Review: Delta ONE Lounge Los Angeles LAX

Filed Under: Delta


I went on a four-day jaunt to New York a couple of weeks ago, in part to visit friends and in part because, in my quest to qualify for Diamond Medallion status this year, I wanted to take advantage of relatively affordable roundtrip business class fares between Los Angeles and New York (under the $1,200 mark) which would net me a fair amount of Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) for my qualification bank.

I’d flown Delta One before between JFK and LAX on the 757, and in fact reviewed it here as part of a larger trip report. At the time, I was blown away by the hard and soft products that Delta offered on its signature transcontinental route.

This itinerary would be on a 767-300ER rather than on Delta’s transcon 757, so I was interested in comparing and contrasting the two products, since they are materially different. It would also let me enter the terminal through the Delta ONE Lounge at LAX in Terminal 5, which I’d seen before but hadn’t experienced as an incoming passenger.

Tiffany also suggested that I might want to write about my on-the-ground experience in New York for interested readers. I stayed at a friend’s apartment, so I can’t offer any insight into either hotels or Airbnb-style lodging, but I was able to get valuable perspective on getting around New York that I hadn’t before thanks to the surge of alternative transportation methods like Airtrain, Uber, and Citibike, so I wanted to share my thoughts on navigating the five boroughs.

The Delta ONE Lounge at LAX

I had a relatively early morning flight out of Los Angeles (with a 7:30am departure), so being groggy and underslept I didn’t especially want to maximize my time at the airport. I took an Uber, which dropped me off at the Delta One entrance at the very westernmost end of Terminal 5 (close to Terminal 4, basically). If you’re flying Delta One, it’s worth mentioning this in advance to your cab or Uber driver, because if he or she takes the cut-through on World Way to Terminals 5 and 6, he or she will have to immediately merge to the rightmost lane of World Way (when you rejoin it) in order to drop you off at the designated area.

Delta ONE Lounge at LAX curbside entrance
Delta ONE Lounge at LAX curbside entrance

There was a security attendant outside the front doors who checked my boarding pass and name before I could enter the doors to the Delta ONE Lounge. Once my credentials were confirmed, I entered into the lounge space — really, more of a check-in area — to check it out.

Delta ONE Lounge at LAX entryway
Delta ONE Lounge at LAX entryway
Delta ONE Lounge at LAX
Delta ONE Lounge at LAX

The Delta ONE Lounge really is magnificent, and is certainly a civilized place to check in, and check your luggage in advance of the flight. In this day and age when you’ve likely already checked in online beforehand and you may be traveling with carryons only, the purpose seems less immediate, but it’s still a great portal to flying Delta One, as it certainly sets a tone.

Check in table at Delta ONE Lounge at LAX, repurposed from an old airplane wing
Check in table at Delta ONE Lounge at LAX, repurposed from an old airplane wing

I essentially used the Delta ONE Lounge to kill 20 minutes before boarding, since I didn’t especially feel the need to check out the Sky Club again for the zillionth time, and the serenity of the Delta ONE Lounge is undeniable. There’s a great, inviting seating area next to a food and drink display, and I hung out there for a while before boarding.

Delta ONE Lounge
Delta ONE Lounge
Delta ONE Lounge
Delta ONE Lounge

The food and drink display is actually fairly nice for a check-in lounge — they had a wide variety of “designer” waters and juices, as well as yogurt, granola bars, fresh fruit, cookies and the like.

Delta ONE Lounge at LAX food display
Delta ONE Lounge at LAX food display

I grabbed a San Pellegrino water. The seating areas were accessorized with Porsche-branded magazines, in keeping with the co-branding between Delta and Porsche.

Delta ONE Lounge seating
Delta ONE Lounge seating

Ben, who recently used the Sky Club at LAX, had previously bitched to me in one of his typical anti-Delta rants that he had to “pay for water” at the Sky Club, meaning that because he was too snobby to drink the plentiful, complimentary filtered water or ask for a club soda from the bartender, he had to pay $3 for a Pellegrino. I submit to Ben that at the Delta ONE Lounge at LAX, his precious San Pellegrino was not only free of charge, but plentiful.

Delta ONE Lounge refreshments
Delta ONE Lounge refreshments
Delta ONE Lounge refreshments
Delta ONE Lounge refreshments

In fact, he would have had his choice between San Pellegrino and Perrier, the “Dom or Krug?” dilemma of the teetotaling set.

At this point, it’s worth pointing out what the Delta ONE Lounge at LAX is good for, and what it’s not good for. It’s great if you’ve hustled to the airport and need a few minutes to unwind or get your bearings before moving on to security. It’s great if you just want to chill in peace before your flight rather than deal with crowds in the terminal or in the Sky Club lounge.

