Delta SkyClub Lounge Crowds Are About to Dwindle – Restrictions Coming in 2019!

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On the heels of American Airlines limiting entry to their lounges, Delta is following with new restrictions to access Sky Club lounges, effective January 1, 2019.  While limits suck, they’ll hopefully thin out the hordes for a more peaceful lounge experience – when you can get in.

Starting in 2019, Delta Lounges Should Be Less Crowded

I’ll share what’s going on!

New Delta Sky Club Lounge Restrictions in 2019

If you have a paid membership to Delta Sky Clubs, Delta says:

Effective January 1, 2019, Delta Sky Club members may only use the Club in conjunction with same-day ticketed air travel on Delta or its partner airlines and will no longer have access to partner lounges.

Before, having a paid membership was enough to enter the lounges.  And you could also use partner lounges, like those operated by Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic.  That’s going away in 2019, too.

And for anyone who wants to enter Delta Sky Club lounges in 2019 using certain cards, like the AMEX Centurion card or The Platinum Card® from American Express, nothing is changing with how you access the the lounges.  But your guests will need a Delta or Delta-marketed boarding pass for a flight that day and you’ll pay $29 per guest.

These Changes Affects Club Members AND Cardholders With Lounge Access

If you’re flying on a Delta partner airline and have the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, you can pay $29 for lounge entry.  And you’ll get free entry if you’re flying with Delta or on a Delta marketed flight.

Those with a Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express or Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express (or their small business version) can pay $29 to enter the lounges, but you must be flying Delta that day.  Previously, you could be flying any airline.

While these changes are an overall negative, especially if you were used to entering Sky Clubs while flying other airlines, I wonder how many people will feel the effects of these new limits.

It seems Delta is targeting guests of folks with certain credit cards, and paid members who weren’t flying Delta or their partner airlines.

This is all the more reason to have backup lounge access offered with other premium credit cards.  And if you’re flying Delta and want to enter the Sky Clubs, for the most part, nothing is changing in 2019.  Except maybe there will be extra seats when you’re visiting a Delta lounge!

What do you think of these new limitations?  Will they affect how you travel?

Million Mile Secrets is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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1 year ago

It was about time. The lounges are getting too full. Often I go in and go back out because they are too crowded and loud. Easier to just find a quite corner near a closed gate.

1 year ago

I have a lifetime membership with delta. Will I be affected
? Can I get a refund?

1 year ago

It does look like it’s affecting everyone. But if you’re a lifetime member I would call and ask because I haven’t heard anything about that specifically.

1 year ago

Thank goodness for Priority Pass…

Andrew W
Reply to  Nina
1 year ago

Agreed, always nice to have a backup!

1 year ago

GREAT!!!…Now maybe I’ll B able 2 have a seat with my cocktail that I won’t have 2 Waite N line 4

1 year ago

When do these changes come into effect? Especially with partner lounges like air france klm and virgin.

Kim Shaw
1 year ago

I think they should allow spouses to enter with club members when traveling together.
We exclusively travel with Delta and it’s frustrating not to be able to enter sky club without having to pay a fee. And exclusively travel with Delta for business.

1 year ago

I cancelled my membership. I fly international on Delta at least once a year and enjoyed using the partner lounges. With that gone, it is not worth it.

1 year ago

The elimination of partner lounges is a real drag for those of us who travel internationally. For example, in Heathrow London there is a nice Virgin Atlantic lounge but no Delta Skyclub, free to Skyclub members. And, there are plenty of other places too.

1 year ago

The skyclub except for Seattle are pretty sad. I’d take my $29 to a restaurant.

1 year ago

so will this change anything with purchasing a day pass?


Reply to  rmah
1 year ago

Yeah. Day passes are no longer available.

Reply to  Ray
1 year ago

what exact type of dl plane ticket allows one free access to sky clubs?