What Delta Is Doing To Reduce Long Lines To Get Into Sky Clubs

Brian Sumers of Skift interviewed Allison Ausband, executive vice president and chief customer experience officer at Delta. He asked her about Sky Club overcrowding and the lines to get in. She shared what Delta is doing about it:

  1. Policy changes to limit access to no more than 3 hours prior to scheduled departure of the first flight on a passenger’s itinerary. This hasn’t helped, and it’s angered customers that view a membership club as a membership club they should be able to use when they wish – calling out those members ‘we’re not a WeWork’.

  2. Faster cleaning when passengers leave, to turn over seats and tables bringing in more staff to do so.

  3. App to let customers know which club might not have a line to get in which can help in Atlanta where there are 89 9 clubs, but not so much in most airports and still an inconvenience to customers not to be able to use the club that’s actually near where they clear security or near their gate.

Delta really faces two issues driving crowding: more people with access, and a better product people will go out of their way for. Add in more of a mix of leisure travelers (who tend to get to the airport earlier than traditional business travelers) and the vagaries of long security lines (people show up earlier ‘just in case’ but often get through more quickly than expected) and you have more people spending more time in the lounges.

The pieces that are unique to Delta, which is why their lounges have longer lines than other airlines, is that it isn’t just their own customers with access to their lounges but also Amex premium cardmembers flying Delta as well. And like Centurion lounges, which also have better food, people line up.

The airline is building more and bigger lounges in some places, which is great, but that’ll also bring out more people into the lounges who currently avoid the lines. To be sure that’s a good thing – more passengers getting access to the product they want – but won’t necessarily reduce lines if more passengers show up.

So what are the actual levers they have to reduce crowding? They could raise membership fees, but that doesn’t affect elites who get in selecting membership as a choice benefit, and won’t affect Amex customers (that deal currently runs through 2029). They could find ways to make better use of seating – not just more seats, but coat hooks so people don’t drape jackets over a second seat, tables so people don’t put their stuff on second seats.

It’s a challenge, it speaks well to the product, but ultimately standing in line for a club undermines the value of club access. I’d take cheese cubes and a Snack Tower Of Sadness in an Admirals Club over the generous buffet in a Sky Club I have to stand in an endless line to access (where the club itself is at max capacity once I do get in).

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Comments

  1. @ Gary — Better product? When packed to the brim, said procuct is horrible. I would rather visit an old, dirty US Airways lounge with no crowding, like the one in DCA.

  2. This is like interstate highways in Southern California. Widening the highway with additional lanes doesn’t reduce congestion. Until Delta reduces the volume of passengers (particularly plus-ones and other guests), it’s not going to get better.

  3. Most of the US major airline clubs are overrated. Bad food choices and service. I avoid though I have membership.

  4. I can see Delta using the lines to make more money. Maybe charging more for “skip the line” memberships, or basing entrance on FF status or paid class of service. SkyClub monetization — the folks at Delta can be very creative when it comes to reneging on benefits and calling it an enhancement.

  5. solution is for AMEX to redesign lounge access benefit to 10 free entries (across all Centurian, SkyClub, Priority Pass lounges) – guests count as an entry – and then a discont charge per each additional entry ($25). Also, elminate the open bar.

  6. Even though Gary keeps re-copying the same picture of the lines for the main Sky Club at JFK, I have yet to wait in a single line or be denied access to any Sky Club – of which I have easily been at a dozen or more since spring and a number of them many times.

    I’m sure some people are seeing a problem but I simply am not. And I actually fly Delta and pay for their services, unlike Gary.

    Second, Delta is building more SkyClubs and expanding their clubs more than any other airline. JFK is getting 2 new clubs – a Sky Club and a Delta One lounge that is larger than either Sky Club.

    We all want a private jet and a private club and a concierge to wait on our every need. Delta makes money on its Sky Clubs – including what is likely hundreds of millions of dollars per year just from Amex for Platinum cardholders.

