Delta Takes Away Elite Access to Many International Lounges

Yesterday Delta sent out an email announcing a big price increase for lounge membership and instituting a policy that everyone accessing their lounges via premium credit card would have to pay a fee to bring in guests.

Will Run for Miles flags another change to Delta’s lounge policy, this time one that wasn’t announced just slipped into their ‘Skyteam Benefits’ page.

Effective May 1, 2014, all Delta third-party operated international lounges will become Business lounges.

What this modest statement means is that a ton of lounges will no longer be available to elite members.

Here’s the change:

And here are the lounges that elites flying international economy lose access to:



Latin America and the Caribbean

Bogota, CO (BOG)

Caracas, VE (CCS)

Lima, PE (LIM)

Quito, EC (UIO)

Rio De Janeiro, BR (GIG)

Europe, Africa and the Middle East

Accra, GH (ACC)

Arlanda, SE (ARN)

Athens, GR (ATH)

Barcelona, ES (BCN)

Brussels, BE (BRU)

Copenhagen, DK (CPH)

Dakar, SN (DKR)

Dubaij, AE (DXB)

Dublin, IE (DUB)

Dusseldorf, DE (DUS)

Frankfurt, DE (FRA)

Instanbul, TR (IST)

Lagos, NG (LOS)

London Heathrow, GB (LHR)

Madrid, ES (MAD)

Malaga, ES (AGP)

Malpensa, IT (MXP)

Manchester, GB (MAN)

Moscow, RU (SVO)

Mumbai, IN (BOM)

Munich, DE (MUC)

Nice, FR (NCE)

Pisa, IT (PSA)

Roberts, LR (ROB)

Shannon, IE (SNN)

Tel Aviv, IL (TLV)

Zurich, CH (ZRH)

Asia Pacific

Bankok, TH (BKK)

Beijing, CN (PEK)

Fukuoka, JP (FUK)

Guam, GU (GUM)

Hong Kong, HK (HKG)

Nagoya, JP (NGO)

Osaka, JP (KIX)

Saipan, MP (SPN)

Shanghai, CN (PVG)

Singapore, SG (SIN)

Sydney, AU (SYD)

Tokyo (Haneda), JP (HND)

Delta’s elite status just became worth even less. How are you feeling about the Skymiles program these days?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This is why we need competition. With now three “business” carriers to choose from (AA, DL and UA), they are free to reduce benefits. Because what are ya gonna do now?

  2. Getting features taken away always sucks, but just a quick recollection of Dubai means losing 2 of the 4 lounges that are available. SkyTeam lounges are still offered so Air France and KLM lounges are there., NBD for me so far.

  3. It sounds like there is a distinction between a lounges operated by Delta and their SkyTeam partners, and a lounge operated by a third party. The mentioned listing of non-Sky Club locations seems to be a combination of both.

  4. I think Bruce nailed it. When the Gov’t approved these mega mergers, they effectively killed off any real competition, and the handful of remaining carriers all know that passengers have little to no choice, so why offer up costly perks and incentives when the planes are going to fill up anyway? Any real chance of having a tolerable travel experience is pretty much on its way out.

  5. I never knew this was a benefit for economy class passengers. I was under the impression that economy class passengers only had access to lounges operated by a sky team member airline.

    Not sweating this one.

  6. Lhr also has vs clubhouses!! Guess that is one way to prevent crowding in the clubhouses. Crap policy though for sky miles members

  7. Delta has been enforcing this “policy” at select stations for some years now. I’ve been denied 3rd party lounge access in Accra as a SkyTeam Elite Plus flying ACC-ROB in the past and they used this exact argument – the lounge benefit is only for Delta lounges and not third party lounges. So no big deal in reality.

  8. Both IST and London have skyteam lounges, now. I have trouble believing access will be denied at either. I suspect London is outdated on your list.

  9. Given that the SkyTeam terms of service on their website still say that all Elite Plus members have access to these lounges, can Delta really do this?

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