First Look: Delta’s Gorgeous New SkyClub At SeaTac Airport

Delta’s $21 million new SkyClub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport opens to the public today between Concourses A & B, and at 21,000 square feet, not only is it enormous, but it’s a stunner.

Delta SkyClub Seattle entrance

Delta SkyClub Seattle entrance

This club supplements and largely supplants Delta’s existing SkyClub in the South Satellite gates at Sea-Tac.

I was invited to the opening preview yesterday, and it’s clear Delta is very proud of this particular SkyClub. And they have every right to be. The new-ish SkyClub at SFO is pretty roundly regarded as wonderful. The new Seattle SkyClub is another league above.

Words won’t do it justice, so I tried to include as many pictures as possible, though of course the uniquely Pacific Northwest mix of gloom with bursts of sunshine doesn’t quite let on just how airy the space is.

Delkta SkyClub Seattle

Delkta SkyClub Seattle

It’s a two story SkyClub, although the second story is more of an elevated mezzanine, with the majority of the club opened up to cathedral-style ceilings and a wall of angled windows two stories high. It almost feels like an airport terminal in and of itself, rather than a separate club.

Delta SkyClub Seattle

Delta SkyClub Seattle

What makes this SkyClub so special?

Well, for one, the spa, which is in partnership with Asanta Spa, allows you to get a massage or facial or other treatment on your layover (at a cost). The club’s shower rooms shoot off from the spa, and I have to say they’re impressive. I don’t doubt that they won’t be replicated in other SkyClubs, but my guess is Delta is attempting to introduce the future of its SkyClubs, and I’m really pleased.

Delta SkyClub Seattle spa

Delta SkyClub Seattle spa

Delta SkyClub Seattle spa retail area

Delta SkyClub Seattle spa retail area

The showers feel elegant, and have individual bottles of Malin + Goetz toiletries, along with Westin-branded towels. It certainly feels more like a hotel bathroom than an airport bathroom, which is always a plus.

Delta SkyClub Seattle shower room

Delta SkyClub Seattle shower room

Delta SkyClub Seattle shower room

Delta SkyClub Seattle shower room

Delta SkyClub Seattle shower room

Delta SkyClub Seattle shower room

Delta SkyClub Seattle shower room

Delta SkyClub Seattle shower room

Delta SkyClub Seattle shower room

Delta SkyClub Seattle shower room

The bathrooms are spacious, well designed and elegant, with decorative glass walls that seem to have been designed by an artist. In fact, Delta is quite proud of the art collection in the Delta SkyClub, and while it might not be to everyone’s (read: my) taste, it’s at least a commendable effort.

Delta SkyClub Seattle restroom detail

Delta SkyClub Seattle restroom detail

Delta SkyClub Seattle men's restroom

Delta SkyClub Seattle men’s restroom

Delta SkyClub Seattle

Delta SkyClub Seattle

The Seattle SkyClub has a variety of seating arrangements which are fairly novel, some of which look more inviting than they might actually be, but I have to say that this particular SkyClub has a seat which I’m absolutely obsessed with: it’s basically a land-side version of a business class pod, a leather recliner with an ottoman, a flannel-padded privacy shield, a spacious wood console for drinks, food, and such, and a swing-out desk and tray table for your computer, with integrated outlets. In full disclosure, I wrote these words from the comfort of that seat, and I was fully happy with it.

Delta SkyClub Seattle seating

Delta SkyClub Seattle seating

Delta SkyClub Seattle seating

Delta SkyClub Seattle seating

Delta SkyClub Seattle seating

Delta SkyClub Seattle seating

Delta SkyClub Seattle seating

Delta SkyClub Seattle seating

Delta SkyClub Seattle seatnig

Delta SkyClub Seattle seating

Delta SkyClub Seattle "pod" seat

Delta SkyClub Seattle “pod” seat

As for the food and beverage options, it’s typical upgraded SkyClub fare — which is to say, light meals, salads, soups and such — with some local Pacific Northwest offerings, including a to-die-for penne mac and cheese from Beecher’s, a Pike Place Market-based cheese shop here in Seattle. With optional bacon and green onion toppings, I must admit: I gained 5 pounds from my experience here.

