Delta is restricting who can access its Sky Club lounges in 2023 — here’s how you can still get in | CNN Underscored
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Delta is tightening who is allowed into its Sky Club network of airport lounges next month. As a result of overcrowding, some of the airline’s most frequent flyers are seeing their access stripped away. But there are ways to bypass the new access rules to ensure you can always get into a Delta Sky Club ahead of your next flight — and the most reliable way comes in the form of holding the right travel credit card.
Ultimately, the changes in access came down to Delta’s goal of improving the experience for its most loyal travelers, according to Delta SVP of customer engagement and loyalty and CEO of Delta Vacations Dwight James.
“We wanted to continue to look at ways to elevate the experience for our customers,” James told CNN Underscored last year. “The experience that a lot of our premium customers have grown to expect is not necessarily as consistent in some cases because of overcrowding.”
Most notable of the access changes, as of Feb. 2, 2023, Sky Club members traveling on a basic economy ticket will no longer be permitted to enter the lounge, provided they don’t have access through an eligible American Express Card. Additionally, as of that date, Delta Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members flying internationally in Main Cabin or Delta Comfort+ will no longer get access to Sky Clubs — they must be flying internationally in Premium Select or Delta One. Finally, Delta is restricting Sky Club membership to its Medallion members, increasing the price to purchase a membership outright and increasing the number of Choice Benefits its most loyal Diamond Medallion members will have to pay in order to get a membership.
That all said, the access policy is not changing for flyers who enter Sky Clubs with an eligible American Express card — proving these cards even more valuable if you want to ensure you have lounge access. In other words, if you have access via The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, you can still access Sky Clubs even if you’re traveling on a basic economy ticket or flying internationally in Main Cabin after Feb. 2, 2023.
So, while access policies will be changing for Sky Miles Medallion members who purchase or get access outright, American Express card holders will not see much of a difference in February. However, entry cost for those with the Delta Platinum Amex Card and for guest access will be increasing across all entry methods from $39 per person to $50 per person in February.
James told CNN Underscored last year that the goal with these access policy changes is to elevate the experience of joint Delta and American Express customers.
To better help passengers predict how crowded a Sky Club is, Delta has unveiled a real-time occupancy tracker within its Fly Delta app. Sky Clubs in Atlanta (ATL) and Detroit (DTW), among some others, now display their occupancy within the app with levels ranging from “not busy” to “extremely busy.” This technology will roll out to all Sky Clubs later in 2023.
Additionally, Delta will keep its priority lanes in service for Diamond Medallions, Delta 360 members and Delta One customers. At times of high capacity, these passengers can access Sky Clubs via dedicated lanes.
Airport lounges are nothing new — they’re one of the best places to enjoy a light bite to eat, a drink and some space to relax before your flight. In fact, Delta Air Lines has a network of more than 50 lounges across the country — and now a lounge in Tokyo. While they vary in size, quality and what you can expect when you’re inside, the airline’s newest lounges are often great spots to relax before your flight.
Before diving into all the Delta Sky Clubs that are available around the country, you’ll want to first ensure that you can get in. Thankfully, there are several ways to ensure you have Delta Sky Club access, ranging from purchasing a membership to obtaining elite status, holding a Delta credit card and more. Unfortunately, Delta Sky Club day passes are no longer available, though there are plenty of other ways to get in.
Eligible passengers can only enter Sky Clubs within three hours of their scheduled departure time. Connecting passengers can continue to access Sky Clubs at any time prior to departure, and arriving passengers — with or without a connecting flight — can also continue to use Sky Clubs.
The airline also plans to open its first two Delta One Clubs at New York–Kennedy (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) in 2023 and 2024, respectively. At JFK, the Delta One Club will be located in Terminal 4 near Concourse B and measure approximately 36,000 square feet. Meanwhile, at LAX, the Delta One Club will be connected to the newly opened Sky Club and will measure approximately 10,000 square feet. Access will be restricted to passengers flying in Delta One.
Here’s how you can currently access Delta Sky Clubs.
