DansDeals will receive compensation if you are approved for a credit card via a link in this post. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers, visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Last week I wrote about Delta introducing priority lanes for SkyClub access due to massive overcrowding and long lines to enter their lounges.
Today, Delta announced a number of major changes, also with the hope to decrease overcrowding.
- As of 1/1/23, Delta will increase the annual individual Club membership fee from $545 to $695 (or 69,500 Skypesos) and the annual executive Club membership fee from $845 to $1,495 (or 149,500 Skypesos).
- As of 1/1/23, Delta will no longer sell or renew lounge memberships unless you have Delta elite status.
- This isn’t a big deal for most people as non-elites can still get a less expensive lounge membership by having a Delta Reserve Consumer AMEX or Delta Reserve Business AMEX and they can access Delta lounges for free if they have an AMEX Consumer Platinum or AMEX Business Platinum card or for payment with a Delta Consumer Platinum AMEX and Delta Business Platinum AMEX.
- As of 2/2/23, the fee for lounge guests for members and AMEX cardholders will increase from $39 to $50 (or 5,000 Skypesos).
- As of 2/2/23, the fee for lounge access for Delta Consumer Platinum AMEX and Delta Business Platinum AMEX cardholders will increase from $39 to $50 (or 5,000 Skypesos).
- As of 2/1/23, Individual Membership and Credit Card Guest Pass access will no longer be offered as choice benefits for elite members to select.
- As of 2/1/23, Diamond Medallions will need to burn 3 choice benefits to select an executive membership.
- As of 2/2/23, SkyClub members flying on basic economy will no longer have lounge access.
- As of 2/2/23, Delta Gold, Platinum, and Diamond members who don’t have an eligible AMEX or SkyClub membership will no longer be eligible for lounge access when flying internationally in Main Cabin or Comfort+. They will have continue to have lounge access in Delta Premium Select.
- Delta One and partner business class continues to allow lounge access regardless of elite status.
Delta notes that while their own Elite Plus members will no longer have lounge access, Elite Plus members of other SkyTeam airlines will continue to have lounge access when flying internationally in any class of service. Delta 360 members are also unaffected by these lounge access changes.
Delta says that they will also help with overcrowding by displaying how busy clubs are based on 4 occupancy levels in the Delta app. They will start displaying this information with Atlanta and Detroit clubs in mid-December, due to the high number of clubs in those airports, allowing passengers to choose a less busy lounge.
Delta also notes that they will open a massive new 11,000-square-foot club in Kansas City’s new airport terminal, which will feature two all-weather Sky Decks. They will also open a new lounge in Minneapolis-G in April, in JFK-T4A in June, an expansion in Fort Lauderdale in September, a new lounge in Boston-E late next summer, a new lounge in Newark-A next fall/winter, an expansion in Miami in December, and a renovation of Atlanta-E next winter.
It’s hard to see how much of this will solve overcrowding, but it will help at the margins I suppose?
As long as Delta still allows AMEX access, which has a long term and lucrative contract, Delta lounges are likely to stay overcrowded. Clearly, Delta values the money from AMEX more than paid lounge members and their own elite members.
However once Delta opens business class lounges, which American and United already have and Delta plans to do, it should help alleviate some of the overcrowding.
Are you a Delta elite negatively affected by these changes? Will any of these moves chase you away to another airline, or are you already accustomed to these sort of negative changes from Delta?