How to Get Into the Delta Sky Club Before Your Flight

Delta doesn't offer any day passes for its lounges, but here are some ways to gain access.

Rosemarie Clancy, Sam KemmisJanuary 27, 2021
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Airport lounges offer a convenient location to get a little work done, enjoy a complimentary snack or drink, or just relax before heading to the gate.

With more than 50 locations around the world, Delta’s Sky Clubs are among the best lounges anywhere. Sky Club amenities vary by location and can include free Wi-Fi, complimentary cocktails and snacks, hot meals and, in some locations, showers. You can find a full list of locations and amenities for each lounge on the Sky Club page of Delta’s website.

Unlike other airlines, Delta doesn’t sell single visit passes to its lounges. So how can you get inside a Sky Club before your next flight? There are several ways.

Fly in a premium cabin on Delta or one of its partners

Flying in a premium cabin on Delta? Sky Club lounge access is included in your ticket. The same is true if you’re flying first or business class internationally on one of Delta’s 18 partner airlines in the SkyTeam alliance, which includes Air France, AeroMexico, Alitalia, Korean Airlines and China Air. All SkyTeam alliance premium cabin passengers, including passengers on Delta, get access to the SkyTeam network of more than 750 lounges across the world — even if you paid for your ticket with miles.

Fly internationally as an elite member of Delta’s frequent flyer program

If you’re a member of Delta’s SkyMiles frequent flyer program at the Diamond, Platinum or Gold Medallion level, or you have equivalent status with a SkyTeam partner airline, you and a guest get lounge access when traveling internationally. This is true even if the first leg of your trip is a domestic flight on Delta. As long as you’re connecting to a same-day international flight on a SkyTeam airline, you can enjoy the lounge before departure.

Purchase an annual membership

You can buy an annual membership to the Sky Club. A standard membership costs $545 and lets you enter a Sky Club lounge every time you fly Delta. You can bring up to two guests for an extra $39 per guest, per visit. An executive option priced at $845 lets you bring two guests free of charge every time you visit. But for many travelers, it may be more cost effective to skip the paid annual membership and sign up for a Delta credit card with lounge access instead. You can also pay for an annual membership using SkyMiles — 54,500 miles for a standard membership or 84,500 miles for an executive membership.

Carry the right credit card

Delta-branded American Express cards and two of American Express’s own cards can get you access to Sky Club lounges. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card gets the cardholder access to the Sky Club when traveling on a Delta-operated or -marketed flight. Flying on a SkyTeam partner airline? Your card membership lets you access the lounge for $39. This card carries a high annual fee of $550, but its host of other benefits include a welcome bonus for new members: Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.

For less-frequent Delta flyers, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card may be a better option. This card allows access to the lounge for $39 per person per visit for a lower annual fee of $250. New cardmembers also get a welcome bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Terms Apply.

Perhaps the best deal for Sky Club lounge access is the The Platinum Card® from American Express, which offers access to the cardholder or authorized users when traveling on a Delta-operated or marketed flight. For the annual fee of $550, you get access options comparable to the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, plus access to AmEx’s own Centurion Lounges and the Priority Pass network, and a host of other benefits. The chief drawback of this card is that it does not guarantee you can bring a guest, even for a fee, though some lounges may allow it. Terms apply.

Travelers lucky enough to have the Centurion Card in their wallet also get Sky Club lounge benefits. But this card is by invitation only, meaning it’s not available to most travelers. Terms apply.

The bottom line

Even if you travel only occasionally, lounge access can improve your experience at the airport. Delta’s Sky Club is a great option if you fly frequently on Delta. You can access a Sky Club lounge by flying a premium cabin on Delta or one of its partner airlines, purchasing a membership to the clubs or holding one of several premium credit cards. Not sure if your ticket will get you in? See the Sky Club access page of Delta’s website.

Frequently asked questions

There are four ways to get into a Delta Sky Club: Buy a Sky Club membership, fly on Delta One, earn Gold or higher Medallion status or carry a credit card that offers Sky Club access as one of its perks.

No, Delta no longer sells day passes.

You can pay for a Sky Club membership, which costs $545 per year. Delta does not offer single visit passes to Delta Sky Club lounges.

Most Sky Club locations offer complimentary snacks, but the full food menu is available for purchase.

A basic individual membership costs $545 per year and does not include access for guests. An “executive” membership costs $845 and includes access for two guests per visit.

Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.