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Delta Adding Restrictions to Delta Sky Club Access Starting June 1

James Larounis's image
James Larounis
James Larounis's image

James Larounis

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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To help limit overcrowding in Delta Sky Clubs worldwide, Delta is instituting several changes to when you can access a club. Unfortunately, the news isn’t all great.

New Access Rules

First and foremost, you’ll notice several of these rules nearly identically mimic the rules established by long-time credit card partner American Express for its Centurion Lounges, and that’s probably not by coincidence. American Express recently instituted such policies in its lounges worldwide and as the 2 companies are partners, American Express likely shared positive data with Delta that encouraged the airline to make the changes.

Here are the new rules:

3 Hours Before Departure for Access

You’ll only be able to access the lounge within 3 hours of departure. If you arrive significantly early for your flight, you won’t have access to the club. Interestingly, Delta doesn’t say what the new policy is if you’re standing by for a flight but are not confirmed. American Express clearly advised that you need a confirmed seat on a carrier to enter its Centurion Lounges, though Delta may be a bit more lenient than this if the Delta Sky Club agent at check-in can see that you’re actually on the standby list.

If you’re on a connection and the connection is longer than 3 hours, you’ll still be able to enter the lounge.

Delta Sky Club EWR
You’re now limited to accessing a Delta Sky Club 3 hours before your flight. Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

Access on Arrival

Delta initially announced that it was removing Sky Club access for arriving passengers, but due to customer feedback, has since removed that restriction. Moving forward, guests will still be able to use the lounge on arrival.

This is a major win for business customers who are accustomed to catching up on emails or work upon landing. Accessing a club on arrival is also great if you simply want to use a clean bathroom, or get agent assistance on a future flight itinerary.

The Changes Take Effect Soon

The changes begin June 1, 2022, less than a month away, and apply to all ways of accessing a Delta Sky Club, whether that be by elite status, premium cabin, purchased membership, or credit card.

Hot Tip: Learn more about access in our full list of U.S. Delta Sky Club lounge locations, hours, and amenities.

Final Thoughts

We assume Delta believes its Delta Sky Clubs are too crowded, and it wants to relieve the pressure inside, though based on the changes that are taking place, there are likely some cost-cutting measures going on as well. The most disappointing thing about the new changes is how soon they take effect.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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