Delta SkyClub got a lot of headline news over the last few months of 2023 and not in a good way. 🙃
So are there still ways to access a SkyClub without selling a vital organ? Let’s see.
What is Delta SkyClub
Courtesy of Delta
Delta SkyClub is the name of the lounges in network with Delta Airlines— promising you a retreat before your flight, how kind of them. 😇
When it comes to amenities, Delta SkyClub keeps it fairly basic. You can expect a separate WiFi network, cozy chairs, and complimentary food and drinks. There are even a few locations with showers.
However, no chef-inspired entrees, signature cocktails, or massage stations are to be found in these lounges. Though last time I was in a Delta SkyClub there was a taco station, would I choose tacos over a massage… this is something I’ll need to spend much more time pondering.
That being said, Delta is unveiling new lounges with some Delta One Sky Clubs in the works. They are beginning to prioritize a more luxurious experience, so this lounge family might be one to watch.
The reason Delta received so much press in 2023 was because of their efforts to reduce overcrowding in their lounges. Unlike United and American Airlines, you cannot buy a single-day pass to access a Delta SkyClub.
It’s pretty straightforward to get access, but it’s not without jumping through a few hoops. Let’s break it down.
How to Access Delta SkyClubs
There are several ways to get into Delta SkyClubs. We’ll cover the most popular ways, but you can find all of the more obscure ways on Delta’s website.
Let’s start with the glitz, the glamor, the luxury side of travel. As if lounges weren’t a luxe enough topic.
If you’re holding a same-day Delta One ticket, domestic or international, you can enjoy a cozier-than-your-average airport seat. Not only does Delta shine in this category letting their domestic passengers join in on the fun, but you can also enter if you’re on a domestic connecting flight to an international Delta One flight.
You can also snack all day if you’re on an international SkyTeam flight traveling in First or Business Class. And do I have to say it again? Same-day.
I’m not sure who’s trying to use day-old tickets to get into airport lounges, but same-day tickets are a general airport lounge rule across the board.
It’s important to note that international travel excludes flights between the U.S. and the Caribbean.
1. Credit Cards
This is typically my favorite way to access a lounge, but with the changes they’ve made as of this year, you have to be a serious Delta flyer for this to be worth it to you.
Both of the Reserve cards come with a high annual fee, but that’s not the big spender aspect I mentioned. That large annual fee now only comes with 15 SkyClub visits per year.
To get unlimited access, you have to spend $75,000+ each calendar year on your card. There are just so many great cards with great unlimited lounge access out there that this one is just a big 👎 from me. I wouldn’t be jetting off to get this card solely for lounge access.
You must also be traveling on a Delta-operated or Delta-marketed, same-day flight.
This flexible points-earning card gives you access to 10 visits per year when traveling on a Delta-operated flight or Delta-marketed flight operated by West Jet.
Again, if you want unlimited visits, you can spend a pretty $75,000 or more on your eligible card 😬
Additionally, the name on your card must match the name on your boarding pass for entry.
In my opinion, when it comes to lounge access, this is the better route to go.
2. Delta Status
Next up on the access docket is Delta status holders… Anyone out there with that still?!
Delta Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion members can access the SkyClub when they are flying Delta Premium Select internationally or in Delta One (or an equivalent class on a partner airline). You can bring a guest with you as long as they are also flying Delta Premium Select internationally or in Delta One.
3. SkyTeam Status
If you are a non-Delta member but are a SkyTeam Elite Plus member traveling in any cabin (except basic economy) on a SkyTeam International flight, welcome to the Club!
This again excludes the U.S. to/from the Caribbean.
4. Purchasing a SkyClub Membership
You can only purchase a membership if you are a Delta Skymiles Medallion member. We have a full breakdown on all things Delta Skymiles and status that you can check out here.
Just know that an individual membership costs $695 or 69,500 miles, and additional guests are charged an entry fee.
Or you can go for the - Executive membership, which allows you 2 guests for $1,495 or 149,500 miles.
Once you have your membership, you get unlimited access to the SkyClubs.
Access on Arrival
Another surprising factor when it comes to SkyClub is you can access these on arrival.
While many lounge programs have restrictions around arrival access, Delta talked about changing this but then backpedaled on this response.
Literally Delta: The airline that is guaranteed to backpedal on their major announcements.
This might be nice if you need a quick snack before going about your day or if you come across one of the few lounges that have showers where you can freshen up before hitting the town.
If you frequently travel on Delta, then access to the SkyClub can be a nice perk. While they’ve made several changes to SkyClub access, there are still some options that might work well for you and your travel circumstances.
Your lounge experience will vary by location, but they have big plans to overhaul some lounges in the upcoming 2024 travel season. Overall, you can expect your standard lounge amenities that make your travel day just a smidge more bearable.
I think the Delta changes aren’t quite done just yet… so we’ll see how the new policies play out this year.