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7 customer-friendly innovations at Delta's newest and largest Sky Club that could become the norm

Sept. 17, 2020
6 min read
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In case you missed it, Delta, along with Salt Lake City airport authorities, opened a brand-new terminal on Tuesday.

The new 4 million square foot terminal represents a massive transformation for flyers passing through SLC. Expect wide hallways, plenty of restrooms, top-notch retailers, 50-foot-high floor-to-ceiling windows and more. Tuesday's grand opening marks the first phase of a multi-year project aimed at modernizing the nearly 50-year-old facility.

Delta flyers will be the first to enjoy the new facility since the Atlanta-based carrier will exclusively use the new gates. As part of the project, the airline also opened a brand new, 28,000 square-foot Sky Club.

We've already posted an exclusive first look at the new lounge, so let's now take a closer look at some of the new innovations that Delta employed at this new outpost that we hope keep spreading.

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Self-check-in kiosks

Delta's at the forefront of anti-coronavirus measures with its so-called CareStandard pledge. That promise covers the end-to-end travel journey, including the Sky Club lounges.

And when you enter the SLC lounge for the first time, you'll notice that there aren't just two receptionists waiting to greet you behind plexiglass. There are also four self-check-in kiosks that allow you to scan your boarding pass for automated, touchless entry to the lounge.

Adding touchless entry kiosks doesn't just help reduce touchpoints during a pandemic. With SLC being Delta's busiest western hub, there are thousands of flyers passing through the Sky Club every day.

By automating entry, the carrier is also reducing the number of people queuing to enter.

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Related: 5 things airport lounges need to do to stop overcrowding

A digitalized shower queue

Back when long-haul international travel was a "thing," you'd often find long lines for a pre- or post-flight shower in the airport lounge.

In most cases, you'd need to visit a receptionist or shower attendant and get added to a standby list. You'd then receive a pager or a get called on the intercom when the shower was clean.

Delta has a solution to modernize this queuing experience. When the showers open at the SLC club, there will be a digital kiosk that you can use to sign up for a shower (and get in line for personalized reservation assistance during irregular operations). You'll then receive a text message once the shower is clean and available.

The kiosk first debuted in Detroit, and guests love it, said Claude Roussel, managing director of Sky Clubs. And fortunately, "we're planning to install it other lounges," Roussel added.

Phone booths

Have you ever wanted to have a sensitive phone conversation in an airport lounge?

Well, unless you're visiting during an off-peak time, odds are that your seating neighbors overhead what you were saying.

In the Salt Lake City outpost, Delta has a solution. The airline installed six individual Framery phone booths, as well as one handicapped accessible booth. These soundproof rooms are the perfect place to catch up with work or friends back home.

Roussel noted that the phone booths are in a pilot phase in Salt Lake. Hopefully, the airline receives positive feedback and adds them network-wide.

Related: Here's what it was like on day 1 at Salt Lake City’s spiffy new terminal

Wave-to-enter restrooms

The pandemic has airlines rethinking the number of passenger touchpoints — especially in restrooms.

Though touchless flushing and faucets are widespread, entering and exiting the bathroom still usually requires touching a handle. Unless you're in the Salt Lake City Sky Club.

Both sets of restrooms feature touchless entry and exit. All you need to do is wave your hand by a sensor, and the door automatically opens for you. It's magic for germaphobes and a welcome improvement for everyone during the pandemic.

Related: Another new anti-coronavirus measure from Delta – antimicrobial bins for security checkpoints

Eversys coffee machines

Delta has installed what I'd call the Airbus A350 of coffee machines in the new SLC lounge.

The Eversys coffee machines are sleek, modern, easy-to-use and futuristic — just like Delta's flagship Airbus A350.

Each machine has two operating spouts, allowing two guests to dispense coffee at the same time. Furthermore, if one side breaks, the other will remain operational. And finally, the machine is connected to the internet. When beans are running low or a part needs fixing, lounge attendants will receive a push notification — and address it immediately.

Locally inspired art

Over the past few years, Delta has opened new lounges in Austin, New Orleans and Phoenix. One similarity across these new Sky Clubs is the tastefully curated artwork adorning the walls.

As you might expect, Delta has upped the ante in its latest club now open at SLC.

There are multiple unique installations that exude a sense of calm amidst the otherwise crowded terminal. Many of the pieces are designed by locally renowned artists. By investing in a regionally inspired art program, Delta's Sky Clubs begin to look less like airport lounges and more like hotel lobbies.

The cool new workstations

Delta clearly seems to be listening to customer feedback. (So if you've received a post-flight survey, be sure to answer it.)

When the carrier opened a new Sky Club in Seattle, it tested out a new seating concept — a souped-up version of the college lecture desk.

These workstations feature a sliding desk, footrest, storage area, lamp and power outlets. According to Roussel, the airline received overwhelmingly positive feedback, and that's why they've been installed in the new SLC lounge.

Bottom line

Though we're in the midst of a pandemic, Delta is chugging along with its multiple airport redevelopment projects.

The newest terminal to open in Salt Lake City features a massive, flagship Sky Club that's sure to be a hit with the carrier's premium flyers.

As the airline continues building new lounges and renovating existing ones, hopefully, all of the innovations that Delta included in SLC make their way across the network.

All images by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

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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