Delta to open new tier of premium airport lounges this year

Delta's new Sky Club airport lounge at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Leslie Josephs/CNBC

Delta AirlinesPopular airport lounges are now getting a more exclusive tier, as part of the airline's latest move to cater to higher-spending travelers.

The first “premium” lounge is expected to open in June at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. At 38,000 square feet, it will be the largest of the carrier's lounges, Delta announced Thursday. Additional premium Delta lounges will open in Boston and Los Angeles later this year.

Delta has grown its Sky Club network in recent years to meet the needs of a large number of travelers, as more people gain access through memberships, airline status, credit card benefits or a flight in a premium cabin. Last year, Delta announced it would limit entry into its lounges in coming years, but relaxed some changes after an outcry from customers.

The new strategy shows Delta is moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach for its airport travelers. The airline joins United Airlineswhich operates the Polaris lounges, and American airlines» which has flagship lounges, as well as standard airport clubs.

Delta has not disclosed entry requirements for the new lounges. He said the JFK site would have a full-service restaurant and “wellness” areas.

Delta also announced plans to open standard Sky Clubs in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as a new location in Seattle later this year. The carrier plans to expand its clubs in Miami and New York. LaGuardia.

The new clubs come as Delta focuses on the growing importance of travelers flying toward the front of the plane. The airline said “premium” revenue from business class or premium economy tickets grew 26% last year to generate $19.1 billion in sales, while sales of its cabin tickets main assets increased by 20% to reach $24.5 billion.

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