    People are paying for more premium services across the board. It says volumes how much more premium passengers and revenue Delta is attracting compared to other airlines – and financial statements from each airline shows it.

    They need to fix the waits for those that experience it – and I am sure some do. I suppose I just happen to not be seeing the problem that some that actually fly Delta see.

    But then I don’t write from a bunker under the AA gates in AUS.

  7. Tim, anecdotal, n+1, etc., but the one time I flew Delta this year, I was in D1 out of JFK earlier this month, and the line looked just like the one shown in the tweets Gary posted. I took one look and just kept walking to my gate.

    Does Delta really provide a free annual membership as an option to elites? That sounds like at least as much of a problem as the Amex deal (which, as Gary says, they are committed to for at least 8 more years).

  8. @ChrisInNY: Unfortunately, the complimentary (not really “free” since you’re paying for it at some stage) chardonnay is a $6-$8 bottle of generic California chardonnay. Lately, many of the clubs have been running of that and replacing with Woodbridge. As Gary pointed out in the article on wine, Delta never runs of the cheap stuff and replaces it with the good stuff. Delta gets you in the club and forces you to buy wine from the premium menu because the complimentary wine is horrible.

  9. @Tim Dunn

    I fly Delta enough to actually make Diamond flying ConUS. I have seen that same line at JFK many times this year. I have not been able to get into Skyclubs at JFK, ATL, and MSP this year on several occasions. It really sucked one trip when I just needed help with a ticket change (the terminal help desks are usually worthless). I have also been in more than one club that was full past capacity. I usually look around and leave, just not worth it. Full disclosure, I have the Delta Reserve card for access and I choose guest pass as a Diamond choice. I think next year will be my last Diamond year as I have never spent more than about 18k mqd’s.

    @shza
    Yes, Skyclub membership used to be automatic for Diamond medallions. They changed a few years ago since so many people get it with a credit card to make it an option. You can now choose something else in its place if you already have access or don’t want access.

  10. I hate to give a pro tip that helps others but will bite me in the butt…

    But if you’re at MSP consider the escape lounge. Can access with the Amex Platinum
    Often it is peaceful and quiet

    Bathroom is gross. But otherwise a cute and hidden lounge.

    We use it often when the Delta lounges are busy.

  11. It is precisely JFK T4 during the summer and the fall w/ the extended summer travel season where I expect lines.
    I have seen lines for clubs at other cities – but with no more than a dozen people at the most – and all of those were in airports that had multiple clubs and I just went to another in the same airport.
    Again, I am not doubting that there are capacity issues at some Sky Clubs at some times of the day but, reading the endless harping on the subject by Gary, you would think there are lines at every club all the time – which is far from the truth.
    and Delta is building new clubs with JFK set to get more new lounge space than any other city. I’m not sure what more they can be expected to do to alleviate the situation there. remember that the Port Authority has essentially forced Delta to tear down terminal 2 and spend another billion dollars stuck on the end of a terminal where Delta customers have to walk past gates occupied by other airlines.
    But at least JFK has the runway capacity (loosely talking) for the slots that Delta holds; United has embarked on billions of dollars of terminal expansion only to have to cut its flights because the FAA won’t give United the dominance that United wants and built its terminal expansions around.
    Changing system Sky Club policies to fix a problem that will likely be corrected in the next year isn’t a good idea.
    that said, I don’t disagree w/ people that Delta should have line-minders where lines regularly form offering a restaurant voucher, miles, or some sort of onboard amenities.

  12. @Tim Dunn – I’m not making this up, Delta acknowledges the issue, and I’ve used many more photos than these (and videos!).

    “Delta makes money on its Sky Clubs – including what is likely hundreds of millions of dollars per year just from Amex for Platinum cardholders”

    Yes, the Amex deal is huge for Delta. Amex is Delta’s biggest customer. They are far more important than any Sky Club member. Though individual Amex customers aren’t important enough to Delta for line-skipping priority.

