is that they can help with irregular operations but even that can be staff member specific.

      Not sure how much allowing arrivals will help as most people that go into a lounge upon arrival will typically stay just to grab some food, log onto wifi or take a shower.

  9. Taylor Guest

    Wow - I'm pleasantly surprised to hear they listened to customer feedback and reversed course on the restrictions on accessing the SkyClubs on arrival. I contacted Ed Bastian to express my concerns about this policy, I guess many others did as well.

  10. DLPTATL Guest

    @Ben - The reason they're not implementing a 3-hour rule for arriving passengers is because they don't want to track passengers down in the lounge and kick them out. It's much easier to deny access before the three hour mark.

    Overall I'm happy with the changes as I understand Delta is doing this to address over-crowding, not to curtail benefits. Occasionally I arrive before the 3 hour mark in order to work out of...

    @Ben - The reason they're not implementing a 3-hour rule for arriving passengers is because they don't want to track passengers down in the lounge and kick them out. It's much easier to deny access before the three hour mark.

    Overall I'm happy with the changes as I understand Delta is doing this to address over-crowding, not to curtail benefits. Occasionally I arrive before the 3 hour mark in order to work out of the club, but it's fairly rare with my travel patterns. It's much more common for me to hit a lounge on arrival to grab a cup of coffee, use the RR, download email, wait for traffic to clear-up, etc. before heading out.

    1. Levi Gold

      I suspect the other consideration is that most access on arrival tends to be fairly short anyway because if you've reached your final destination, chances are you have better things to do than go to the SkyClub for 4+ hours. Most of the exceptions in that regard are probably mileage runs (which gives you an idea of how frequent they are, given the general lack of value in a domestic mileage run on Delta).

  11. Eskimo Guest

    Uh.... Delta, if you are really listening to customer feedbacks.

    1. Build more and bigger SkyClub.
    2. Limit number and type of people with access.
    3. Self serve bar.
    4. Limit the guest and family, +1 means ONE. Enough of immediate family members, pick just ONE.
    5. And this might be controversial, make the food worse. I'd rather have an empty club with crackers and cheese cubes than an overcrowded club...

    Uh.... Delta, if you are really listening to customer feedbacks.

    1. Build more and bigger SkyClub.
    2. Limit number and type of people with access.
    3. Self serve bar.
    4. Limit the guest and family, +1 means ONE. Enough of immediate family members, pick just ONE.
    5. And this might be controversial, make the food worse. I'd rather have an empty club with crackers and cheese cubes than an overcrowded club with gourmet food. Give the premium food to Delta One or Platinum and above flying international. My hypothesis is most people are in for the free food.

    1. DLPTATL Guest

      @Eskimo Uh...they are doing the following:
      1) Building more and bigger SkyClubs - LAX just opened replacing a much smaller club, ditto SLC and MCO over the past couple years, announcements of DeltaOne lounges at JFK and LAX, etc.
      2) This isn't customer friendly
      3) Self serve bar is a step down from what Delta offers in most clubs
      4) you seem to be kidding
      5) you're clearly really kidding - enjoy "The Club"!

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @DLPTATL

      Uh..
      1. My sarcasm is more of building a SkyClub terminal and SkyClub in more airports.
      2. Overcrowded club isn't customer friendly. However AMEX income is pocket friendly.
      3. Think outside the box, ever consider self serve what Delta offers in most clubs?
      4. Too many kids. Well behaved or not, they are taking space. or maybe +1 lap sitting only? Now that would be interesting ;)
      5. Even...

      @DLPTATL

      Uh..
      1. My sarcasm is more of building a SkyClub terminal and SkyClub in more airports.
      2. Overcrowded club isn't customer friendly. However AMEX income is pocket friendly.
      3. Think outside the box, ever consider self serve what Delta offers in most clubs?
      4. Too many kids. Well behaved or not, they are taking space. or maybe +1 lap sitting only? Now that would be interesting ;)
      5. Even "The Club" gets crowded. Food is probably still too good. But if free food you're after, there's always the food bank.

