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Note: Delta recently announced some pretty major changes to Sky Club access in 2023. Review our take on these policy updates to see how you can plan for access next year.
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 four ways.
» Learn more: The best airline credit cards right now
1. Fly internationally in first or business class on Delta or one of its partners
Is access to a Delta Sky Club free with a first class ticket? Yes, Sky Club lounge access is included in your ticket if you’re flying first or business class internationally on one of Delta’s 18 partner airlines in the SkyTeam alliance.
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.
» Learn more: Delta Air Lines SkyMiles program: The complete guide
2. Fly internationally as an elite member of Delta SkyMiles
Do you get lounge access with Delta premium economy? Only if you have elite status with Delta or another SkyTeam airline. If you have Gold, Platinum or Diamond status with Delta’s SkyMiles frequent flyer program, you and a guest get lounge access when traveling internationally. It doesn't matter if you're flying in economy, business or first class. If you’re at least a Gold level elite with Delta, you get lounge access.
Since Delta is a member of SkyTeam, having status with Delta will also provide benefits on other SkyTeam airlines. For example, if you have Gold status with Delta, that maps to SkyTeam Elite Plus status, which also offers lounge access on international flights.
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. Unfortunately you cannot access arrival lounges when you land.
» Learn more: Redeem your points for your dream trip — Here's how
3. Purchase a Delta SkyClub membership
You can buy an annual membership to access Delta Sky Clubs. 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.
4. Carry the right credit card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card provide cardholders with access to Delta Sky Clubs when traveling on a Delta-operated or -marketed flight. Flying on a SkyTeam partner airline? Your cards let you access the lounges for $39.
Both of these cards carry a high annual fee of $550, but have a host of other benefits and decent signup offers. The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card includes a welcome bonus for new members: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months. Terms Apply.
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card has the following welcome offer: Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Miles after spending $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 3/29/23. Terms Apply.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
For less-frequent Delta flyers, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card may be better options. These cards allow access to Delta Sky Club lounges for $50 per person per visit for a lower annual fee of $250.
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card is offering the following welcome bonus: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months. Terms Apply.
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card has the following welcome offer: Limited Time Offer: Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 3/29/23. Terms Apply.
The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Perhaps the best deal for Sky Club lounge access is The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, both of which offer access to the cardholder or authorized users when traveling on a Delta-operated or marketed flight. Each card has an annual fee of $695and provides access options comparable to the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, plus access to AmEx’s own Centurion Lounges and the Priority Pass network (enrollment required), and a host of other benefits.
The chief drawback of these cards is that they do not guarantee you can bring a guest, even for a fee, though some lounges may allow it. Terms apply.
» Learn more: 40 benefits of the Platinum Card from American Express
The Centurion® Card from American Express and the Business Centurion® Card from American Express
Travelers lucky enough to have the Centurion Cards in their wallet also get Sky Club lounge benefits. But these cards are invitation only, meaning it’s not available to most travelers. Terms apply.
» Learn more: The credit cards that offer airport lounge access
The ways to access Delta lounges, recapped
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 in first or business class on Delta or one of its partner airlines, attaining Delta Gold elite status (or higher), 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. Keep in mind that access is limited to three hours before your departing flight (excluding layovers).
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 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card