How to Access the Delta Sky Club in 2021 | Thrifty Traveler
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How to Access the Delta Sky Club Lounge in 2021 and Beyond

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Few things make traveling better than having access to an airport lounge. And if you’re flying with Delta (or even one of their partner airlines), the Delta Sky Club is a great place to … well, lounge before or after your flight.

 

Delta Sky Club

Delta Sky Clubs are a network of airport lounges owned and operated by Delta Air Lines in airports around the world. With over 200 locations & partner lounges worldwide, you don’t have to try terribly hard to find one if you are with flying Delta.

But getting in Sky Club is another matter: You can’t just walk into any Sky Club you find. But these clubs aren’t just the domain of business travelers and first class flyers. There are plenty of ways to get into the Sky Club.

So let’s walk through everything you need to know about how you can access the Delta Sky Club before you make your next trip, what it’s like inside, and everything you need to know about lounge protocols and what’s changed during COVID-19.

 

How to Access the Delta Sky Club: Credit Cards, Biz Class or Status

There are a lot of different ways to gain Delta Sky Club access.

You can purchase a single visit pass if you hold the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card for $39 per visit. Better yet, certain credit cards offer complimentary access. Flying first or business class on Delta (or their partners) can get you in for free. Or you can buy an annual lounge membership – or get it free through your Delta Medallion Elite status.

Let’s walk through the different ways you can get into the Delta Sky Club.

 

Carry the Platinum Card from American Express

When it comes to lounge access, you won’t find a better card option than the Platinum Card® from American Express.

Just for holding the card, you will receive complimentary access to the Sky Club when you are flying with Delta. You won’t be able to bring in guests for free, but you can bring up to two guests into the lounge for $39 each.

Thrifty Tip: You can cover those guest fees using the up to $200 annual Amex airline credits – just be sure to set Delta as your preferred airline in your Amex Platinum benefits section!

In addition to Delta Sky Club access, the Platinum Card from American Express will get you into Amex Centurion LoungesEscape Lounges, and 1,000-plus Priority Pass lounges. You’ll also earn 5x American Express Membership Rewards points for every dollar you spend on airfare directly with an airline or through Amex’s travel portal, amextravel.com, and a host of other great travel benefits.

Read our full review of the Platinum Card from American Express

Complimentary Sky Club access is one of the reasons we’ve named the American Express Platinum card the best card for Delta flyers. Yes, we think it’s even better than many of Delta’s co-branded credit cards.

 

amex platinum card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express. 

 

Carry the Delta Reserve American Express Card

Much like the Platinum Card from American Express, just for holding the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, you can get free Delta Sky Club access. But once again, you have to be flying with Delta that day.

In addition to your own free pass into the Sky Club, cardholders receive two free guest passes to the Delta Sky Club each year. That means guests can come with you into the Sky Club for free. After that, you can simply pay $39 per guest to bring up to two guests into the Sky Club at a time.  Like the Platinum Card from American Express, there is no limit to how many times you can bring guests in with you.

With an annual fee of $550 (see rates & fees), most will be better off going with the Platinum Card® from American Express, which has an annual fee of $695 (see rates & fees)  – unless if you’re chasing Delta Medallion status.

Read our full comparison of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card vs the Platinum Card from American Express.

 

delta sky club reserve card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Delta Reserve Card from American Express.

 

Travel on an International First or Business Class Ticket

If you are flying first or business class internationally with Delta or a Sky Team partner airline like Air France or KLM, you can also receive complimentary access to the Sky Club.

Certain transcontinental routes within the U.S. in a Delta One business class cabin also get free Delta Sky Club access. But you won’t get any guesting privileges this way.

Keep in mind that a standard domestic first-class recliner-style seat in the U.S. (or to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and parts of South America) will not qualify for free Sky Club access. You need to fly in a Delta One cabin, domestically or internationally.

 

Earn Delta Status

If you hold Delta’s Diamond medallion status, the airline’s top-tier frequent flyer status, you can select a complimentary Sky Club individual membership as one of their three annual choice benefits.

