Skip to content

8 things I'd love to see in Delta's business-class-only Sky Clubs

Jan. 08, 2022
6 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

If the latest round of rumors turn out to be true, it won't be too much longer until Delta opens its first premium lounge dedicated to international business-class passengers.

Over the past few weeks, there's been renewed talk of Delta opening a network of premium-only lounges (including locations in Detroit and New York-JFK), similar to American's Flagship Lounges and United's Polaris Lounges.

These outposts would be more exclusive than a traditional Sky Club and include several elevated amenities. While the airline hasn't shared any official plans, it can't hurt to dream about what would we'd expect to see in these spaces.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

Restaurant-style dining experience

If Delta is serious about competing in the premium lounge game, then it'll likely need to offer a dine-on-demand restaurant-style concept for its business-class lounges.

United's Polaris lounges have both a buffet and a sit-down dining area, which offers a traditional restaurant-style culinary experience with servers, menus and cloth napkins.

United's Polaris Lounge in Washington Dulles Airport (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Meanwhile, American's Flagship Lounges offer a much-improved buffet experience compared to the standard Admirals Club, but they don't offer a sit-down restaurant. (American's restaurant-style dining experience is limited to its Flagship First dining facilities.)

American Flagship First Dining in New York-JFK (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

It'd be great to see Delta invest in a restaurant-style dining offering. The airline has already brought a revamped buffet experience to its standard Sky Clubs, so it's definitely seems to set it up to raise the bar with a premium lounge.

Premium cocktails galore

Delta's newest Sky Clubs are outfitted with beautiful bars that offer both standard cocktails and a slew of premium beverages for an additional cost. You can even purchase a bottle of Dom Pérignon Champagne with SkyMiles.

Sign up for our daily newsletter
Delta Sky Club in Fort Lauderdale (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The airline has already invested significantly in its liquor selection across its lounge network, and its premium lounges should offer many of these drinks included at no additional cost.

Elevated shower suites

Many long-haul business-class travelers value easy access to a shower during their travels. Both American and United have done a great job of installing a plethora of shower suites in their premium lounges, and Delta should do the same.

United Polaris Lounge in Washington/Dulles (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

More than anything, there should be enough showers to minimize any possible waiting list, and the shower suites could even offer complimentary pressing — a premium amenity that's usually reserved for first-class lounges.

To-go snacks

Most airport lounges bar you from taking food and drinks outside of the premises. However, for those premium passengers with short layovers or who arrived close to boarding, having access to a selection of quality takeaway food can be a welcome differentiator.

Look no further than Capital One's first lounge in Dallas/Fort Worth, which offers travelers a fridge stocked with to-go sandwiches, salads, grain bowls, juices and more.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Some business-class passengers might even prefer to take a snack for the road, especially if the lounge is crowded during peak times.

Private phone booths

Delta's new flagship Sky Club in Salt Lake City offers plenty of private phone booths for its business travelers.

These sound-proofing cubicles are great for those making important calls in the lounge. They're also a welcome investment for all the other travelers who don't need to listen to their neighbor's calls.

Phone booths in Delta's Sky Club in Salt Lake City (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

United has done a great job of outfitting its Polaris Lounges with plenty of phone booths, and hopefully, Delta will do the same in its premium lounges — should they come to pass.

A plethora of napping pods

When crossing time zones, it's nice to have a private, dark napping area available in the lounge to catch up on some sleep.

Moonrise room in Amex's Centurion Lounge in Los Angeles (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

If Delta is looking for inspiration, it could build something similar to Amex's moonrise room in the Los Angeles Centurion Lounge. There, the issuer has a completely dark room with a handful of napping pods, perfect for looking to rest.

Access before premium domestic flights

United's Polaris Lounges are some of the most exclusive spaces in domestic airports. They're primarily open for those confirmed in the Polaris cabin on long-haul flights. Unless you're connecting to a long-haul flight, those traveling in Polaris on United's premium transcon routes or on long-haul Hawaii routes can't access the Polaris Lounge.

American's Flagship Lounges admit premium transcon and business-class passengers traveling long-haul to Hawaii.

Hopefully, Delta's access rules will be more similar to American's than to United's.

Good views

This one will likely be limited by the space available in its hub airports, but having access to natural light (and good plane spotting opportunities) would make Delta's premium lounges feel even more luxurious.

Sky Deck in Delta's Salt Lake City lounge (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The airline has already done a great job at offering Sky Decks are several of its domestic Sky Clubs, so hopefully, the airline will add something similar to its premium lounges as well.

Bottom line

Delta is once again rumored to be building out a network of premium lounges dedicated to its long-haul Delta One business-class passengers.

While the airline hasn't (yet) confirmed the plans, that's not stopping us at TPG from dreaming about what these outposts could look like.

From a sit-down restaurant to a plethora of shower suites, Delta's most premium flyers will hopefully have lots to get excited about.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees