Delta SkyMiles no longer Allows its Members to Enter SkyClubs When Flying Economy Class

Delta in Austin

There were rumours in the past few days, and now the dreaded eMail has arrived. Delta has chosen a drastic measure to tackle its problem of having overcrowded SkyClubs (airport lounges): Its own loyal members will no longer be granted access when flying in economy class. This applies for Gold members, Platinum members, and even Diamond members.

SkyTeam rules state that lounge access should be granted when flying internationally, but Delta has now decided to treat its own customers worse than those of other programs.

Now, only the following passengers will have access to Delta’s SkyClubs:

  • SkyTeam Elite Plus members at a program other than Delta SkyMiles, flying internationally
  • Any SkyTeam Elite Plus members flying in Premium Economy, internationally
  • Any SkyTeam passenger flying in business class, internationally
  • Any SkyTeam passenger with a SkyClub membership
  • Any Delta passenger with an American Express Platinum Card
  • Delta 360 members
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Not the First Smack in the Face by Delta for Economy Passengers

Delta SkyMiles, despite still being the best program to earn miles with economy class tickets (if you reside outside the USA), has now already hit its second strike. The first strike came almost a year ago when they decided to give their passengers exactly 0 (zero!) miles if they booked Delta’s Basic fare.

Now all economy class passengers (even those in Main cabin and Comfort+) are kicked out of the lounge. To me, Delta still holds an advantage over other programs due to their 100% MQM credit for economy flights on KLM and Air France (and Delta main cabin), but if you fly a lot internationally from or to the USA, you may want to consider switching to United or earning your status through another SkyTeam partner:


While their own members have been disadvantaged at United and American Airlines for a long time, it is unsettling to see Delta not only copy this behaviour but even take it one step further. One of SkyTeam’s most positive aspects was that its rules were incredibly uniform across the alliance, without exceptions for certain fares or airlines. Now, Delta is changing that a bit – at least for its own SkyMiles customers – and is slowly starting to lose its once so incredibly high attractivity for economy class passengers.

Cover Picture: Ditmar Lange

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Comment (1)

  1. Miguel says:

    Truly disturbing, Skyclubs have basically become AMEX Centurion lounges!

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