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Delta Air Lines Considers Cutting Lounge Access for Elites

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Delta Considers Cutting Lounge Access for Elites

Delta Considers Cutting Lounge Access for Elites

Delta Sky Clubs are great, but getting into them has been an issue lately. With travel demand roaring back, so has overcrowding at airport lounges. You’ll often find packed lounges, long lines, and recently even priority lanes as select locations.

Delta recently introduced a rule limiting lounge access to only three hours before a flight, and briefly stopped customers from entering clubs upon arrival. Now the company is looking at other options to fight overcrowding.

Delta Air Lines expected to announce a major change regarding lounge access. The information comes from a well placed source, as first reported by the Airline Observer. An announcement may come as early as this week.

Delta may cut lounge access for its elites who are flying Economy class or Comfort Plus on long-haul flights. To gain lounge access on long-haul economy class tickets, Delta passengers must reach Gold status.

Delta is also considering cutting Sky Club access for other SkyTeam elite frequent flyers. Currently, SkyTeam Elite Plus members of any airline can access lounges if they are departing on a same-day long-haul flight. Changing that might be a difficult endeavor due to negotiated terms between alliance members.

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  1. In a comment to an article posted about a year or so ago, a reader asked the question, “Why do the people in first class get the champagne and we in economy don’t? It’s unfair.” (Paraphrased) Another reader beat me to the punch by responding, “Because they paid for it.”

    To me, it seems that the same attitude prevails when it comes to lounge access. There has been this two-year-old “gimme” attitude. Or this “everyone gets a pee-wee soccer trophy” attitude that is not uncommon among millennials. As one Canadian sociologist noted, “One must climb the mountain if one wants to enjoy the view.”

    My vote for access:
    – Delta One bookings
    – Diamond Medallions (benefit choice, no restrictions)
    – Paid SkyClub membership
    – Delta Reserve Card
    – Amex Platinum Card
    – No day passes for anyone except guests of the above categories

    Note: In the same way that the Delta Reserve Card grants access to both the SkyClub and Centurion Lounge, the Amex Platinum Card does the same. Both are paid access.

    • I think Amex cardholders should be banned. Frankly I’ve earned my miles and status the hard way by flying.

      The Skyclub has decreased in value over the last 20 years becoming nothing more than a place for free drinks.


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