    Delta does have a problem, even if the club product is profitable on the basis is that sweet, sweet Amex cash. And it’s a tough one to solve because space in terminals is scarce and too many passengers have access given the available space today.

    By the way, where were you in the thread about Delta transatlantic business class dreck $5 wine?

  13. Gary,
    nobody is doubting that the Sky Club crowding problem exists but there is no perspective and even the exec you cited doesn’t say lines that keep people out is the norm – because it is not.

    and again, my point with you is that you repeat and recycle anecdotes from others – those pictures aren’t yours or Delta’s.
    I asked you before, you didn’t respond, and I will ask you again. When was the last time you were in a Delta premium international seat on a paid ticket or in a Sky Club on the same basis?

    and, believe it or not, I don’t pay attention to everything you write so missed any diatribe about cheap wine.

    And, IIRC, you have written constantly about United running out of food on your transpacific flight. Does everyone get it right? No. Is having enough food on the plane a slightly more important thing to get right? I think so. and their liquor brands haven’t changed and they haven’t ever run out on me.

  14. I certainly miss the days of hummus, celery, and limp carrot sticks when these lounges were mostly half full at most.

  15. Tim
    Stop being a trolling loser and go to bed. Gary doesn’t have to be omnipresent around the globe to write an article on a topic, especially when delta’s own officer acknowledges the issue.
    The way you demand things from blog owners in the comments sitting on your couch in your underwear hidden behind your computer screen. It’s honestly pathetic. Go start your own blog and stop your incessant delta nonsense all over the internet.

  16. @Tim Dunn – I’m not a regular Delta flyer, I’ve been in a Sky Club a few times this year, I wouldn’t choose to fly Delta long haul on a 767 if I can avoid it for sure (the A350 isn’t bad!).

  17. MaxPower,
    nobody is trolling anyone.
    I AM expecting Gary to write about what he actually knows instead of repeatedly recycyling OTHER PEOPLE’s stories – whether it be Sky Club access (he has acknowledged that Delta has the nicest airline lounge in Austin and I bet he has never seen, let alone experienced, a line there.
    and, Gary, when there are real Delta customers that repeatedly tell you that they don’t see the problems that you write about – whether it be the amount of miles required to get premium cabin seats or into a Sky Club – then you owe it to provide objectivity including saying that what you “report” is what others say – and none of them have ever said any of the problems that you seem to see happen all the time.
    And if you are ignorant enough to think that Delta’s 767s are anywhere close to a majority of their international fleet, you really don’t have any business commenting on a business that you clearly don’t patronize – and that is no different than if you were talking about Spirit or Frontier or Air Canada. You do realize that United also operates 767s and more of Delta’s 767s have been upgraded than Untied’s?
    Of course not because you don’t pay for tickets on either Delta or United.

    But thanks for confirming you haven’t entered a SkyClub on a paid international ticket or via any means of your own membership.

    And, by the way, I say the same thing to Ben over at OMAAT. When you or he write about other people’s opinions and intenet lore as if it is fact, you deservedly will be called out.

  18. All lounges are experiencing higher usage partially due to credit card companies giving free premium cards to active military. I support our military but if I’m paying $700 a year for my Platinum card, I expect to be able to use the included benefits that I pay for. The current situation is not sustainable.

  19. Only in America, where people are conditioned to pay big money to relive the Soviet experience and stand in long shuffling lines for hours on end – think Disneyland, or restaurants which dont take bookings.

    Wouldn’t happen in Europe, every one of those locked out would be on the phone to the supplier demanding their money back or cancelling the card, or booking a different restaurant.

  20. At what point do airport authorities stop approving bigger lounges? These lounges are starting to take away customers from airport authority-owned concession bars and restaurants.

