(RestoreAmericanGlory.com) – In a significant policy overhaul slated for 2025, Delta Air Lines is reshaping its criteria for both Sky Club lounge access and the acquisition of its valued frequent flyer statuses. This move seems designed to cater to its premium customers while addressing issues of lounge overcrowding and aligning loyalty benefits with spending patterns.
Beginning February 1, 2025, the privileges granted to American Express Platinum and Platinum Business cardholders will undergo a shift. Historically, these cardholders enjoyed unrestricted Sky Club access. However, under the new system, they will be limited to just six Sky Club entries each year. An exception to this rule is available: if a cardholder’s annual expenditure on their card reaches or exceeds $75,000, they can retain their unlimited access privilege.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Reserve Business cardholders, on the other hand, will have an annual allowance of 10 Sky Club visits. Again, the $75,000 annual spending threshold applies, allowing these cardholders to bypass the visitation limit.
Delta’s SkyMiles Platinum American Express cardholders face a more considerable change. Direct lounge access, once a staple benefit of holding this card, will be discontinued. To regain entry, these cardholders will now either need to shell out for a club membership—priced at $695 annually—or possess an elite Delta status that inherently provides club membership as a bonus perk.
Delta has also indicated a shift in policy set to begin even earlier, on January 1, 2024. As of this date, passengers with basic economy tickets will find themselves excluded from Delta’s lounges, irrespective of their credit card tier or status. This decision appears to be a direct response to capacity issues, particularly in prominent and frequently congested lounges like those situated in JFK Airport.
In tandem with these lounge access revisions, Delta is redefining how passengers achieve status within its SkyMiles loyalty program. The traditional metric, miles flown, will be phased out in favor of a system that prioritizes the total money a passenger spends with the airline. To provide context, certain Delta-branded American Express cards will now have spending thresholds that determine the accrual of Medallion Qualifying Dollars, further reinforcing the pivot toward a spending-centric loyalty model.
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