Delta Air Lines has plans to open its first Delta One Club business class lounge at New York’s JFK airport in mid-2024, and there are signs the lounges might not even carry the Delta One brand.
A spokesperson for Delta Air Lines confirmed the new timetable for its debutante lounge to Executive Traveller, saying the lounge at JFK Terminal 4 “has been delayed to summer 2024.”
That lounge was originally slated to open in late 2023, before the date shifted to early 2024.
The second Delta One Club lounge at LAX is believed to still be on track for a ribbon-cutting before the end of 2024, providing Delta with premium lounges at both ends of the competitive New York-Los Angeles route.
And while Delta originally described these high-flyer havens as Delta One Club lounges, using the same Delta One brand as its flagship business class product and to differentiate them from the more mainstream Delta Sky Club lounges, Executive Traveller understands the Delta One Club naming has not been finalised, with the airline more recently referring them simply as “premium lounges.”
Delta One Club lounge access
As previously reported, access to the Delta One Club lounges at New York and Los Angeles will be restricted to Delta’s business class passengers, with even top-tier Delta One Medallion Diamond frequent flyers redirected to the nearby 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).”
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 terminals as Delta.)
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.
The Delta One Club lounge concept
Although Delta launched its 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.
The upscale Delta One Clubs will change that, and “visitors can expect a dedicated level of service that elevates the lounge experience,” the airline promises.
While Delta is keeping 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, New York JFK
The first Delta One Club will open in JFK Terminal 4 around the middle of 2024; 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 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 several SkyTeam members including Aeromexico, Air Europa, China Airlines, KLM and 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 towards the end of 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.