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Delta Sky Clubs provide a welcome place to rest and recharge on layovers. While there are several ways to access these airport lounges, you’ll get the most value by applying for The Platinum Card® from American Express.
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If you’re a frequent Delta flyer who’s looking for an oasis on your next layover, you may be curious about the brand’s exclusive airport lounges, which are known as Delta Sky Clubs.
While there likely won’t be a DJ or dancing at these clubs, there will be (free!) booze and food, comfortable seats, and fast-ish WiFi. If you’re looking for a place to work or relax — or simply get away from the throngs of people in the main terminal — they’re the place to be.
Here are four ways to get into Delta Sky Clubs, including the single best credit card for easy access.
To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, many Delta Sky Clubs closed their doors in spring 2020. While some began reopening in July with updated safety procedures, you should check Delta’s website before planning your next layover. Also note that, if you have a Delta Sky Club membership or guest passes that expire on March 1, 2020 or later, Delta has extended their validity by six months to make up for the COVID-19 closures.
You’ll find more than 50 Delta Sky Club locations at airports around the world. The vast majority are in the United States, with a whopping nine lounges (nearly 20% of the total!) located at Delta’s hub Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).
At all Delta Sky Clubs, you’ll be treated to complimentary food and drinks, free WiFi, newspapers and magazines, and charging outlets (so you can charge while sitting, you know, in an actual seat instead of on the floor). Some also have special amenities, like showers complete with fresh towels and fancy toiletries.
Food options at Delta Sky Clubs, however, tend to be fairly limited — mostly featuring snacks, soups, and salads. To give you an idea of what to expect, here’s a sample menu.
Note that, if the Sky Club has a self-service bar, you’ll need to be at least 21 to enter on your own. For all other lounges, you must be at least 18 to enter without an adult.
To determine which lounges are in your concourse, check amenities or hours, or see photos and reviews, we recommend using the LoungeBuddy app or website.
Want to give the Delta Sky Club lounges a try? Here are four ways you can get in. (For a more detailed list of entry rules, visit this Delta page.)
The most obvious way, of course, is to purchase a Delta Sky Club membership.
Even with a membership, you’ll need to hold a same-day ticket on Delta or a partner airline to gain access to the Sky Clubs. To be honest, we don’t think this membership is worth the cost — and will explain why below.
If you’re heading abroad and have a business-class or first-class ticket on one of Delta’s partners — or in a Delta One cabin — you’ll get same-day access to Delta Sky Clubs. (Note that Delta doesn’t count the Caribbean as international travel.)
That holds true even if you’re on an entirely domestic leg of your trip. Say you’re flying from Milwaukee to Chicago before boarding an international flight to Paris; you should be able to access the lounge in both U.S. cities.
If you’re flying domestically, only a ticket in a Delta One cabin, which are available between JFK and LAX or SFO, will get you lounge access.
PS. In the above scenarios, you won’t be allowed to bring guests — but, hopefully, if you’re traveling with companions, they’ll be in the same cabin as you (and allowed entry on their own tickets).
If you’re a SkyTeam Elite Plus member — including Delta Diamond, Platinum, or Gold Medallion — you and one guest will have complimentary access to the Sky Clubs when traveling or connecting internationally (even if you’re flying economy). You’ll only be able to access the lounge upon departure, and not upon arrival, unless you’re connecting to another Sky Team flight.
If you’re a Diamond Medallion member who’d like lounge access when flying domestically, too, you can use one of your three “choice benefits” toward an individual Delta Sky Club membership (or two toward an executive membership).
Alternatively, if you have access through other means (cough, a credit card), you can use one choice benefit on a Delta Sky Club Guest Pass that will allow up to two free guests to accompany you on every club visit. If you frequently travel with a companion or two, this can provide enormous value.
One more way into the Sky Club is to hold a Virgin Australia/Velocity VIP Platinum, Platinum, or Gold card and fly on Delta or Virgin Australia. Or you can fly Virgin Australia business class and show your same-day boarding pass at the entrance.
Last but not least, our favorite way to get into Delta Sky Clubs: credit cards that include access as a perk. You can choose from four different cards — though, in our opinion, one is the obvious winner. Keep reading to discover which it is.
Members of the general public can no longer purchase day passes to Delta Sky Clubs. You can, however, buy day passes for you and up to two guests or your immediate family if you have the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card (Review). They’ll run you $39 per person; everyone must be flying on Delta or one of its partners.
When you have one of the following credit cards (two personal and two business), you can access Delta Sky Clubs when you fly Delta. Guest policies vary by card; we’ll outline them below.
Fiending for airport lounge access? Then this is your ticket. Cardholders get access to Amex Centurion, Priority Pass, Escape, and Plaza Premium lounges, as well as Delta Sky Clubs when flying on Delta or a Delta flight operated by WestJet (those tickets start with the number 006). You can bring up to two guests for $39 each.
The Amex Platinum’s annual fee is $550 — just a bit more than the Delta Sky Club individual membership. Besides the killer lounge access, it offers serious points earning, a generous introductory bonus, and up to $400 in Uber and airline fee credits each year (through 2021). If you want to get into Delta Sky Clubs, it’s an obvious choice.
The cream of the crop when it comes to Delta’s co-branded credit cards, the Reserve card is a decent option for Delta diehards. Its most notable feature is an annual companion certificate, which lets you bring a guest on one domestic flight per year for nothing more than the taxes and fees.
Cardmembers also get complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying on Delta. If you’re flying on one of Delta’s partners, you’ll pay $39 per visit. As for guests, this card comes with two single-visit passes for your friends and family. Once you’ve used those, you can bring up to two guests (or your partner and kids under 21) for $39 per person per visit. Kids under 2 are free.
As an additional perk, you’ll get into Amex’s Centurion lounges when flying Delta, too.
Own a business? The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card (Review) also features Delta Sky Club access.
For slightly more than the Delta Sky Club membership fee, you can get a credit card with a slew of perks, including entrance to other lounge networks, hundreds of dollars in credits, and an introductory bonus redeemable for a boatload of free travel.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
Susan is a freelance writer who specializes in turning complex financial topics into engaging and accessible articles. She's been writing about personal finance for six years, and was previously the senior writer at The Penny Hoarder and a staff writer at Student Loan Hero. Her personal finance writing has also appeared in publications like MarketWatch and Lifehacker.
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