Diamond Medallion members can also use two of their choice benefits for an Executive Sky Club membership, which gets you and up to guests into the Sky Club at no additional charge. It’s one of the most comprehensive ways to get into the Sky Club. You can pay for up to two more guests (for a total of four) for $39 each.

Flyers with lower levels of Delta status can get into the Sky Club, too – but only on certain flights. If you’ve got Delta’s Gold or Platinum Medallion status, you can get into the Sky Club free when traveling internationally on Delta or a SkyTeam airline – even if you’re flying economy. You can also bring one guest with you for free.

 

Purchase a Delta Sky Club Membership

Delta allows members to purchase an individual annual membership to the Delta Sky Club for $545 (or 54,500 Delta SkyMiles). You can also purchase an executive membership for $845 (or 84,500 miles). Again, an executive membership will allow you to bring in up to two guests per visit free. An individual membership comes with no free guesting privileges.

But this method makes little sense. For roughly the same price as an individual membership, you can get complimentary Sky Club access by holding either the American Express Platinum Card or the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card. Plus, both cards offer a host of other benefits that would make these worth far more than buying a Sky Club membership.

 

Buy Your Way in with the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card

If you’ve got the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card in your wallet, you can buy one-time Sky Club access for $39 per entry. You can also bring in up to two guests for another $39 each.

Click Here to learn more about the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card. 

 

access the delta sky club for $39 with the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card

 

Cardholders with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card also used to be able to purchase Sky Club access. Unfortunately, Delta eliminated this card benefit in early 2020.

 

Can You Buy a Day Pass to the Delta Sky Club?

For years, any Delta traveler could buy a single-visit pass to get into the Delta Sky Club regardless of what seat they were in or what credit card was in their wallets. Those day passes were $59 each. Both United and American do the same.

But they’re no longer available at the Delta Sky Club. Delta stopped selling them in November 2018 to combat overcrowding in its lounges. If you don’t hold the Delta Platinum American Express Card, you can’t buy your way into the Sky Club.

Even as lounge traffic is way down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta has not made any decisions to bring this option back.

 

Can You Get in Upon Upon Arrival?

Of course, you can get into the Sky Club before your flight. But what about upon arrival?

There are no restrictions that prevent you from visiting a Sky Club after you arrive at your final destination. This is a great option if you want to freshen up with a shower or a meal after a long-haul flight before getting to your final destination.

Delta’s lounge policies explicitly state that you must be flying Delta that day in order to get into the Sky Club. So long as you’ve got a Delta boarding pass for anytime that day, you can get into any Sky Club.

Other lounge networks like the American Express Centurion Lounges recently implemented restrictions that do not allow you to enter the lounge upon arrival. But for now, this is still possible with Delta Sky Clubs.

 

What Sky Clubs are Open During COVID-19?

Over the past year, COVID-19 has drastically reshaped travel. And nowhere is that change more pronounced than in airport lounges – including the Delta Sky Club.

Many Sky Clubs shut down as the pandemic started to run its course in the U.S. and across the globe. In fact, Delta shuttered all of its Sky Clubs in March 2020 as the pandemic first struck.

But by summer 2021, that has changed. All of Delta’s Sky Clubs across the U.S. have now reopened. And Delta has even opened some new lounges recently, including a brand new club in Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and another in Salt Lake City (SLC).

Of course, that could change. So be sure to check out Delta’s website to see up-to-the-minute information on which clubs are currently open.

 

Delta Sky club Austin Texas
Delta Sky Club, Austin, Texas

 

What Are Delta Sky Clubs Like Now?

It depends where you go. Every Sky Club is different. And the lounge experience has changed drastically throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

For starters, you’ll have to wear a face mask any time you’re moving around the lounge – just like on the plane and throughout the airport. You’ll be allowed to take it off when seated and eating or drinking. And Sky Club attendants are constantly cycling through lounges, wiping down tables and picking up trash.

Some Sky Clubs have standout amenities, and none are better than the Sky Decks that you’ll find at lounges in Salt Lake City (SLC), New York City (JFK), some Atlanta (ATL) clubs, and Austin (AUS). The massive Sky Deck in Delta’s flagship New York City lounge is a great spot to relax with a drink for some planespotting.

