When Delta Air Lines announced a slew of unpopular entrance policy changes to its Sky Club airport lounges, it became pretty clear to me where I’ll use one of my American Express card benefits for about the next eight years.
Quick Primer: $200 Airline Incidental Credit
Both The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express feature this perk: earn up to $200 in statement credits each calendar year on eligible incidental fees spent with one participating airline selected through Amex. (Enrollment required. Terms apply.)
“But Don’t You Have Two Delta Reserve Cards or Something?”
I hold the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card. That comes with complimentary Delta Sky Club entrance for me when flying a Delta-marketed or -operated flight. Mrs. Carley holds the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. She, too, gets free admission to Sky Clubs when flying Delta. Not to mention, both cards come with two (2) Sky Club guest passes each anniversary year. (Terms apply to all benefits.)
“So, what’s the big deal?” you may ask. “What are you griping about this time, Carley? Who else travels with you?”
I present to you Exhibit A.
That little girl is my five-year-old. She loves Delta Sky Clubs. They serve almost all of her favorite food groups, most of which are pictured above. (Although, she has one complaint: “They need plain pasta for kids! But not spaghetti. Because I don’t like that. But they need the squiggly kind of pasta. With a little butter and not too much salt. And ice cream.”)
She’s also considered a paying adult in Airline World.
Because Delta generously rolled over Sky Club guest passes during the past several years, we didn’t really need to worry about paying for our daughter’s admission into the lounges.
But Mrs. Carley and I will be on the hook for our little traveler’s Sky Club admission fees after January 31, 2023. That’s when our guest passes expire. After that, we’ll have four guest passes between the two of us: two on Mrs. C’s Reserve card and two on mine.
We’ll burn through those fairly quickly. Most of our trips start at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), where there are two Sky Clubs.
Then we often connect through another Delta hub. That’s another guest pass if we visit the Sky Club. (The guest passes permit single-visit entries; they’re not day passes.)
A single roundtrip can burn all four of our guest passes.
Between those two cards, I’ll have $400 in airline incidental fees to guest my kid into Sky Clubs. (Amex doesn’t allow authorized cardholders under 13.) That’s eight Sky Club visits total ($50 a pop starting February 2, 2023). That’ll pretty much cover us for the year. (We might not even hit that. Plus, there are other ways to use the airline incidental credit.)
So, that’s my family’s plan.
Given that my five-year-old daughter’s Sky Club entrance fees were taken care of with Delta Amex Reserve guest passes, we’re soon going to pay out of pocket for her to access the lounges. Delta is jacking up Sky Club guest admission price to $50 in February. But because of the Platinum Cards’ respective $400 airline incidental credits, we’ll have something to fall back on once we we use the Reserve passes.
To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this link. Terms apply.
(Rates and fees.)
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