Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information
The long-rumored Delta One business-class-only lounge network will soon become a reality.
Earlier this year, TPG learned that Delta would be opening its first exclusive lounge in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport Terminal 4, and with the latest news, the network is going to become bi-coastal — with a twist.
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The Atlanta-based carrier will open a new Delta One lounge at its hub at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). This new 10,000-square-foot facility will connect to the existing Sky Club when it opens in 2024.
In addition to the Delta One lounge, the carrier is also building a brand-new exclusive check-in facility reserved for business-class customers.
This Delta One check-in facility will be located on the arrivals level of the new west headhouse that’s opening in the first quarter of 2023.
This facility is purposely being built on the arrivals level so that travelers can avoid the traffic on the departures level, while also creating a more private atmosphere during check-in.
During check-in, you’ll enjoy an assortment of drinks and light snacks. After dropping your bags and getting your boarding passe, there’ll be a direct elevator to the security lanes and the Delta One lounge (when it opens).
Delta long offered an exclusive check-in facility for its most premium customers at LAX, and it sounds like the new one will be even better and more exclusive than the old one.
Asked if more of these facilities are coming elsewhere, Scott Santoro, Delta’s vice president of Los Angeles, told TPG to keep our eyes peeled. It wouldn’t be surprising if Delta debuted something similar in JFK, but for now, the most exclusive departure experience will be limited to Los Angeles.
Delta’s in the middle of a multi-year transformation at LAX, which includes an all-new departure and arrival experience at the recently opened Sky Way terminal complex.
The Sky Way includes a revamped check-in area, new security lanes, a signature Sky Club and an airside connection between Terminals 2 and 3. The upgraded facility brings many improvements, but perhaps the biggest are those to the premium experience.
For one, the new 30,000-square-foot Sky Club is now one of the nicest in the entire network. It features two buffets, a coffee grotto lined with Italian mosaic tile, an expansive bar, a multitude of seating areas and a year-round outdoor Sky Deck with incredible views of the ramp, runway and Hollywood Hills.
The club opened on April 20 at the same time as the main areas of the Sky Way terminal, though Delta’s LAX infrastructure is still a work in progress. The carrier will open nine new gates in the Terminal 3 satellite facility, which will come online beginning on Oct. 5.
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ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
While the new Sky Club at LAX is quite impressive, there’s going to be an even more exclusive lounge in the terminal when the Delta One club opens.
This lounge is expected to be open exclusively to passengers departing on long-haul flights in business class, and it’s possible that flyers traveling on premium transcon routes to New York and Boston will be welcomed, too.
Delta doesn’t currently offer a comparable experience to the likes of the American Flagship Lounge and the United Polaris Lounge, both of which offer an elevated experience to long-haul business-class passengers.
While the nicest Sky Clubs resemble American’s and United’s fanciest lounges in terms of design, Delta’s membership clubs still fall short. They’re not as exclusive, nor do they offer an elevated service experience, including la carte dining or complimentary top-shelf liquor.
That said, the latest Sky Clubs, including those in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and New York are physically quite impressive, so it’ll be interesting to see how Delta differentiates its business-class-only lounges.
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When TPG first toured the new LAX Sky Club back in April, the man behind Delta’s clubs, Claude Roussel, said that “we are going to tailor the experience to each location,” without getting into specifics about the rumored space in the Sky Way that’s reserved for a future premium lounge.
Premium travelers should definitely get excited about the new lounge because if Delta’s work on its Sky Club network is any indication, we’ll be in for a real treat with the new business-class-only outposts.
Be sure to stay tuned to TPG for a full tour of Delta’s new Terminal 3 at LAX!
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