Delta SkyClub Seattle food offerings

Delta SkyClub Seattle food offerings

Delta SkyClub Seattle food offerings

Delta SkyClub Seattle food offerings

Delta SkyClub Seattle food offerings

Delta SkyClub Seattle food offerings

Delta SkyClub Seattle food offerings

Delta SkyClub Seattle food offerings

Bottom Line

Well, I don’t think there’s any argument this is heads-and-tails better than the existing SkyClub at the S-Gates or, for that matter, any of the Alaska Airlines Board Rooms in Seattle. More to the point, this beats the American Express Centurion Studio just a few doors away by a country mile. Prior to my visit to the SkyClub here, I spent about an hour at the Centurion Studio, which was cramped and overcrowded. The food and beverage options were more varied and superior at the SkyClub, and the SkyClub is probably ten times as large.

It’s worth noting American Express is in the process of building out a large, bona fide Centurion Lounge at Sea-Tac more along the lines of their luxe Dallas and Las Vegas clubs, but even then, I’d have a hard time saying the new SkyClub at Sea-Tac wouldn’t be superior.

Between the SkyClub at SFO and the new SkyClub at Sea-Tac, I’m fully on board with and impressed by Delta’s new direction with its lounges. Yes, they may have limited the number of people who can gain entry, but the trade off is a lounge like no other in the United States.

As far as domestic lounges go, I’d put the Seattle SkyClub up against the DFW Centurion Lounge. The Centurion Lounge offers complimentary cocktails and high-end wines, while Delta offers the basics for free with fancier drinks for a fee. Food-wise, it’s a draw, and this space just feels so much more spacious and elegant than any other domestic lounge I’ve seen.

About Nick

Nick brings the perspective of the infrequent but savvy traveler who finds that getting there is actually less than half the fun, but you might as well fly business class on the way and get a good night's sleep. Despite a relatively sparse portfolio of flown miles and hotel stays per year that would never otherwise qualify for status, Nick manages to leverage credit cards, promotions and points to secure elite status and increase his chances for that sought-after upgrade.

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Comments

  1. Delta continues to invest in SEA. Good for Delta and for the people of Seattle. I still continue to question the ability to operate a hub out of this market given it being in the corner of the country.

    either way, lounge looks great and i hope they replicate this and their other hubs.

  2. It looks like Delta has taken a few lounge-building classes from their friends at Virgin Atlantic — the couch around the round table with little armrest things that have plugs in them look very similar to the design of the London Clubhouse. When Delta bought their stake in Virgin a lot of people worried that the lounge design tips might flow in the other direction, so glad to see so far that hasn’t been the case.

    It’s only a shame that there is such a wide range in Sky Club quality. It’s clear from the new SFO and SEA clubs that Delta has decided to take a step up from the previous Ikea-esque furniture design, and yet many major clubs (including the ones at JFK and LGA) were renovated not long ago in the Ikea format, so it may be quite a while before they get upgraded to the latest specs. Not to mention that there are still quite a few clubs in designs that date back to before the DL-NW merger (from both sides), though at least presumably many of those are in line to be upgraded soon.

  3. As soon as Delta finishes off Alaska Air, things will go down hill except for prices which will go up hill. .

    However, Seattle folks can still get a free donut until the end of the month.

  4. You got scooped by View From The Wing even though he wasn’t actually there. Haha. Better be quicker next time…

  5. I would say quite an upgrade from when we were in there last year. The food options were really limited: I think it was basically a small salad bar and soup. I think all we had was a small plate of crudités and a little bowl of soup.

  6. “As for the food and beverage options, it’s typical upgraded SkyClub fare”

    Aka snack towers of sadness, broken chips-ahoy, and pay-for cocktails.