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Do you get paid per-idiotic post, or do you just write such drivel to troll?

  12. Juan Guest

    I've never used the SkyClub on arrival, but it's a nice perk to have knowing it's there. I think it's safe to assume not many end up using it on arrival too. However, those who do are likely very frequent fliers and were very vocal about it. I can see it coming in handy after a redeye, especially if there are showers available.

    When it comes to the crowding at the SkyClubs, I'm sure those...

    I've never used the SkyClub on arrival, but it's a nice perk to have knowing it's there. I think it's safe to assume not many end up using it on arrival too. However, those who do are likely very frequent fliers and were very vocal about it. I can see it coming in handy after a redeye, especially if there are showers available.

    When it comes to the crowding at the SkyClubs, I'm sure those using it on arrival were a very small fraction, so it's not worth restricting it.

  13. Never In Doubt Guest

    After Tim Dunn told us what a genius move the original change was on Delta's part, I await him telling us how the backtracking was even more genius!

    1. Jan Guest

      I don't know who's more obsessed - Tim Dunn applauding Delta's move, or Never In Doubt just wanting to hear Tim Dunn's take in every DL blog post.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Never in doubt is clearly the one that is obsessed.
      Not only did I not say anything about Delta's move being genius but I specifically said otherwise - and yet Doubt (he clearly is) not only ignored what I said but repeated the same thing again.

      and, yes, it is an honor to live rent free in some people's head.

      as for the latest move, Delta's customers spoke and the company listened.. Good for both parties. Not sure how anyone can see anything wrong with that.

  14. NK3 Member

    I feel like by announcing this and then backtracking, a bunch of people who didn't know they could access the Sky Club on arrival suddenly now know, and the end result will be (slightly) more people in the Sky Club. But as a person who tends to run into the Club for a couple minutes on arrival, I am happy.

  15. Mark Guest

    All lounges are just too cheap. Lounges need to be truly exclusive again. Just double or triple the membership costs and all these problems go away.

  16. John Golembeski Guest

    New to Delta, and was quite put off by the lady at the Atlanta Sky Club. Felt very snubbed and the lady didn't offer any explanation of entry requirements, which I didn't meet. So I just smiled and said 'Ill just leave then
    Not impressed as a new Delta traveler...I'm halfway back to southwest already and this is really my first trip w Delta.

    1. John Glowicki Guest

      Chick fil a is just great!! Aka the southwest lounge.
      Better than the morning microwaved biscuit’s we see all the time in a certain airlines lounge, such rubbish!!

  17. staradmiral Guest

    I for one will continue to access upon arrival, regardless of any rule changes. They are ways to get in. I already do so for centurion lounges even though i only hold the platinum card. Access on arrival was present when I paid the fee and signed up.

    Why not just add a 1 hour time limit for arrival? eat, shower and go.

  18. Michael Guest

    Looks like I’ll be dropping my Reserve card then. Venture X gets me Priority Pass anyway.

  19. Maca Guest

    Not so slowly but very much surely, Delta and all the major airlines, are realizing they've way over promised and are badly under delivering. The customer pays up...and still gets screwed. They ask for our loyalty...why would anyone be loyal to such blatant misuse of privilege? Third World problem for sure...but it is not coming free

  20. Jojo Guest

    As a Diamond medallion, I am used to disappointment in Delta elite treatment. But when I selected the Executive Sky Club membership as my Medallion Benefit, it was based on the fact that I frequently use the lounge upon landing - to quickly log onto computer, freshen up, etc. This is a total bait and switch. I flew >200k miles last year and earned my benefits. Cut access for AmEx or just tell us you...

