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Delta to Open “Premium” Airport Lounges

Delta Air Lines’ (NYSE:DAL) saw its shares forge ahead on the last day of the week, on word its popular airport lounges are getting a more exclusive tier, in the airline’s latest push to cater to high-spending travelers.

The first “premium” lounge is scheduled to open in June at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, and at 38,000 square feet, it will be the largest of the carrier’s lounges, Delta said on Thursday. Other high-end Delta lounges will open in Boston and Los Angeles later this year.

Delta has been building up its network of Sky Clubs in recent years to cater to swarms of travelers as more people gain entry through memberships, airline status, credit card benefits or flying in a premium cabin. Last year, Delta said it would limit entry into its lounges in the coming years, but softened some changes after a customer uproar.

The new strategy shows Delta moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach for its airport travelers. The airline is joining United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL), which operates Polaris lounges, and American Airlines’ (NYSE:AA) which has Flagship lounges, along with standard airport clubs.

Delta didn’t disclose the entry requirements for the new lounges. It said the JFK location will have a full-service restaurant and “wellness” areas.

At the start of business on Friday, Delta shares took on 14 cents to $40.49.

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