  21. FNT,
    airlines absolutely pay rent for the space their airline clubs take up and, you also realize that airlines pay for nearly all of the cost of the terminal in airports where they have exclusive leases? Airlines have a large say in how much revenue comes from concessions and how that revenue is used to offset airline-specific costs such as gate areas.
    The very reason why Delta is paying for its own expansions at LGA and LAX and the airport operators are offsetting Delta’s future rent expenses – DL is essentially paying its rent in advance.
    The reason why WN and other low cost carriers terminals are much simpler and why they keep the overall costs low is because they don’t have the ability to offset near as much of the costs with higher revenues; low cost carrier passengers are less willing to spend as much on ancillary revenue
    As hard as it is for anyone to understand, airlines are for-profit businesses and they design their products and services where it makes sense.
    Yes, airlines have to fix service choke points and premium services have become a choke point because more people are buying up to premium services, work from anywhere policies have left alot of people without an office, and the wealth gap in the US continues to grow which favors legacy carriers which have premium services and still compete for the deep discounted passengers.

    And the DL exec and the interviewer talked about literally dozens of topics in the interview. The fact that Gary focused and continues to focus on the Sky Club crowding issue shows not only Gary’s lack of ability to find balance in terms of topics about what he writes but also to fail to find perspective – regardless of whether the topic is a crazy person on a flight or service failures or air fares. As long as Gary is driven by sensationalism and a need to generate clicks, he won’t produce a blog that is competitive with others in terms of quality of content.
    Someone always has to end up at the bottom of any feeding chain.

  22. “And, by the way, I say the same thing to Ben over at OMAAT. When you or he write about other people’s opinions and intenet lore as if it is fact, you deservedly will be called out.”

    By that grain of knowledge, you really shouldn’t be commenting about AA or United since you never fly them, Tim. And frankly, I truly doubt you have the means to buy paid first or international business on Delta either. You spend all your time on blogs writing in the comment sections of Delta articles. I can’t imagine you have anything more than some Delta standby benefits given how you prioritize your life and time.
    Seriously, get a life. Your personal attacks on entrepreneurs like Gary & Lucky whenever there’s an article about Delta is just sad and pathetic. If you don’t like their articles, don’t come back every 20 minutes to check for articles on Delta. It’s almost as if you genuinely find yourself to be the only standard of opinion on Delta. No one else gets one unless they agree with you.
    It’s a BLOG, no one is trying to destroy your life with an opinion piece. Get a life.

  23. and you actually pay for ANY Delta ticket, MAX?
    You are far more defensive about anything positive said about DL or anything negative said about AA or UA.
    Unlike you, I participate in a broad range of topics and do so objectively – which means negative comments where they are earned.
    My point about Gary is that he focuses incessantly about the negative – regardless of the issue – and rehashes the same things over and over and over, usually not from his own experience but other people’s anecdotes.
    There is NO THOUGHT LEADERSHIP when all one does is regurgitate other people’s experiences.

    AND NO OTHER AVIATION BLOG IS THE CESSPOOL OF POLITICAL ARGUMENT THAT IS VFTW.

    And, Ben DOES provide balance in what he writes – he also just released a story – cited from another source – that Delta is going to use a two-tier system for access in SOME AIRPORTS at SOME TIMES. Coach travel with credit card Sky Club access will fall below premium cabin and highest level elites.

  24. Thank you for reaffirming you don’t pay for delta first or international business.

    And yes, I do pay to fly Delta, and pay to fly Southwest, and pay to fly AA, and United. I don’t work for an airline so I pay for my fares and I pay my way. Delta is far from my first choice for many reasons, primarily my home airport but I do fly them a couple times a year, paid.

    And please… you’re the farthest thing from objective a person can be. Stop personal attacks on Gary and others because of your own weird insecurities. You’re a pathetic loser that, lest anyone forgets, Delta fired. Go start your own blog if you’re such a fountain of knowledge.