    As a Diamond medallion, I am used to disappointment in Delta elite treatment. But when I selected the Executive Sky Club membership as my Medallion Benefit, it was based on the fact that I frequently use the lounge upon landing - to quickly log onto computer, freshen up, etc. This is a total bait and switch. I flew >200k miles last year and earned my benefits. Cut access for AmEx or just tell us you don't care about elite members, but this is above and beyond the usual disrepect Delta shows to its elites. I fly Delta because of the experience, even though my 1K status is much more valuable for perks. But this type of change shifts that balance. Grrrrrrr

    1. MrMark Guest

      But you will still be able to use upon landing. I think that all of these loyalty programs are seriously downgrading what they offer. Corporate America once again colluding to screw the avg consumer in the name of profits. I have Titanium Elite lifetime status with Marriott which is virtually meaningless nowadays with how little you actually benefit considering I haven't seen an upgrade or an open concierge lounge in forever. I do not fly...

      But you will still be able to use upon landing. I think that all of these loyalty programs are seriously downgrading what they offer. Corporate America once again colluding to screw the avg consumer in the name of profits. I have Titanium Elite lifetime status with Marriott which is virtually meaningless nowadays with how little you actually benefit considering I haven't seen an upgrade or an open concierge lounge in forever. I do not fly as much as yourself but understand the frustration. With that being said, I do feel that Delta is the best airline - which might not be saying much these days with how low the bar is set.

  21. Emily Kristiansen Guest

    Although I am disappointed with the changes, I am not surprised. As a frequent Alaska Airlines flyer, I continue to believe that their lounge membership is the best of all the major airlines. You can enter anywhere, anytime, for however long, on arrival, on departure, when flying Alaska or another airline. Many times I've used the lounge to grab an arrival breakfast after a killer overnight transcon, or kill time before my late-night flight. The...

    Although I am disappointed with the changes, I am not surprised. As a frequent Alaska Airlines flyer, I continue to believe that their lounge membership is the best of all the major airlines. You can enter anywhere, anytime, for however long, on arrival, on departure, when flying Alaska or another airline. Many times I've used the lounge to grab an arrival breakfast after a killer overnight transcon, or kill time before my late-night flight. The only drawback is their lack of locations, but I wish other airlines would apply this structure to their lounge access.

  22. Andy Guest

    It does not apply to everybody it seems - I read it as lifetime members and Centurion card holders being exempt.

  23. Taylor Guest

    I'm really disappointed by the lack of access on arrival and will likely cancel my Delta Reserve when it is up for renewal as a result. I only use lounges on arrival 5-10% of the time but when I do they provide outsized value: when I'm waiting for someone, to caffeinate before a business meeting, or to grab some food if I didn't have time to eat before departure. I think this is a very...

    I'm really disappointed by the lack of access on arrival and will likely cancel my Delta Reserve when it is up for renewal as a result. I only use lounges on arrival 5-10% of the time but when I do they provide outsized value: when I'm waiting for someone, to caffeinate before a business meeting, or to grab some food if I didn't have time to eat before departure. I think this is a very customer unfriendly move and agree Delta is getting too overconfident. I've been very impressed with United - Polaris lounges are extraordinary, planes are much nicer than they used to be, operational reliability has improved, and they treated elites really well during the pandemic. Overall, United acts like they are trying to attract customers rather than Delta which seems determined to push them away.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      You do realize that Polaris lounges are United's premium cabin lounge, not the equivalent of Delta Sky Clubs?
      Delta might (and probably) will allow visit on arrival at its two new Delta One lounges which Ben just covered.

      As for reliability, according to the DOT, United placed 6th out of 10 US carriers in on-time through Feb, the latest month for which the DOT has released data, behind Delta, Southwest and American.
      For...

      You do realize that Polaris lounges are United's premium cabin lounge, not the equivalent of Delta Sky Clubs?
      Delta might (and probably) will allow visit on arrival at its two new Delta One lounges which Ben just covered.

