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Your best bet for a comfortable airport experience is by holding a card that grants you fancy airport lounge access.
However, lounge policies have been changing rapidly the past few weeks. Airlines are making their lounges more exclusive, so access is more difficult to obtain for some of us.
In the latest example, Delta has announced that you can no longer purchase single-visit passes to their Sky Club lounges. And at the beginning of next year, lounge memberships will increase by $50!
Depending on who you are, a more exclusive lounge policy might be good news for you. The lounges will now be less crowded, which means more food, comfy chairs, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary alcohol for you.
Beginning January 1, 2019, Delta is raising its lounge membership from $495 to $545 per year. Executive membership will raise from $745 to $845 per year.
Additionally, was Delta selling $59 (or for 5,000 Delta miles) Sky Club lounge day passes. They’ve officially stopped selling those. I don’t imagine too many folks were using this method for entry, so this likely won’t affect the foot traffic in Delta lounges too much.
How to Combat These Changes
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways around these new policies. And Million Mile Secrets regulars probably already know what I’m going to say.
Pay MUCH Less for a Delta Lounge Membership
Both the Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express come with complimentary Delta Sky Club access. That means you can use Delta lounges any time you’re flying on Delta! Plus, you can bring 2 guests with you for $29 each. These cards come with a $450 annual fee ($550 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020) (Delta Reserve Business – Rates & Fees) (Delta Reserve consumer – Rates & Fees). Which is $95 lower than the membership fee you’ll pay beginning January 1, 2019!
Also, folks who have The Business Platinum® Card from American Express or The Platinum Card® from American Express will receive Delta lounge access when flying on Delta. And they’ll get the same guest privileges as the Delta Reserve cards.
You can also earn lounge access with various levels of Delta and SkyTeam elite status.
Continue to Purchase Day Passes
If you have the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, or Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, you can still buy up to 3 day passes for $29 when you’re flying on Delta.
If you fly Delta often, opening a card like the Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card or the AMEX Business Platinum card for lounge access is the obvious choice. Let the suckers worry about increased membership fees.
Or, if you value the ability to purchase heavily discounted day passes once in a while, open a card like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (which comes with other cool benefits, too). I have the card, and I’ve paid for a day pass or two. I’m no Sky Club connoisseur, but the ones I’ve visited seem to be of higher quality than many other airline lounges.
Let me know your Delta Sky Club strategy!