Delta to Curb SkyClub Access for Credit Card Customers
Delta flyers and Amex cardholders should be aware of some major updates that will affect co-branded credit card perks and more.
About the updates:
Delta has announced a number of significant changes regarding access to their SkyClubs which will have major impacts for credit card customers.
Effective February 1st, 2025, those with Delta co-branded cards or the American Express Platinum card will be limited in the number of times that they can visit SkyClubs. Those with the Delta SkyMiles Reserve (personal or business) will receive 10 visits per program year. Meanwhile, cardholders with the Platinum or Business Platinum card will receive six visits per program year. The “program year” will run from February 1st through January 31st.
While these restrictions will be the default, unlimited Club access can be retained by meeting a new spending requirement. Those who spend at least $75,000 per calendar year on either the SkyMiles Reserve or Platinum card will enjoy unlimited SkyClub access (when flying Delta) for the remainder of the current program year as well as the following full program year. A spending tracker helping cardholders reach this threshold will debut on January 1st, 2024 for the 2025 program year. Of note, this $75,000 per year threshold matches one instituted by American Express to limit which cardholders continue to enjoy complimentary guest access to Centurion Lounges.
In addition to these major changes coming in 2025, other updates will take effect next year. Starting January 1st, 2024, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum (personal and business versions) will no longer be offered access to SkyClubs. Previously, these cardholders could purchase access at a rate of $50 per visit.
Another policy going into effect on the first of next year is that those flying in Basic Economy will no longer be eligible for SkyClub access. This policy applies regardless of what card type they have — which suggests that even those who unlock “unlimited access” may still be turned away under this update.
All of these updates come as Delta continues to experience overcrowding at its SkyClubs. As the airline said in a news release, “These changes are part of Delta’s ongoing efforts to help balance the popularity of the Clubs with the premium experience they provide for our guests.” These announcements also corresponded to some major changes to the airline’s SkyMiles program.
Since the first round of Delta SkyClub changes focused on elite-status customers and (seemingly) didn’t do too much to solve the problem, it was widely expected that the airline would make changes in line with what’s now been announced. Plus, while this will affect basic economy flyers in just a few months, most of the changes won’t arrive for more than a year. Yet, that doesn’t make this news sting any less.
Breaking it down, six SkyClub visits could amount to just three round trips per year. Even worse, if you’re flying an itinerary with multiple layovers, you could quickly exhaust your allotment (I’d hope that same-day visits counted as just one usage, but I’m guessing that won’t be the case). Therefore, flyers may seriously need to consider whether it’s worth using one of their admissions — which is, of course, the whole point.
On the bright side, for now, no new changes for American Express Centurion Lounge have been announced. So, with Amex planning to build lounges in cities like Atlanta where there are already several SkyClubs, Platinum customers may have an alternative. But if lounges continue to have overcrowding issues, it may not be long before further restrictions are put in place. We’ll just have to wait and see.