      As for reliability, according to the DOT, United placed 6th out of 10 US carriers in on-time through Feb, the latest month for which the DOT has released data, behind Delta, Southwest and American.
      For cancellations, they placed behind Delta and Southwest in Feb.

      and United was the only airline that did not block seats at any time during the pandemic which was by far the best benefit while Delta did it for over a year.

      United loves to talk a big game but actual data is not as compelling.

    2. Taylor Guest

      Yes, of course I realize that Polaris lounges are for international Polaris customers; however, my point was the fact that Polaris lounges exist and are fantastic is a point of differentiation in United's favor vs. Delta given my travel patterns.

      The seat blocking was 1-2 years ago -- the question now is what is the go-forward value proposition each airline and each airline's credit card is offering

  24. Dan Alleva Guest

    @ ERIKA I'm not sure why you posted this regarding DeltaLounges but, as it pertains to Disney. residents will not have an increase in taxes due to the decision by the Florida state Legislature so rest your head. Instead, Disney - a business that owns the land there will be taxes accordingly to make up the difference and in fact will be paying fare share. So you see, there wont be a burden to residents.

    1. Michael Guest

      There is no way that you can say this with any certainty. You are a liar, sir, so probably a republican.

  25. derek Guest

    Around 2000, you could enter even if you weren't a member as long as you confidently strolled in. No longer. Now they don't want you even if you are a member.

  26. Grey Gold

    Does SkyTeam allow this? I thought if you are Elite+, you can access the lounge on day of departure, not only 3 hours before your flight.

  27. Anthony Diamond

    1) I think it is interesting the apparent disdain some Reserve cardholders have for Amex Platinum access (I have both cards). Amex Platinum is nominally more expensive, and there are a lot of casual Delta Reserve holders out there (Amex has aggresively pushed the card), so i don't see a ton of difference. And remember that Delta Reserve gets you into the Centurion Lounge as well.

    2) I do think lack of arrivals access...

    1) I think it is interesting the apparent disdain some Reserve cardholders have for Amex Platinum access (I have both cards). Amex Platinum is nominally more expensive, and there are a lot of casual Delta Reserve holders out there (Amex has aggresively pushed the card), so i don't see a ton of difference. And remember that Delta Reserve gets you into the Centurion Lounge as well.

    2) I do think lack of arrivals access could hurt Delta with some business travel customers. Perhaps they can add that option back to for those that pay for an Executive membership, Diamond or Diamond/Plat members, etc.

  28. AC Guest

    Big deal - there is a knee jerk response to slam any airline or hotel program for changes. This gets Delta in line with Amex. I don't have any problem w the 3 hour rule, connections are impacted and the days when I would go into a lounge to have a drink or check email after arrival are long gone (wifi is pretty much free everywhere in the airport now and you can also check...

    Big deal - there is a knee jerk response to slam any airline or hotel program for changes. This gets Delta in line with Amex. I don't have any problem w the 3 hour rule, connections are impacted and the days when I would go into a lounge to have a drink or check email after arrival are long gone (wifi is pretty much free everywhere in the airport now and you can also check email on phones w cellular data). DL already restricts Amex Platinum (and their Amex reserve card members to no visitors) so this likely isn't them filling the lounges. Wait until you people that actually paid for a Sky Club membership get notice that you won't be able to get in any guests at all (Amex policy for Centurion Lounges as of next February) unless maybe you spend $75,000 like on Amex. BTW, I spent $175 and ordered authorized user cards for my wife and 2 kids so they can continue to access the lounges.

    Airport lounges are TOO popular in large part to blogs like this one glamorizing them. Travel will continue to heat up (business travel still is no where near where it was in 2019) so expect even more crowds and likely additional restrictions. Sorry but that is a fact and you just need to accept it.