    Like you said, you better hurry over to OMAAT before someone writes something bad about Delta in the comments section.

  25. In my experience all of the overcrowding is the fault of the airlines. Not because the clubs are so great but because of reliability issues people are getting to the airport earlier and spending more time in airports due to delays and canceled flights.

    If the airlines forced the TSA to fix their mess, and the airlines themselves offered more flights and reliable flights, there wouldn’t be so many people spending hours in airport lounges.

    I’m an experienced traveler, but I’m now arriving to the airport much earlier than I used to because the TSA is so unpredictable and if a flight is canceled there are fewer options to get rerouted. Hence, I’m one of those people spending more time in lounges than ever.

  26. for someone that thinks so highly of themselves that they write anonymously under a pseudonym that thinks they are MA anything except trash, you can’t even get the facts right – and that is highlighted by your post.
    If I got fired by Delta, why would I make a “career” as you call it in writing anything positive about them?
    Your failure to get even the basic facts right is paralleled only by your blind hatred in anything being said negative about AA or UA and anything positive about DL. I’ve participated in internet chat forums for decades – I know exactly how it works.

    You do accurately note that choice of carrier is heavily driven for individual travelers by the city where one lives and the level of service they have there.
    I don’t slight Ben or Gary for choosing to fly American given that both live in cities where AA is the largest network carrier.
    The difference, once again, is that Ben covers a range of topics and generally is much more “on top of” what is going on in the world both in terms of speed of posting and also the breadth of topics covered.

    And both keep their comments section open because they drive more pageviews by having people particpate. Some aviation blogs do not allow comments. Both Gary and Ben could shut off comments – and remove users – if they want.

    And Gary has responded to some of the commentary I have made about his content – which is the reason why I make them. He, unlike you, is not afraid of someone saying something negative or critical of him or his work.

    And it is still clear that he is driven by generating more page views than in delivering high quality content.

    If he were committed to high quality content and conversation, he would boot out the handful of people that incessantly hijack conversations into political argument. Not a soul would miss those people because they have nothing to do with aviation.

  27. Oh don’t hide from your past, tim. It’s very well known who you were on a.net before you were permanently banned, IP address and all.

    And Tim Dunn is a pseudonym for you as well. Don’t pretend otherwise. To say nothing of your previous handles you’ve used.
    Delta does a lot of things right but I don’t go on to every airline blog to critique them or defend them, much less aa or UA. But I will respond to your ridiculous statements defending anything and everything delta does.

    As I said, get a job. Stop coming on to other people’s blogs and attacking them personally because you disagree with an opinion based on your own biases.

  28. Sorry Tim Dunn
    Gate to break your bubble

    Other trends also contributed to strong financial results for the three airlines in the quarter that ended in September. Lucrative corporate travel and international travel continue to rebound. And even setbacks have a silver lining: Limits on airline growth have kept flights full.
    United reported a $942 million profit, compared with $695 million for Delta and $483 million for American. All expect revenue and profits in the last three months of the year to be higher than during the same period in 2019, even though they will offer fewer flights.

  29. MAX NOTHING,
    if you want to tell someone else to get a job, you would do well to quit running around the internet worrying about what I say.
    Of course the name I post here is a pseudonym which is why you “know” I was fired from a company that you think I am now obsessed with defending.
    The more you write, the more you embarass yourself.
    Just walk away and come back w/ a different “brand” and a user name.