What it’s, frankly, not great for are two things that are easy fixes for Delta to make:

  • There’s no Wifi (as far as I could ascertain), so don’t rely on the Delta ONE Lounge to get any work done. Frustratingly, the lounge is located in a bunker-like area of the airport complex with very poor cell phone reception, so it really made even basic internet browsing on my phone quite difficult. This is a no-brainer, Delta: add some Wifi.
  • Perhaps even more frustratingly, at 6:45 in the morning there was no coffee available in the Delta ONE Lounge. None; just cold beverages. How hard can it be to add a hot coffee machine?

My only thought is that Delta really wants customers to use the Delta ONE Lounge at LAX as a brief waystation, not as an alternative to the Sky Club, and by withholding Wifi and coffee it can encourage its clientele to move on past security. Certainly, I was for nearly my entire time in the lounge the only passenger there, and I’d imagine that was by design. With “enticements” (or necessities, as I view them) such as coffee or Wifi, passengers would be encouraged to linger, which would chip away at the Zen-like atmosphere Delta had in mind for its Delta ONE Lounge.

Before heading to security, I used the individual restrooms. The restrooms are enormous.

Delta ONE Lounge restroom
Delta ONE Lounge restroom
Delta ONE Lounge restroom
Delta ONE Lounge restroom

In contrast to its Sky Clubs, which use Isaac Mizrahi-branded toiletries, the Delta ONE Lounge at LAX has upscale Malin + Goetz hand soaps and lotions.

To get to security from the Delta ONE Lounge, you can take the elevator or private stairs up one level and walk through private hallways to a separate Sky Priority security channel separated from the rest of the terminal. However, TSA PreCheck-credentialed travelers don’t have a dedicated PreCheck lane in this security channel, and have to go through the main PreCheck lanes in Terminal 5, which are close by.

Bottom Line

The Delta ONE Lounge at LAX is certainly a welcome addition to Terminal 5. It’s sleek and loaded with lots of amenities… though, in my mind, shockingly devoid of some basic amenities like Wifi and hot coffee. While I suspect that may be by design, to keep the lounge from becoming a campground for Delta One passengers, it also seems rather short-sighted, as these are two basic amenities most Delta One passengers would expect right off the bat as part of the “enhanced” experience.

Personally, I enjoyed that the lounge was quiet, serene and tasteful and it was a relaxing place to spend a few minutes before heading through security and into the relative madness of Terminal 5. I would certainly use the Delta ONE Lounge again to decompress upon arriving at LAX, but it’s not meant to be a replacement for the Sky Club, which has the hot coffee, Wifi and, frankly, alcohol that most Delta One passengers might be looking for before their flight.

  1. @Steve: No, you have to be flying Delta One either LAX-JFK or long haul internationally (basically Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo or London) in order to use the Delta ONE check in area.

  2. @Dan Diversky: This is more of a check-in lounge than a club. It’s supposed to be where you relax before you head to security via a private channel. The SkyClub in Terminal 5 is where you’d go post-security. Hope that clears it up!

  3. I’ll be flying through LAX on a DL award ticket, business class Korean Air connecting to DL domestic first class. Can we use the DL One check in lounge when we change terminals?

  4. @Nick – Thanks. I never check luggage (voluntarily) or check-in pre-security at the airport so it’s a benefit I would rarely use.

  5. I love your posts. It’s great to get a new perspective other than AA. Really makes me realize how I have wasted my time on United, ugh, but once you have status I feel stuck. Also I really am not a Skyteam fan Star Alliance or One World for me…but I digress from my question: Are all those photos suppose to be sideways?

  6. @Deborah: I think so, based on the terms and conditions on the Delta website that permit Delta ONE Lounge at LAX access to passengers traveling “in international First/Business Class on a SkyTeam-operated flight.” I imagine if you show them your Korean Air boarding pass you’ll be granted entry, but given that you’ll be connecting to Domestic (non-Delta One) First I’m not 100% sure.

  7. @mark: Aw, thanks! As for the sideways photos, it’s an inexplicable mobile quirk. They should load right side up on your computer screen. Damn WordPress…

  8. I do agree with Ben that the water should be free. My amex membership or AA executive card would add so much more value to me if there were bottled waters to grab and go in the lounge. Why this is not an option blows my mind.

  9. @Rob: to be fair, water is free at the SkyClub, but what Ben was lamenting was that San Pellegrino isn’t free.

  10. Security is a fail here.

    American escorts you to the front of the priority line.

    The new UA setup will let Global Services and First also get to the head of the priority line.

