Another (not so) small detail on the Delta lounge cuts

So, that price hike for SkyClub lounge membership that Delta announced yesterday was bad, but it turns out that there is more to the story. Not included in the press release (but spotted by reader Joseph) is this cut in benefits for SkyTeam Elite Plus members flying on Delta Airlines:

Effective May 1, 2014, all Delta third-party operated international lounges will become Business lounges. (6)

So, what’s the big deal? There are now 44 airports around the world where SkyTeam Elite Plus members will no longer be able to access contract lounges while flying in economy class.


The change only covers airports where 3rd party contract lounges are in use; Sao Paulo’s lounge operated by Gol will still permit access as will the Korean Air-operated lounges in Seoul. In Bangkok there are lounges operated by both Korean Air and China Airlines which would allow access were they open at the times when Delta’s flight departs. Based on flight schedules I’m betting those lounges are closed to Delta passengers. Hong Kong is on the list as well, but the only lounges Delta appears to use are operated by SkyTeam partners so it is not clear how that’s going to work.

In some cases – Heathrow and Istanbul, for example – the impact is relatively minimal; the SkyTeam lounges handles most Delta flights anyways so that’s not a huge deal. For some other airports, however, the impact is more significant. There are a lot of wide-body services which will likely have more than a few top elites sitting out in the terminal rather than in a lounge at these airports. Oops.

Also worth noting that Delta misspelled a few of the airport names in their list; I fixed ’em here but that’s pretty bad form.

Here are the affected Airports:

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)
  • Stockholm, SE (ARN)
  • Athens, GR (ATH)
  • Barcelona, ES (BCN)
  • Brussels, BE (BRU)
  • Copenhagen, DK (CPH)
  • Dakar, SN (DKR)
  • Dubai, AE (DXB)
  • Dublin, IE (DUB)
  • Dusseldorf, DE (DUS)
  • Frankfurt, DE (FRA)
  • Istanbul, TR (IST)
  • Lagos, NG (LOS)
  • London Heathrow, GB (LHR)
  • Madrid, ES (MAD)
  • Malaga, ES (AGP)
  • Milan – 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

  • Bangkok, 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)

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. How are Delta loyalists going to defend it?

    On another unrelated question, how to searc for fare information from your website?

      1. thanks. Do u know any free way to search if there is any published fare between two cities? I am interested (now) in what Virgin is filed on Christmas Islands, as I think it is considered as south Asia. (I price Perth to Christmas islands on, it gives me a south Asia pricing.). hence, I am curious how it could price from other places like HK.

        1. Award pricing and revenue pricing are only loosely related in many cases. That said, I see fares filed to XCH from SYD, MEL, PER, and GET. Good luck!

  2. Us airways is now the worst, particularly for Philly residents. We had a terrible experience in first class and called, filed multiple online complaints and were refunded nothing. In fact, the one customer service representative I spoke to said you pay for the seat not the service and no refund of money or miles would be issued. Spirit airlines has this policy rightfully so where you get the large seat but no food/beverage service or private restroom but that is reflected in their much lower rate od $50 one way coast to coast amount whereas us airways charges $275 additiinal for 1st class service not seat. Basically we had to go to coach to get service and the flight attendant ignored us in favor of reading his paper. When the coach flight attendant cMe up with our drinks he yelled at her in front of me and chased her to the back of the plane. He ignored us the remaining three hours of the trip. Then.customer service, or lack there of, ignored our complaints after multiple phone and email attempts which a problem unto itself. It is southwest for me now for my nonstop phl to las flights. However, us airways dominates the phl airport. Sickening now I undwrstand why people hate quasi monopolistic circumstances. Since I work I have little choice in this airwaus is the worst airline.

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