Delta to Restrict Access to Its Sky Club Airport Lounges

The airline’s SkyMiles Platinum and Platinum Business American Express card holders will no longer have club access.

Delta Air Lines plane with logo.
(Image credit: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Delta Air Lines plans to limit access to its Sky Club airport lounges and make other changes to its frequent flyer program beginning next year.

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Platinum Business American Express credit card holders as well as basic economy class passengers will no longer have club access, according to Delta’s website

Beginning Feb. 1, 2025, holders of the Platinum Card and the Business Platinum Card from American Express will be limited to six club visits per program year. Those holding Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Reserve Business American Express cards will be limited to 10 club visits and two complimentary guest passes per program year, which runs from Feb. 1 to Jan. 31.

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The news comes at a time when many credit card offers and bonuses are eroding, with many card issuers reducing the points or miles sign-on bonuses.

At Delta, other changes include making annual memberships, including renewals, to the club only available to Medallion members of the SkyMiles program beginning Jan. 1, 2023. Medallion Qualifying Dollars will become the only way to qualify for Medallion reward status, also starting Jan. 1.

In addition, unlimited club access will be available to card members who spend $75,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year, and they will have unlimited club access for both the remainder of the current program year ending on Jan. 31 and for the next full program year. 

Overcrowded lounges a problem

According to a November 2022 post on its website, Delta said that its club lounges had become overcrowded and that it would be announcing updates in 2023. “A byproduct of Delta Sky Club’s widespread popularity is visit growth that has outpaced club capacity — resulting in frustration for some customers who find themselves waiting in lines or searching for seating once inside,” the airline said.

While Delta said this week that it is making the changes to simplify its program, news of the changes blew up on social media with more than a few angry loyalty program customers threatening to leave.

For those who would like to weigh their options for airline and other travel rewards credit cards, Kiplinger has done some research. Earlier this year, we asked you to help us name the products and services that you think have delivered excellent value and you responded. For details, check out Kiplinger Readers' Choice Awards for Airline Credit Card Rewards Programs.


Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.