Employees and other pass riders at Delta Air Lines are enraged after a policy change effectively locks them out of Delta Sky Club lounges. Delta says the move is necessary to control crowding.
Delta Air Lines Plans To Eliminate Sky Club Access For Non-Rev Travelers, Even Members or AMEX Platinum Cardholders
We’ve covered the massive crowding issues at Delta lounges on several occasions:
- Delta Air Lines Restricts Sky Club Access
- Hilarious: Lines So Bad At Delta SkyClub, Passengers Are Fed While Waiting Outside
- Insane: Delta SkyClub Crowding Getting Worse
While most issues seems to be centered at New York JFK, Live and Let’s Fly has been briefed that the Delta C-Suite is livid over the negative press such lounge crowding has garnered. In a move that Delta hopes will lessen lounge crowding, it is limiting access for non-revenue travelers, including those who may be club members or traveling on company business. JonNYC shared the following memo:
“Beginning Feb. 2, 2023, access to Delta Sky Clubs will be embargoed for all customers and employees using nonrevenue travel passes, including leisure and company business. This embargo applies to all employees and leaders of Delta and its subsidiaries, other airline employees, as well as retirees and registered pass riders. The employee discount on Delta Sky Club memberships is also discontinued.
“While we understand that this may be disappointing, know that this decision was not made lightly. We are sure you’ll agree that delivering an elevated experience to our most loyal customers must be our priority. When we put our customers first and ensure that they have the best experience, they will continue to prefer Delta’s premium products and services – which ultimately benefits all of us.”
This policy change effectively renders lounge membership or an American Express Platinum card worthless for those employees who use it to access the lounge when traveling on a standby ticket.
Understandably, employees are outraged. Here’s a sample of what one is saying:
“At a time where non-rev travel might get you a middle seat on an almost full flight, Delta is announcing that even if you pay full cost for the Delta Sky Club, it isn’t for you, your family, or companions. Even if you have specifically applied for and have an American Express card, no access (even as you promote these to customers). Particularly, many Flight Attendants and Pilots commute – a lot from other continents. They purchase memberships to shower and refresh. Or, they want respite from busy airports and the traveling public, just like our Medallions.
“Maybe our colleagues who don’t have flexible schedules want the finesse and spoil of the SkyClub on their one and only vacation they can take each year. I understand this is also for Company Business, and includes all employees yet it still makes me angry. It is a terrible decision and unlike anything the Delta ‘family’ represents.”
“Read the room – or the concourse where employees will now be restricted to: we deserve perks, and we have earned them – and pay for them. If over-crowding is a result of OUR success and hard work, allow US to take a break inside our clubs and find another way to make the SkyClub delightful for everyone.”
The sentiment is not at all unreasonable, especially for those employees who have purchased Sky Club membership.
If Delta has data to suggest that employees are the culprit for lounge overcrowding, I’d be interested to see it. Furthermore, restricting American Express Platinum card access is one thing (you also cannot enter a Centurion Lounge without a confirmed ticket), but restricting access to people who pay annual membership fees? As our British cousins would say, that’s utter bollocks.
And isn’t it ironic that during the pandemic Delta asked employees to VOLUNTEER to clean these very clubs?
Effective In February 2023, Delta is restricting Sky Club access to all non-rev travelers, including those traveling on company business. I see this as a textbook example of how to alienate employees and think this is a terrible idea. My guess is it will be at least partially rescinded.
Are you a Delta employee? What do you think of the new Sky Club access restrictions?