  11. Thanks for the review. I’m glad to have someone on my [Delta] side. I don’t really care about miles. I care about the travel experience at hand. I’m not interested in enduring mediocre or sub-par service so that I can bank miles to fly Lufthansa or Cathay first. While it would be nice on occasion, I feel my quality of life is so much higher when the vast majority of my flights leave me happy (or at least satisfied). I’m also consistently impressed by both my premium and economy experiences on Air France and KLM (don’t go to Asia much). You just have to be prepared to insist on priority security and boarding at CDG–no biggie. I’m not as ballsy as you though…I’m sticking to platinum.

    That being said the transcon fares are much more affordable these days, so I’ll be looking to check out the new ground services as well–especially after reading this. Thanks again!

  12. Delta is horrible, and I am not just saying that because of my own personal experiences, which were absolutely legitimately horrible. My bad experiences with Delta were not like your bad experiences on flights because the sirloin you thought was too chewy. I was relying on my flights to get to places and they would not let me board and each of the two times were without any cause, and I have never had a problem like that with any other airline. My problems with Delta are much more fundamental and egregious, and as proof that it wasn’t a fluke I had at Delta, when I called customer service, they did absolutely nothing about it. They didn’t even investigate either incident. It also happened twice in different airports in different countries no less: 5 years ago at JFK and last week at YVR aka Vancouver International Airport in Canada.
    Delta’s customer service is wretched. It is totally worthless, and they just basically say F you.
    OH..I forgot….and waste your time!!!
    I am glad you put in the facts about what you experienced, but your opinions are seriously biased it seems. At Delta’s lounge, which is very hard to get to….there is no WIFI!!!!!!! How is that helpful at all!?!?!?!?!?! Especially at a supposedly exclusive lounge I guess??? Who would think that there wouldn’t be any internet?
    It’s in a hard to get to nook….with spotty cell phone service…
    So no internet and no cell phone usage, except maybe good enough to drive you crazy.
    How is that acceptable?!?!?!??!?! It sounds about right for Delta. Yet you make excuses for them?!?!?!?!
    That’s like going to a really bad restaurant and having them serve rotten food, and you saying it was great, except I have an easy fix for you: order fresh food. Easy fix for the restaurant…. 5 out of 5 stars for sure.
    They must be paying you something…..
    And no coffee….. I am not a giant coffee drinker, but I recognize that others are, and that is not something you have there first thing in the morning?!?!?! It’s mind boggling!
    Oh I just realized this was written by someone named Nick. I just want to say Nick…you suck and you are an idiot.
    I also find it idiotic when you say San Pellegrino or Perrier is the dilemma of the teatotaling set. Maybe you are a faggot, and that is how dumb you think. I don’t think saying Dom or Krug makes you look cool or fancy or important. I think it makes you a jackass, idiot sheep. I also think that teatotaling is a pretty antiquated term and inappropriate. The characterization of either is pretty pathetic and not humorous. It’s like you knowing you are crap and leaning on something like that as a pat on the back to pretend that you are not, and of course it has to be told to other people for you to get any satisfaction which is pretty faggy.
    Maybe someone does not want to drink at 6:45 in the morning and they are actually worth something, and they are not a little pip squeak like you that got into a place that you really shouldn’t be.
    Alcohol does not make better anybody’s life. It deadens you to the world, and it is great if you hate your life. I am an extremely happy person, and I have never drunk practically. There are no health benefits, and it actually causes a lot of pain and suffering to people’s lives, and what’s worse, it often causes pain and suffering to innocent people like children and totally random motorists. You think it would be amusing to readers that you hack the same simple scripts being a dumb American citizen, but I don’t think it’s funny. Alcohol is also just a way for rich people to take advantage of stupid people to take their money among other things.
    I feel like you are kind of a piece of trash. I hope you and people like you stay with Delta, because then I won’t encounter you or people like you.

    P.S. If I were Lucky, and you said the word ‘bitched’ especially complaining about me, I’d cut you out of this site so fast your head would spin. It’s really not the kind of language I wish to read and it has not been something on this site before. Also, I like Ben, and he created this site. He is also right about that, and it shows off what you know.

  13. I took this out at the end before the P.S. and I wish I didn’t. Please insert this: “I hope you get hit by a bus.” hahahaha
    Thanks. hahaha

  14. @john You say you are a happy person. I reality it appears you have a lot of anger and hatred In your life. There was no need for that rant.

    I thought the article was good. It is always helpful to know the limitations of Delta One. I had thought it was like a flagship checking/lounge but it is not meant to compete with the flagship lounge.

  15. @John McIntosh: If you’re as insane in person as you are in your comments, I’m not surprised Delta wouldn’t let you board the plane. Also, complaining that “bitched” is “really not the kind of language I wish to read” while yourself using multiple homophobic slurs is a bit ridiculous.

  16. @Nick – The fail is you get put into the same priority line with every other elite. There is no going to the front of the priority line, or a line dedicated just to the Delta ONE checkin.

