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Delta Ups Price of Airport Lounge Memberships by 54%

Delta Ups Price of Airport Lounge Memberships by 54%

Delta’s announcement this morning that it has raised prices, effective immediately, to access its Sky Club airport lounges is bound to draw a decidedly mixed reaction from travelers and industry-watchers.

First the changes:

  • What was previously the base membership — one-year lounge access for a non-elite member and two guests, for $450 — is now called an Executive Membership and costs $695. Until March 1, there are discounts on offer for Gold ($50) and Platinum ($100) members. And Diamond members’ membership is free until March 1.
  • A new base membership — member access only, no guests — will be offered at $450 from Spring. Guest visits will then cost $29.
  • Beginning on May 1, complimentary guest access will no longer be included as a benefit of the American Express Platinum or American Express Delta Reserve cards. (The Platinum card will also lose access to the American and US Airways lounges on March 22.)

According to the email Delta sent to SkyMiles members, the price increases are being made to “maintain the Club’s exclusive atmosphere.” In other words, to reduce crowding. In fairness to Delta, their lounges are known to be on the crowded side. And that certainly detracts from the value of investing in a lounge membership.

With the increased pricing, loungers can look forward to less congestion and a generally less stressful respite from the airport hubbub. That’s a decided upside.

But is the improvement worth the 54 percent price increase, or a downgrade in access to maintain the current price?

There are, in other words, winners and losers here.

Reader Reality Check

Higher prices, less congestion. Worth it to you?

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  • metro_struggler

    Yet another reason to cancel my AMEX Platinum now. Airlines continue to take away perks to even try to earn loyalty bonuses.

  • Jay R. Gates

    Do we think that they will bring back free premium drinks and beer? CVG is already a ghost town and is ORD. JFK – just added all that space and food? Guess we will see. we loved the skyclub for $35.00 per month. But was going down hill with new bar restrictions and kids everywhere lately. Over all compared to most partner clubs overseas I find Delta better than most.

  • Max

    So what club access will remain with Platinum amex?

    And I take it the Delta Reserve card they will drop the fee on now?

  • peterknight

    Only one winner. Delta. I feel that the end game is that the airlines are trying slowly to get rid of the FF club.

  • Robert Otillar

    I applaud Delta for trying to return to the glory days – when club membership was exclusive.

  • AM Canadian

    when I contacted AMEX they said that the primary card holder of the Platinum card will still receive free access to the Delta Club after May 1st.. Were they lying?

  • Louie

    The primary cardholder will receive complimentary access to SkyClubs. If you bring somebody with you, however, it will cost your guest $29 to enter.

  • Louie

    You will still have access with your Plat AMEX. See above. If you bring a guest, it will cost the guest $29 to enter.