New York (NY)
New York (JFK)
- Healthy buffet bites and complimentary bar drinks
- It's a 'regional' lounge, but in the country's largest city
- A convenient lounge for T2 passengers, avoiding a bus ride to Delta's other JFK lounge
Offering flights from both Terminal 2 and Terminal 4 at New York's JFK Airport, Delta provides Sky Club lounge facilities in both buildings: a flagship Sky Club over in T4 – the base of flights to Los Angeles, London and the like – and more of a 'regional' Sky Club here in Terminal 2, for those taking a short hop.
Location & Impressions
After clearing security at JFK T2, continue walking straight until you spot a Wendy's: the Delta Sky Club is just above it.
As Delta flies out of both Terminal 2 and Terminal 4 at JFK, Terminal 2 is mainly used for shorter flights such as to Washington, D.C. – which is hinted before you even enter the T2 lounge, with a poster suggesting the Terminal 4 lounge is better if you have the time, and accessed via airside bus.
Still, if you're only taking a short hop and don't need all the amenities of a larger lounge, the Sky Club in Terminal 2 proves adequate.
Most seats cater for drinks and snacks with cocktail tables close by.
This includes most of the solitary high-walled seats, which are great for a little privacy or for zoning out.
Being one floor above the main terminal concourse, the lounge has an unconventional design in that from many of the seats, you look over that concourse and the passengers below.
The T2 Sky Club at JFK opens from 5am until 9pm daily, reflecting the flight schedule from this part of the airport. For later flights, the Sky Club at T4 remains open until midnight.
- Delta Sky Club Individual and Executive members, and Delta Diamond Medallion members with Sky Club access as a Choice Benefit, travelling on a same-day Delta, SkyTeam or other partner airline flight.
- Delta Sky Club Lifetime members with a same-day boarding pass for travel on any airline.
- Delta Gold and Platinum Medallion cardholders, plus other SkyTeam Elite Plus frequent flyers, travelling on a same-day international Delta or SkyTeam flight, excluding destinations in the Caribbean, Guam, Palau and Saipan.
- Delta Reserve credit card holders taking a Delta flight booked under a DL flight number, or a WestJet flight booked through Delta.
- Virgin Australia Velocity Gold, Platinum and VIP frequent flyers travelling on any domestic or international Delta flight.
- American Express Platinum Charge Card and Centurion Card members travelling on any Delta flight, or on a WestJet flight booked through Delta.
- Delta One business class passengers, including when connecting to or from a flight in Delta One.
- Passengers connecting to or from a SkyTeam flight in international business class or first class when that international flight is operated by an airline other than Delta, to a destination other than in the Caribbean, Guam, Palau or Saipan. At JFK, the roster of SkyTeam airlines includes Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, AeroMexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Saudia and XiamenAir.
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold members with a same-day flight to the UK, operated by Delta or Virgin Atlantic.
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card holders can purchase access for US$39 at the door.
As is common in North America, no lounge access is provided to passengers booked in Delta "first class", being the better-than-economy cabin on domestic and short international flights. This is instead where frequent flyer status, or a suitable credit card, is useful.
Given the popularity of this lounge with business travellers taking short hops, the first stop for many will be the coffee machine, with DIY espresso drinks (and coffee syrups) available.
On the food front, a late morning visit found the lunch spread freshly set up, beginning with a range of salad ingredients and dressings.
Joining those, more salad bites, and an old favourite, hummus, which pairs well with the crackers and breads nearby.
Beyond that, you'll find more salad, along with noodles and roast chicken served chilled, to mix into your salad.
It's great to see so many healthy choices available, particularly for travellers who always eat their greens.
Hearty soups are available, too.
A tended bar provides a selection of complimentary beverages along with more premium options available for purchase.
Most non-alcoholic drinks are free (except for the house-made sodas and alcohol-free beer), with the following choices also offered at no charge:
- Wine: Veuve du Vernay sparkling (France), B&G Chardonnay (France), Fetzer Pinot Grigio (California), B&G Rosé d'Anjou (France), Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon (South Africa) and Frontera "After Midnight" Red Blend (Chile).
- Spirits: Three Olives vodka, Damrak gin, Bacardi rum, Old Forester 86 proof bourbon, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Camarena Silver Tequila and Baileys Original Irish Cream.
- Beer: Michelob Ultra, plus local seasonal draft selections.
Although French sparkling differs from Champagne (and Veuve du Vernay isn't quite Veuve Clicquot), a glass was still enjoyable with crackers and hummus. Even though there's no charge, don't forget to tip – US$1 is typical for a quick pour.
Guests seeking more premium drinks will find everything from imported beers ($4) and adventurous cocktails ($10) through to top-shelf gins ($7-15), whiskey flights ($24), and even 2009 vintage Dom Pérignon ($39/glass or $200/bottle).
However, while bar drinks are served in glassware, all plates, soup bowls and cutlery in this Sky Club are single-use and disposable, which is neither a premium nor environmentally-friendly choice.
Much of this lounge is designed around shorter stays, the idea being you'll stop by for a quick drink or snack before hopping on your flight and continuing with your day.
Still, business travellers with work to do are accommodated at several benches, which feature power points tucked just below the benchtop:
A separate, quieter area of the lounge also provides working desks.
While it's hard to have too many power points, this seat alone places 10 outlets within reach: and with so many at-hand, it's a shame they're all AC-style with no USB sockets for quick and easy mobile charging.
Nonetheless, the lounge's WiFi network offers zippy download speeds of 33Mbps and uploads not far behind, averaging at 29Mbps: suitable for everything from basic emails and web browsing through to HD video streaming.
It's not the most luxurious of settings, but the lounge's indoor terrace provides a space to sit back and take a moment to yourself.
Particularly for shorter stays, boarding calls from the terminal can be heard in this area, as these aren't otherwise made within the Sky Club.
Of course, you'll find more comfortable surrounds towards the centre of the lounge: and if you're making use of Delta's mobile app which alerts you when your flight is ready for boarding, you'll escape those boarding calls without being tied to the lounge's information screens.
As far as reading material goes, your sole choice is Delta's Sky magazine, which is also found in your seat pocket in-flight.
All things considered, the Delta Sky Club at JFK Terminal 2 isn't a lounge you'd arrive early for: and if you did reach the airport with plenty of time to spare, you'd have a better experience by taking the JFK Jitney over to Terminal 4 and using the Sky Club there.
But for the passengers that the lounge primarily serves – business travellers taking short hops from New York who aren't arriving hours before a quick domestic flight – the lounge covers almost everything you need before you're on your way.
Chris Chamberlin accessed the Sky Club using a membership card maintained at his own expense.