    AA doesn’t do this. And UA doesn’t in places where it has proper Global Services check-in (which is coming to LAX).

  17. Well, Pavel, you are a disgrace to your name that you share with a famous hockey player.
    Looks like I’m attracting a lot of angry guys. hahaha Whoops, sorry, that is what Arcanum says. hahaha Whatever kind of name that is.
    Pavel, since you know so well about what happened, please tell me what I did wrong.
    And why not write down your full name?? Surely guys that are so tough, aren’t cowardly enough to hid behind a handle or made up name.
    TEX227- You don’t really love anything, if you don’t really hate.
    I’m sorry some people don’t live a life with some passion and conviction like I do.
    I guess tose people have fun eating gruel.
    And Arcanum, gay people are insane. It was only until recent political correctness that gay people were not officially categorized as mentally ill by the APA, though if you were to care about people in mental wards, you would find out that a lot of them are gay. The guy who killed those two reporters was gay. He was a gay black male prostitute. Gay people are insane, but that doesn’t mean insane people deserve to be treated badly by other people. I am in neither group, and I was not acting insane, but your willingness to be mean and pejorative to people with mental illness, which sometimes those affected can do little about, I guess says what kind of person you are.
    I guess the people who deserve Delta are speaking out.
    Be proud Delta flyers. : ) hahaha

  18. It’s funny that saying that I am a happy person is what really got those people…..hahahahahaha Those people and people who are angry themselves like cops….and maybe red vests at Delta checkin’s. Very unhappy people. The guy in Vancouver at the Delta check in who casually decided that I wasn’t going to be allowed to fly was gay. He wanted me to check in a bag that was half full of a sweatshirt and a couple foods items, and I said I would wear the sweatshirt then and through away/eat the food.
    No one else at the airport thought I was rude at all or anything like that.

  19. I’m glad some of these people hate Delta…I wouldn’t want to be seated next to one of them. Delta consistently moves heaven and earth for me, and on my behalf (some people in my company love to make mistakes on purchasing airfare). I know it’s probably because that every single one of us that travels here is some sort of elite with them, but that’s why we do it.

    John, maybe people are mean to you because you deserve it. Just saying… Keep calling gays faggots…one of these days you’ll fuck with the wrong one…

  20. “Pavel, since you know so well about what happened, please tell me what I did wrong.”

    i’m gonna take a wild guess here and say you were just being you, buddy. have a nice life.

  21. @John “Delta is incredibly cheap, unreliable, and unpleasant to fly with.”

    I have to disagree in the strongest terms with your rant, especially the quoted portion. Delta is in no way cheap. They charge me up the wazoo whenever I need to fly. Try being a hub prisoner sometime.

  22. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” ~ A. Lincoln


    Back on topic — looking forward to Nick’s take on NYC transportation options.

  23. @Nick. Given the slurs that are coming out if Johns mouth I hope you have the wherewithal to block his IP address. When he starts using words like faggot he has crossed the line. The next thing yes gonna say is the N word.

  24. Once again I’m surprised at the lack of policing on this site. You’d think such derogatory terms would’ve raised some red flags by now.

  25. You are everything that is wrong with America. Go Trump!
    You’d think all the rap music put out for the past 25 years would raise some red flags by now.

  26. Obama said ‘nigger’ on public radio….
    Look up Obama on Marc Marron. He’s the president of the United States of America in case you didn’t know.

  27. Just so you know, someone did delete some of my comments.
    I made one saying a lot of different things, and one of those things was that I live in Manhattan, and I can’t wait for what stupid Nick has to say about ground transportation. hahahahaha

  28. I was flying United BUSINESS(not FIRST) from LAX-YVR a while ago. The TSA people actually escorted me to the front of the security line…. I thought this isn’t possible in the USA(I fly in Canada), but it turned out to be possible, at least on UA.

  29. I think there are some delusional people like Ivan and Garret who think every thing that happens to them is because they are not in coach or something. Hahaha
    I think there are some people who read this site who are on something. You are really snooty with your pretend elevation in status. It makes me laugh. Thanks for the giggle.
    I almost don’t want to say things because it is better you believing you got it good.

  30. We have just travelled using Delta One facilities. Flying out from the UK we used the Virgin Premier lounge at Heathrow. Everything was free, including champagne and a full menu of food and buffet. I even had my shoes polished for free (Just a small tip).
    Return flight Delta One lounge Minneapolis. Basic drinks free, anything else use miles or pay. Limited food on paper plates.
    We left the lounge and paid in a public lounge. I don’t think Delta really care about your experience when it comes to the lounges.
    On the flight out, we had Delta One seats rows 5 and 6. These wre booked for outbound and inbound flights. On our return journey we were on rows 7 and 8. When questioned they finally admitted a more regular customer asked for our seats. 4 seats were just uner $20,000

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