Review: Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport

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Welcome to the start of my next trip report, where I’ll have several more installments uploaded over the coming days, as I’m writing this report “live.”

I was in San Diego prior to flying to London this weekend, so booked a separate ticket from San Diego to Los Angeles on Delta, prior to catching my Delta flight from Los Angeles to London.

I had some stuff to take care of in LA during the day, so took a flight from San Diego to Los Angeles at 10:50AM. I got to San Diego Airport at around 9:30AM, and figured I’d check out the Delta SkyClub.

Security took just minutes (and the ID checker may have been the nicest TSA employee I’ve ever come across), at which point I found myself airside.

The Delta SkyClub is conveniently located just past the security checkpoint.

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San Diego Airport airside terminal

Once past security you’ll see the “Sunset Cove” dining area.

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San Diego Airport Sunset Cove dining

To the right of that you’ll see an escalator, which takes you up to the Delta SkyClub and United Club.

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Escalator to Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport

At the top of the escalator, the Delta SkyClub is located to the right, while the United Club is located to the left.

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Signage for Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport

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Entrance to Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport

The lounge is still pretty new, so has all of Delta’s “signature” SkyClub decor and branding. While I technically could have accessed the lounge based on my same day business class boarding pass to London, that was on a separate reservation which I hadn’t yet checked in for, so I figured it was easier to just present The Platinum Card® from American Express, which comes with SkyClub access when flying Delta the same day.

The associate at the front desk was friendly, and asked if I had been to the SkyClub before. When I said I hadn’t been to this one, she explained the location of the restrooms, that there was a breakfast buffet setup in the back right of the lounge, etc. I thought that was a nice touch, and it’s not something I’m usually asked at American Admirals Clubs.

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Entrance to Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport

Past the reception desk is the main indoor seating area. That consists of an area with a few dozen “traditional” lounge style seats on the carpeted section of the lounge.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport seating

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport seating

Across from that is the bar area, which features high-top seating, dining table seating, and even some booths.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport bar area

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport bar area

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport bar area

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport

Next to that was the terrace, which was “open air” within the terminal. It was a gorgeous space, with both high-top seating and rocking chairs.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport terrace

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport terrace

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport terrace rocking chairs

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport terrace view

If you continued walking down the terrace there was a section with some more high-top seating and a small business center with a printer and some computer chairs.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport business center

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport business center

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport business center

Then at the very end of the lounge were the restrooms.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport restrooms

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport restrooms

As seems to be the norm at SkyClubs, the restrooms had red tiles. The lounge doesn’t have showers, though I can’t imagine that’s really necessary at an airport without many longhaul or connecting passengers.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport restrooms

Back inside was the breakfast buffet, which is where Delta really blows away the domestic competition.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport breakfast spread

First of all, they had both Starbucks drip coffee, and then also a Starbucks espresso machine should you want a latte, etc.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport coffee

As far as lounge coffee machines go, this type is my absolute favorite, as I find the beverages on offer are actually drinkable.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport coffee machine

If you like your coffee on the sugary side, they also have several syrups.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport syrups

In terms of food, the SkyClub had a few types of bagels, mini-muffins, and “muesli morning rounds,” whatever those are.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport breakfast spread

Then there was Chobani greek yogurt, both blueberry and strawberry flavored.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport breakfast spread

Then there were three types of cereal and oatmeal (though unfortunately there was no granola, which is my “go to” breakfast item).

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport breakfast spread

And then there were hard boiled eggs.

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Delta SkyClub San Diego Airport breakfast spread

The wifi throughout the lounge was fast and it wasn’t crowded at all. I only spent about 15 minutes in the lounge, before I decided to go elsewhere.

Delta SkyClub San Diego bottom line

As much as I’m an American loyalist, I’m not blind. Delta SkyClubs really are a notch above the competition. In this particular lounge the staff were friendly, the decor was tasteful, the furniture was well maintained, there were a variety of seating areas including a nice terrace, and the food selection was as good as it gets in a US airline lounge.

