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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This is not going to reduce crowding at all in the SkyClubs, it’s simply a way for them to charge more for a pretty crappy product. Currently it’s busiest during peak business flying times, and most of those are Diamonds who will be in the lounge regardless.
I have a legacy lifetime membership from the NW days.
we Used the delta lounge in nrt and sea both ways on a trip, not even close to the lounges by asian carriers. all 4 visits the meger spread and few showers were a waste of time.
raising the price of a membership is a bad idea for those that have to pay.
Airlines are in a sweet spot. I am not saying it is easy to make money but reduced competition, reduced capacity and “fees” for just about everything has tipped the scale to the airlines.
It seems like the united/us airways merger was a smart decision. Way to go DOJ.
Maybe I am extrapolating liberally, but there has to be a correlation, right? Hey, it has always been what is good for big business is bad for the consumer.
This rate hike is ridiculous. It is nice to get out of the crowds in the terminal, but certainly not worth this type of rate increase. My husband has been platinum the last 5 years, and we are seriously looking at not renewing his membership. Shame on you Delta.
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