Delta has its own portfolio of credit cards, and a pair of them grant access to Sky Clubs. If you have the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, you can access Delta Sky Clubs if you’re traveling on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight within three hours of scheduled departure or on arrival. And if you’re a Delta Reserve card holder who’s not traveling on a Delta-operated or Delta-marketed flight that day, but instead traveling with a Delta partner, you can still access a Sky Club for $39 per person. You can bring up to two guests with you for $39 each. As of Feb. 2, 2023, the cost for both is increasing to $50 per person.
Alternatively, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card also offers Sky Club access for $39 per person, per visit if you’re traveling on a same-day Delta or partner airline flight, and you can bring up to two guests with you for $39 each up to three hours before scheduled departure or on arrival. As of Feb. 2, 2023, the cost of each visit or guest is also increasing to $50. Unfortunately, Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card holders no longer have access to Sky Clubs.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a credit card that isn’t Delta-branded, you have two options: The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. With either card, you can access Delta Sky Clubs so long as you’re traveling on a same-day ticket on a Delta-operated flight. You must present your Amex Platinum or Amex Business Platinum and same-day boarding pass to get into the club within three hours of scheduled departure or on arrival. You can bring two guests with you for an additional fee. The Platinum Card is one of our favorite travel credit cards because of the lounge access it grants, including Sky Clubs when you’re flying with Delta — and this isn’t changing in February.
If you don’t have a credit card that grants access to Sky Clubs, you can instead opt for a Delta Sky Club membership. However, note that in order to access lounges with a membership, you still need to have a same-day Delta or Delta partner boarding pass and you can only access within three hours of scheduled departure or on arrival. Additionally, as of Jan. 1, 2023, only Delta Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion members can purchase a membership.
You can access Delta Sky Clubs with the following memberships, which are increasing in price as follows effective Jan. 1, 2023:
- Executive Membership: $1,495 (or 149,500 miles) annually; unlimited Club access for the member and up to two guests per visit.
- Individual Membership: $695 (or 69,500 miles); unlimited Club access for the member only. Members may bring up to two guests at the rate of $39 (or 3,900 miles) per guest, increasing in price to $50 (or 5,000 miles) per guest as of Feb. 2, 2023.
As of Feb. 2, 2023, all Sky Club members flying on basic economy tickets will not be permitted to enter unless they have entry access via an American Express card.
As of Feb. 2, 2023, this policy is changing. Currently, if you hold Diamond, Platinum or Gold Medallion status — or the equivalent with a SkyTeam partner — and you have a same-day international flight in any cabin, you can access Delta Sky Clubs.
However, as of Feb. 2, 2023, Delta Medallion members flying internationally in Main Cabin or Delta Comfort+ will no longer receive Sky Club access, provided you don’t have another entry method, such as a Sky Club membership or through an eligible American Express card. As of that time, Medallion members must be flying internationally in Premium Select or Delta One.
If you’re a Delta Diamond, Platinum or Gold Medallion member and you’re traveling in any cabin on a SkyTeam international flight, you can access a Delta Sky Club with up to one guest at your departure airport (but not your arrival airport unless you’re connecting to a qualifying SkyTeam flight). This is also the same policy if you have the equivalent of SkyTeam Elite Plus status with a Delta partner airline.
Finally, Diamond Medallion members can select an individual Sky Club membership for free through their Choice Benefits, which will give you access to Delta Sky Clubs when traveling on any Delta flight. For those who qualify for Diamond status in the 2024 Medallion year and beyond, an Executive Membership will cost three Choice Benefit selections. Effective Feb. 1, 2023 for the 2024 Medallion year, Individual Membership and credit card guest pass access will no longer be a Choice Benefit. For all levels of elite status, members can only access Sky Clubs within three hours of scheduled departure or on arrival.
As of Feb. 2, 2023, all Sky Club members flying on basic economy tickets will not be permitted to enter unless they have entry access via an American Express card.
If you’re flying in a premium cabin, you’ll sometimes be able to access Delta Sky Clubs, but many people believe any first- or business-class ticket comes with lounge access, which is unfortunately not the case.
