Reviews

Review: Delta Air Lines Los Angeles Sky Club lounge, LAX Terminal 5

Overall Rating

By Chris Chamberlin, June 22 2015
Delta Air Lines Los Angeles Sky Club lounge, LAX Terminal 5
Country

United States

City

Los Angeles (CA)

Airport

Los Angeles (LAX)

Alliance

SkyTeam

Airline

Delta

Cabin-class

Business & First

Notes
The Good
  • Tarmac views with natural light to smack down jet lag
  • Private shower suites available with amenities provided
  • Fast and working Wi-Fi
The Bad
  • Buffet choices rather basic and limited
X-Factor
  • No boarding calls make the lounge a quiet, relaxing place
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

Passengers bound for New York with Virgin Australia and its major US partner Delta Air Lines will likely stop by the Delta Sky Club lounge in Los Angeles while en route to The Big Apple.

Ticking the boxes with the basics such as showers and space to work and recharge between flights, we stopped by to see what business travellers can expect while on the ground in LA.

Location & Impressions

You'll find Delta's LA Sky Club after security in Terminal 5, between gates 53 and 55 – but you won't need to memorise the gate number as directional signage from security through to the lounge is more than clear.

The space has been recently renovated, with showers, bathrooms and a business centre behind reception, a circular quiet zone as you enter and the bar, buffet and communal seating areas far away from those who are trying to get some work done.

Whether you're grabbing a snack or powering away on your laptop, everything feels rather tranquil as the staff don't make any boarding calls.

Instead, the flight information screens arrange departure by city name to make it easy to locate your flight...

... while a large screen behind the bar displays only the flights that are boarding in large font, which avoids having to do laps of the lounge or go for a wander every few minutes to see whether your flight is open and ready.

All in all, the lounge is well-organised and is easy to navigate even in the early hours of the morning, which is great when you've just stepped off a long flight and are travelling onwards across the country.

Access

Delta's door list is quite extensive – if you're on it, you're in.

  • Domestic Delta first class and 'Delta One' business class flyers bound for New York JFK
  • Passengers booked in business and first class on Delta and SkyTeam international flights, or connecting to or from the same – including Delta's daily Los Angeles-Sydney service
  • Virgin Australia Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers ahead of any Delta flight
  • Delta Gold and Platinum Medallion members when departing LAX on a Delta or SkyTeam international flight, or when connecting domestically to or from the same
  • Delta Diamond Medallion and paid-up Sky Club members ahead of onward travel with any airline, where the lounge is in the same terminal or secure area as the flight
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus members with a same-day international SkyTeam flight
  • American Express Platinum and Centurion Charge Card customers, including those issued in Australia
  • US-issued Delta Reserve credit cardholders
  • Full economy (Y-class) travellers on Delta

Failing that, you can also buy a one day pass for US$50 per person for access when flying with any airline.

Dining

During our morning visit were a good selection of cereals, breads...

... fresh fruit, yoghurt...

... and coffee for that essential morning boost:

There's a 'cafe latte' button, although we'd more closely liken the java to American filter coffee with milk mixed in, rather than a barista-crafted 'latte' as we'd know it in Australia.

That's next to The Luxury Bar, where bartenders pour free basic wines, beers and spirits...

... while premium drinks such as Veuve Clicquot NV and Dom Pérignon 2003 champagne can be bought by the glass or bottle.

(Although most of the alcohol is 'free', it's still customary to tip the staff $1 per drink or 15% per bottle.)

Aside from boiled eggs, absent was any hot and more substantial food – although if you're connecting from Brisbane or Sydney in Virgin Australia business class and then onwards to New York in Delta One, you'll have plenty to eat in the sky both before and after your visit.

Work

Without frequent boarding calls to interrupt your conversation or train of thought, it's easy to get work done in this Delta Sky Club.

You'll find dedicated working desks with power outlets tucked away behind reception...

