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Austin is my home city, and it’s fantastic here. In fact, locals regularly beg outsiders not to move here because more than 150 people move to Austin each day, based on our population growth average for the past few years.
But from a traveler’s perspective, Austin leaves a couple of things to be desired on the transportation front. While the city offers an Airport Flyer shuttle bus, the outdoor bus stops can be unbearably hot in summertime, and it can take almost an hour commute the few miles between downtown and the airport during high-traffic times. And the airport itself doesn’t offer any Priority Pass lounges; instead, the two lounges available are the American Airlines Admirals Club and the United Club, both located near what’s now Gate 22 in the single-terminal airport. If you don’t have a membership to access one of these two lounges, you’re historically out of luck.
That all changes today with the launch of Delta’s newest Sky Club, located left of security checkpoint 1. We first heard of this brand-new lounge back in February 2018, and the Sky Club is opening right on schedule with its projected Spring 2019 launch date that was announced at the time.
Located on the mezzanine level of the terminal, the 9,000-square-foot lounge is “classy Texas” through and through, featuring warm walnut wood and metal finishes, as well as artwork from local artists.
The dining area with several small tables is separated from the cozier sofa seating by the bar, which features a textured steampunk motif which, surprisingly, works very well in the contemporary space.
If you’d like a bit more privacy, opt for one of the little nooks semi-divided from the bar area. These are nice and bright, since the “wall” on the far side is an internal window overlooking the airport main floor below.
There’s also a covered Sky Deck — a private outdoor patio in the Austin airport with self-service non-alcoholic drinks that’s open year-round. (AUS also added a public deck as part of its new expansion, also located in the same north corner of the airport near the Delta gates.)
The full-service bar and dining facility offers a variety of Texas beers including Thirsty Planet Thirsty Goat, Hi Sign Violet the Blueberry Blonde and Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower, as well as seasonal food options inspired by local produce and cuisine.
Around the circular seating area, there’s a self-serve caffeine bar with iced tea, citrus-infused water, soft drinks and several different coffee machines.
A lounge highlight for liquor connoisseurs will be the Agave Experience, where the Sky Club’s extensive selection of tequila and mezcal are available from the premium bar menu either as individual pours or as tasting flights.
Travelers looking to knock out some work will appreciate the comfortable seating throughout the space, especially the dedicated business center, which features bright floor-to-ceiling windows, work stations overlooking the Delta gates and tarmac, comfortable seating and isolated quiet areas. There’s even a large conference table for impromptu meetings.
You’ll find high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the lounge as well as power outlets everywhere — a necessity in this modern day and age of digital-driven travel.
The outlets by the bar feature USB ports for quick phone charging as well.
The bathrooms are very contemporary and up-to-date, with plenty of privacy between stalls.
The sinks feature Malin + Goetz amenities, and the all-gender bathroom includes ample space for wheelchairs and strollers as well as a changing table.
Thoroughly enjoying your Delta experience and don’t want it to end? You can pick up Delta gift cards directly in the Sky Club. The best part is that these purchases code as travel, so ready your applicable credit cards for earning 3x or 5x, depending on the card. You can check out directly at the bar or at the check-in desk, or if you’re in a hurry, swipe a card and activate it online at your leisure at delta.com/activate.
Austin may be Delta’s newest Sky Club location, but it isn’t the first and it won’t be the last of 2019. Phoenix opened its Sky Club doors with the new year, while New Orleans will see a new Sky Club later this year. Meanwhile, several other locations will be upgraded, including New York’s Sky Club at JFK. Next year, Salt Lake City will enjoy a massive, nearly 28,000-square foot Sky Club while Los Angeles will be the 2021 winner. Both of those Sky Clubs will feature Sky Decks and AvGeek views for days.
Of course, getting into the Sky Club is harder than ever: Delta eliminated day passes some years ago, and single-visit passes were eliminated back in November 2018. And Sky Club Membership rates went up this year as well, ranging from $545, 54,500 SkyMiles or $50 in 12 monthly installments for Individual Membership, or $845, 84,500 SkyMiles or $75 in 12 monthly installments for Executive Membership, which allows two additional guests into the Club with you. Furthermore, even members and their guests will only be able to access the Club when holding tickets for same-day air travel on Delta or partner airlines Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Gol and WestJet. Credit card membership privileges can be found in more detail here.
The Delta Sky Club in Austin opens Tuesday, May 21, at 5 am.
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