Well, that didn’t take long.
A week after Delta Air Lines announced a pair of changes to its Sky Club admission policies, the carrier apparently decided that one of the moves wasn’t a great decision.
The airline emailed customers Thursday and said arriving travelers may still visit Sky Clubs upon arriving at their final destination. Delta originally said last week that arriving passengers would not be allowed to enter Sky Clubs when their trips ended.
Last week we announced updates to our Delta Sky Club access policy with the intention of improving your experience during the busy summer months. We heard your feedback in response to the updates, including that some customers want to visit a Club to refresh after landing or to recharge ahead of a meeting.
We value your input – and we’ve acted on it. Just as you can today, customers with Delta Sky Club access may continue to use Clubs upon arrival. You can review Frequently Asked Questions for more details on the revised policy:
- Customers will be able to access the Club anytime within three hours of their scheduled departure time (and connecting customers can continue to access the Club at any time during their layover) starting Wednesday, June 1.
- Arriving customers – with or without a connection – will be able to enjoy the Club upon arrival, as you do today.
Your feedback remains essential to our continued success in delivering an elevated experience. As we continue to see increased volumes in our Clubs, we are working hard to support our service teams and add more ambassadors to ensure the best Delta Sky Club experience that you have come to expect and deserve.
As always, we thank you for your understanding and continued loyalty. We look forward to seeing you in the Club soon.
Managing Director – Delta Sky Club
I wrote that the initial change was a large blow to some Sky Club guests — especially business passengers and mileage runners. Some of them need a quick meal and shower before leaving the airport.
I wonder what exactly the feedback (read: threats) were? Canceling Delta Reserve and Amex Platinum cards? Canceling Sky Club memberships? Dropping from Diamond Medallion to a lower or no status (because of the Sky Club membership Choice Benefits)?
Or maybe not many people visit lounges when they arrive (I don’t know if that’s the case or not) and Delta said, meh, it doesn’t make that much of a difference?
Passengers still won’t be allowed access to Sky Clubs until three hours before their departing flight (connections are exempt, though). That rule stands (for now?).
Credit Where It’s Due: Delta and Customers
Hats off to Delta. The airline realized its decision to bar arriving passengers from Sky Club wasn’t the best idea. They pretty much admitted as much — and acted on customer feedback.
Bravo to Delta customers, too. There’s something to be said for speaking your mind (hopefully, respectfully!) — and sometimes having to let your wallet be part of the conversation.
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Now if only the upgrade certificates could be restored to their former value.
Yeah, I’m not holding my breath on that one.
I used mine the other day on Premium Economy (using points) for my wife and got her upgraded straight into Delta One, and the availability indicator was working again so I could see that the certificate was going to work. It is frustrating that a PE ticket is now needed to get the Delta One upgrade but at least, if you so choose, you can now get PE instantly from an economy ticket and still have the chance to get upgraded to D1. I would have done that had I not been getting a ticket for my wife to join me for a trip where I had already got the D1 upgrade (before the changes when I did it on an economy fare).
That would be nice but there is a difference. The certificates are a gift. Club membership for many of us is a service that we chose to pay for.
…and this is how a free market should operate. If a company makes a policy and you don’t like it…let them know. They have the option of changing it (kudos to Delta on this one) or not. If they don’t change it, you then have the option of spending your money elsewhere…or not.
My guess is they didn’t realize the blowback they would receive on the arrival issue. While I would like to not have to start doing the “3 hour math” dance…I think most people were okay with that rule. The arrival issue was obviously a game changer.
Not that I think for a second the overcrowding is due to a large number of folks showing up 6 hours early for their flights. But…let’s give this a chance and see what happens.
I still think it’s the overabundance of Amex Platinum cards in the marketplace but…who knows?
Perhaps this was all a big scam to implement the 3-hour rule and still have most SkyMiles customers “happy” at the end of the day.
That is a brave and the right decision. Kudos to Delta and to Claude (whom I have met so this doesn’t surprise me).
I also give Delta a lot of credit for listening to their customers. As someone who uses the clubs upon arrival on a more than infrequent basis, the change is much appreciated. I’d be fascinated to see the data they have regarding sky club attendance/overcrowding. I’m sure they’ll never share the data, but I wonder what their models were showing in terms of reducing average crowds with this rule. Hell, I’d be interested to see all the data LOL. I still think the solution is fairly simple – create a 3rd tier of membership that has better access and then it would be ok to reduce benefits on the base membership. Those who wanted to could pay the extra $$ or miles for the premium membership.
Good Job all!!!! What is the next project we can try to get fixed???