Last month I wrote about reciprocal lounge access policies for people flying on Alaska Airlines or who have an Alaska Airlines Board Room membership. I mentioned that Board Room membership is a cost effective alternative to purchasing a membership with Delta Sky Clubs even if you never fly Alaska Airlines. Why? Because Board Room members could take guests to the Sky Club for free, while Delta has announced its plan to charge a $29 guest access fee beginning May 1, 2014.
Unfortunately it seems that Alaska and Delta were merely slow to update their agreement. (HT MJ on Travel) May 1 is two weeks away and Alaska has warned its Board Room members that they, too, will be affected by this policy change. Alaska Board Room members will continue to have complimentary access to Delta Sky Club locations when traveling with any Delta- or Alaska Airlines-issued ticket. All guests will be charged $29.
It’s not surprising. It’s just annoying that they took so long to announce the change after Delta made its own announcement much earlier. You can still use your Board Room membership to bring guests into the Board Room or to enter several other lounges with reciprocal access agreements.
Despite this change, it can still make sense to buy a Board Room membership than a Sky Club membership. Delta Air Lines is charging a flat $450 fee for Sky Club membership. (There is a small discount on Executive memberships, normally $695, that include free guest access.) Board Room membership, however, costs $450 for some members and much less for those with elite status — as little as $295 the first year. Renewals are discounted for everyone and range from $295 to $350.
Obviously this requires some faith that the relationship between Delta and Alaska will not deteriorate further, considering their battle for Seattle market share. But even non-elite members can save money by purchasing their lounge membership through Alaska Airlines instead of Delta Air Lines.