Airport Lounges Roll Out the Velvet Rope

By: Anneken Tappe · September 25, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Sky-High Standards

As Americans return to the skies en masse post-pandemic, airports are becoming more exclusive.

Delta (DAL) tightened its rules for access to its Sky Clubs lounges, restricting complimentary access to only higher-tier cardholders, or those who spend a certain amount.

This focus on catering to an elite clientele is part of a wider industry trend termed the “perk war”, with airlines vying for the attention of high-spending travelers.

Membership Privileges

For many years, airport lounges were little more than quiet spots to grab a quick snack, and use free wifi before boarding. But the resurgence of travel has made these spaces more than just waiting rooms.

With sit-down meals, wellness offerings, and even art galleries, airport lounges are setting out to be a place travelers look forward to, rather than just the pitstop they effectively are. The exclusivity plays a role, too, though some lounges allow you to pay up to get in.

As traveling has gotten more expensive following the pandemic, this latest trend could leave some travelers disgruntled while others enjoy the perks.

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