 

delta sky club jfk sky deck

 

Delta is doing more and more to set its newest lounges apart with special decor touches and features. One of its newest lounges in Austin (AUS), for example, has a signature, stylish bar in the center of the lounge where you can sample a flight of bourbon or get a specialty cocktail.

 

delta sky club austin bar

 

In 2020, Delta drastically scaled back its food and drink offerings, replacing hot buffets with simple prepackaged snacks. But as travel rebounded in 2021, Delta has reintroduced hot foods at many Sky Clubs – think simple entrees and soups served by an attendant or do-it-yourself noodle bowls. But you’ll still find many wrapped sandwiches and prepackaged salads available, too.

 

delta sky club buffet

 

delta sky club food

 

The bar in the Sky Club is open, so getting a free glass of beer, wine, or a cocktail is still possible. Delta has also resumed its full bar service in many locations, too, allowing you to buy upgraded cocktails or champagne for cash – or SkyMiles.

 

delta sky club champagne

 

And in our experience, self-serve coffee and espresso machines are also open for easy use.

 

delta sky club coffee

 

At the end of the day, exactly what you find will vary by what Sky Club you are in. And that’s constantly changing as airlines do their best to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.

Check out our reviews of the lounge in Seattle (SEA), Austin (AUS), and San Francisco (SFO), and Washington, D.C.-Reagan (DCA) to get an idea of what the Delta Sky Club experience is like in normal times.

 

Sky Club Bottom Line

Delta has put more and more money into new Sky Clubs (and overhauling old ones). Even with COVID-19, they’re reopening across the country. Just as the travel experience as a whole, what you’ll find inside Sky Clubs has changed due to the pandemic.

But getting in Sky Clubs has gotten a bit harder and more confusing. Use this guide to navigate the lounge like a pro and make your pre or post-flight experience more enjoyable.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

52 Responses

  • Can you verify the access to the Delta Skyclub ? My husband and I hold both a personal AMEX Platinum card as well as the Delta AMEX Platinum card, both benefits sections say that there is a $29 per person fee to use the skyclub. Am I missing something?

    • The personal Amex Platinum card will provide complimentary access if you are flying Delta. You will not receive complimentary guests, but you can pay a $29 fee to bring guests in with you. With the Delta Amex Platinum card, there is no complimentary status. Lounge access costs $29 and will be increasing to $39 per visit starting on Jan. 30.

      • Hi Nick, I have both the Delta Skymiles Platinum and the Amex Platinum. If I buy my tickets using the Delta Card to get free checked bags, priority boarding, etc. can I still access Sky Club if I show them my Amex Platinum and boarding pass or will have to purchase tickets directly with the Amex Platinum?

  • Could you also please clarify the section regarding Diamond status members bringing 2 guests for free into the Sky Club? I believe that you have to elect to use 2 choice benefits for an Executive Sky Club membership in order to bring 2 free guests into the club. You can receive an individual Sky Club membership using one choice benefit.

    • Hi Lisa, you are correct. I updated this to reflect you have to use two of the choice benefits for the Executive level Sky Club membership allowing two complimentary guests.

  • We are flying Virgin upper class to Seattle, staying overnight in Seattle and then flying to Anchorage with Delta in first class. Are we entitled to use the Delta lounge at Seattle? We do not have any of the credit cards you mention. Thanks

  • Can I access the sky club if my first class ticket was purchased by someone else using their amex points

    • It depends on where you are headed. A domestic first class ticket doesn’t make you eligible for sky club access

  • We’ve flown Delta One and Business class internationally and used the sky club. We just flew first class to Hawaii and back from the East Coast and were denied access. It’s difficult to understand why passengers who spend the (large) amount for first class tickets can’t use the sky club.

    • Hi Martha, Delta considers Hawaii a domestic route which unfortunately doesn’t grant Sky Club access for first class passengers.

