How to Access the Delta Sky Club Lounge for Free

Wondering how to get into a Delta Sky Club for free? See which option might be best for you.

Delta Sky Club
Updated May 24, 2024
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Airports are often viewed as necessary obstacles to reaching your final destination. They’re typically busy and crowded, and the food is frequently expensive. But if you have airport lounge access, you might be able to avoid busy terminal gates and expensive airport food.

Frequent Delta travelers could find a welcome retreat with Delta Sky Clubs. These airport lounges typically provide food, drinks, and complimentary Wi-Fi — but not everyone has access. See how you can get into Delta Sky Clubs for free and avoid the chaos of the airport.

In this article

About Delta Sky Club lounges

Delta Sky Clubs are airport lounges affiliated with Delta Air Lines. When it comes to airport lounges, you typically expect to have some sort of food and drinks available, which could be as simple as bags of snacks and cans of soda. But in the case of Delta Sky Clubs, you would expect a bit more.

Most Delta Sky Clubs offer a variety of food and beverage options, often including buffet-style dishes, fountain drinks, and a selection of alcoholic beverages from a self-service bar. For food options, you might see different seasonal items depending on the location of the Sky Club, but it’s not uncommon to find soups, salads, cheeses, and other options.

Other Sky Club perks could include comfortable seating, complimentary Wi-Fi, satellite TV, printers and scanners, showers, and flight assistance from Delta Sky Club ambassadors.

With more than 50 Delta Sky Club locations, the chances are high that a Delta hub near you has a Sky Club lounge. This includes major airports such as Chicago (ORD), Boston (BOS), Detroit (DTW), Atlanta (ATL), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Seattle (SEA), and New York (JFK).

How to access Delta Sky Club lounges for free

You have a few different options for accessing Delta Sky Clubs for free. This includes having a club membership, earning elite status, flying a Delta One fare, having certain credit cards, and more.

Club membership

There are two options for Delta Sky Club memberships, including an executive or individual membership. Here’s the breakdown for each one:

  • Executive: Costs $845 or 84,500 miles for one year and includes unlimited Sky Club access for the member and up to two guests. You also could pay $75 per month for 12 monthly installments.
  • Individual: Costs $545 or 54,400 miles for one year and includes unlimited Sky Club access for the member. You also have the option to pay $50 per month for 12 monthly installments. Guest access is $50 per guest per visit.

Paying for a club membership isn’t technically a free option to access Delta Sky Clubs because you have to use cash or miles. But because you have the option to use miles, it could be a useful way to avoid paying any money out of pocket to become a Delta Sky Club member.

If you compare credit cards, you have a variety of options for earning Delta miles. This could include using general travel cards that earn rewards that could be transferred to your Delta SkyMiles account or using co-branded Delta credit cards that earn Delta miles directly.

Elite status

Earning elite status with certain airlines often provides you with elevated travel benefits, which could include receiving complimentary access to applicable airport lounges. But earning elite status typically requires frequent travel, lots of spending with some of the best airline credit cards, or both.

If you want to receive Delta Sky Club access as an elite status benefit, you have a few options, including earning Delta Medallion Diamond status or SkyTeam Elite Plus status.

Delta Diamond is the highest tier for Delta elite status and provides its members with the selection of three Choice Benefits each year. Diamond Medallion members choose to use one of their Choice Benefits for a Delta Sky Club individual membership or two of their Choice Benefits for an executive membership. If the member already has an individual membership, they only need to use one Choice Benefit to upgrade to an executive membership.

SkyTeam Elite Plus is the highest elite status within the SkyTeam Alliance, which includes Delta. All Delta Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion members receive SkyTeam Elite Plus benefits, including access to Delta Sky Clubs when traveling in any cabin on a SkyTeam international flight. They also get Sky Club access when traveling on a SkyTeam domestic flight connecting to or from a same-day international flight.

WestJet Rewards Gold and Platinum members can also access Delta Sky Clubs if they have a same-day boarding pass for a flight between the U.S. and Canada that’s operated by Delta or WestJet. In this situation, the WestJet Rewards member may bring one guest free of charge.

