Executive Traveller exclusive
Delta Air Lines’ all-new Delta One Clubs won’t only be the US carrier’s most impressive lounges, they will also be its most exclusive, with entry restricted to passengers in Delta One business class.
Everyone else, no matter how shiny their Delta One Medallion card, will be turned away at the door and redirected to Delta’s main Sky Club lounges.
A spokesperson for Delta Air Lines confirmed the access arrangements to Executive Traveller, saying its Delta One Club lounges “will be exclusive to Delta One customers.”
“These lounges will not admit top-tier frequent flyers (eg Medallion Diamond) who are in Delta Premium Select and/or Main Cabin).”
Read on for more details about Delta Air Lines’ new premium lounge experience.
The Delta One Club lounge concept
Although Delta launched its impressive Delta One business class suites with sliding privacy doors in 2017, all Delta One passengers have to date been sharing the same Delta Sky Club lounges as economy passengers with frequent flyer status, Sky Club membership or the right type of credit card.
That’s about to change – admittedly slowly – with the opening of Delta One Clubs reserved for Delta One business class passengers, where “visitors can expect a dedicated level of service that elevates the lounge experience,” the airline promises.
The first Delta One Club lounge will open at new York’s JFK Airport sometime in 2023, with a second to follow at LAX in 2024.
While Delta is keeping the details under wraps, it’s not a stretch to imagine this “elevated” experience will include some form of à la carte dining plus a better selection of drinks – again, Delta has plenty of scope to take a leaf from the playbooks of American and United, while also doing its own thing.
We’d definitely expect to see the popular Sky Club phone booths – soundproofed single-seat capsules affording privacy for travellers wishing to make or take calls – appear in the Delta One Clubs, along with some form of work-friendly private bench spaces.
Delta One Club lounge access
The glass doors of the Delta One Clubs will open only for Delta One passengers, the airline has confirmed to Executive Traveller – there’ll be no access for frequent flyers or anybody else not in Delta One business class.
In additional to international routes to the UK, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia, Delta One also features on selected domestic transcontinental flights as well as Honolulu
(That said, we assume the Delta One Clubs will also welcome business class and first class travellers on Delta’s international SkyTeam siblings whose overseas flights leave from the same terminal.)
This business class-only approach to Delta One Club lounge access matches that of rival United Airlines, which has likewise decreed its network of Polaris lounges are only for business class (and where relevant first class) flyers.
By comparison, American Airlines’ Flagship Lounges welcome not only business class travellers but top-tier Aadvantage and Oneworld frequent flyers.
Delta One Club lounge, New York JFK
The first Delta One Club will open in JFK Terminal 4 sometime in 2023.
Located near Concourse B, it will occupy a sprawling 36,000 square feet (over 3,300 square metres).
That’s even larger than the massive footprint of the recently-opened Delta Sky Club at LAX, which can accommodate more than than 500 guests.
Of course, the more exclusive nature of the Delta One Club lounge will see fewer seats with more elbow room – and, we’re assuming, a dedicated dining room with à la carte menu, a chic and very sizeable bar and other top-end creature comforts.
As JFK T4 also hosts SkyTeam members Aeromexico, Air Europa, China Airlines, Kenya Airways, KLM and XiamenAir, along with forthcoming member Virgin Atlantic, the Delta One lounge could also be open to business class passengers on those airlines.
Delta One Club lounge, LAX
The debut of the Delta One Club at JFK will give travellers a sign of what to expect when the west coast Delta One Club lounge opens at LAX in 2024.
At 10,000 square feet (930 square metres) this will be a more compact and potentially more ‘intimate’ affair – but as all SkyTeam airlines fly out from Los Angeles’ Tom Bradley International Terminal, the LAX Delta One Club will be a Delta-only affair.
It’ll also connect to the new LAX Sky Club, located between Terminals 2 and 3, so it will be interesting to see if the LAX Delta One Club likewise features an all-weather deck plus postcard views over the Hollywood Hills.
Ahead of the Delta One Club ribbon-cutting, early 2023 will see a new Delta One check-in area opening.
Additional reporting by Matt Lennon.