    • I have Gold status on Delta. We have a long layover on an upcoming trip to FRA. I know I can have lounge access for myself and 1 guest but there are 4 of us traveling together. Can I buy day passes for the 2 additional guests?

  • Is it possible to access the Delta lounges if I am a Sky Miles member but don’t have an Amex card ? I am really thinking about getting the CSR as it works better for me at this time . We live close to MSP which is a delta hub and fly primarily delta

    • Just having a SkyMiles account doesn’t make you eligible to enter. You’ll need to meet one of the requirements listed above.

  • I am travelling by Delta Premium economy from LAX to Sydney on December 25 after having arrived from Honolulu. I simply want to have a shower Do any of the Delta lounges at LAX offer shower facilities at LAX on a casual one time basis

    • The Sky Club in Terminal 2 has showers. But currently, almost all shower facilities are closed due to COVID-19. That may change by the time of your flight.

  • Can you clarify if I can bring my wife and three kids into the Lounge with the Delta Amex Platinum card by paying $39 each?

    • You can only bring up to two guests in with you with your Delta Amex Platinum Card – and you must be flying Delta that day. If you have children under 2, they’re exempt from the guest count.

  • I don’t have the AmEx Platinum card yet but have been thinking about it for a while know. My question is, if I do get the card can I get a joint account with my wife and if so would the card let both of us in for free or just 1 of us?

  • Hi, could you clarify this for me? I will be flying first class from Atlanta to Costa Rica. Will I be able to use the lounge with this ticket purchase?

    • Hi Bailee. If your flying in a standard domestic first class recliner style seat, that will not qualify you to get free sky club access. You’d need to have one of the credit cards mentioned above

  • Hi Nick, Me and my wife are flying first class to Mexico in May. We do not hold any of the delta credit cards or Am Ex cards. Will we be able to use the Sky Club? Thanks

  • I will be on a first class International ticket South America to New York.
    Would that allow me access to the Sky club?

    • Hey Jon. If your flight is sold as Delta One business class, then yes. If you’ll be sitting in the larger domestic first class style recliner seats, generally that will not grand you Sky Club access.

  • Flying first class from Atlanta to Quito. After going through customs and immigration and getting ones baggage, is it still possible to access the lounge in Quito. We have quite a few hours to wait for another flight.

    • Shouldn’t be an issue as long as you have another flight. Delta allows you to enter as long as you have a same day boarding pass. That means you can even get in after your last Delta flight

    • You will not have access unless you have one of the credit cards mentioned in the post above.

  • I’m flying 1st Class from MEX (Benito Juarez Mexico City) to PBI – FL with a 2 1/2 hour layover in Atlanta. Will I have access to Sky Lounges, and Affiliate Lounges in Mexico City, during my day of flying?
    Thanks!

    • A standard domestic first-class recliner-style seat in the U.S. (or to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean) will not qualify for free Sky Club access. You need to fly in Delta One or business class internationally or hold one of the cards mentioned in the post.

  • We are flying from San Diego to the Bahamas with a layover in Atlanta. Our flight has changed and the layover has been extended. Can we access the Delta lounge with our first class tickets?

    • Hi Julie, not unless it is marketed and sold as Delta One or you have one of the credit cards listed above.

  • It looks like Delta has replaced business class on many international flights with Premium Select. Is this a way to further limit access, or are Premium Select users allowed in the Sky Club?

  • I am flying flat-bed from HLN-SLC in October, but I noticed that it is being referred to as “first” instead of Delta One, even though I’ve confirmed that it is a Delta One seat and cabin. Will I be granted lounge access in HNL? Thanks!

    • It is a Delta One seat and cabin but it’s only considered Delta One service on select transcontinental and international routes. And unfortunately, that means you won’t get automatic lounge access in HNL.

  • Would anyone know if I am still able to use the one day lounge pass I received while holding my Amex Reserve? After I downgraded to Platinum I discovered I received 10 passes. They have not expired and are in my Delta wallet.

    • Unfortunately I don’t believe these will work. I tried this recently and as soon as I closed my Delta Reserve card the passes were deactivated and wouldn’t scan.

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