If you’re traveling domestically or internationally in Delta One, which is a specific type of business class, you’ll be able to access the Sky Club. Also, if you’re traveling on a flight with a Delta partner, you can access Sky Clubs if you’re traveling internationally on a first- or business-class ticket on a SkyTeam-operated flight. You’ll only be able to access within three hours of scheduled departure or on arrival.
But if you’re simply flying domestic on a regular Delta business or first-class ticket, you won’t be able to get into a Delta Sky Club unless you have access through one of the other methods mentioned above.
When the new Delta One Clubs open in 2023 and beyond, Delta One passengers will be able to access those premium-branded lounges. We expect to learn more details at a later date.
Delta operates more than 50 Sky Club lounges across the United States. If you have access to one of the Sky Clubs, you’ll be able to take advantage of their complimentary food and drink, along with a spot away from the hustle and bustle of the terminal.
Delta announced that it will open its first-ever Sky Club location at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) in February 2023.
Here’s a look at your Sky Club options by airport.
Where to find it: South Terminal, mezzanine level between Concourse B and Concourse C.
This is a pop-up, temporary Sky Club location. However, while it’s around, you can take advantage of amenities such as food and drink, power outlets and a comfortable place to sit away from the terminal.
Where to find it: Inside security, upper level near Gate A19.
This lounge is located on the upper level of Concourse A, next to the P.F. Chang’s. Inside, you can expect to find the standard Sky Club amenities like power outlets, a bar and food options. Reviewers have stated that the lounge can get overcrowded, but it’s better than the other Concourse A Sky Club.
Where to find it: Concourse A, near Gate A17.
This is the second Sky Club in Atlanta’s Concourse A. Here, you can expect a large space with amenities like food and drink, Wi-Fi and power outlets. Some reviewers have noted that the lounge can get overcrowded, but it’s got a good layout that can feel spacious when there aren’t too many other travelers in the lounge.
Where to find it: Concourse B, near Gate B18.
This is Delta’s flagship Sky Club in its home airport of Atlanta. At 25,000 square feet in size, you can expect modern furnishings, locally inspired food selections, a gallery highlighting Atlanta artists and more. Plus, the lounge has a wine wall curated by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson to sip alongside amazing views onto the tarmac.
Where to find it: Concourse C, near Gate C37.
Like other Sky Clubs in Atlanta, you can expect the standard offering of food and drink at this Concourse C Sky Club. Several reviewers on LoungeBuddy have written that the lounge can get overcrowded and the food can feel picked over. Also, some of the furnishings in this lounge aren’t as new as other Sky Clubs.
Where to find it: Concourse D, near Gate D12.
The Sky Club near Gate D12 is one of two Sky Clubs in Concourse D. However, some reviewers have stated that this lounge is small with minimal amenities. This lounge is also closed on Saturdays.
Where to find it: Concourse D, near Gate D27.
The other Concourse D Sky Club option is on the small side, but reviewers say that it tends to feel more secluded than the other lounges. It’s got the standard Sky Club offerings — food, drinks, power outlets and Wi-Fi — with a range of seating options.
Where to find it: Concourse E, across from Gate E15.
This is the only Sky Club lounge in Concourse E, so it can get crowded. However, it’s a large space with the standard Sky Club amenities plus access to a shower before your next flight.
Where to find it: Concourse F, mezzanine level.
Atlanta’s Concourse F sees many international flights and it has one Sky Club for travelers. This lounge is known for being a comfortable place to relax, featuring two levels and an outside patio — perfect for when the weather is pleasant. In addition, you can expect all of the standard Sky Club amenities in an updated and comfortable space with plenty of seating options.
Where to find it: Concourse T, near Gate T6.
This lounge in Concourse T features a relatively small space to relax in with a range of seating options. While not the largest or flashiest Sky Club in Atlanta, it’s a good option with all of the standard Sky Club amenities for a quick stop before your flight.
Where to find it: Near Gate 4.
