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Delta making it harder to get into its airport lounges

Delta Air Lines is looking to reduce the lines at its popular and overcrowded airport lounges. 

Starting early next year, it will be more difficult and costly to get into Delta's Sky Club lounges — a respite for flyers seeking a comfortable spot to work or to enjoy complimentary food and drink. 

"After a banner year of Delta Sky Club openings and expansions across Delta's network in 2022 that resulted in a record number of visits, the airline is changing some of the ways customers can access clubs starting next year to preserve a best-in-class experience," the Atlanta-based company said on Wednesday in a statement.

Overcrowded lounges have become an issue for Delta, which offers access to its more than 50 lounges through various means, including credit cards.

The carrier acknowledged as much in rolling out its new policy. 

"A byproduct of Delta Sky Club's widespread popularity is visit growth that has outpaced club capacity — resulting in frustration for some customers who find themselves waiting in lines or searching for seating once inside," Delta stated.

Select Medallion tiers only

Beginning in February, membership packages for Delta's lounges will be available only to those in its SkyMiles frequent flyer program with status, or one of the so-called Medallion tiers. Right now, anyone can buy a membership.

The carrier is also hiking membership fees, with an individual membership to Delta's Sky Clubs on January 1, 2023, going to $695 or 69,500 miles from $545 or 54,500 miles. Executive membership that allows for guests is rising to $1,495 or 149,500 miles from $845 or 84,500 miles. 

Prior steps at crowd control had Delta in June saying flyers could enter the lounges within three hours of their departure time.

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