I wrote a couple of posts yesterday on Delta’s announcement about Sky Club membership changes. You can read those here, and here. It’s Delta’s club, they can charge what they want, but $695 still seems high to me. Personally, if they raised the annual fee to a cool grand and simultaneously announced they were offering food and beverage on a level more akin to their European counterparts, I’d say…hey…. that might be OK. Will this reduce crowding? I guess. A lot of people have used this news as a reason to further pile on to the Platinum Card from American Express. I think Gary is right. The Amex Platinum may now be the best ticket into the Sky Club…. certainly is for many people.

You might also want to check out this piece from Will Run for Miles on the quiet tweak to Delta’s international lounge access policy for elites. On May 1, 2014, Delta’s third-party operated international lounges will become “Business” lounges – meaning you’ll need to be traveling in BusinessElite to access them. Now, if you’re a Gold Medallion or higher member traveling in coach, you can access the lounge. Say goodbye to that on May 1. Not a big deal for me, but will definitely impact some Medallions. Might take a look at Priority Pass if you aren’t already a member. Priority Pass Select comes with the Amex Platinum Card. Just sayin’.

American and US Airways went live with some reciprocal benefits for AAdvantage and Dividend Miles members on January 7. This first baby-step on the long road to integration appears to have been fairly well executed. It will be interesting to watch the progress of this merger for all of us, but especially an airline geek like me. I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that on the same day, American launched its new A321 transcontinental services as well. This is the one that I’ve been less than sure will survive the full merger. The product looks fabulous, and maybe…just maybe, being the only 3 cabin operator in the market will make it just profitable enough. More interesting things for this airline geek to watch.

Have a good weekend everyone!

-MJ, January 11, 2014