Delta makes it harder, more expensive to get into its airport lounges

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Delta Air Lines is making its clubs more exclusive by upping the price and the requirements to gain access to the private airport lounges. 

The largest airline by revenue said the move, announced Wednesday, is "a byproduct of Delta Sky Club’s widespread popularity" which has outpaced its capacity. 

The air carrier says it's faced complaints from travelers over long waiting lines to get into clubs and even find a seat once inside.    

Delta Air Line’s Sky Club lounge in LaGuardia Airport in New York.  (Delta Air Lines )

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As part of a slate of changes, only Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion customers can purchase new club memberships moving forward. Previously, anyone could buy a membership into a Sky Club, according to Delta. 

Starting Jan. 1, fees for Club membership will also increase from $545 or 54,500 miles to $695 or 69,500 miles for an individual. For executives, fees will also from $845 or 84,500 miles to $1,495 or 149,500 miles.  

Roughly a month after that, fees for companion guests will also increase from $39 to $50 or from 3,900 to 5,000 miles.  

Delta Air Lines

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DALDELTA AIR LINES INC.35.37+0.77+2.21%

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Starting in February 2023, Delta Sky Club members flying on Basic Economy tickets will no longer be allowed inside unless they have a benefit through an eligible American Express credit card.

The airline has also modified rules for Diamond Medallion members who select Executive Club access via their choice benefits and customers flying in Delta One and select Medallion members flying in Delta Premium Select internationally.

Delta Air Line’s Sky Club lounge in LaGuardia Airport in New York.  (Delta Air Lines )

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"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," Dwight James, senior vice president of customer engagement and loyalty, said in a statement.

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Overall, the airline has over 50 Sky Club locations. 

However, the carrier has opened four new clubs since April, including its two largest lounges at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Los Angeles International Airport, as well as its only international club at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. There is also a new 22,000-plus-square-foot club at Chicago-O’Hare.

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