Delta SkyClub is Still Updating Its Entry Rules — But Not as Drastically

If you’re a frequent flier or credit card enthusiast, chances are you heard some rumblings about Delta this week. Specifically, changes announced to their Delta SkyClubs did not go down well with some travelers, leading to a rare instance where a brand backtracked on its plans in just a few days’ time. So, now that the dust is seemingly settled, what exactly are the changes that will take effect, what was nixed, and how will all of this impact you?

First, let’s talk about what is indeed changing (at least as of this writing). Starting June 1st, guests will only be able to access Delta SkyClubs three hours before their flight’s departure. This means that, if your flight is scheduled to leave at 12:30 p.m, you could not enter the club before 9:30 a.m. However, this rule is waived during layovers, so no need to walk aimlessly around the airport waiting for your three-hour mark if you have a long connection.

As for another rule that was announced and then rescinded, Delta originally planned to revoke arrival access. In other words, while those with SkyClub access can currently visit locations after their travel is complete, this update would have removed that option. But, following an outcry from business travelers and others, Delta began sending out emails stating that they were listening to the feedback and would not be going forward with this rule change at this time.

I’ll admit that, despite being a Delta loyalist and an Amex Platinum cardholder, I didn’t see the removal of arrival access all that upsetting. Have I ever thought about going to the lounge for some food before making my way into whatever city I’m visiting? Sure — but I’ve never actually made good on it. Plus, it’s worth noting that these rule updates would have put SkyClub’s rules closer in line with what entry rules are for Centurion Lounges. In fact, the rumor is that this comparison was a factor in the proposal, given the tight relationship that Amex and Delta have.

In any case, while I would have lived had all of the changes gone through, I am excited to keep the arrival option — if anything, it’s now reminded me to try it. As for the three-hour rule, I do think it makes sense overall, even if it is a negative change. Although crowding at Delta SkyClubs doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue as it’s been at Centurion Lounges, the continued popularity of the American Express Platinum card (along with the Delta co-branded cards) coupled with increasing demand for travel likely did mean Delta needed to make some adjustments to keep up.

In the end, will these changes make a difference? Or will that arrival rule need to come down eventually? I guess we’ll need to stay tuned.


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site and the founder of

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