    Star Gold USA,
    I’m not sure what you are arguing against but nowhere here or anywhere else have I said that United didn’t earn its place as the most profitable airline for the last reported quarter.
    United’s management held onto their international fleet throughout the pandemic and got many of the PW powered 777s back in time for much of the summer so they were able to take advantage of the very high transatlantic travel demand.
    American grounded large portions of its international fleet and is in no hurry to replace it, admitting that it will be a smaller international airline more dependent on its partners and with a smaller international route system than Delta and United.
    Delta got rid of it 777 fleet during the pandemic because the 777 is the most fuel inefficient aircraft in the US carrier fleet. Delta has now already replaced the capacity of the 777 fleet with A330s and A350s which are much more fuel efficient; DL is still taking delivery of new widebody aircraft at a faster rate than just about any international carrier in the world so has considerable growth coming – and with much lower costs. Add in Delta’s absolute dollar fuel cost advantage due to its refinery and Delta’s international network will be by far the most profitable among US airlines – if not all global carriers – for years to come.
    Domestically, DL screwed up its pilot staffing which means they will take until next year to restore alot of their connectivity in their hubs. At the same time, they have managed to become the largest airline at LAX and at BOS; while B6 continues to throw in capacity to try to slow DL down, B6 runs such a bad operation and doesn’t have the widebodies which are allowing DL to add so much international growth that DL has firmly taken the #1 spot in Boston by revenue.

    Not sure what your point is about Sky Club access but DL clearly got it wrong in predicting demand esp. from their relationship with Amex. They will get it right in time and some customers will walk away even as others turn their “experimenting” with Delta into a permanent relationship because of the card bonuses that came during the pandemic.

    And I still am not sure why there isn’t more discussion about any number of the dozens of other topics that were discussed in the Skift interview including that DL has flipped the switch for increased free Wi-Fi access with the largest fleet of gate to gate equipped aircraft while still retaining the TMobile benefits on several other fleets.
    Sky Club crowding affects a very small number of customers. The rollout of free faster Wifi is far bigger and benefits a much larger customer base.

    And United’s growth plan is significantly limited by lack of approvals for the MAX 10 – as is true for the MAX 7 at WN – and for getting a new pilot contract since Scott Kirby says that United needs to gain the majority of the industry’s new pilots in order to execute its United NEXT plan

    and United won’t be anywhere near close to matching Delta Wifi or seat back AVOD any time soon. (since you wanted to make it a United/Delta comparison)

    and, as I have noted elsewhere and here, the legacy/global carriers are in the best position relative to low cost carriers – ever.

  30. Ha! All of this arguing and pontificating misses the point. Delta is addressing the long lines at SkyClubs by doing exactly what I predicted!!! (See above)

    According to a story in TPG, a Delta spokesperson said: “Following a successful operational test in Atlanta, Delta Sky Club will roll out dedicated entry lanes in a phased approach at select airports. These entry lanes are just one of a continual range of ENHANCEMENTS designed to ensure our most frequent fliers and Delta Sky Club guests have a great experience on the ground and in the air. (Emphasis mine)

    “Prioritized entry lanes will be roped off from the regular line and will offer expedited entry into the lounge when it’s operating at peak capacity. Eligible travelers that can use the new priority access lanes include:

    Delta One business-class flyers.
    Delta 360 invite-only elites.
    Delta Diamond Medallion top-tier passengers.
    Delta First Class flyers (with lounge members”

    The article also says “but it’s certainly possible that Delta might consider offering an ancillary buy-up to a more expensive membership that includes entry to the priority lane” i.e. pay more for a “skip the line” membership.

    https://thepointsguy.com/news/delta-sky-club-priority-access-lanes/

  31. Delta has the nerve to assert that actually being able to use a SkyCLub is an enhancement of the right to use a SkyClub.

    Crickets from Mssrs. Leff and Dunn.

  32. john
    I’ve only written multiple times about the issue just in this thread.
    Other than the lack of perspective – this clearly doesn’t represent every club at all times – I have noted that Delta handed out too many bonus sign ups as part of their pandemic efforts to keep the Amex revenues rolling in.
    While I still don’t think this will be a major issue for most people that get access via a card, there are clearly some that will walk away. I do not believe that Delta could ever legally defend its practice of implementing a two tier system of access that clearly favors access attached to a specific ticket and to their highest tier customers over any other group of members. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a lawyer already salivating at a class action lawsuit. Since Amex has good customer service and 1/12 of cardholders presumably renew their cards every month, it won’t take many Amex cardholders walking away from their cards before Amex tells Delta that they need to give up their plan for $7 billion in revenues from Amex.
    but again, I don’t really think it will impact near as many people as Gary and others want to make it out to be. When all you do is post miles long pictures of JFK T4 at peak international time, it isn’t surprise there is a problem – which Delta is addressing with new clubs – just not today.

