As air travel sees a resurgence, so too do crowds at airport lounges. No airline has felt this more acutely than Delta. They’ve been grappling with lines and overcrowding at Sky Clubs since the end of the pandemic and, despite several new access restrictions, the problem remains. We now have confirmation from Delta’s Managing Director of Sky Clubs that more restrictions are on the horizon.
Delta has confirmed more restrictions
For several weeks, we’ve heard rumors that Delta is planning to further restrict access to its Sky Clubs. One Reddit user claiming to be an American Express employee commented that Delta was considering a bevy of changes, including imposing limits on the number of times cardholders can access clubs every year.
We now have official confirmation from Delta’s Claude Roussel, Managing Director of Sky Clubs, that restrictions are on the horizon, though we still don’t have a timeline for the new policies or what they might entail. In a recent interview, Roussel emphasized that fixing the overcrowding issue at Sky Clubs is still a priority and that more restrictions are forthcoming, saying, “there’ll be more [access restrictions] to come as soon as we are ready.”
Past measures haven’t done much
Delta has already taken numerous steps to limit access to its Sky Clubs. Last year, they imposed a three-hour limit for entering the lounges before departure and raised the cost of day passes, guests, and annual memberships. They also eliminated access for flyers with Delta Medallion Status and are opening new locations, with new Sky Clubs in Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, and Boston this year alone, with more slated for Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Atlanta.
Unsurprisingly, these changes have yet to do much to reduce crowding. That’s because they don’t address the root of the overcrowding problem: Delta has more ways than any other airline to access their lounges with a credit card, such as the American Express Platinum Card and the Delta Reserve Card.
Delta’s Managing Director of Sky Clubs latest comments make it clear that changes are forthcoming. It remains to be seen what these changes will be and how they’ll impact travelers, especially those who have come to rely on credit cards for lounge access. Given how lucrative credit cards are for Delta, it makes sense that they’ve hesitated to cut off access to cardholders until now. At the same time, since crowding remains a stubborn problem, I wouldn’t be surprised if these new restrictions will finally target cardholders and seriously restrict their access.