... but having arrived straight from Brisbane, we opted for a seat with plenty of natural light (and a view) to help adjust to the new time zone:

Working against the window was comfortable and didn't require sunglasses to battle the intense morning rays, although you may need to crank up the brightness on your laptop to see what you're up to.

Wi-Fi is fast and free throughout the lounge, and can be accessed with a single click after connecting to the network.

You'll find power points against a number of the wall seats, and scattered along the bench that faces the window.

Relax

Away from the business centre, there's plenty of space to stretch out...

... and while the lounge looks a little busy, we had no problems getting a seat to ourselves – and when we felt like a change, there were a number of walled-in seats available towards the front of the lounge.

Similar to that above in Delta's New York Sky Club, they're great if you're working on something commercially sensitive and want to keep your latest project away from prying eyes, but also if you want to zone out in your own little world within the lounge.

Staff at reception are happy to unlock the clean shower suites, with fresh towels at the ready along with shampoo, conditioner and a sealed bar of soap.

The powerful red walls in the suites should come as no surprise, completing the colours of the American flag with the whites and blues featured throughout the main lounge space.

However, it does feel very 'loud' – a few white tiles here and there, or even a red and white pattern would break up the very bright and powerful wall.

There's a little green on the vanity and a white hairdryer, although the shower itself lacks a soap tray or shelf on which to place your amenities.

With the lounge's central location in the terminal, easy-to-use Wi-Fi and a lack of boarding calls, it does the job as somewhere to spend a little time when in transit between Australia and New York.

That said, the food options are relatively limited – so if you've arrived from Brisbane or Sydney and chose to sleep through until landing, you'll have to make do with the basics of a continental breakfast before jumping on your next flight for a better bite.

Also read:

Chris Chamberlin was travelling as a guest of Delta Air Lines.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Hugo

Hugo

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Was there recently. The fancy wall behind the front desk looks really cool, but it's all downhill from there.

Couldn't get a drinkable coffee. Not even by American standards. Could barely find a seat. 

Still better than being outside? Maybe, but only just.

TheRealBabushka

TheRealBabushka

21 Apr 2012

Total posts 3034

American airliners, in an attempt to offer "up-market" coffee, appear to have forsaken their traditional filtered coffee for those horrible coffee machines. 

Last year, the AA Flagship lounge started going down that path, with their Nescafe espresso machine, which was actually serving instant coffee!!! There was a fair bit of complaints, including from yours truly and I'm glad to say that they've listened.

They now serve standard filtered coffee in the Flagship lounge at LAX and JFK. Unfortunately the ORD Flagship lounge is still offering that scandalous Nescafe instant espresso.

tazza0712

tazza0712

27 May 2015

Total posts 24

I have a series of US-domestic flights coming up on Delta in First Class (not LA to JFK) and I've read that I won't have access to Delta's Sky Clubs. Just checking why Delta Full Economy (Y) class passengers are listed in the article as having access, when I am lead to believe that First Class passengers won't be able to get in? 

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2949

Hi Tazza,

This is a question you'll need to ask of Delta if you're seeking the reasoning behind the decision, although it's standard practice in the United States for domestic business and first class passengers to not receive lounge access unless they pay for it separately, are a frequent flyer from another country or are flying on transcontinental routes (LAX-JFK, for example).

Specifically to Delta, it's also the policy among all SkyTeam airlines that free lounge access is only given to passengers travelling internationally.

The exception for Y class passengers is one made by Delta, likely due to the price of the ticket which can sometimes be higher than the least-expensive business or first class fare, although this is a suggestion rather than the 'official' reason, of course.

-Chris

tazza0712

tazza0712

27 May 2015

Total posts 24

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the reply and additional info. 

Although not the official reasoning, I can't begin to imagine how they actually allow Y class passengers access without including First Class passengers on the entry list also. How bizarre. I was already aware that domestic First/Business in the US is not comparable to the overall experience that we have access to here in Aus but this really clinches it. 

Thanks again.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Delta Air Lines Los Angeles Sky Club lounge, LAX Terminal 5