You can get priority access, but not the kind you might be thinking of.
Private airport lounges are one of those topics that seem innocuous, but are actually surprisingly divisive upon closer inspection.
One of the most well-known airport lounges is the Delta Sky Club (DAL) – Get Free Report, which debuted in 2009, replacing the previous lounges the Delta Crown Room Club and Northwest Airlines WorldClubs.
The Sky Club offers free food (which is generally considered fresher and better than what you’ll find in the airport food court), free Wi-Fi and flight assistance. The perks you get depend on where you are flying, as some Sky Clubs also have showers, an office center with fax machines and printers, and even sometimes a full-service bar.
If your job involves a great deal of travel, the lounge can make your life a bit more comfortable, helping to alleviate some of the strain that constantly being on the move can bring. Traveling can be difficult, and lounges make it easier for the people who are willing to pay more. That’s the “for” argument.
But the “against” argument for lounges is that they strike some people as elitist, and a sign that the airline industry is trying to wrangle every dollar out of customers.
This ongoing, let’s call it a debate, was crystalized earlier this year when a tweet about the Sky Club went viral. To summarize, a woman Tweeted that she and her husband were allowed in Sky Club, but their four-year-old child had to wait outside or pay a fee, as they are “not a card holder.”
Some people went out of their way to defend the company’s policies, while others criticized the company for its tone deaf approach to a child’s well-being. The incident served as a sign that in the social media age, nearly anything can become a point of contention. But it was also a barometer of how frustrated many people are with the current state of travel.
Suffice to say, it’s unlikely the debate about the Sky Club will calm down anytime soon, especially now that Delta is adding a new perk for its members.
What Perk Is Delta Adding To Its Sky Club?
Delta is currently in the process of adding priority lanes for access to the Sky Clubs, as reported by The Points Guy.
These lanes will be cordoned off from the regular line, and will offer priority access when the lounge is at peak capacity, similar to the way some groups get priority boarding privileges before a flight departs.
The priority access lanes will be available to the following travelers, who will get priority over travelers who are paying for lounge access.
Delta One business-class flyers.Delta 360 members, which is an invite only status for frequent flyers.Delta Diamond Medallion top-tier passengers, which are the most elite members of its SkyMiles program’s elite status tiers.People who bought Delta First Class tickets that include lounge memberships.
The Sky Mile Clubs have been experiencing problems with overcrowding lately, and Delta hopes this move can help alleviate that stain.
“Following a successful operational test in Atlanta, Delta Sky Club will roll out dedicated entry lanes in a phased approach at select airports,” said the airline in a statement. “These entry lanes are just one of a continual range of enhancements designed to ensure our most frequent fliers and Delta Sky Club guests have a great experience on the ground and in the air.”
How To Get Access To The Sky Club
As of 2018, Delta no longer offers single-visit passes, a move that was widely seen as a way to get customers to sign up for its an annual membership or to sign up for a Delta SkyMiles credit card with American Express.
Some of those cards come with complimentary Sky Club access if you spent enough, but people with membership will get the priority access.
For people willing to pay for membership, the Delta Sky Club has two tiers: the executive membership costs $845 annually, which is unlimited access for you and two guests per visit. The individual membership costs $545 annually, and you can can bring up to two guests at $39 per visit.