Delta continues to make moves early in 2014; today’s announcement is a significant increase in the cost of SkyClub membership. Or, as one commenter put it, we could just look at this as a drop in services for the same price. Delta says that the higher prices are necessary to “maintain the Club’s exclusive atmosphere” due to occasional overcrowding.
Membership rates will increase $245 annually – a hike of more than 50% – from $450 to $695. This membership is now being called an “Executive Membership” and includes access for the member and their immediate family or two guests, just like the regular membership did in the past. In an effort to soften the blow Delta will also be introducing an “Individual Membership” option later in Spring 2014 at the old price – $450/year; no discount for Medallion members – which will carry a $29/person/visit guest fee.
Also worth noting is that as of 1 May 2014 no guests will be permitted for members who access the lounges via credit cards or charge cards. Those guests will also pay $29 per visit. This includes the AmEx Platinum Charge Card.
The new rate plan also excludes multi-year memberships and joint memberships, a move first instituted in December.
For members who pay using their points rather than cash the rates are also going up. The $650 price tier used to cost 80,000 points; now it is 90,000. Similar hikes were effected at almost all the other levels as well.
Existing paid memberships will be converted to the Executive Membership level until their expiry; at that point the customer can choose which level they wish to renew at.
If you’re a Diamond Medallion (Individual membership is one of the comp benefits you can receive at that level starting in 2015; in 2014 you still get Executive Membership with guests; also starting in 2015 the Individual->Executive upgrade will be a Choice Benefit option) and you don’t travel with friends, family or co-workers then this is arguably a legitimate improvement. The clubs should be a bit less crowded and you’ll get to keep your free membership. For everyone else I’m having trouble seeing it as anything other than a quite negative move.
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