  33. @Tim Dunn “this clearly doesn’t represent every club at all times”

    Of course not and I’ve written about empty clubs where the 3 hour rule is problematic (like in Denver where club closing time isn’t paired to last flight).

    “Delta handed out too many bonus sign ups as part of their pandemic efforts to keep the Amex revenues rolling in.”

    More Reserve cards contributes but pales in comparison to the pool of Amex Platinum cards.

    “it won’t take many Amex cardholders walking away from their cards before Amex tells Delta that they need to give up their plan for $7 billion in revenues from Amex.”

    Unlikely. Amex needs Delta more than Delta needs Amex (Delta could go over to another big bank, I know one that would pay what Amex is paying). Remember – Delta made Amex build its JFK lounge in T4 because of their own crowding issues already.

  34. I only occasionally leave comments on this site and usually only when I see something crazy going on. All the comments about the Delta Sky Clubs are one of the aforementioned topics. I agree with everything that Tim Dunn has posted on this topic, and I question how many of the comments are from individuals that actually utilize the Sky Clubs and are not just “Piling On” or part of the Sky Pesos crowd. I fly 99% Delta and frequent all the Sky Clubs. In my experience, in the last 12 months, I have encountered a line 4 times, once in ATL B & C when they were canceling flights because of storms and I just went to the Sky Club in D with no line. Two times at the new LGA club that had maybe six people ahead and was a 2 minute wait and recently at ATL B, again 6 people and a 2 minute wait. I have been to Gary’s famous JFK T4 club a half a dozen times this year with no line! In fact when I have routed myself through JFK I have expected to experience the pictures that he has been posting for months, but it did not happen! When Gary first started on this subject the pictures were from DTW and I have never had the experience there. I have a new prospective on this Sky Club crowding that I have not read in any of the comments all year long. My experience, and it has only been four times I have had a line; is that Delta is purposely limiting the number of people because of the complaints about overcrowding. My further observation has been that in ATL B and the new LGA, when I got into the club there were not as many people in there as there had been before the lines. I do believe that if there is a line, when you get in, there will be more space for all as opposed to my experiences in these clubs prior. That’s my experience and my two cents!

  35. Tim, It is clear that Delta believes there is a problem with lines to get in SkyCubs (even if you don’t) otherwise they would not be taking the steps I suggested.

    As far as saying it is illegal to prioritize some guest over others — good luck with that. Delta has a competent legal department; so I expect its new system violates no contractual obligations either.

  36. Gary, Crickets…crickets…crickets! Prioritizing entrance was an obvious response to the problem you highlighted in this post. It makes Delta’s hot shot elites feel even more important and elite.

    On another note, whatever happened to my friend Magnifico and the Red wave?

  37. john,
    you, just like Gary, can’t provide any context.
    Delta has had stanchions outside of many of its Sky Clubs for months. They have been prepared for queues but that doesn’t mean they have used them.
    No, I don’t think that Delta is going to limit access because some customers think the club is too full. They will limit access when they know there is not enough space and people aren’t leaving fast enough relative to what is coming through the door.
    In ATL, the biggest potential for lines is at B – which only has one club but has a full concourse worth of Delta flights – most of which are large narrowbodies. 717s and even 320s end up on D along with large RJs.
    There are NINE Sky Clubs in Atlanta on 7 concourses.
    There are peak times in any airline operation; Delta has 100% full flights just as any airline does but they don’t stop selling the middle seat just because someone doesn’t want someone sitting next to them.
    and the overwhelming evidence from people that actually fly Delta is that, while the problem exists, it is not present everywhere and at all times. If you rely solely on what Gary writes, you would never have that perspective.

