An inside look at Austin’s Delta Sky Club

Jan 13, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. It was originally published on May 20, 2019.

Austin is my home city and it’s fantastic.

From a traveler’s perspective, however, Austin leaves a couple of things to be desired when it comes to transportation. Although 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 to commute the few miles between downtown and the airport during high-traffic times. 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 were historically out of lounge luck.

That all changed in May 2019 with the opening of Delta’s newest Sky Club, located to the left of Security Checkpoint 1.

Accessing Delta Sky Clubs

Delta’s been tightening access rules to its Sky Clubs for quite a while to prevent overcrowding. There are still numerous ways to enter a Sky Club, though. Check out this post for all the ways you can enter.

The easiest way is by having the right credit card. If you hold one of the cards below — along with a same-day ticket on a Delta-operated flight or Delta-marketed WestJet ticket starting with an 006 ticket number — you can enter the Sky Club before your flight.

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership, though you could be targeted for a 100,000-point offer through the CardMatch Tool (offer subject to change at anytime) ($550 annual fee, see rates and fees). Terms apply.
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 125,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. ($595 annual fee, see rates and fees). Terms apply.
  • Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express: Earn 40,000 miles plus 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months ($450 annual fee, $550 if application is received on or after Jan. 30, 2020; see rates and fees). Terms apply.
  • Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card: Earn 40,000 miles plus 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months ($450 annual fee; $550 if application is received on or after Jan. 30, 2020; see rates and fees). Terms apply.

Related: The best Delta Sky Clubs

Inside Delta’s Austin Sky club

Located on the mezzanine level of the terminal, the 9,000-square-foot lounge is “classy Texas,” 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. The bar features a textured steampunk motif which, surprisingly, works well in the contemporary space.

If you’d like more privacy, there are 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 with self-service non-alcoholic drinks that’s open year-round. (AUS added a public deck, also located in the same north corner of the airport near the Delta gates.)

Related: Best credit cards for lounge access

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, and seasonal food inspired by local produce and cuisine.

There are offerings of barbecue and tacos (with fresh corn and flour tortillas!), but the food skews “healthy and gluten-free,” a Delta representative told TPG.

Around the circular seating area, there’s a self-serve bar with iced tea, citrus-infused water, soft drinks and several different coffee machines.

A lounge highlight for liquor connoisseurs is 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 work will appreciate the comfortable seating throughout the space, especially the dedicated business center with bright floor-to-ceiling windows, workstations 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 and power outlets everywhere.

The outlets by the bar feature USB ports for phone charging as well.

The bathrooms are 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.

The improvements to Austin’s Sky Club are part of Delta’s planned expansions and renovations network-wide. A Phoenix location opened in early 2019 and the new Sky Club in New Orleans opened its doors toward the end of last year. Meanwhile, Delta’s Sky Club at New York-JFK is undergoing a significant renovation; a massive, nearly 28,000-square-foot space will open in Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles will see a new club in 2021. The Salt Lake City and Los Angeles Sky Clubs will feature Sky Decks and AvGeek views for days.

All photos by the author.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Business card, click here.

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