• Delta Air Lines has implemented changes to its Sky Club access policy in order to address overcrowding in the lounges, but passengers are still pleading for more action to be taken.
  • Delta could introduce more restrictions in the future to further reduce capacity and make the lounges more exclusive.
  • Rumors suggest potential access changes for American Express cardholders, including limited lounge visits for Delta Reserve cardholders.

Over the years, Delta Air Lines Sky Clubs have become widely popular, leading to overcrowding in the luxurious airport spaces. As a result, the Atlanta-based US legacy carrier introduced significant changes to the Sky Club access policy last year.

In a move to tackle congested lounges, the policy changes did not appear to make much of a dent, as passengers have reportedly pleaded to "fix the crowding." Responding to the concerns, an executive at the airline indicated that more changes are on the way.

2023 membership changes

At the beginning of this year, Delta implemented changes to its Sky Club access policy by restricting who can purchase a membership and raising the annual membership fee. Delta Sky Club annual memberships and renewals are only available to Medallion Members of its SkyMiles frequent-flyer program.

Delta Sky Club Boston.
Photo: Delta Air Lines

For an executive membership, the airline significantly increased the one-year rate from $845 to $1,495. The individual membership formerly cost $545 annually but is now available for $695. Another change prevents all Basic Economy passengers from entry to the Sky Club, regardless of their Medallion status.

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"More to come"

Despite the new policy rules, Delta could introduce more restrictions soon to reduce the clubs' high capacity and make them even more exclusive. Delta Sky Club's Managing Director, Claude Roussel, indicated that the airline is aware of the overcrowding, speaking to The Points Guy.

"We continue to work with our partners and continue looking at this issue. It's not a done issue. We have to continue making progress. Our guests are telling us that. They're telling us, listen, we love the clubs. You need to fix the crowding."

Many Delta Air Lines Aircraft Lined Up At Gates In Atlanta.
Photo: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

No further details were shared, but Roussel reportedly said regarding the access policy that there will "be more to come as soon as we are ready." Simple Flying has reached out to the carrier for comment.

Check out Delta's newest Sky Club here.

Targeting American Express travelers?

Travelers can choose from various options to get access to the lounges, especially with the airline's partnership with credit card company American Express. Rumors have reportedly swirled around indicating that Delta could announce potential cardholder access changes. According to the Eye of the Flyer, a supposed employee at American Express shared that access could be drastically restricted, including unlimited lounge visits being eliminated.

While Delta or American Express have not confirmed any of the alleged details, the employee leaked the following, according to Eye of the Flyer:

  • Delta Reserve cardholders would be limited to 10 Sky Club visits per year. To visit the lounge 11 times a year or more, the cardholder would need to spend $75,000 on the card each year
  • American Express Platinum members could visit the lounges six times a year
  • Only primary cardholders would receive complimentary visits, while authorized users of a Delta Reserve card can get access for $50 a visit

The company could also increase the annual fees on the premium cards, which could take effect in 2024 or 2025. The employee indicated that emails about the alleged changes would go out between next month and October.

"We don't want to see lines in our clubs. That's not the experience we want to create," Roussel said to The Points Guy.

Sources: The Points Guy, Eye of the Flyer

What do you think about the potential changes to accessing Delta Sky Clubs? Let us know in the comments.