Delta Air Lines’ long-awaited new Sky Club opens Tuesday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), giving the carrier a second lounge at its hub there.
The stylish 14,000-square-foot space — in the recently expanded pier of A gates in Terminal 4 — will complement Delta’s existing (and bigger) Sky Club in Terminal 4’s B gates.
The new location, near Gate A7, can accommodate about 250 passengers — adding much-needed lounge capacity for Delta at JFK. Delta’s B-gate Sky Club location seats about 550 passengers but experiences long lines and crowding during peak periods. Delta has tightened access to its clubs with new rules and fees for additional guests to try to address the issue. However, capacity remains a concern.
Time will tell if the new outpost can absorb enough capacity to alleviate the problem at JFK, but it’s a hopeful development for Delta customers looking for a little more elbow room inside the carrier’s JFK lounges. With the opening of the new lounge, Delta’s temporary grab-and-go station at JFK will close.
For now, customers using the new JFK Sky Club in Terminal 4’s A gates will enjoy a modern and bright space that incorporates many of the latest design features that Delta has rolled out recently at its other new lounges (such as at Los Angeles International Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport and Kansas City International Airport).
Expansive floor-to-ceiling windows and a covered Sky Deck provide ample planespotting opportunities. Perhaps the biggest architectural highlight is a stunning 360-degree bar that anchors the space. Scattered throughout are a variety of seating types, dispersed among large seating areas and little nooks that offer more privacy.
Delta gave a sneak peek of the “T4-A” lounge Monday, sort of a soft opening that allowed employees and a few media members to try out the new space before it begins welcoming customers Tuesday. TPG was there for the preview. We’ll provide a formal review soon, but here’s what we saw on opening day.
Visitors approach the lounge near Gate A7, where blue-tinted glass doors slide open to allow for entry.
Guests will present boarding passes and entry credentials at one of two white check-in stations before turning right to head up stairs or an escalator to the main level on the second floor.
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There, passengers alight at a small seating area flanked with floor-to-ceiling windows and positioned behind an elegant light fixture and a see-through dividing wall separating it from the stairs and escalators.
Passengers who don’t immediately take a seat can turn right and into the main part of the lounge.
360-degree premium bar, buffet and seating area
The showstopper is perhaps the 360-degree bar anchoring the main lounge area. Evoking an art deco vibe, the spot is sure to be a popular Instagram backdrop for social media-savvy guests.
The bar includes standard complimentary options and premium options such as a Flower District Margarita ($9 or 600 miles), an espresso martini ($10.50 or 700 miles) and others.
Seating areas flank the bar on both sides. On one side, there are also booths built into the wall that face tables and sliding chairs.
This seating area presents good options for solo travelers looking to work on a laptop or for small groups who want to cluster around one of the high-top tables.
There’s a smaller seating area and a large wall-mounted flat-screen TV on the other side of the bar.
At the far end of the bar is the Sky Club’s buffet area. Delta’s food options generally outpace what’s found at regular Admirals Club and United Club locations, and the offerings at Monday’s preview suggested the new JFK outpost will keep pace with Delta’s other Sky Clubs.
Breakfast options included egg frittatas, oven-roasted rosemary potatoes and chicken sausages before Delta switched over to a lunch menu that featured roasted chicken in red pepper and tomato sauce, cacio e pepe broccolini, lemon chickpea salad and garden orzo pasta.
Another feature noted by several visitors during Monday’s preview was Delta’s spice station.
At the other end of the bar, opposite the buffet (and to the left as one enters the roof from the entry landing), is another seating area featuring expansive views of the JFK airfield.
A mix of seating types gives guests numerous areas to sit, with low-slung round tables scattered throughout for passengers with food or beverages. A number of seats come with charging options, including standard power outlets as well as USB-A and USB-C charging ports.
Outdoor Sky Deck
Those looking for the outdoor Sky Deck — another signature feature of the new lounge — should proceed forward from the main entry area and past the 360-degree bar for doors to the Sky Deck. Turn left along the bar toward the buffet to find the lounge’s bathrooms and two more seating areas — but more on that below.
The Sky Deck is sure to be a hit among AvGeeks, planespotters — and really anyone who enjoys the sight of aircraft moving about while they relax in the lounge.
The deck affords two vantage points of the airfield. There are also plush cushioned seating areas and a high-top bar with seating for those looking to eat or peck away at their laptops while they watch planes.
During Monday’s preview, several wide-bodies taxied right past the Sky Deck — including an Air India Boeing 777 and a Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 fresh in from London.
A fireplace sits at one end of the lounge, occupying part of a see-through wall that looks into the lounge’s interior. The fireplace was not turned on during the preview but is likely to be yet another defining feature of the new Sky Club.
Unlike the Sky Deck at Delta’s Terminal 4 B gates, the outdoor space at Terminal 4-A has a covered roof. That, coupled with ceiling-mounted heaters, means flyers should be able to enjoy the Terminal 4-B Sky Deck for most of the year.
2 more seating areas
Back inside the lounge, two additional seating areas provide a mix of wide-open spaces and secluded nooks for passengers seeking privacy. You’ll find the seating as you enter the main bar area and walk toward the buffet.
As you approach the buffet, a room to the right features another mix of seating areas — and more views of the airfield.
There’s another customer service desk here. There’s also a slushie station that will serve a concoction from Brooklyn’s Edith’s Sandwich Counter, made with a mix of cold brew, tahini and oat milk — perfect for those needing a caffeine fix.
On the other side of the buffet, visitors pass through another seating room with chairs and couches. Against the window, chairs can be pulled up to either small tables (seen here) or to a laptop-friendly long table along the expansive windows.
A hallway extends out of this seating area, leading to both the lounge’s bathrooms and several more seating nooks. This includes private phone pods that will allow visitors to make calls or join Zoom meetings in relative quiet.
More tables and seats flank the walls as you walk toward the bathrooms and move past the last nook of the club, and a carved-out space features banquette-style seating, power and charging outlets, and small tables.
The bathrooms are at the end of the hallway. They feature Grown Alchemist soaps and lotions, and washrooms are lined with mirrors and lights in an art deco style.
Delta’s long-awaited second Sky Club is now open at the A gates at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The space can accommodate 250 guests, complementing the carrier’s existing Sky Club in JFK’s B gates that can seat 550 people.
The new lounge is sleek addition that continues Delta’s run of adding new and luxe clubs. Hopefully, the new lounge will help alleviate chronic crowding at the existing location.