Review: Delta SkyClub Terminal 4 JFK Airport

Introduction
KLM World Business Class 747 Los Angeles To Amsterdam
KLM Crown Lounge Amsterdam Airport (Schengen-side)
Air Europa Club Business 737 Amsterdam To Madrid
Apartments Vs. Hotels In Madrid (And Elsewhere)
Air France Business Class A321 Madrid To Paris
Air France Business Class Lounge Paris Charles DeGaulle Airport
Air France Business Class 777 Paris To New York
Delta SkyClub New York JFK Airport
Delta One (née BusinessElite) 757 New York To Los Angeles


We landed in Terminal 1 at JFK, and surprisingly arrived to a nearly empty immigration hall.  In fact, while there was almost no line at all for passport control, almost every one of the dozens of Global Entry kiosks was in use.  I swiped my passport through Global Entry fairly quickly, though, only to end up in a line waiting for a customs agent to stamp our passports (a process which I don’t recall having gone through before with Global Entry).  In any event, I noticed some of the passengers without Global Entry getting through immigration before we did, which I thought was amusing.

Transiting JFK is almost as good of an idea as transiting Charles de Gaulle (which is to say, it’s not a very good idea), because after waiting in line at customs, and then again for the AirTrain to take me to Terminal 4, I then had to wait a good 15-20 minutes to get through security, even in the SkyPriority lane (since it appears international itineraries aren’t eligible for TSA PreCheck, at least in my experience).

Once through security, I headed toward the Delta SkyClub, which was located next to my gate, B33.  I saw signs for a shuttle bus toward those gates, which I thought was odd.

And then I started walking toward B33.  The B Concourse of Terminal 4 must be ten miles long.  By the time I finally got to the Delta SkyClub, I was drenched in sweat from the combination of an eight and a half hour flight, a long security line and a haul to the gate.

JFK's enormous Terminal 4
JFK’s enormous Terminal 4

The SkyClub was fairly empty by this time of the evening (around 7:45pm), so I headed straight for the shower area, which was massive.  The shower attendant walked me to my room and showed me around.  The shower room was relatively huge, and nicely outfitted.  Next to the shower was a chair on which the attendant had placed individually wrapped shampoo, conditioner, and soap, which was a nice touch compared to the wall pumps I’ve seen elsewhere.

Delta SkyClub shower room
Delta SkyClub shower room
Delta SkyClub shower room
Delta SkyClub shower room
Delta SkyClub shower room
Delta SkyClub shower room

Feeling especially refreshed after a long shower and a change into (fashion-forward, I promise!) loungewear appropriate for a late night flight, I explored the SkyClub, which was enormous, and had tons of seating areas.

Delta SkyClub JFK Terminal 4
Delta SkyClub JFK Terminal 4
Delta SkyClub JFK Terminal 4
Delta SkyClub JFK Terminal 4

There was a bar with standard, complimentary options as well as the “luxury bar” options you pay for, typical of SkyClubs elsewhere.

Delta SkyClub at JFK Terminal 4
Delta SkyClub at JFK Terminal 4

The food spread was also fairly standard for SkyClubs in the evening.  Two soups were offered, as well as a curried couscous, and an assortment of fresh fruit, vegetables, snacks, dips, cookies, and the like.  There was also a menu of main courses and heavier dishes that you could pay for.

Food spread
Food spread

A TV room was just beyond, which was a nice touch and worked to keep the majority of the lounge quiet from the noise of babbling CNN anchors.

I knew that the SkyClub had featured an innovative rooftop deck, so after poking around a little I wandered upstairs, and saw that despite it being past 8pm and well below 50 degrees outside, it was open.  Not a soul was out there, and I wasn’t dressed for the outdoors, either, but I snapped a picture.  It looked like a lovely place to be in good weather, and I was impressed that it was open at night.

Roof deck
Roof deck

Around 8:30pm, I headed downstairs and just next door to the gate to board my DeltaOne flight to Los Angeles, my final leg home.

Delta SkyClub Terminal 4 Bottom Line

The main Delta SkyClub at Kennedy Airport is hugely impressive, and ranks up there with the best domestic airline lounges I’ve ever seen.  Spacious and well-staffed, I can imagine it being a respite even during the busiest peak travel times.  The food and drink spread were the standard offerings for SkyClubs, but it should be noted that the complimentary food, at least, is a notch above what you’d find at Admirals Clubs or United Clubs.  The real draw is the rooftop deck, which I’m eager to check out during the day in good weather, when I imagine it is a spectacular place to have a drink, do work and watch the world go by.