    I’d wager once the new Centurion lounge opens up it’ll blow this out of the water.

  7. I’d prefer to see Delta lose in Seattle, and someone else take over that lounge.
    Even though I fly Delta a lot, Alaska is better.

  8. Actually now that I think about it, the existing Centurion there is just a Studio version.
    They should have a lounge that big.

    Or even better, Chase could decide to open another battlefront with AmEx and start
    opening their own independent lounges. I’d love it if my Reserve card started giving
    me access to some swank Chase lounge!

  9. The SkyClub looks great from your pics. Really great. I cannot wait to try it out.

    But … what the heck happened to the brand new SkyClub @ ATL Terminal B? That club just seems to have been designed wrong – regarding space, atmosphere, overly bright sunshine, etc. DL should have just borrowed the designers from the SEA club to do the ATL TB club!

  10. Given Nick’s heavy bias as a DL Fanboy, I looked at the pictures as he lost me after the first superlative. Other than perhaps the showers I don’t find anything here extraordinary and have been in far better lounges than this.

    Nice try Nick.

  11. DL needs to stop outsourcing lounge workers and bring them all back (or preferably hire new ones that actually interact with people) as employees. I have no doubt the food is as low-quality here as at the other new locations because it’s mass-produced with cheap ingredients. There’s no comparison to the deliciousness of Centurion; it’s as if DL execs have never even visited the competition. While it’s great that DL continues to improve the physical offerings, they could really stand to focus on the basics.

  12. Spa costs money, and only snacks for food. And we’re supposed to be excited? Please take me to Asia already.

  13. The food is underwhelming. I have never flown Delta. After seeing all the bad reviews online, a new lounge won’t make me want to fly with them. I’d rather fly with Southwest, which has no lounge, but is superior in service and flexible with changes. Delta needs to step up their game in order to win customers, not this.

  14. I had the pleasure of visiting it today, their first public day. Cute Space Needle chocolate boxes upon entry, great food selection on par with European lounges. Greek chicken salad, Asian noodle salad, Israeli lemon couscous, vegetarian chili, the famous Mac and Cheese, and several other offerings–but surprisingly no dessert except some OK cookies…choc chip and maple oatmeal. My new favorite airline lounge (outside of Star alliance at LAX and of course Centurion elsewhere). I like this place even more than JFK’s Flagship Lounge. Alaska has some serious catching up to do with their “Bored Room”…

  15. $21 million on one lounge?! Where do you get that figure from, I can’t see it in the press release linked. To me it seems a very high amount.

  16. But…but…but…where’s the Barney Purple everywhere? Not even one scrap of it! Given the uniforms, the entire lounge should have bright purple & red splashed all over everything, like a clown vomiting after eating too much of the cheap crap most SkyClubs try to pass off as food.

    @DannyD: Hell no. Delta’s not going to open their lounges up to a competitor. Delta wants to sell its own memberships to its own lounges @ $700/year or $60 per visit, without even the courtesy of a reach-around or Vasoline.

  17. Great for the folks in Seattle and San Francisco but what about the rest of us?

    I’m begging Delta to reconsider its food offerings at its clubs. The chicken salad is not good and the soups, although very good are getting old. During the summer, who wants soup when it is 90 degrees outside? And let’s not talk about the breakfast choices.

  18. The whole Sky Club food experience reminds of motels that provide “free” breakfast. It’s like DL has just extended the concept all day. Much like the lodging offerings (Hyatt House omelet bar, I’m looking at you), some of it even sounds good (but simply isn’t).

  19. My wife and I paid $3,500 for a return 1. class ticket from Orlando and were denied access to the lounge. To bad.
    B&R

  20. Nick, any idea if I’m allowed access to the Skyclub on a PEK-SEA-SNA itinerary, where the PEK-SEA leg is Delta One, but the SEA-SNA leg is Alaska F? The admittance policy seems to suggest same day international Delta One connecting to another Delta flight would work, but not if connecting to AK I’m guessing?

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