    1. Blaz Guest

      I agree, and restricting usage to 3 hours is still very generous. The usual response to overcrowding is either to build a bigger lounge, or up the price, so reducing the time in the lounge is the soft option. If they don't like the AMEX platinum flyers, they can let Amex find an alternative lounge network which is what they often do. It is all about the cost/benefit ratio.

  29. Santastico Guest

    Not having access on arrival is a horrible mistake. Many times I needed a shower or a place to work before heading to a meeting later. This is a huge downgrade of the Delta Reserve card. I agree there with is way too many people on Delta lounges but that is because everyone has an Amex Platinum card.

  30. BA Guest

    How will this work if you're trying to get on a standby flight that's over 3 hours earlier than your scheduled flight?

  31. David Guest

    This is really disappointing and inhospitable. After a long flight, it is great to be able to stop for a breather, use the loo, and grab some water or a quick snack before heading onwards especially if there is a long drive ahead.

  32. Tim Dunn Diamond

    VFTW dropped this story earlier - shortly after I got the email from Delta.
    It is interesting that some people don't believe it will make any difference while others feel like DL is pulling the rug completely out from under them.
    I have used Sky Clubs on arrival including to shower after long flights and have stayed more than 3 hours but very, very few times. Same for other lounges.
    My guess...

    VFTW dropped this story earlier - shortly after I got the email from Delta.
    It is interesting that some people don't believe it will make any difference while others feel like DL is pulling the rug completely out from under them.
    I have used Sky Clubs on arrival including to shower after long flights and have stayed more than 3 hours but very, very few times. Same for other lounges.
    My guess is that they have the data to be able to calculate fairly accurately how many people will be affected and can provide the extra space they need.
    Keep in mind that there is an enormous return of travel going on and the level of demand for lounges might not remain as elevated as it is now since airlines extended premium benefits during the pandemic. Also, there are alot of international widebody aircraft operating on the big 3 domestic route systems and those aircraft are putting many more people into the terminal at the same time than would be the case if those flights operated on narrowbody aircraft.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Thank goodness you're OK, Tim Dunn.

      You had us worried.

  33. DLPTATL Guest

    I'm really disappointed by this announcement, particularly limiting stops on arrival. I frequently stop in upon arrival following an early morning flight to eat breakfast before hopping in a car or to take a call in a fairly quiet place before I hit the road. It's not costing Delta more in food costs as I'm not eating a second breakfast on departure AND arrival, it's just that I didn't want to eat at 6am in...

    I'm really disappointed by this announcement, particularly limiting stops on arrival. I frequently stop in upon arrival following an early morning flight to eat breakfast before hopping in a car or to take a call in a fairly quiet place before I hit the road. It's not costing Delta more in food costs as I'm not eating a second breakfast on departure AND arrival, it's just that I didn't want to eat at 6am in ATL when I could eat at 7:45am at PBI instead. Or if my flight home lands at rush hour I'll often stop in for a snack before heading to the car for a 45+ min ride home and wait for traffic to lighten-up.

    Agree with others that red-eye flights shouldn't have a 3hr from departure window.

  34. Jason Guest

    If you were really desperate to use a delta lounge after arrival (and if you didn’t have a connection) you could buy a same day ticket on the spot that departs within 3 hours, enter lounge, then cancel ticket since you have the 24-hour window to cancel?

  35. David Guest

    This is an unacceptable and infuriating policy change, and will not materially reduce crowding. More to the point, if Delta wants to limit club access they should consider disallowing guests, which constitute a disproportionate number of patrons at any given time. How many friends, business associates, family members (including children and pets) are in the lounge v. paying club members checking in for a brief visit upon arrival?
    Thanks for nothing, Ed.

    1. AC Guest

      Understand that any guests are with "paying club members". Amex Platinum card holders and those with the DL Reserve Amex (both of which allow entry when flying DL) specifically DO NOT allow you to bring in a guest. I agree guest access limits will be next but that only impacts people that actually pay for a club membership.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Not entirely true, as the Reserve card gives out (at minimum) 2 guest passes, and have promotions all the time where they send you more. As someone who never uses them, I've got more amassed than I know what to do with.