Delta opened its first Sky Club in Austin in 2020. It features 9,000 square feet of space, including a covered Sky Deck — an outdoor patio that can be enjoyed year-round. You’ll be able to taste local, seasonal drinks and snacks, as well as see artwork from artists with connections to Texas.
Where to find it: Main Terminal, near Gate A7.
This Main Terminal Sky Club is the smaller of the two at Boston (BOS), but it’s a bit more updated than its Satellite Terminal counterpart, featuring amenities like showers. You’ll find a range of hot and cold foods as well as a full bar and a range of seating options spread around the space.
Where to find it: Satellite Terminal, near Gate A18 by the Starbucks.
This is the larger of the two Sky Clubs at Boston (BOS), but it’s slightly more outdated and doesn’t feature showers. Some reviewers have said that the space could use more power outlets.
Where to find it: Terminal 5, Concourse M, between M14 and M11.
Delta’s newest Sky Club opened in November 2022. A 22,000-square-foot space in Terminal 5, the new lounge can seat up to 400 passengers and features a spacious layout with modern finishes.
Where to find it: Near Gate B14.
Reviewers rave about how large this Sky Club is with a range of seating options. Because of its size, the lounge doesn’t get overcrowded very often. You can expect all of the standard Sky Club amenities like a selection of hot and cold food and a full bar.
Where to find it: Terminal E, between gates E10 and E11.
Dallas-Fort Worth is the home of Delta competitor American Airlines, so there’s only one Sky Club. It has a full-service bar as well as ample seating options with a conference room.
Where to find it: Concourse A center core, fourth floor.
This Sky Club boasts just over 4,500 square feet of space. While it’s on the smaller side, it’s got seating options spread across the lounge. The one major pain point of the lounge is that its bathroom is located outside the lounge space.
Where to find it: Concourse A, across from Gate A18.
While this isn’t the most updated lounge in Concourse A, review site Live and Let’s Fly reports that this lounge is on the quieter side with a good number of food options.
Where to find it: Concourse A, across from Gate A38.
This is the largest Sky Club at Detroit, with plenty of seating options. There are showers to use in the lounge, as well as the typical Sky Club offerings like hot and cold food and a full bar.
Where to find it: Concourse A, across from Gate A43.
This is the newest Sky Club at Detroit, having opened in December 2021. Inside, you can expect to find a relatively small space at just 4,600 square feet — especially compared to other Sky Clubs at DTW. But because it’s so new, you’ll find updated furnishings and decor, though the lounge can get crowded quickly.
Where to find it: Concourse A, across from Gate A68.
This lounge is on the dated and small side — the most so of the three Sky Clubs in Concourse A. It has food options, but no full bar. Instead, you’ll find a self-service bar and a relatively limited selection of seating.
Where to find it: Concourse C, near the entrance to Concourse C.
This lounge has good views of the tarmac in a large space with a variety of seating, but some travelers have said that the lounge can feel crowded at times. You can expect the standard Sky Club offerings, such as food and drinks, but no showers.
Where to find it: Main atrium, between gates D2 and D3.
Delta opened its new Fort Lauderdale Sky Club location in June 2021. It features 8,000 square feet of space with floor-to-ceiling windows, complete with runway views. Plus, there’s regional artwork throughout the lounge with a rotating selection of food and beverage options.
Where to find it: Main concourse, across from Gate F1.
This Sky Club in Honolulu is far from Delta’s newest and best. In fact, one traveler called this space “old and tired.” You can expect to find somewhat limited seating and a light snack selection inside.
Where to find it: Concourse A, immediately after security and before Starbucks.
This lounge opened in 2010 and boasts 4,800 square feet of space. The Sky Club can get quite crowded, and there isn’t much natural light. But it’s got the standard Sky Club amenities.
Where to find it: Concourse A, right after Chili’s and the Day Spa.
One of the older and more outdated Sky Clubs in Delta’s network, this lounge offers several seating options. Don’t expect a massive selection of food and drink. Instead, light snacks and a self-serve bar are on offer.
Where to find it: Terminal 2, upstairs by Gate 23A.
