Delta joins the exclusive outdoor airport business lounge club

By John Walton, February 6 2013
Delta joins the exclusive outdoor airport business lounge club

Passengers travelling on Virgin Australia partner Delta will enjoy outdoor rooftop Sky Decks above the airline's Sky Club business class lounges at New York JFK and Atlanta, due to open in the US summer.

A breath of cold fresh air in the New York winter, or a brief respite from dry airplane air and fierce air conditioning in Atlanta's summer will be particularly welcome for passengers during the long trek between the US east coast and Australia.

Here's what it'll look like at JFK:

The space is currently the rather industrial rooftop below (snapped by our friends at Jaunted), but it'll be transformed into a chic terrace that reminds us most of the open-air space on top of New York's Standard Hotel.

To create the rooftop spaces Delta is tapping Architectural Digest magazine plus designer Thom Filicia, who says, expansively: "Amid the hustle and bustle of the airport experience, we seek to create a refuge, which represents Delta's dedication to elevated design and pays homage to an elegant lifestyle of travel and the spirit of flight."

Ask us about the "elegant lifestyle of travel" after doing the 24-hour trek from Sydney sometime — but upgraded lounges are always welcome.

Outdoor roof decks in business class lounges are rare at business destinations (although island holiday spots often have a palm-fronded space).

Virgin Atlantic has one that's almost hidden upstairs in its London Heathrow Clubhouse, but that's the only one we've visited. And on a sunny day in London, too...

Even the most jaded of business class travellers would admit that there's something very chilled-out about relaxing in the sunshine with a cocktail before a flight.

Of course, Amsterdam Schipol has an outdoor area in its main departures lounge — bring your own cocktails, though.

And Singapore Changi has a pool and butterfly garden, while Kuala Lumpur passengers can wander through a rainforest.

Spotted any other outdoor lounges? Got a favourite spot in the sunshine for a sit-down and a nice glass of something when you're travelling? Share your thoughts with fellow readers below, or join in the conversation on Twitter: we're @AusBT.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

16 Dec 2011

Total posts 49

LAX has an outdoor area in some terminals.  As far as I can tell they have been locked since 9/11 and sits their taunting me when I have a 4 hour layover.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Aug 2011

Total posts 41

You know, I think this is a brilliant idea. It's sort of refreshing to be outdoors after being stuck in an air conditioned tube for 12 hours. 


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 732

Love my home airport Schiphol, grab some drinks and food at the fantastic supermarket (which sells hot food as well and ofcourse booze) in the arrivals hall and take the escalator up to the terrace. Excellent views, esp when the right runways are in use!

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