Delta has introduced a new concept for its flagship Sky Deck lounges – or clubs, as it calls them, quite reasonably, since it sells memberships. Although it has more than 200 lounges, this is a new flagship, first seen at its Atlanta hub. The transfer of its international JFK operation from Terminal 3 to Concourse B at Terminal 4 and the opening of new gates have allowed it to unveil a new Skyclub on Concourse B.
Access is free to Delta Sky Club members, Delta Business Elite passengers, Skyteam premium cabin passengers, Skyteam Elite Plus members, transcontinental first class, Business Elite or full Y-class passengers. You can also purchase a one-day pass for $50; a30-day membership is $90.
What’s It Like?
The lounge is situated close to Gate B32 and is accessed via a very discreet door. You take the escalator up to a wide lobby with a reception desk, to one side of which are the doors through to the VIP Ciroc room (I peeked in – it looks like a stylish sitting room/library with shelves of art books). At 2,230m2, the lounge is large, but is broken into several distinct areas, including a restaurant, work zone, bar and the Sky Deck, which is a great place to relax in good weather, though note that there is a no-smoking policy. I was there for the opening of the lounge so spent several hours looking around the club, working, and even taking a shower at one point.
Food & Drink
One of the new Sky Club concepts seems to be the Luxury Bar, which basically means a premium range of drinks that you pay for above and beyond the drinks that are included in the membership fees that Delta charges – or, in the case of business class ticket holders who are flying to and from Europe with Delta, the price of the ticket.
From one point of view, it’s great to have the extra choice, but from another, since Delta will soon be partnering with Virgin Atlantic on these transatlantic routes, and the Virgin lounge, also in Terminal 4, though in Concourse A, includes all of its drinks and food in the ticket price, it does make me wonder how this will work once the necessary approvals for the joint business are agreed.
As for food, the Sky Club restaurant offers free snacks such as yoghurt-covered pretzels, Chinese spicy crackers and nuts, but you have to pay for the “premium” menu, even if you are flying business class. Small plates on the menu include rosemary, truffle and parmesan popcorn bowls ($5), steamed edamame, sea salt and crispy wasabi seaweed ($7), and crispy pretzel crostini, mustard and Gruyère cheese fondue ($6). Large plates include cold poached shrimp with saffron aioli, fennel, hard-boiled egg and carrots ($18), an eight-piece sushi platter of tuna, salmon belly, fluke, snapper, wasabi and soy sauce ($16), and chicken Caesar salad US$15).
There’s no issue with sitting in the restaurant and working, and for once there were plenty of power points situated around the lounge – necessary when everyone seems to have a minimum of one smartphone and either a tablet or laptop computer in need of charging these days. The free Wi-Fi worked well – no login details are necessary.
The washrooms and shower are situated on separate corridors towards the front of the Sky Club. If I have a criticism here, it is that there are not enough of them (I can only speak for the men). With only a handful of urinals and cubicles, there will be a queue at busy times.
For that reason, I went looking for another toilet and the next thing I knew, I was offered a shower. I was in one of the larger accessible ones, but the rooms are all similar in decoration with smart red tiling and a toilet, basin and shower. I’ve read elsewhere that people weren’t impressed with the power of the shower or its warmth, but mine was fine. There are toiletries available if you do not have any with you.
It’s clear that a lot of thought has been put into this, and not just in the number of power points. The seats are comfortable, the noise level – even at busy times – is not intrusive, and there is artwork on the walls. The theme is aviation – clouds, aircraft and “the view from the window seat”, with aerial shots of beautiful places around the world, ranging from rice paddies in Thailand to coral formations on the Great Barrier Reef.
A really good lounge. Once free food for business class passengers has been sorted – probably when the joint business with Virgin is approved for London to New York flights – it will be world class.