    And I am certain that it doesn’t happen in AUS or BNA or other medium sized cities with new Sky Clubs or even in DTW where there are nearly a half dozen Clubs for an operation that is far smaller than ATL.

  38. Tim: “ for someone that thinks so highly of themselves that they write anonymously under a pseudonym”
    “ Of course the name I post here is a pseudonym”

    Tim
    1. It’s so fun getting under your skin when you’ve been found out.
    2. If You’re going to attack me for using a random name (that’s clearly not a real name), how about you not use one? One which you always claim is your real name when you’re drunk and replying?
    Jesus, you’re such a loser. But you’re still Known for who you actually are, the man fired from delta and banned from a.net. You can’t hide from your own past.

  39. @Tim Dunn: The five Sky Club lounges at DTW are full as ever. They’ve been using the line system at the main lounge and the overflow (new) lounge that will ultimately become a Delta One lounge when those launch. 75% of the customers in the Sky Clubs at DTW are AmEx cardholders, according to lounge agents.

  40. Tim and Stan, Just because a problem doesn’t exist everywhere all the time doesn’t mean its not a problem. Delta knows its operations. Delta knows there is a problem with lines at SkyClubs. That is why it is setting up priority lines at clubs that experience long waits to get in.

    I’ve racked up over 2.5 million MQMs with none earned via credit cards. I don’t fly DL as much as I used to, but the last time I did, DeltaOne ATL-AMS in May 2022, the E SkyClub had a sign out front saying it was full. They let me in anyway and there were a few seats. On a prior flight on the same trip, the DFW SkyClub was just as full.

    When there are operational issues affecting the system, any lounge can fill up fast. And that’s when having lounge access can be the most beneficial. In that situation, if I was a Delta 360 or DeltaOne passenger and couldn’t get in the lounge, I’d be… upset.

  41. MAX NOTHING,
    only in your delusional lost mind do you believe waht is not the truth while denying what clearly is.
    Your not here or anywhere else to contribute anything – you are nothing more than internet trash – no different than the people that Gary allows to turn every discussion into a political fight.

    GET HELP.

    John,
    I have never said that there aren’t overcrowding issues. I have simply said that a few anecotes and repeated pictures doesn’t make a systemwide problem.
    and you clearly have missed in your “me me me” diatribe that Delta never sold Sky Club access to anyone on a two tier basis. There are people that are just as ticked at the prospect of being told to stand in line after PAYING for membership or via a credit card membership fee.
    NOBODY is getting anything for free.
    Delta has simply chosen to add a priority system which prioritizes access related to a paid premium class ticket on day of travel over credit card benefits.
    Their solution might be the revenue maximizing decision in the short run but they are certain to tick off alot of people that they thought they were winning over with the millions of card bonuses they gave out during the pandemic in an attempt to get a new generation of passengers.

    Delta is the most revenue focused US airline; they will figure it out. But just like their loyalty program, some people will walk away. They have undoubtedly done the math and they will track the results.

    and the first sentence of your last paragraph highlights how they keep things from falling apart – run a reliable operation without long gaps in their schedule – which is exactly what has caused some of the long waits in Atlanta (ask me how I know). As they restore their schedule, the connecting time in ATL will fall and many people won’t have near as much time to spend in the Sky Clubs

  42. David,
    I agree it is time for the trolls to leave… it is up to Gary to start blocking people that contribute nothing to the conversation -whether it be personal attacks or posting political BS.
    feel free to encourage Gary to patrol his own website.

  43. Tim
    You’re the troll he’s talking about. Coming on to Gary’s blog and telling him what he can’t post about, demanding his prior year flight schedule to meet your requirements of who can talk about delta.
    You are the troll.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.