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Is This Delta Sky Club Access Rule Deceiving or Just Kind of Confusing?

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Delta Sky Club Access Rule

Is This Delta Sky Club Access Rule Deceiving or Just Kind of Confusing?

On my recent flight to Hawaii for the $6 Arby’s contest we were flying in a lie flat seat on Delta from Los Angeles to Honolulu.  Members of our group assumed that meant we would be able to get in the Delta Sky Club.  I said that usually only transcontinental flights in Delta One get access.  That is when one member pulled up the terms of entry on his phone and I have to say they are a little misleading or confusing for people not familiar with airline terms or rules.  So I wanted to give a brief overview of what I am talking about and why we were not able to gain access to the Sky Club even when flying in a lie flat seat.

RELATED: Is Delta One Worth 35-50K More Than Premium Economy – Not Always

Delta Sky Club Access Rule

What Does Delta’s Website Say?

Here are the details on who can gain access to the Delta Sky Lounge:

  • Members with a same day ticket and a Delta Sky Club membership
    • You can purchase a membership for $545 (a bad deal)
    • Get access with the Amex Platinum card (100K Welcome Offer)
    • A membership is included with the Delta Reserve Personal or Business card (Learn More)
    • A Delta Diamond Medallion member can select a membership as a choice benefit of their status.
  • A passenger traveling on a same day international business or first class ticket Sky Team flight (not Delta). This does not include flights to the Caribbean.
  • Delta Diamond, Platinum, or Gold Medallion members traveling in any class on an international flight. This includes domestic flights that are connections on an international itinerary. (This does not include flights to the Caribbean)
  • Delta Gold and Platinum Skymiles cardholders (Learn More) can buy a single visit pass for $29.
  • Customers traveling domestically or internationally on a Delta One flight.

That last one that is in bold is the one that can throw people off.  It is a little misleading unless you understand airline speak.  They mean a flight coded as a Delta One flight not just flying in a Delta One, lie flat seat.

Coded as a Delta One Flight? Huh?

This is where the argument came up with my fellow Arby’s travelers.  We were flying in a Delta One seat on the way to Hawaii.  Surely that meant we were able to get access to the Delta Sky Lounge before our flight.  I mean it is right there in the terms, right?  But when the boarding pass was scanned it beeped, DENIED!

That is because even though the flight was in a Delta One seat it isn’t marketed or coded as a Delta One flight.  Even though the same flight happens every day with the same seat that doesn’t mean anything.  When you search LAX to HNL all that comes up is “first class” not “Delta One” on the search results.  Delta is essentially blocking that flight from accessing the Sky Lounge.  It is similar to the way hotels will say a standard room has a better view so they can remove it as an award booking option, hello Hyatt hotels in Seattle!

It is the verbiage in the terms and the way they write it that will throw many people off.  They could simply list off the routes that are included and that would reduce the confusion, since there are only a few domestic routes that offer it.

Final Thoughts

I think that the domestic Delta One Delta Sky Club access rule can be a little misleading.  Is that on purpose or just an airline using airline verbiage? Most likely it is the latter.  I hope this quick breakdown helps some of you out in the future.  If you have a Delta One domestic flight enjoy the seat and the service because it doesn’t automatically mean that you will get lounge access.  Remember that your ticket needs to code as Delta One, the seat you actually sit in doesn’t matter.  That is the difference between a buzz and a beep when your boarding pass gets scanned at the Sky Club check in!


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Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. It is confusing with all the airline rules and this is no different. I’m a SkyClub member and see people that have first class tickets and assume they can go to the lounge. I can understand the confusion especially if one pays for an expensive, highest end cabin. Even some routes like Boston to LAX, only two of the three flights had D1 service (which is why they can’t just list routes).

    • Good point on listing routes. It is crazy how little people are able to actually get access with a paid ticket.

  2. @Mark – I have an upcoming flight on Delta in first class (not Delta One) from YYZ-MSP-SEA. Shouldn’t I be eligible for Sky Club access since it’s international? Delta told me no via chat.

    • Sorry I worded it wrong and fixed it above. If it is on a Delta plane then only Delta One gets lounge access. If you are flying a Sky Team partner then you should get entry.


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