  36. Robert Member

    Ugh..

    One of the things that makes the Amex Platinum worth it is being able to get off a transcon redeye at JFK on Delta and take a shower/have breakfast.

    1. Omar Guest

      This shouldn't be affected since it's a Delta One flight you still have access.

    2. Anthony Diamond

      Yeah, IMO they should exempt redeyes from this arrival policy regardless of cabin (though I wonder how many economy redeye passengers actually visit the club and try to shower on any given day at JFK)

  37. Bob Guest

    While food may be a motivator, especially for the families in SkyClubs, free drinks are also big motivators. "Just one more drink" upon arrival will thin out some but hurt those that want to shower, etc. for work.

    I've never been one to be at an airport 3 hours early unless it's the La Premiere lounge at CDG in which I always try to be at CDG at least 4 hours prior to departure.

    ...

    While food may be a motivator, especially for the families in SkyClubs, free drinks are also big motivators. "Just one more drink" upon arrival will thin out some but hurt those that want to shower, etc. for work.

    I've never been one to be at an airport 3 hours early unless it's the La Premiere lounge at CDG in which I always try to be at CDG at least 4 hours prior to departure.

    I don't even think about SkyClubs anymore. I'm a 2MM and Diamond member....I get more peace and quiet now in the terminal or at a restaurant/bar in the termainal than I do from most Sky Clubs with "free food frenzie Fred and Fran" or "one more down the hatch Hellen and Harry".

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      ....what, you want a cookie?

  38. Another steve Guest

    This will not be enough to make a noticeable difference. Every club I’ve been to this year, SEA, ATL, DEN, BOS, SAN, has been so crowded that I’ve either turned around and left or left early. The AMEX cards and the free food are bringing in way too many people, including a lot of people who are quite clearly motivated by food more than almost anything else.

  39. Jason Guest

    This is overreaching by Delta. They are starting to be like Disney and imposing too many rules. I won’t buy a SkyClub membership now just because of the principle of them being inhospitable. I hope this backfires on Delta. They are getting too big for their britches and we see where that has led Disney.

    1. Erika Guest

      You sound like an absolute moron and yes poor Disney who no longer has to pay their multi billion dollar bond loan and instead saddle Orange County residents with increase taxes to cover it….YOU SURE SHOWED THEM

  40. Warren Kurtzman Guest

    I am a long-time paying member of the Sky Club who is furious about this announcement. Being able to stop at the Club upon arrival to freshen up and/or prepare for meetings when on business travel is a major plus of being a member. If I can't do that anymore, I don't know if I will renew.

    It's not my fault that they keep handing out access privileges to others who aren't paying directly for...

    I am a long-time paying member of the Sky Club who is furious about this announcement. Being able to stop at the Club upon arrival to freshen up and/or prepare for meetings when on business travel is a major plus of being a member. If I can't do that anymore, I don't know if I will renew.

    It's not my fault that they keep handing out access privileges to others who aren't paying directly for membership. They should take care of long-time paying members like me and instead are screwing me over.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      The amount of people who get recurrent club access without paying for it is minuscule.

      You don't think the credit card people are paying? Take a look at the price basic club membership, then look at the annual fees for the Reserve and AmEx Platinum cards-- notice a similarity? I mean, did you believe that was a coincidence?

  41. Never In Doubt Guest

    This post has been live for 31 minutes and Tim Dunn has yet to arrive to let us know what a stroke of genius this is by Delta (as is everything they do).

    Can someone please check on him?

  42. NK3 Member

    If Amex reimburses Delta per visit, I am wondering if this came more from Amex than Delta, especially since it is similar to the Centurion lounge access policies. Or maybe at least from a conversation between the 2 parties (Amex has been incentivizing Platinum signups, Delta irritated by the influx of customers, and they negotiate this solution).

