After a “banner year” in which Delta Air Lines’ Sky Club lounges saw crowding and people waiting in line to get in, the carrier announced price increases in memberships and entry fees for the facilities.

To address the crowding, the airline is changing some of the ways customers can access clubs starting next year “to preserve a best-in-class experience.” Among the changes:

  • So the carrier can better invest in the most loyal customers, annual club memberships will be available for purchase by Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion members only. Effective for new membership purchases and renewals starting Jan. 1, 2023.
  • The fees for an annual membership will increase as follows (effective Jan. 1, 2023):
    • Individual: From $545 or 54,500 miles to $695 or 69,500 miles.
    • Executive: From $845 or 84,500 miles to $1,495 or 149,500 miles.
  • The fee for companion guests will increase from $39 to $50, or from 3,900 to 5,000 miles for club members who wish to pay with miles. Effective Feb. 2, 2023.
For Diamond Medallion members who select Executive Club access via their Choice Benefits:
  • The cost of an Executive membership for members who reach Diamond Medallion status for the 2024 Medallion Year and beyond will increase from two to three Choice Benefit selections.
  • Individual membership and credit card guest pass access will no longer be offered via Choice Benefits for the 2024 Medallion Year and beyond. Effective Feb. 1, 2023 for the 2024 Medallion Year.
For Delta Sky Club members flying in the main cabin or a more premium cabin:
  • Delta Sky Club members flying on Basic Economy tickets cannot enter unless they have a benefit through an eligible American Express card that allows for access. Effective Feb. 2, 2023.
For customers flying In Delta One and select Medallion members flying in Delta Premium Select internationally:
  • Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion members flying internationally in the main cabin or Delta Comfort+ will no longer receive access, to the club unless they have access through a different entry method (such as a Delta Sky Club membership). Effective Feb. 2, 2023.
  • Diamond, Platinum, or Gold Medallion status still permit entry to the club if members are flying in Delta Premium Select internationally or in Delta One.
There are no updates to Delta Sky Club access eligibility for Delta 360 members; Elite Plus members of other SkyTeam airlines; Delta and SkyTeam Elite Plus members flying in Delta Premium Select and Delta One (or partner airline equivalent) cabins; or any customers in Delta One (or partner airline equivalent) cabin.

Beginning next month, Delta Sky Club members in Atlanta and Detroit will be able to monitor club availability on the Fly Delta app. Clubs will display four occupancy levels ranging from “not busy” to “extremely busy,” helping customers better plan their visits.

Dwight James, senior vice president-customer engagement and loyalty, said that while the carrier is “thrilled” to see so many customers enjoy the lounges, the 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.”

Since April, Delta Sky Club has opened four new clubs, including its two largest at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Los Angeles International Airport; the airline’s only international club at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport; and a new space of more than 22,000 square feet at Chicago-O’Hare.

Elsewhere, major expansions of existing clubs in Nashville and Boston have significantly increased capacity at those locations. Across the network, according to the announcement, Delta has invested heavily in its clubs with increases to seating capacity, premium design updates, locally driven food and beverage offerings and more.

Image: Delta Sky Club LAX / Photo: Delta News Hub