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Delta Sky Clubs: 4 Ways to Gain Access

Updated Apr 15, 2021 | Published Sep 01, 20205 min read

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At a glance

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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The information related to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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 can find more about Delta Sky Club and the COVID-19 protocols in this guide.

Delta Sky Clubs: The Basics

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).

Delta Sky Club

Delta Sky Clubs are available in over 50 airports, including Detroit, New York (JFK/LGA/EWR), Seattle-Tacoma, Phoenix, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Dallas-Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Diego, Fort Lauderdale, Portland, and Chicago O’Hare. Image credit: Delta.

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.

Insider tip

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.

4 Ways to Get Access to Delta Sky Clubs

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.)

1. Purchase a Delta Sky Club membership

The most obvious way, of course, is to purchase a Delta Sky Club membership.

  • Executive membership offers unlimited Delta Sky Club access for you and up to two guests — or you and your immediate family (partner and children under 21). You may bring up to two additional guests for $39 each. Membership costs $845, or 84,500 miles, per year.
  • Individual membership offers unlimited Delta Sky Club access for you and only you. Up to two guests or your immediate family can accompany you for $39 per person per visit. Membership costs $545, or 54,500 miles, per year.

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.

Insider tip

When we say “partner airline,” we’re referring to other airlines in the SkyTeam Alliance, as well as Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Gol, and WestJet. Although Delta club membership used to get you into certain partner lounges, those glory days ended on January 1, 2019.

2. Fly internationally or cross-country in a premium cabin

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).

Delta Airlines

Flying in a premium cabin could nab you entry to Delta Sky Clubs. Image credit: Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash.

3. Achieve elite status

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.

4. Use a credit card

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.

Insider tip

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.

Which 4 Credit Cards Provide Access to Delta Sky Clubs?

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.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties . Learn More.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

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 $300 in Uber and Saks credits each year. If you want to get into Delta Sky Clubs, it’s an obvious choice.

Own a business? The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Review) features Delta Sky Club access, too.

You’ll also get access with the Centurion® Card from American Express (Review), better known as the Amex Black Card. Unfortunately, that card requires an invitation to apply.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APR15.74% - 24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 50,000 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.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta SkyClubs® for you when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

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.

What’s the Best Way to Get Delta Sky Club Access?

In our opinion, the best way to get access to Delta Sky Clubs is to apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review).

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.

Here’s more on the Platinum card and how to apply.

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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.

Written by

Susan Shain

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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