Virgin Australia Gold and Platinum members receive access to Delta Sky Clubs on Delta international flights and can bring one guest for free. Note that Delta and Virgin Australia are ending their partnership on June 13, 2022, at which point this benefit will end for Virgin Australia elite status members.

Delta One flights

Delta One is one of Delta’s luxury fare options that offers a wide range of benefits for passengers. This typically includes lie-flat seats, curated meals, complimentary alcoholic beverages, charging options, premium entertainment options, and handcrafted amenity kits.

Passengers flying a Delta One domestic or an international flight automatically receive access to Delta Sky Clubs. They would also receive access if traveling on a domestic flight that’s connecting to or from a same-day international Delta One flight.

SkyTeam and partner flights

Certain SkyTeam and other partner flights also offer complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs. For non-Delta SkyTeam flights, this includes any travelers with a same-day international first-class or business-class ticket on a SkyTeam-operated flight.

If you’re flying business class on WestJet, you’re able to access Delta Sky Clubs with a same-day boarding pass for international travel on flights operated by Delta or WestJet.

Credit cards

Credit cards are typically one of the easiest ways to gain Delta Sky Club access because it’s an included benefit on many popular travel cards. This would mean you typically wouldn’t have to do anything more than qualify for a certain credit card and you’d automatically have access to Sky Clubs when traveling on applicable Delta flights. 

Here are the credit cards that offer free access to Delta Sky Clubs:

  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express CardCardmembers receive complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when traveling on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight. You will receive four Delta Sky Club One-Time Guest Passes each year. After that, you may bring up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person, per location. You also receive complimentary Centurion Lounge access if you book your Delta flight with your Reserve card.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card: Cardmembers receive complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta. You also receive complimentary access to Centurion Lounges when your Delta flight is booked with your Reserve card.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: Cardholders receive complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta and receive four Delta Sky Club one-time guest passes each year to share with friends and family. You also receive complimentary access to the Priority Pass and Centurion Lounge networks. Select benefits may require enrollment.
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Receive complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta. You also receive complimentary access to the Priority Pass and Centurion Lounge networks. Select benefits may require enrollment.
  • The Centurion® Card from American Express: Receive complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta. You also receive complimentary access to the Priority Pass and Centurion Lounge networks. Select benefits may require enrollment.

All information about The Centurion® Card from American Express has been collected independently by FinanceBuzz.

FAQs

What does Delta Sky Club offer?

Delta Sky Clubs are airport lounges that typically offer free Wi-Fi, food and drink options, flight assistance, and seating away from the terminal gates. To enter a Delta Sky Club, you typically need a same-day Delta boarding pass and one of the following:

  • A credit card that offers complimentary Delta Sky Club access
  • A Delta Sky Club membership
  • Certain elite status with Delta or SkyTeam Alliance
  • A Delta One, SkyTeam premium cabin, or other applicable partner airline boarding pass

How much does Delta Sky Club cost?

A Delta Sky Club executive membership costs $845 or 84,500 miles for one year and includes access for the member and up to two guests. A Delta Sky Club individual membership costs $545 or 54,500 miles for one year and includes access for the member.

Is it possible to get into Delta Sky Club without a membership?

Yes, it’s possible to get into Delta Sky Club without a membership. You’re able to access Delta Sky Clubs for free if you have a certain credit card, are flying eligible Delta or SkyTeam premium fares, or have qualifying Delta or SkyTeam elite status. You typically also need a same-day Delta, SkyTeam partner, or other eligible Delta partner airline boarding pass.

Bottom line

Delta Sky Club airport lounges are popular locations for Delta travelers to relax away from the potentially busy terminal gates before a departing flight. There’s typically free food and drinks as well as complimentary Wi-Fi and comfortable seating. But accessing these lounges often requires you to fly Delta or one of its partner airlines.

If you don’t live near a Delta hub or have many opportunities to fly Delta, it likely wouldn’t make sense to work toward accessing Delta Sky Clubs. In this case, having a more general airport lounge benefit could be more helpful. For access to the Priority Pass and Centurion Lounge networks, find these benefits on some of the best travel credit cards.

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Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.