Delta airlines’ latest announcement has some travelers reeling – lounge access is being downgraded and the requirements for elite status are being tightened up. Many frequent flyers have been outraged about these changes, and the reaction has been swift and powerful.
The difference between who can access a Delta lounge now and what was previously allowed is dramatic. Before these changes, travelers with Delta SkyMiles Elite memberships, premium cabin tickets and basic Delta SkyMiles memberships were able to access the lounges. Now, SkyMiles Elite members will only be allowed in the lounges with a Delta SkyMiles credit card. This reduces Delta’s lounge access pool by nearly 70%, which has caused quite a bit of consternation.
The requirements for achieving elite status are also being tweaked. Previously, flyers could hit elite status by flying 25,000 miles in a single year. Now, however, flyers will need to fly 50,000 miles. This a major increase — that’s 2x the number of miles required. Furthermore, the bar for achieving Platinum Elite status has been raised even higher, as travelers will now need to fly 75,000 miles instead of 50,000.
It’s easy to understand why Delta’s frequent flyers are unhappy about these new changes. Going from 25,000 miles to 50,000 for elite status is a significant jump. This will make it more difficult for even devoted Delta riders to achieve elite status, and denied lounge access for non-SkyMiles credit cardholders is a major bummer.
No matter how you feel about these changes, it’s clear you can no longer take Delta’s elite status and lounge access for granted. It’s now a tougher road for anyone looking to get into those lounges, and hitting elite status will mean more miles in the skies for frequent flyers.