After backlash, Delta changes tack on restricting Sky Club access

Reversal comes after announced plans to tighten access to exclusive clubs.
Travelers get in some downtime in the renovated Delta Sky Club in Concourse B.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

Travelers get in some downtime in the renovated Delta Sky Club in Concourse B.

After backlash from some of its most loyal frequent fliers, Delta Air Lines has opted to take a different approach in tightening access to its Sky Club airport lounges.

Atlanta-based Delta last week announced it would restrict Sky Club members’ access to the lounges to within three hours of departure, and would stop allowing club visits after arrival at destination. The plan was part of an effort to reduce crowding in the clubs as more travelers take to the skies.

The airline still plans to implement the three hour limit June 1. But Delta said it will not restrict access to clubs to members after they arrive at their destinations, as previously announced.

The clubs offer more spacious and comfortable seating compared to busy concourses, and some business travelers use them as a quiet place to work or unwind in between meetings and travel.

“We heard your feedback in response to the updates, including that some customers want to visit a Club to refresh after landing or to recharge ahead of a meeting,” Delta Sky Club managing director Claude Roussel wrote in a memo to customers. “We value your input — and we’ve acted on it.”

It costs $545 for a one-year Sky Club membership. Those with certain credit cards such as an American Express Delta Reserve credit card, which has a $550 annual fee, also can use Sky Clubs.

Delta’s reversal comes after an outcry from some Sky Club users in response to the restrictions.

Delta said Thursday that arriving customers with Sky Club access will continue to be able to visit the clubs upon arrival at their destination, as they do today.

The adjustment was welcomed by Sky Club customers.

Roussel also wrote in the memo: “As we continue to see increased volumes in our Clubs, we are working hard to support our service teams and add more ambassadors to ensure the best Delta Sky Club experience that you have come to expect and deserve.”

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