For years, this lounge has been the Sky Club mainstay at LAX. However, with the introduction of the new Sky Club in between Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, this lounge takes a backseat. While you’ll have all the standard amenities of a standard Sky Club, it’s lacking in just about every regard when compared to its successor, just a short five-minute walk away.
Connector between Terminal 2 and Terminal 3
Where to find it: In the Delta connector between Terminals 2 and 3, just past the security checkpoint.
As the newest — and largest — Sky Club in the network, this lounge has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Between more than 30,000 square feet to spread out, eight showers, two buffet areas, a Sky Deck and more, there’s plenty to look forward to at this lounge before a flight. For more details, check out our full review of the Delta Sky Club at LAX.
Where to find it: In the B/C Connector, adjacent to the B security checkpoint.
Don’t expect to find luxury at Delta’s Memphis Sky Club. Instead, this lounge has pretty bare-bones amenities like a self-serve bar and snack area. A lack of natural light leaves this lounge feeling on the dark side.
Where to find it: South Terminal, in the H and J connector, left of H concourse security.
Delta’s got one Sky Club in Miami. While it’s on the smaller side and subject to overcrowding, it’s got a fresh, bright and modern feel to the decor inside. There are hot and cold food options for travelers as well as a full bar.
Where to find it: Concourse D, across from Great American Bagel & Bakery.
The Sky Club in Milwaukee isn’t one of the largest in the network, however, reviewers say that it’s not often subject to overcrowding. Plus, it’s got a rotating selection of local hot and cold food options and a range of seating.
Where to find it: Concourse C, next to Gate C12.
Compared to some other Sky Clubs in the network, this lounge is on the more dated side. It still has all the amenities you would expect in a Sky Club — think food options, drink options, comfortable seats and plenty of power outlets — but lacks some of the more modern design touches you might find in other lounges.
Where to find it: Concourse F/G, at the beginning of Concourse F.
Like its counterpart in Concourse C, this Sky Club has all of the amenities you’ll need but isn’t necessarily as flashy as some of the more updated lounges in the network. Fear not, though — you’ll get the standard Sky Club food offering and plenty of power outlets spread across the lounge.
Where to find it: Adjacent to Gate B3.
Nashville’s Sky Club is on the small side with relatively limited seating options, but reviewers say it gets a good amount of natural light. There are a range of food selections as well as a bar. This lounge underwent a renovation in summer 2022.
Where to find it: Concourse C, near Gate 1.
Delta opened its New Orleans Sky Club in late 2019 with design touches inspired by the culture of New Orleans. With regionally inspired cuisine, a full-service bar and a range of seating options available, reviewers say the lounge feels spacious.
Where to find it: Terminal 2, mezzanine level.
This Sky Club location is the smaller — and more modest — of the two lounges on offer at New York’s Kennedy Airport. Inside, you can expect to find the basic Sky Club offerings without the pizzazz offered in the Terminal 4 location.
Where to find it: Terminal 4, Concourse B, near Gate 31.
Terminal 4 is home to Delta’s flagship Sky Club at New York’s Kennedy Airport. It’s a far walk from the security checkpoint (be sure to reserve about 10 minutes to reach its doors), but it’s got plenty of seating, terrific views, its own outdoor Sky Deck terrace and showers. Plus, travelers can take advantage of a full-service bar and hot and cold food options.
Where to find it: The new Terminal C, just after the security checkpoint on the left.
This brand-new Delta Sky Club is eventually expected to be the largest in the network, but even now, it’s a huge space with high ceilings, tons of light and multiple rooms with a plethora of seating options. The bar and buffet areas are also impressive, with plenty of space to serve passengers departing (and arriving) from Delta’s 32 gates at LaGuardia. For more details on this new lounge, check out our full review of the Delta Sky Club at LaGuardia.
Where to find it: Concourse level, before Gate 81.
While LaGuardia’s old Terminal D is closing as of June 4, this existing Sky Club will remain open throughout the summer, serving as a satellite lounge of sorts. In contrast to the huge new main Sky Club, this is a relatively average-sized space with some standard hot and cold food options, a full-service bar and a small range of seating options.
