Maybe I’m missing the obvious, but I don’t think Delta should have denied me access to the Sky Club in Terminal 2 at LAX earlier this week.
I was flying Aeromexico Business Class from Los Angeles to Mexico City on an award ticket issued by Korean Air. Aeromexico is a member of SkyTeam. In fact, the Aeromexico logo is right on the door.
According to access guidelines on the Delta Sky Club website, I was entitled to access on the basis of my business class ticket.
Customers traveling in….international First/Business Class on a SkyTeam-operated flight.
*International Travel includes…Mexico.
The SkyTeam website also indicates I will have access:
All international First and Business Class passengers traveling on or connecting to/from a same-day international flight operated by a SkyTeam member airline have access to our exclusive lounge facilities. Simply present your same-day First or Business Class ticket for an international SkyTeam airline flight.
Denied at the Door
But at the door, I was denied entrance. The agent said award tickets are not eligible for access. I laughed and immediately pushed back, but he passed me over to his supervisor colleague who also stated that “O” class on Aeromexico (business award class) was not eligible for access.
Only J, C, D, or I is allowed.
I asked where that rule was published. She claimed it was not and that it was a “local rule.”
Shaking my head, I called Delta in front of her and was connected to customer service agent. I explained the situation, she placed me on hold, then came back and confirmed that I would have access.
The lounge agent, however, was not amused.
How would they know? This is a local rule. I’m sorry sir, but without SkyTeam elite status you cannot use this lounge.
I asked for her supervisor. Happy to be finished with me, she called downstairs and put me in touch with Toni, mentioning, “I have a customer who doesn’t understand the rules.”
Toni, at first, was very pleasant. She explained the same thing–that only J, C, D, and I class are permitted in the lounge. But when I noted 1.) what delta.com said, 2.) what the SkyTeam website said and 3.) what Delta customer service said, she turned angry and told me to buy a one-day pass for $59 or speak to an Aeromexico supervisor.
Second-Class Status for Award Tickets?
In these situations, I always think about George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
A business class ticket is a business class ticket, no matter the currency paid for it. Aeromexico sold its ticket for miles or for dollars. The fact that I paid using miles does not make the ticket any less of a business class ticket. In fact, I-class tickets are under $300 so it’s not like lounge access is reserved only for high-rollers.
I could condemn the policy…if it was the policy. Here, I think this is an arbitrary LAX policy, but one that runs counter to SkyTeam rules and perhaps one that the higher ups at Delta are not even aware of. In other words, this is a fake rule!
I reached out to Delta and SkyTeam on Twitter…and heard nothing…
— Matthew Klint – Live And Let's Fly (@LiveandLetsFly) August 7, 2018
Again, am I missing the obvious? Or was this denial of lounge entry contrary to explicit SkyTeam rules?