    I do tend to access the Sky Club on arrival, but these visits tend to be quick....

    If Amex reimburses Delta per visit, I am wondering if this came more from Amex than Delta, especially since it is similar to the Centurion lounge access policies. Or maybe at least from a conversation between the 2 parties (Amex has been incentivizing Platinum signups, Delta irritated by the influx of customers, and they negotiate this solution).

    I do tend to access the Sky Club on arrival, but these visits tend to be quick. Grab a coffee, maybe a quick bite to eat, and rarely a shower. I doubt there are that many people spending a lot of time in the lounge on arrival to contribute significantly to overcrowding.

  43. Alonzo Diamond

    Everyone and their mother has an Amex Plat now. Which gives tons of folks access to Sky Clubs along with Delta folks. All I want Sky Clubs for is so that I can get my bottle of Dom P with Skymiles and BOUNCE!

    1. Michael Guest

      Had to settle for Veuve at MSY this morning. The horror…

  44. Andrew Diamond

    I think this whole situation is fascinating. I've got Platinum Pro status with AA. It's not until I'm on a domestic flight and try to enter a OW business lounge that I learn that Alaska and AA have a 'special carveout' with oneworld, meaning their Emerald status doesn't get you crap for access to OW locations unless on an international ticket.

    Personally, I think the whole 'lounge access with a credit card' is the real...

    I think this whole situation is fascinating. I've got Platinum Pro status with AA. It's not until I'm on a domestic flight and try to enter a OW business lounge that I learn that Alaska and AA have a 'special carveout' with oneworld, meaning their Emerald status doesn't get you crap for access to OW locations unless on an international ticket.

    Personally, I think the whole 'lounge access with a credit card' is the real problem here. It should be for loyal flyers, not for anyone who pays some annual fee and parks there like it's a WeWork.

    1. mdande7 Diamond

      All the US airlines have this carveout (Delta and United as well). The charging for membership dates back to the original club at AA having issues with discrimination so they did this paid version to make it open to all. Since then the money has been flowing so I don't see things changing...

    2. Andrew Diamond

      lol. "We could fix discrimination, but let's make money and not address discrimination."

      Yeah, your forecast is probably right.

    3. Andrew Diamond

      I should clarify: "who can afford lounge access" (by their credit score and economic capacity) is likely not representative of the US population.

  45. Creditcrunch Diamond

    They are following the priority pass/ lounge key etc models with 3 hour limits.

    Ben did you pick up on the Virgin Australia announcement today on the opening of their “secret lounges”

    https://www.virgin.com/about-virgin/latest/virgin-australia-opens-secret-airport-lounges

  46. LS Guest

    What is the point of a shower in a lounge if you remove access on arrival? I don't see American (who has showers in all their premerger lounges) following this, especially since extend arrival access to flagship passengers in J and F too to really nice lounges.

    1. Anthony Diamond

      I would guess shower usage by non-D1 or non-connecting customers, outside of certain redeyes, is pretty limited

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Most of the Delta lounges haven't had operational showers since March 2020.

    3. Cam Member

      I love showering before a flight. Regardless of how I get to the airport (transit, taxi, etc), by the time I make it through security and schlep to the lounge, I'm generally a little sticky and it's super pleasant to shower, change clothes, and have a drink before boarding. Honestly I get this more than I get showering on arrival, unless you are going directly to a meeting, I think most people will go to their hotel and shower there.

    4. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "I think most people will go to their hotel and shower there."

      But the whole reason many do no, is that they don't want (or have time to) wait until a 2pm/3pm check-in, so they use the lounge.

      This is so ridiculous. I could imagine if they blocked arrivals after 2pm, while allowing morning arrivals to still access, but still.

