Delta changes course on post-flight Sky Club access for Medallion Members

Delta just reversed the decision to deny Medallion Members access to flight destination Delta Sky Clubs.

In an email to Delta Sky Miles members today, the airline rerouted its decision to limit access to destination Delta Sky Clubs. Previously, the company announced changes to their access policy, restricting visitors to a three-hour window prior to same-day flights and eliminating access at arrival destinations immediately following flights altogether.

When I learned of the new rules in an email to Medallion members sent on May 4th, I was upset. Hitting the club after arrival was a big part of my travel routine. I depend on that access as part of my Gold Medallion status and a big perk of my Delta American Express card was being able to use the club as a pre- and post-flight ritual. Learning I was about to lose part of my access felt like yet another in a series of vanishing amenities the airline was squeezing from their most valued customers.

3/5 — Delta removes post-flight Delta Sky Club access

3/12—Delta reverses removal

My biggest complaint up to this point was the loss of guest passes. I pay $550/yr for my Delta Amex and spend an incredible amount of my income on Delta flights. It costs Delta next to nothing to let my occasional travel companions come in with me for a cup of coffee. While clubs feel very crowded these days (if not, overcrowded), I’m not going to send my travel buddy to sit out in to the terminal alone, while I luxuriate in my beloved Delta Sky Club. For me, losing a pass means losing access. When I learned we members were losing guest passes and post-flight access, that felt like giving up a lot benefits given the amount of money I spend with the company.

Others must have felt the same way, because a week after announcing their decision, Delta reversed its policy.

A week after announcing their decision, Delta reversed its policy

I love my Delta Sky Clubs and Delta’s brand is, in my book, best in class. Few companies execute on the level of Delta in terms of customer engagement and loyalty and Delta Sky Club is a major player in their portfolio of product experiences. I don’t envy the company’s challenge to preserve loyalty (not to mention safety and flight schedules) while managing demand for the physical spaces in America’s airports, which in my opinion, so effectively solve the problem of air travel.

However, the takeaway here is that Delta listens and, more importantly, acts, based on customer feedback. To me, this is another example of the gold-standard reputation for brand and product engagement Delta has cultivated over the years, all while navigating through what are clearly the most turbulent industry and economic challenges imaginable in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

I’m just happy I can still schedule meetings before and after my flights in a comfortable environment with coffee and snacks in hand.

Michael Anthony Bradshaw is a writer and consultant in New York City. For more thoughts and insights follow here and on Twitter.

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Michael Anthony Bradshaw

Michael Anthony Bradshaw

Emmy-nominated, CLIO & PromaxBDA-winning #writer and consultant. Previously @WSJ & @ThomsonReuters. Opinions mine.