Denied Entry: My Experience Trying to Bring a Stranger into the Exclusive Detroit Metro Delta Sky Club

I have had the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card for two years. Flying out of Salt Lake City with Platinum Medallion Status and the Reserve Card has resulted in hardly any first-class upgrades – the joys of living in a Delta hub.

As a result, I have decided not to renew the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card in May.

In the meantime, I have 2 Delta Sky Club guest passes that are also set to expire in May. I decided to try and utilize the guest passes for someone in need on my return flight from ARN >> AMS >> DTW >> SLC.

Stepping off the overnight AMS >> DTW flight, I was severely jetlagged. Sitting in Comfort Plus did not foster enough comfort to sleep.

I made my way to the Sky Club to relax and refresh while waiting for my flight to Salt Lake City. Upon entering the entrance area, I overheard another passenger being told that unfortunately, he was unable to enter the Sky Club. He shrugged his shoulders and turned around to walk towards the exit.

As a holder of an exclusive Sky Club guest pass, I decided to step in and offer one of my passes to him.

“Hey – I have an extra guest pass, would you like to come in as my guest?” He said enthusiastically “Yes.”

I turned to the attendant and said, “I have a guest pass for this passenger.”

She asked, “Do you know this passenger – are you friends?”

I paused for a moment, deciding how to answer this question. No, I do not know him – however, now that we had a conversation and I was bringing him into the Sky Club, I imagine that counts as friendship? I answered the attendant truthfully – “No, we are not friends.”

She replied, “I’m sorry, we do not allow people to bring strangers into the Sky Club.”

Now I find this pretty hilarious. I have a valid Sky Club guest pass, so why does my relationship with any guest matter? However, given my severe jetlag and not having a desire to pursue the matter further, I turned to the disappointed man and said – “Sorry, I tried.” He shrugged his shoulders and walked out of the Sky Club.

I checked in as normal, headed up the stairs, and enjoyed my last visit to the Sky Club.

My question is – what would YOU have done in this situation? Fought for the stranger? Lied about your relationship?”


  1. I take advantage of every opportunity to make friends with people who don’t look like me by inviting them into Sky Clubs. Typically I look for couples so it doesn’t appear I’m hitting on them. On one occasion at LGA, after I gave a couple a quick tour of the club, the husband gave me his business card. He was the Deputy Ambassador from Somalia. On another occasion, at LAX, I saw someone sitting on the floor outside the SC working on a laptop. I didn’t even know if the traveler spoke English. The Delta agent working outside the club saw and heard it all. As she checked me and my guest into the club, she complimented me for my kindness.
    I’ve rescued travelers who have been denied access at Sky Club check-in counters at airports across the country, including DTW. If an agent were to ask me if the guest was a friend, I’d smile and say, “We are now!”

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