Where to find it: Terminal B, Satellite B1 after security checkpoint, near gates 40 to 47.
There are plenty of seating options at the Newark Sky Club, including a dedicated dining space, individual cubbies and more. There are both hot and cold food options as well as a full bar and a plethora of charging outlets.
Where to find it: Airside 4, center atrium, near Gate 71.
This lounge at Orlando doesn’t feel like a typical Sky Club. Rather, its decor feels like something you might find outside the airport rather than at a Delta lounge. While it’s on the smaller side, there’s a lot of seating available. You’ll also find a full bar and food options.
Where to find it: Near Terminal D/E connector.
Reviewers say that this Sky Club location is on the extremely small and bare-bones side of things. There’s little natural light, which makes the space feel dark. Expect to find cold food options and a self-serve bar.
Where to find it: Terminal 3, near Gate F8.
The Phoenix Sky Club opened in 2019 and features 7,500 square feet of space with a design inspired by the Southwest desert landscape. Inside, you’ll find modern decor with fresh, locally inspired food offerings and a full-service bar.
Where to find it: Concourse D, between Gate D5 and D7.
The Portland Sky Club features all of the standard offerings without much of the flash that the newer, updated Sky Clubs feature. You’ll find a selection of warm and cold snacks, as well as a self-serve bar area with wine and beer on offer.
Where to find it: Terminal 2, second level, across from Gate C3.
Delta updated the Raleigh-Durham Sky Club in 2016. The space now accommodates up to 140 travelers across its 5,600 square feet of space. Inside, you’ll find the standard Sky Club decor with a range of seating options and food offerings, including a full bar.
Where to find it: Concourse A, level 2, east of the new airport plaza.
The Salt Lake City Sky Club is one of the newest in the network, having opened in September 2020. Spanning more than 28,000 square feet, there’s plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the food and drink options that are available, as well as showers. Other highlights include a 360-degree fireplace and a covered Sky Deck overlooking the Wasatch Range mountains.
Where to find it: Mezzanine level, across security checkpoint, above Sunset Cove.
While small in size, the San Diego lounge offers an updated take on Sky Club decor. It’s got a modern feel with polished amenities — especially in the dining area. However, there isn’t a terrific range of seating options, plus it’s small and can get overcrowded quickly.
Where to find it: Terminal 1, near gate C3.
This Sky Club in San Francisco is one of the better lounges in the network. That’s because it’s a massive space, offering plenty of natural light and top-notch design choices. You’ll be able to take advantage of hot and cold meal choices, as well as showers on the premises.
Where to find it: Concourse A, near Gate 1.
The Seattle Sky Club is largely considered to be one of the best in Delta’s Sky Club network. That’s largely because of its sheer size — it spans two levels and rarely gets crowded. There are plenty of food and drink options to choose from as well as showers and a full bar. It’s a great space to spread out before your flight.
Where to find it: Concourse E, near Gate 68.
The Tampa Sky Club features a slightly updated decor with both hot and cold food options. It’s on the smaller side, with some reviewers noting that there’s sometimes a seating shortage. Its biggest feature, however, is its outdoor patio, which is perfect for catching some Florida sun before jumping on your flight.
Where to find it: International Terminal, Fifth Floor
The only Sky Club outside of the US, the Tokyo Haneda location features more than 9,000 square feet of space. It’s got a full-service noodle bar and decor that reflects the Japanese culture.
Where to find it: Concourse B, above Gate 15.
According to Thrifty Traveler, the DCA Sky Club is on the quiet side, which could make for the perfect relaxing pit stop before your flight. There’s plenty of natural light and a variety of seating options. Expect the standard Sky Club food options as well as a full bar.
Where to find it: Concourse C, opposite Gate 4.
One reviewer called this Sky Club “much smaller than most,” but the service makes up for the lack of space. You can find a variety of seating options as well as a self-serve buffet with hot and cold food options — with a view.
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