Today begins NO +1’s into the Skyclub – will they be empty & what you can do!

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delta skyclub international terminal sfo airport delta points blog 1

So today we enjoy the “enhanced” Skyclubs; the feeling of emptiness and privacy since anyone with a Delta Reserve personal or business travel card can only be joined by their +1 for a $29 fee that I think few are willing to pay that much. Same goes for holders of the non-Delta Platinum membership rewards travel cards – only you, no guests or family may join you. Not happy about this? What can you do?

from amex terms and conditions page

I was not pleased and since I hold two Delta Reserve cards, one personal and one business, I called to complain about the change since I had paid for a full year fee under the understanding that I would be able to have my wife join me in the Skyclubs. AMEX agreed it is a frustrating move by Delta, but out of their control.

retention bonus for skyclub issue

They did appreciate my $60,000 in spending on the card last year (needed the 30k MQM bonus) and so they waived my fee for this year. Don’t expect the same but maybe some adjustment could be made if you call in.

credit for no hilton gold upgrade

Same goes for non-Delta Platinum travel card holders. I have heard many examples of long time holders being offered some kind of statement credit for the loss of +1’s in the Skyclubs with this card. I even got a $50 statement credit for the loss of Hilton GOLD status as a card perk. Oh and my $200 in airline credits have all posted and I will be sure to get another $200 after the 1st of January next year as well, making this card FREE to hold for me for a year. Plus I got the 40,000 bonus points after spend as well. Sweet!

citi card 110k

Another option if you are really upset about this move by Delta is getting the Citi Aadvantage card (not my link at bottom of page). You can, after spend, get this card for net $250 for one year fee. Oh and 110,000 AA points as well. If you are in NYC, ATL, BOS, ORD, SFO, LAX and several more airports a bunch you can use the AA lounge even when NOT flying on AA. You just need the card and you CAN bring in your +1’s or your family with you free of charge.

lurking

Yes, this next one is a bit strange but it still works. You see Diamond Medallions from 2013/2014 have until 1MARCH2015 to bring in their +1’s as well as those who forked over the full membership cost. So, if you want to find a cozy spot outside the view of the lounge dragons who guard the gate, you can ask those about to enter if they could please guest you in. 😉 – René

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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38 comments

  1. Thanks so much Rene!
    I have a DL RES. Card as well that keeps me Silver medallion status without hardly getting on a plane (yes I’m 1 of those) whose annual fee is due at the end of May. $450 just for a hard to use (but doable) companion tix. and 30 MQM’s is “not bad”. HOWEVER what helps me convincing my wife on the $450,is by having our 2 small kids (well behaved) join us for some breakfast items over the past few years on trips which did make the fee less painful as the final perk.
    I plan on calling AMEX in a few weeks as we got closer to my next $450 due date. I’d be happy with a few $29 future credits or even passes to the Sky Lounge. Can AMEX even send me passes? I thought in the past Only DL can send passes? Don’t think I’m asking too much do you?

  2. @SL – they can not send you passes. They can only give you statement credits or miles. But maybe enough to off-set what you will pay for the year?

  3. Thanks for your reply.
    I figured this year it would cost us $348 via fees of $29 (2 round trips with 2 kids plus wife).
    What do you feel is fair for that additional cost for me to request in Miles from AMEX, if they won’t provide me that $348 credit? I heard their limit is 10k miles is that true as well?

  4. @SL – a CS rep limit, as I understand it, is 5k. Supervisor 10k. But a retention specialist has NO cap. I got 30k one year. But the $450 for me came from just a front line rep so YMMV.

  5. We were just denied by the lounge dragons in ATL. They wanted $30 for my better half to enter the club. There were suits everywhere looking us up and down as we took our walk of shame back into the terminal. Utterly humiliating. Now I could never be sure, but as we left I thought that I heard the sound of “Taps” being played, gently.

  6. Do Platinums still get the +1 benefit “when traveling on an international itinerary”? I think that is a Skyteam rule?

  7. Amex’s website still shows companions get in on the reserve card. That’s unsavory.

  8. But can they still bring a guest (i.e. does this new policy apply to that scenario)?

  9. Just talked to the Delta Reserve rep and there was no offer of waiving any fees or any similar things despite some heavy hints on my part. She said she would register my annoyance and pass it along to Delta.

  10. I cancelled my Amex Platinum this morning in large part due to this change in lounge policy. The loss of AA and US lounges put a serious dent in the product as well. The retention offer of $100 statement credit or 15,000 membership rewards after spending 2000 in 60 days was not enough to get me to keep it.

  11. Today, May 1st, also starts the divorce between Alaska Air and Delta. With Korean Air and Delta not playing nicely as they once did, is the Sky Team starting to fray?

  12. This is also the first day of no delta skyteam elite plus in third-party and some skyteam lounges in international destinations. Not just not bringing a guest but no access at all for a GM, PM, or DM on a coach ticket! I was denied access this morning in SIN even though the delta website still says delta STE+ have access there.

  13. I hate to drive this into the ground, but here’s my sitation, and I’d rather find out before we get turned away. My wife and I will be flying on business class award tickets to Europe this summer, booked separately from our own accounts (2 PNRs). I am GM and have the Delta Reserve card, she is Silver. Can my wife get in? Is it from the ticket class, or as my guest as GM on an international travel day?

  14. @Rick – What changes today with Alaska? I just received Delta MQMs for my AL flight last week, and I have another coming up this weekend. Will I still get MQMs?

  15. Hi Rene, It took 3 phone calls but got it done. First Rep offered $50.00 credit. I declined and asked politely for 1 up. This supervisor offered $100. Offered to “realign” my card to one that better suits my needs. I told her to review my AMEX accounts- Gold, Plat, Business Reserve and Mercedes cards and then make that same statement. Wouldn’t budge. Called back 4 hours later, escalated to SR Rep. $200 credit no problem.

  16. So, being a DM and having the reserve card, I have on occasion brought up to 4 guests into the skyclub under previous rules.

    What do you think are the chances of bringing in 3 guests with my Executive membership, plus the card?

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