HomeAirline LoyaltyBig changes coming to Delta Sky Club access rules

Big changes coming to Delta Sky Club access rules


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Delta has had a problem with overcrowding in its Sky Clubs for some time and in the past couple of years, it has brought in various measures to try and sort the problem out. Unfortunately, none of these measures have made much of a difference so far.

Now, Delta is having another go at fixing the issue, only this time its measures relate to the benefits offered by various credit cards and will probably annoy and upset more people than all the previously taken measures put together.

This is turning out to be a bad week for Delta flyers!

Delta Sky Club access changes

The changes announced in the past 24 hours will take effect at different times. Some will kick in from the beginning of next year, while others, for legal reasons, won’t come into effect until 2025.

Changes coming on 1 January 2024

Holders of the card_name, the card_name, card_name, and card_name traveling on a Basic Economy fare will not be able to access Sky Clubs using their credit card benefit.

Holders of the card_name and the card_name will no longer be able to buy access to Sky Clubs regardless of the fare they are flying on.

Changes coming on 1 February 2025

This is where things start to go downhill quickly for holders of various credit cards…

Delta’s Reserve co-branded cards

Holders of the card_name and the card_name will be limited to 10 Sky Club visits per Medallion year (1 February to 31 January) unless they have spent $75,000 on their card in the calendar year.

The 10 visit allocation can only be used for the cardholder and not not guests, and will not apply if the cardholder is traveling on a Basic Economy fare.

Cardholders spending $75,000 on their card in a calendar year will continue to enjoy unlimited visits as will any authorized users.

Per Amex:

To earn an unlimited number of Visits starting on February 1, 2025, the total eligible purchases on the Eligible Card Account must equal or exceed $75,000 between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024 and in each calendar year thereafter.

Unlimited Delta Sky Club Access will be provided to both the Basic and Additional Reserve Card Members on the Eligible Card Account once the Account has reached the Purchase Requirement.

No extra Sky Club visits can be purchased once a cardholder has used up their annual 10 visit allocation, but a cardholder will continue to be able to pay for up to 2 guests to join them in the Sky Club during one of their 10 permitted visits at a cost of $50/person ($25/person for Grab and Go access).

All Reserve cardholders will continue to enjoy the benefit of two guest passes per year.

Amex’s Platinum cards

Holders of the various types of Platinum Card that Amex issues (the Membership Rewards cards) will be limited to 6 Sky Club visits per Medallion year (1 February to 31 January) unless they have spent $75,000 on their card in the calendar year.

The 6 visit allocation can only be used for the cardholder and not guests, and will not apply if the cardholder is traveling on a Basic Economy fare.

Cardholders spending $75,000 on their card in a calendar year will continue to enjoy unlimited visits as will any authorized users.

Per Amex:

To earn an unlimited number of Visits starting on February 1, 2025, the total eligible purchases on the Eligible Card Account must equal or exceed $75,000 between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024 and in each calendar year thereafter.

No extra Sky Club visits can be purchased once a cardholder has used up their annual 6 visit allocation, but a cardholder will continue to be able to pay for up to 2 guests to join them in the Sky Club during one of their 6 permitted visits at a cost of $50/person ($25/person for Grab and Go access).

Quick thoughts

My first thought is that I suspect these changes will annoy a significant number of Amex cardholders and considering Delta has just overhauled its frequent flyer program in such a way as to encourage flyers to spend more on their co-branded Amex cards, I find this move a little odd.

Yes, I understand that something still needs to be done about certain Sky Clubs still being overcrowded (the issue doesn’t appear to be system-wide), but some of these changes seem to go a little too far.

I can see the logic in cutting the Sky Club benefit from the various Amex Platinum Cards as those aren’t the cards that’s driving cash into Delta’s coffers. But I’m struggling to understand why Delta would making its co-branded Platinum and Reserve cards considerably less appealing.

In particular, the Reserve cards now look a lot less worthwhile (to a Delta flyer) than they did 48 hours ago, so how’s that going to help Delta’s push to make more money from its relationship with Amex?

Will Reserve Card holders really keep paying the card’s not inconsiderable fee just so they can earn 1 MQD/dollar when the card will no longer offer one of its key benefits?

Will they really put $75,000 of spending on their card (spending that would be better rewarded by a host of other cards) just to maintain a benefit that they’ve been used to getting just for paying the annual fee?

I’m not sure they will.

Still, Delta and Amex know a lot more about the metrics behind these cards than I do, so perhaps I’m well off base. Perhaps this is a genius move by Delta which will solve its overcrowding issue without damaging the revenues it gets from American Express.

For Delta I hope that’s the case, but as a frequent flyer (not with Delta) who’s growing tired of witnessing all the various programs pushing through cut after cut after cut, I really hope this come back to bite Delta in the a**.

That wouldn’t improve anything for flyers, but it would give us something to laugh about.

Bottom line

To go along with the recent (last 24 hours) devaluation to the SkyMiles program, Delta has also announced measures that will seriously restrict the number of free Sky Club visits available to holders of Delta’s co-branded Reserve Cards and Amex’s Platinum Cards.

In addition, holders of Delta’s co-branded Platinum Cards will no longer be able to purchase Sky Club access as part of their card’s benefits and anyone flying on a Basic Economy fare will not be able to access the Sky Clubs regardless of what credit card they hold.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I actually benefit from this change. PHL is my home airport, so I usually fly AA and I have an Amex Platinum card to access the Centurion Lounge there (and elsewhere). I hardly ever fly Delta, but if I did, I would be frustrated by the notorious lines to enter a SkyClub. Now, I may occasionally fly Delta (if they’re cheaper) so that I can actually take advantage of the lounge access.

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