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REMINDERS! Things to KNOW before 1MARCH2015 and Delta Air Lines

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


my new skyclub card came today delta points blog

I got such a nice personal letter from Tim Mapes the x-Skymiles VP about all the features of my Skyclub membership. I took the liberty of updating the letter a bit to make it more correct. Why? As of 1MARCH my Diamond Medallion membership is worth-“less”! You see now:

  • It is only individual membership. This means if my wife wants to join me in the club it will cost me $29 per visit. Again PER VISIT! There is NO WAY a visit to a Skyclub is worth that unless you are trying to fix some massive ticket issue. The bad “food”, cheap drinks, slow wifi and other bits are not a good value for $29.
  • Less clubs. As I noted in the edits above, Delta has, over the years, dumped a bunch of partner clubs worldwide so even as a member I get less access.

Discounted Skyclub fees. Here you have until 1MARCH15. Now please understand I am NOT telling you to do this that is, as to me there are MUCH better ways of getting into the club like the non-Delta AMEX Platinum card then adding authorized users for club access. I could go on and on but after having spent time in Centurion lounges I really am disappointed each time I walk in and visit a Delta club.

Choice Benefits. We are talking the 2014 Choice Benefits here. Not the 2015 ones you earned in 2014 or the 2016 ones we can not yet access. I am talking about the 2014 ones – clear? Those MUST be picked before 2014 Medallion year ends and that date is 1MARCH2015. PLEASE pick correctly. Do not pick medallion status for someone as they will only have it for the rest of THIS month making that pick worthless. Look at the other choices that are better like points, vouchers etc.

Picking EC seats. I get almost each day now get tweets and e-mails from folks asking about what happens when they drop to some lower status after 1MARCH2015. Will Delta kick them out of their Economy Comfort (now C+ or Comfort Plus) seats they picked? Will they still get the perk later when they fly say in April or May? Simple answer is your seats will stick, you will NOT get kicked out of your preferred seats and it will not cost you any more when you fly. You will get the same treatment as if you were at your higher status. However, there can be issues. Say there is a schedule change and they move you or there is an equipment change and they move you – then you are stuck. You will not get the seat free. Same goes for partner airlines like KLM & AF. Pick NOW and hope for the best.

Status and award seats. Since this question also often comes up let me touch on this. If you are say Gold Medallion now, book an award seat for months from now, then move up to Platinum before the trip, you can then change it all you want (until 72hrs before flight). It is the status at the time that matters. Conversely, if you are Platinum now, book an award, drop to Gold then you will have to pay to change at that time.

BASIC Economy tickets. Please, Medallions, do not book these horrid tickets after 1MARCH2015. No complimentary upgrades and on and on. No WAY you will ever see me in one of these fare class of tickets – EVER!

So those are the main ones that you should be aware of. I am a procrastinator at a great many things but not when it comes to points, seats and perks – those I stay WAY ahead of and you should too – René
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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

19 Comments

  1. FNT Delta Diamond Reply

    I value each SkyClub visit at $15:
    – $11 in newspapers (Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the two Detroit newspapers).
    – $1.50 soft beverage (unlimited refills).
    – $2 cup of coffee/espresso.
    – $0.50 banana.

    This doesn’t factor in a place to stow my stuff and do some e-mails, write memos, etc. Nor does it include the shower, if the club has one and I avow myself of it.

  2. Thank you for all your advice! I’m trying right now to get on Delta’s Choice Benefits selection page but am unable to access it! I’ve tried two different browsers. I think everybody is trying to choose rewards before March 1…or, I sure hope they haven’t shut down the site! Also, you ask that nobody book basic economy tickets. I book my husband’s business travel and have to use Concur as dictated by his company. A month or two ago, the fares dropped in price…we have no choice of fares and I’m sure we’re offered only the lowest. My husband is diamond but will drop to platinum on 3/1. Currently he gets upgraded on almost every flight but I’m not sure what will happen in a couple weeks! Still trying to get on the Choice Benefits site…

  3. @FNT Delta Diamond: Do you usually buy all those newspapers for $11 if you don’t take them from the lounge? Coffee/espresso at the lounge is like drinking dirty water. You cannot call that coffee or espresso. So, in your case maybe it is worth $2 for the unlimited soft drink you may drink and the banana which BTW you can get 10 at Costco for $1.40.

  4. SkyClub – wife waits outside, I go in & get WSJ-$3, NY Times-$2.50, Detroit News-$1, Detroit Free Press-$1, I leave. Total value of visit: $7.50! I am waiting for the announcement that you have to stay in the club a minimum amount of time before you can walk out with newspapers!

  5. Rene, this new club fee is a major issue for me. The extra $29.00 fee is ridiculous and if my wife has to wait outside the club if we have 10 minute window I am upset. I purchased a membership, earned a membership (Diamond) and still have to $29.00. That is a guarantee of me not purchasing a membership in the future. Tack that on top of the 22% decrease: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-southwest-airline-trims-rewards-20150213-story.html

    You talk about an entire program folding, here it is one completed final swoop.

  6. Though I have switched to AA I still read ur blog daily. Is there an AA blog out there like yes?

  7. My hubby has AMEX Business Platinum. Did I read you correctly that if I become an authorized user on his card, I can also have access to Delta’s Sky Club?

  8. Hello,

    I have a flight to Dublin at the end of April. Should I upgrade to EC now or wait for C+? Or should I try to use miles to upgrade to first class now?

  9. John DELTA Reply

    @Rene –

    Your mention: “there are MUCH better ways of getting into the club like the non-Delta AMEX Platinum card then adding authorized users for club access.”

    As I understand it, for the Delta SkyClubs, a companion or family member must also have the AmEx Platinum card for entrance.

    But doesn’t getting your spouse as an authorized user cost you an additional $175/year with AmEx Platinum?

    Per AmEx terms: For up to three Additional Platinum Cards, the total annual fee is $175.

  10. If I am a Diamond and carry the Delta Amex Reserve card, can my wife join me without paying a fee?

  11. Whew…thanks for the reminder. I’ve been putting this off until the last minute because I really wasn’t sure which to get and almost missed out altogether for waiting so long. I knew you’d remind me though…so all i good 🙂

  12. dotti cahill Reply

    but the food and the horrid wine choices stiiiiiinnnnnnks in the club it is only a place to get away fro the 80- ++ sky priority peeps trying to get onto the plane in a mobbbb scene

  13. I am a gold member with no lounge membership but have had complimentary lounge use whenever I have flown to Europe or Asia, and my husband, who has no status, has been able to accompany me at no fee. Will this change on March 1?

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