Delta Increases Sky Club Membership Fees (For Some)

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When a flight is delayed or a layover is too long, spending time at an airline lounge with a complimentary beverage in hand sure beats trying to find a seat at a crowded gate. As far as domestic airline lounges go, Delta Sky Clubs are some of the best. They offer their visitors a quiet place to relax, complimentary drinks, snacks and even showers.

A single-visit Sky Club pass is $59 and can be purchased at the lounge check-in desk only. Diamond Medallion members receive complimentary Individual Membership and can access the lounge with the same-day Delta boarding pass.

At the moment, Individual Membership costs either $450 or 70,000 Delta SkyMiles per year and covers an unlimited number of visits for the member only. Up to two guests are allowed to enter at a reduced rate of $29 per person.

Executive Membership is a bit more expensive at either $695 or 110,000 Delta SkyMiles per year and covers unlimited visits for the primary member as well as two guests at no charge, plus two additional guests for $29 per person.

Delta Air Lines has announced it is increasing cash rates on annual memberships. Starting in 2017, Individual Membership will cost $495, and Executive Membership will cost $745 per year. However, if flyers choose to pay their membership fees with SkyMiles, the cost will decrease. Delta flyers will be able to purchase Individual Membership for 47,000 miles, about 33 percent fewer miles, and Executive Membership for 70,000 miles, about 36 percent cheaper than the currently offered rate. It seems as if Delta is encouraging flyers to redeem their SkyMiles on club access and amenities, such as purchasing premium drinks from the bar, instead of booking award flights.

 

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Although lounge access is great, paying for it with either cash or hard-earned miles isn’t ideal. There are a handful of premium credit cards that provide frugal travelers with Delta Sky Club access.

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express (annual fee of $450) offers card members traveling on a Delta-coded flight complimentary access to Sky Clubs and a discounted rate for up to two guests. The Platinum Card from American Express (annual fee of $450) also offers cardholders complimentary access to Sky Clubs with the same-day Delta boarding pass. As I learned on my recent trip through John F. Kennedy International Airport, one also can visit a Delta Sky Club upon landing on the following day if traveling on a red-eye flight.

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express (annual fee of $95) and Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express (annual fee of $195) both offer reduced Delta Sky Club access to cardholders for $29.

Although the increase in membership cost is discouraging, there are plenty of other ways to receive access to Delta Sky Clubs.

 

What value do you place on access to Delta Sky Clubs?

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