There must be a new saying in the airline business: you can’t have too many airport lounges.
Delta Air Lines, whose airport clubs last year experienced big crowds and long waits to get in, is expanding its lounge options, most notably at its stronghold at Kennedy Airport.
Today Delta will christen its second Sky Club lounge located in JFK’s Terminal 4, where it has consolidated all of its operations at the airport. Located near Gate A7, the new lounge is part of a recently-opened 10-gate concourse that is picking up the slack from the recent shuttering of Delta’s much smaller Terminal 2.
At 14,000 square feet, it can accommodate 250 customers -- about half the capacity of Delta’s other Sky Club at the terminal, situated on T4’s Concourse B. Together, the two facilities will have the capacity for over 800 guests simultaneously. Both offer Sky Deck patios for outdoor seating and views of the airfield.
The newer club offers some distinctive features, including a 360-degree premium bar, along with a copious buffet with menu items designed with input from local chefs.
Claude Roussel, Delta Sky Club managing director, told TMR he is optimistic that the second facility will help ease a much-publicized lounge crunch, which has periodically gone viral on social media as frustrated fliers post photos of long lines to get inside. He noted that Delta is offering more than 230 daily departures this summer at JFK and demand for international flights is booming.
So it’s no surprise that there’s yet another JFK lounge on the drawing board for JFK, he pointed out. Slated to open sometime next year, this club will be the first in a planned series of more elite oases reserved for Delta One business class passengers. Hence, it is not likely to experience long queues of non-premium fliers hoping to get past the velvet rope.
And, at about 38,000 square feet, it will outclass most other lounges in sheer size alone. While further details remain under wraps, including who will be granted access, "the experience will really be elevated,” Roussel said. The JFK opening will be followed by a second Delta One club in Los Angeles, probably in mid-2024.
Roussel said that growing the Sky Club network is a priority, now that air travel has bounced back from pandemic lows.
The airline currently operates 56 Sky Clubs; with the exception of its location at Tokyo Haneda, all are located in the U.S. The airline is planning to open additional Sky Club lounges in Boston Logan and Newark Liberty in addition to expanding existing clubs in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Atlanta. It recently opened a third Sky Club at its Minneapolis hub, and another one at Kansas City, where it is the only airline lounge at the recently transformed airport.