Delta is making its Sky Clubs more exclusive

When too many people try to escape the airport – it becomes just the airport.

Bloomberg I Getty Images

Sky Lounge in LaGaurdia.

After complaints about long lines and overbooked lounges, Delta Air Lines is making it harder for people to register to visit its semi-luxury Sky Club airport lounges. From January, it is limited who can buy lounge access, and the prices will go up.

“A byproduct of the Delta Sky Club’s widespread popularity is visitor growth that has exceeded the club’s capacity — resulting in frustration for some customers queuing or searching for seats once inside,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.

People without membership in certain programs or who have any form of air ticket will no longer be able to purchase membership. Instead, it will only be available to select groups, including those in medallion programs with certain criteria or purchases, and American Express cardmembers with purchases.

The price for purchase will also increase. An annual membership will go from $545 to $695 for an individual. For “executive”. which lets you bring guests, will cost $1,495, up from $845.

It will also cost more to bring in additional “companion” guests, from $39 to $50.

In a press release, the company said it planned to update its lounge policies to preserve a certain type of experience, as well as discussed plans to add more clubs in 2023.

“While we’re thrilled to see so many customers enjoying the fruits of our teams’ hard work, our goal now is to balance the popularity of the clubs with the premium service and atmosphere they were designed for,” Dwight James, senior vice president of customer engagement and loyalty i Delta said in the release.

Demand for travel has remained high even though the price of air travel is growing faster than inflation. Luxury travel in particular has been busy. At the same time, airlines in general have also increased special member offers such as United’s new grab-and-go lounge in Denver, as well as added more travel rewards programs and partnerships, per CNBC.

Delta said it has seen “resulting in record visits,” at its lounges after adding four new clubs since April.

Whatever makes travelers escape the fixed airports, it has been a popular choice. Travelers have complained of standing in long queues and being turned away from Sky Club lounges.

Delta even had to limit people entering its lounges to within three hours of their flight in June. A company executive said at the time, “We’re not a WeWork.”

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