As I am sure you are aware, I spend a bit of time in the Delta Sky Club. I debated whether to weigh in on this or not given the bit of attention it’s already received, but I decided to go ahead and opine. First, a little background. Delta has announced a change to its Sky Club complimentary alcohol options. If you liked what they had, you are probably not pleased. Here’s the scoop, courtesy of DLCorpGuy on Flyertalk:

Delta Sky Clubs are changing the selection of both complimentary and for-purchase premium alcoholic beverages beginning tomorrow. Complimentary well-known alcohol brands will still be provided at the Club just as they have been. 

Altering our complimentary offerings will enable us to expand our portfolio of premium for-purchase products and maintain complimentary spirits, beer and wine as we continue to invest in the overall Club experience. We review our Club offerings periodically so that we are able to make changes based on customer feedback, financial considerations and other factors including the variety of options we offer our members. 

The new offerings are comparable to house/well brands in other airport lounges. 

  • Complimentary spirits: Vodka – Gordon’s; Gin – Gordon’s; Rum – Myers’s Platinum; Scotch – Scoresby; Bourbon – Jack Daniel’s; Sweet Vermouth – Martini & Rossi; Extra Dry Vermouth – Martini & Rossi.
  • Complimentary beer: Budweiser and Miller Lite
  • Complimentary wine: no changes to current wine offerings

Other brands will be available through our for-purchase options available through our Luxury Bar. Our goal is to offer members quality products and services at reasonable prices that are competitive with other airport lounges while continuing to provide good value for membership.

While I stick to wine, and rarely imbibe in hard liquors, I’m pretty sure this does not represent a quality increase. However, in contrast to a lot of what I’m reading online, I am indifferent to these changes. It’s Delta’s club product, and we all have the option to join or not, or procure a card product that provides access. At least they are offering some complimentary alcohol. Who else remembers when American and United charged for all alcohol? Truth is, I haven’t consumed the complimentary wine offered in the Sky Club since Luxury Bar first appeared on the scene.

In contemplating Delta’s changes and preparing for this post, I asked myself why I invest in access to the Sky Club? Free booze, as appreciated as it is, did not make the list. The top reasons I continue to pay for Sky Club access are:

  • Getting away from the gate
  • Personalized attention from experienced agents when needed
  • A place to get work done (include power outlets and wi-fi here too)
  • Comfortable chairs
  • Clean restrooms

As long as I get these things, I will continue paying for Sky Club access, which I consider to be an investment in myself. I don’t mind paying for a glass of decent wine either. And if Delta is interested in knowing, I’d probably pay for some enhanced food options too, as long as they do not ever mess with the olives and cheese. Hint, hint. How do you feel about Delta’s changes to its Sky Club product?

-MJ, May 17, 2013