  47. matt Guest

    This feels like a change that won't really impact crowding in a meaningful way (are there that many people voluntarily showing up over 3 hours before their flight to hang out in a Skyclub?) Using clubs on-arrival is something that I do periodically, but only if they're relatively empty. It can be useful for catching up on emails or other work, or if waiting for someone else arriving on another flight.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Exactly. These restrictions likely will effect only a small number of people.

  48. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Not allowing access on arrival for those with memberships is absurd.

    The Sky Clubs are overcrowded because:
    1) Gold status should not get you access on international flights. Gold is worthless these days.
    2) The clubs are too small. When the Denver lounge is standing room-only at 10 a.m. on a. Wednesday you have a problem. Or the Detroit lounge at 8 a.m. on a Saturday. Has anyone been to the Atlanta A...

    Not allowing access on arrival for those with memberships is absurd.

    The Sky Clubs are overcrowded because:
    1) Gold status should not get you access on international flights. Gold is worthless these days.
    2) The clubs are too small. When the Denver lounge is standing room-only at 10 a.m. on a. Wednesday you have a problem. Or the Detroit lounge at 8 a.m. on a Saturday. Has anyone been to the Atlanta A & B lounges? Even at 7 pm on a Tuesday they're full.
    3) In airports with multiple Delta lounges, they don't uniformly cater the food and beverages. There's always a lounge with better food. So passengers gravitate toward the one with the best food.
    4) AmEx cardholders. Delta should limit AmEx platinum cardholders to one hour in the lounge. Sky Club members should get priority access over freebie access.

    1. Anthony Diamond

      SOme of the posts regarding lounge access are pretty funny...

      - Gold is "worthless" but provides valuable benefits like free bags, SkyPriority check in and security, access to lounges when on international itineraries, and a good shop at upgrades if you choose your flight times deliberately
      - Amex cardholders, who pay either $695 or $550 in annual fees, and contribute significant amount to Delta's bottom line through their credit card spending, and pay for...

      SOme of the posts regarding lounge access are pretty funny...

      - Gold is "worthless" but provides valuable benefits like free bags, SkyPriority check in and security, access to lounges when on international itineraries, and a good shop at upgrades if you choose your flight times deliberately
      - Amex cardholders, who pay either $695 or $550 in annual fees, and contribute significant amount to Delta's bottom line through their credit card spending, and pay for guest access, are getting "freebies" when they access the club

      Also Ben, D1 access on arrivals is important for people on domestic transcons that want to access the lounge after a redeye and whatnot. A lot of domestic D1

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Gold is "worthless" because the only tangible benefits are greatly diluted by the platinums, diamonds and 360s above gold.

    3. Ag Guest

      I think Anthony’s criticism is partly that you used “Gold is worthless” as a reason to remove another benefit from Gold. It doesn’t make sense to complain about something being worthless and then use that as justification for making it more worthless. If you’re complaining about it, shouldn’t you want it to be more valuable?

  49. George Romey Guest

    No doubt that AA and UA will follow. The 3 hour limit before hand might impact me. Sometimes when I have calls it's just easier to head to the airport early. I rarely ever go to the AC afterwards, I just want to get home asap. Still, something needs to be done to reduce overcrowding in the clubs which is going to get worst.

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Santastico Guest

Not having access on arrival is a horrible mistake. Many times I needed a shower or a place to work before heading to a meeting later. This is a huge downgrade of the Delta Reserve card. I agree there with is way too many people on Delta lounges but that is because everyone has an Amex Platinum card.

4
David Guest

This is really disappointing and inhospitable. After a long flight, it is great to be able to stop for a breather, use the loo, and grab some water or a quick snack before heading onwards especially if there is a long drive ahead.

4
Levi Gold

I suspect the other consideration is that most access on arrival tends to be fairly short anyway because if you've reached your final destination, chances are you have better things to do than go to the SkyClub for 4+ hours. Most of the exceptions in that regard are probably mileage runs (which gives you an idea of how frequent they are, given the general lack of value in a domestic mileage run on Delta).

2
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