Delta Air Lines’ long-awaited new Sky Club opens at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on Tuesday, giving the carrier a second lounge at its hub.
The sleek 14,000 square foot space – in the recently expanded A-gates pier in Terminal 4 – will complement Delta’s existing (and larger) Sky Club in Terminal 4’s B Gates.
The new location, near Gate A7, can accommodate approximately 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 queues and crowds during peak periods. Delta has enhanced access to its clubs with new rules and fees for additional guests to try to solve the problem. 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 promising development for Delta customers looking for a little more elbow room in the carrier’s JFK lounges. With the opening of the new lounge, temporary Delta staff take away station at JFK will close.
For now, customers using the new JFK Sky Club at Terminal 4’s A Gates will enjoy a bright, modern space that incorporates many of the latest design features Delta has recently rolled out to its other new lounges (such as the 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 plenty of aircraft-spotting opportunities. Perhaps the biggest architectural highlight is a stunning 360-degree bar that anchors the space. Scattered throughout are a variety of seating types, scattered between large seating areas and small nooks that provide more privacy.
Delta previewed the “T4-A” lounge on Monday, a pre-opening of sorts that allowed employees and a few members of the media to try out the new space before it begins welcoming customers on Tuesday. TPG was there for the preview. We’ll be providing 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 swing open to allow entry.
Customers will present boarding passes and admission credentials at one of two white check-in stations before turning right to ascend the stairs or an escalator to the main level on the second floor.
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There, passengers descend into a small seating area flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows and set behind an elegant light fixture and a transparent dividing wall separating it from the stairs and escalators.
Passengers who do not immediately take their seats may turn right and enter the main lounge area.
Premium 360 degree bar, buffet and lounge area
Perhaps the highlight is the 360 degree bar anchoring the main lounge. Evoking an art deco vibe, the place is sure to be a popular Instagram backdrop for social media-savvy guests.
The bar includes standard free 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 flanks the bar on both sides. On one side, there are also booths built into the wall that face sliding tables and chairs.
This seating area presents good options for solo travelers looking to work on a laptop or for small groups who want to gather around one of the high tables.
There’s a smaller seating area and a large wall-mounted flat-screen TV on the other side of the bar.
At the back of the bar is the Sky Club buffet. Delta’s food options typically exceed what’s found at regular Admirals Club and United Club locations, and Monday’s preview offerings suggest 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 moved on to a lunch menu featuring roast chicken with 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 far end of the bar, across from the buffet (and to the left as you enter the rooftop from the entrance landing), is another seating area with sweeping views of JFK Airfield.
A mix of seat types gives customers plenty of space to sit, with low round tables scattered throughout for passengers with food or drinks. A number of seats come with charging options, including standard power outlets as well as USB-A and USB-C charging ports.
Outdoor Sky Bridge
Those looking for the exterior Sky Deck – another signature feature of the new lounge – should proceed from the main entrance area and past the 360 degree bar for the Sky Deck doors. Turn left along the bar towards the buffet to find the living room bathrooms and two other seating areas – but more on that below.
The Sky Deck is sure to be a hit among AvGeeks, planespotters – and really anyone who loves the sight of planes moving around while relaxing in the lounge.
The bridge offers two views of the airfield. There are also plush cushioned seats and a high bar with seating for those looking to eat or peck their laptops while they watch planes.
During Monday’s preview, several jumbo jets taxied past the Sky Deck, including an Air India Boeing 777 and a Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 fresh from London.
A fireplace sits at one end of the living room, occupying part of a transparent wall that overlooks the interior of the living room. The fireplace was not lit during the preview, but it will likely be another defining feature of the new Sky Club.
Unlike the Sky Deck at the gates of Delta’s Terminal 4B, Terminal 4-A’s outdoor area has a covered roof. That, coupled with ceiling-mounted heaters, means travelers should be able to enjoy Terminal 4-B’s Sky Deck for most of the year.
2 additional seats
Back inside the lounge, two additional seating areas offer a mix of wide open spaces and secluded nooks for passengers seeking privacy. You’ll find the seats when you enter the main bar and head towards the buffet.
Approaching the buffet, a room to the right features another mix of seating areas – and more airfield views.
There is another customer service here. There’s also a slushie station that will serve up a concoction from Brooklyn’s Edith Sandwich Bar, made with a blend of cold brew, tahini, and oat milk — perfect for those in need of a caffeine fix.
On the other side of the buffet, visitors pass through another living room with chairs and sofas. Against the window, the chairs can be pulled to small tables (see here) or to a long table suitable for laptops along the large windows.
A hallway extends out of this seating area, leading both to the living room bathrooms and to several other seating areas. This includes private phone pods that will allow visitors to make calls or join Zoom meetings in relative quiet.
More tables and seating flank the walls as you make your way to the bathrooms and past the club’s final nook, and a cutout space includes banquette-style seating, power and charging outlets, and small tables.
The bathrooms are at the end of the hall. They offer Grown Alchemist soaps and lotions, and the restrooms are lined with mirrors and lights in an art deco style.
At the end of the line
Delta’s long-awaited second Sky Club is now open at the A Gates of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The space seats 250 guests, complementing the carrier’s existing Sky Club in JFK’s B Gates which seats 550.
The new lounge is a stylish addition that continues Delta’s race of adding new luxury clubs. Hopefully the new lounge will help reduce chronic clutter at the existing location.