Delta Airlines operated lounges have been the subject of overcrowding in recent years. Similar to issues faced by American Express Centurion Lounges, wait times for Delta Lounges have become chaotic. To better enhance the experience, Delta will begin rolling out priority or expedited entry lines. Here is the full recap.
Who can have access to Delta Lounges?
Delta operated lounges can be accessed by anyone who is flying Delta Airlines (regardless of class) and holds the American Express Platinum Card or the Delta Platinum Sky Miles Credit Card. You are not allowed to bring a guest.
Delta Airlines can also be accessed by frequent fliers with status and premium class passengers on certain routes.
Why are Delta Lounges Overcrowded?
Ironically, the couple times I have visited a Delta Lounge, it was near empty. The same goes for my brother who flew Delta to and from Marquette University in the Mid-West. We both like to travel earlier in the day and most lounges seem to get crowded after 9am.
Anyways, Delta does not operate a “Business Class only Lounge” for international travelers while United and American Airlines have premium lounges reserved for premium cabin travelers. United Airlines has one of the top lounges in the United States with their Polaris Lounges. In contrast, Delta funnels all passengers with access into their Delta Sky Clubs creating meme worthy photos of staggering long lines. With so much demand and limited supply, this is certainly a growing problem.
Delta’s New Priority Access Policy
Just like boarding groups, Delta is implementing priority lines for premium class members and elite members. Passengers on Delta or partner airlines hoping to get access are now going to face a longer wait. This is similar to Disney’s FastTrack lanes and basically puts emphasis on premium passengers and higher revenue customers.
My Final Thoughts
It’s truly unfortunate to see this shift in lounge access policy. While lounges have become increasingly overcrowded, having a separate lounge for business/first class international passengers sounds like a much better option. United’s Polaris lounges offer an unparalleled experience for long haul business class passengers and it would be great to see Delta roll out a similar option especially with so many lounge visitors via credit cards.