Flying in 2023? Delta is Making It More Difficult to Access Sky Club Lounges

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Bad news for anyone looking to jet off in 2023: Changes are coming to the Delta Sky Club membership. Starting in January, some customers might miss out on that gratis glass of wine before departure.

Delta Sky Club access will only be available to select customers starting in January and February 2023, according to a Nov. 30 press release. The lounges, which require memberships or certain ticket tiers for entry, offer amenities such as private seating areas, complimentary food and drink, and shower facilities in select locations — so it’s no wonder that travelers would want to take advantage of the sweet deal. But after an exceptional number of visitors caused long lines and overcrowded lounges this year, the airline stated that it intends to “preserve a best-in-class experience” by limiting access going forward.

“It’s incredibly important to us that Delta Sky Clubs continue to deliver an industry-leading experience for our guests,” senior vice president of Customer Engagement & Loyalty Dwight James states in the release. “While we’re thrilled to see so many customers enjoy the fruits of our teams’ hard work, our goal now is to balance the popularity of the Clubs with the premium service and atmosphere for which they were designed — and that our guests deserve.”

The changes include the following:

  • Annual club memberships are only available to Diamond, Platinum, Gold, and Silver Medallion members, with a cost of $695 for individuals (previously $545) and $1,495 (previously $845) for executive memberships. Companion guest fees will also increase to $50 (previously $39).
  • Delta Sky Club members, flying Basic Economy, will not have club access unless they otherwise hold membership through American Express Card benefits.
  • Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion members, flying internationally in the main cabin or Delta Comfort+, also will not have automatic access to the club.

Changes to the annual membership plan start Jan. 1, 2023, while other adjustments won’t hit until Feb. 2, 2023. A full list of adjustments can be found on Delta’s website.

In addition to these adjustments, Delta will also include a real-time visitor meter in its mobile app to gauge crowd levels. Airport clubs will display an occupancy level, ranging from “not busy” to “extremely busy.”

“Empowering Delta Sky Club customers with greater visibility via the app is a small change that we believe will make a big difference,” Delta Sky Club managing director Claude Roussel states in the press release. “With a digital window into Club occupancy levels, we can give customers more control over their airport journeys and better set expectations when the airport is busy. We chose ATL and DTW for the initial rollout because of the high number of Clubs at both airports, so they can select an alternate Club if their preferred Club is at capacity.”

While this news might be disappointing to travelers, rest assured about any holiday flying woes; travelers still have until the end of December to enjoy Sky Club privileges as they stand.