The American Express Centurion Lounges are still several notches above this SkyClub, but otherwise, the Terminal 4 SkyClub has few peers as far as domestic lounges go.  If you’re flying Delta out of JFK and have access to the lounge, you should absolutely avail yourself of it, especially on a nice day when you can hang out on the roof.

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Comments

  1. I think the one other domestic club (of the big 3) that measures up to the Skyclub in JFK is the Star Alliance Club in TBIT at LAX.

  2. Recommendations on ‘fashion forward loungewear’? Would much rather change in a lounge preflight than cram into a lavatory after boarding.

  3. @Marco: right, but isn’t that really an international club in the US? I mean, the Qantas and Emirates lounges at LAX and the Virgin Clubhouse at JFK are fantastic, but I was trying to compare the Terminal 4 SkyClub to clubs domestic passengers can use. Only real competition are the Centurion Lounges (which, to be fair, blow away any Delta, United or American offerings).

  4. @SPC: well, this was my first time dressing down for boarding (I’ve changed in the lav on international redeyes). I have some Alternative Apparel fitted sweatpants that look good and certainly feel comfy. Not that I came close to replicating Ben’s airport pajama incident, but only after I’d made my way downstairs and to the gate did I notice that the pants, didn’t give me quite the, uh, crotchal support that might have been appropriate for public consumption… I felt a little like Jon Hamm.

  5. I flew your exact itenerary home from Europe a few months ago. In my experience, that one included, all you need to do to get pre-check for your domestic legs is run up to the ticket counter and have them reprint your boarding passes. I imagine you had an airfrace consolidated boarding pass or something and that’s why precheck wasn’t available. The lady at the ticket counter was able to just reprint mine with pre-check and I sped right through!

  6. So the executive summary of all this reads: You drink too much but can’t quite cope and you have a large penis. No wonder Ben likes you.

  7. @Samuel001

    maybe it’s too early in the morning but i read the article twice and i don’t get it… where does the large penis comment come from?

  8. @Lantean: yes, the marketing act by Nick The Humongous Dic* has been very subtly been hidden in his own comments. It’s a gay thing I think. Ben would perhaps be better at explaining this.

    “Nick says:
    April 22, 2015 at 9:19 pm
    @SPC: well, this was my first time dressing down for boarding (I’ve changed in the lav on international redeyes). I have some Alternative Apparel fitted sweatpants that look good and certainly feel comfy. Not that I came close to replicating Ben’s airport pajama incident, but only after I’d made my way downstairs and to the gate did I notice that the pants, didn’t give me quite the, uh, crotchal support that might have been appropriate for public consumption… I felt a little like Jon Hamm”.

  9. I prefer the newer Delta Skyclubs over the Centurion Lounge. I find the Centurion Lounge to be extremely crowded and cramped. This JFK Lounge and Delta’ Terminal C Lounge at Laguardia are both more comfortable, IMO. In addition, I didn’t think the signature fried chicken at the Centurion Lounge was all that. Decent drinks though.

  10. Nick; great retort against Samuel001. That guy needs to develop a sense of humor, or get a pump if something else is bothering him. I enjoy your writing, so keep it up.

  11. Once (flying DL), the only leg of my itinerary that I got a PRECHK notice printed on my boarding pass was an inbound international departure. Not much use in ICN . . .

  12. The T4 club is delta’s version of an international business/first -class lounge. I’d rate this club and the E club at ATL (which was delta’s ATL international lounge before Terminal F) as the best clubs in delta’s system. The vast majority of comments by international business-class passengers on airline lounge-review sites dump on the T4 club big time. While some aspects of the T4 club exceed the standard of the average Admiral’s Club, I would not put it in the class of a Flagship Lounge, which is the niche I think the T4 lounge is trying to fill.

  13. Maybe it’s just the photos, but the lighting seems rather harsh. Bright, cool white, no table/floor lamps. It looks more like a nicer hospital waiting room than a place to relax.

  14. Have you been to AF lounge at JFK T1? JFK isn’t quite an AF hub yet their lounge puts every DL hub lounge to shame.

  15. They may cater to Delta frequentl flyers but not handicapped friendly Too long of a walk for me to bagge pick up

  16. @Ben The AF lounge in T1 is nothing special whatsoever. Dinky little lounge with tiny bathroom area, pathetic drink selection, not much sitting area, and no other amenities or lounge attendants. Not sure how you think it comes close to the T4 SkyClub. You must be confusing it with another lounge.

  17. BTW, as someone who can’t eat the hot food (or almost all the food) in any lounge or airline, it’s amazing how different lounge and airline reviews are if you leave the food out.

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