For an outstation domestic lounge, I don’t think it gets much better than the Delta SkyClub in San Diego.

Kudos to Delta!

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Interestingly, I think I had Chobani at the Admirals’ Club in BOS in August. Admittedly, that’s less of an outstation, but still, I was surprised at AA’s refreshed breakfast offerings (they also had bagels, fruit, etc.)

  2. Best thing of all, is many frequent travelers already have the Amex Platinum Card, so Delta lounges are free to the card holder, if flying Delta that day.

  3. I was also recently at the BOS Admirals Club, in June, and I have to say I was also pleasantly surprised by what they had on offer. They had Chobani when I was there as well, a variety of warm and cold snacks as well as two soup choices which were both great.

    The girl at the front desk was great as well. Very warm and welcoming. On a side note, I had lost my Prestige card somewhere in Iceland and was worried I wouldn’t be able to get in but she informed me that my access is noted in my Aadvantage account. Not quite sure how they know this since I don’t seem to recall giving my AA # when I signed up for the card, I don’t have any Citi AA cards and I didn’t pay for that flight with my Prestige. Anyone know? Maybe she misspoke and is simply able to look up by name anyone who has access to the clubs?

    The bartender on duty, on the other hand, I found to be rather hostile.

  4. @Lucky: tangentially related, and possibly answered in another post, but out of practical curiosity, where do you credit your Delta flights when you fly? I generally try to avoid them whenever possible but sometimes, they’re the best option (like when I’m flying to Detroit).

  5. The San Diego club is definitely one of the best and least known clubs in the SkyClub system. The terrace with rocking chairs is a terrific feature. For some reason, I don’t think I have ever seen this unique feature promoted in delta literature or ads. I think the terrace gets better utilization than the highly touted Skydecks.

    Delta seems to be offsetting some of the needed improvements at SkyClubs by raising the price of membership and saving money by switching to even more inferior free alcohol. Delta is even sticking it to their top-tier elites and delta Amex cardholders (platinum or reserve) who used to get a complimentary annual membership that included guests and family. Now Diamond medallions and Amex card holders with lounge access get personal access but must pay $29 per person per visit for up to two guests or immediate family. Those who purchase a membership must pay about $250 more per year for the privilege of being able to bring in up to two guests or immediate family without an additional charge. In comparison, to get the same guest access, an AA elite can pay a reduced amount to join the Admirals club, or get either the Citi AA Executive Master Card or the Citi Prestige card both of which include lounge access for the cardholder and immediate family under 18 or two guests.

  6. @Bobby, I bet Lucky usually credits to Alaska MileagePlan but if he ever wants to fly on the new Le Premier, he’d better be crediting to FlyingBlue. It takes a minimum of 15 FB segments for status to redeem a boatload of miles for La Premier. Or you could pay the usual $15k price for an F ticket.

  7. @john — Delta has reverted to serving better quality spirits (i.e., Stolichnaya vodka, Bombay gin, Bacardi rum, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Cutty Sark blended Scotch whisky, and Baileys Irish Cream), local craft beers, and a drinkable selection of red and white wines in its Sky Clubs. American and United’s complimentary offerings simply do not compare.

  8. @Mark S, That is a step up for Skyclub house liquor. There have been some improvements to go along with increased costs of Skyclub membership.

  9. In MSP, SkyClub even has bakery quality bagels at this point, and as pointed out, the beer selections are now outstanding at every club I’ve been to recently. I don’t recall an airline so clearly reversing course and really increasing quality like this. Of course, Gary has not commented…..unless I missed it.

  10. Hi Lucky! You should try the United Club next door to this lounge in SAN sometime, its one of United’s newly remodeled clubs and has much better seating and is a larger space. They will soon have Illy coffee, which is a top of the line cup of joe. I do like the greek yogurt options there at the DL one though. I would be happy to guest you in anytime for a comparison! 🙂

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