Report: Premium Delta One Lounge Coming To JFK

Report: Premium Delta One Lounge Coming To JFK

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For a long time there have been rumors and reports of Delta opening new premium lounges for business class passengers, and it looks like we have another clue of what we could expect there.

36,000 square foot Delta One Lounge coming to JFK

There are major changes happening at JFK, including an expansion to Terminal 4. There was recently an outreach event for Delta Air Lines and the airport, which included one tidbit that travelers might be particularly interested in, as first reported on FlyerTalk. Specifically, there were reports of a new premium Delta One Lounge.

The lounge would be 36,000 square feet, and the hope is for it to be completed in 2023. This would be located near Concourse B in Terminal 4. This is also separate from a new Delta SkyClub coming to Concourse A. You can (sort of) see mention of this in the below slide from the presentation, though unfortunately it’s blurry.

Nothing has officially been confirmed by Delta here beyond that. It’s worth noting that JFK isn’t the only airport where this is planned. Delta is also improving its passenger experience at LAX, and it’s reported that a Delta One Lounge will be built there as well. Unfortunately we don’t know much about the timeline for that lounge.

For context, Delta SkyClubs are Delta’s standard lounges, which are open to members, and select credit card holders and select premium cabin travelers. Delta SkyClubs are superior to American Admirals Clubs and United Clubs, though the catch is that both American and United have special non-membership lounges for premium travelers.

Of these lounges, I’d say United Polaris Lounges are the best, though they also have the strictest access requirements. American Flagship Lounges are also great, and are open to more passengers. So essentially Delta would be playing catch up with American and United here.

Delta One passengers may soon have a dedicated lounge

What should we expect from Delta One Lounges?

This is of course purely speculation on my part, since Delta hasn’t even fully publicly confirmed plans for these lounges. That being said, if we do see Delta One Lounges open, what should we expect from them?

  • I would guess that these lounges would be open to anyone with a business class ticket marketed as Delta One, which would include most long haul international flights, premium transcontinental flights, and select short haul international flights
  • Delta SkyClubs already have a pretty decent food selection, so I would imagine Delta One Lounges would feature significantly elevated offerings; maybe we’ll see a la carte dining, like in United Polaris Lounges
  • Then again, at least the JFK location is expected to be massive, at 36,000 square feet, so I wouldn’t expect this to be all that bespoke of an experience; maybe we’ll just see a slightly elevated food and drink selection, and a way to add lounge capacity by providing a bit of differentiation
American Flagship Lounges have buffets

Historically Delta invests quite a bit in its premium soft product, so I’m curious if that will apply at these Delta One Lounges.

United Polaris Lounges feature a la carte dining

Bottom line

While it has been rumored for quite a while now, it appears increasingly likely that we’ll finally see Delta One Lounges in the coming years, at both JFK and LAX. The latest update is that a 36,000 square foot Delta One Lounge is planned for JFK, with completion in 2023.

I’m curious to see what Delta does with these lounges — Delta SkyClubs are better than American Admirals Clubs and United Clubs, so I wonder if Delta one-ups American and United on premium lounges as well.

What do you make of these Delta One Lounges, and how good do you think they’ll be?

Conversations (14)
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  1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Back in 2015 or 2016, Delta ran an experiment for about four months in which Delta business-class passengers could get table service in its Sky Club lounges. That ended.

    This is much needed and long overdue. American and United are kicking Delta's butt with premium passenger experiences. Especially with Delta basically eliminating domestic first-class/business-class meals outside New York to Los Angeles/San Francisco. What Delta is serving inflight is mostly inedible. The wine is worse...

    Back in 2015 or 2016, Delta ran an experiment for about four months in which Delta business-class passengers could get table service in its Sky Club lounges. That ended.

    This is much needed and long overdue. American and United are kicking Delta's butt with premium passenger experiences. Especially with Delta basically eliminating domestic first-class/business-class meals outside New York to Los Angeles/San Francisco. What Delta is serving inflight is mostly inedible. The wine is worse than Barefoot.

    Unfortunately, I suspect it's going to be limited to the lucrative New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles markets, although the new mini-Sky Club at Detroit is about the right size for a Delta One lounge. I suppose it could be converted.

    1. Tim Dunn Gold

      again, DOT data shows that Delta gets average fares as high as or higher than American and United - other than in markets where American flies the A321T so that they obviously have higher average fares - but also much higher unit costs. Relative to their costs for those routes and the cargo that Delta carries (several million pounds per month), Delta's average fares do well.
      There is no doubt that Delta can do...

      again, DOT data shows that Delta gets average fares as high as or higher than American and United - other than in markets where American flies the A321T so that they obviously have higher average fares - but also much higher unit costs. Relative to their costs for those routes and the cargo that Delta carries (several million pounds per month), Delta's average fares do well.
      There is no doubt that Delta can do better and that is certainly why they are going to add another premium lounge. It is also probably cheaper to feed someone on the ground than it is to cater the same meal on an aircraft including staffing. Lots of people want to sleep when they get on the plane and in the air which Delta does not currently give an option to do.
      I doubt that Delta will restrict this to just its coastal gateway hubs. Delta is very big about product consistency so it will spread to any of its hubs that have more than a few widebody departures sold as Delta One.
      As for the question about Seattle below, Delta cannot consolidate its SkyClub demand as is into just one club, let alone increase the services it offers. Delta's operation is going to continue to operate from several concourses at Seattle and the current location is accessible to all gates. Also, it is very possible that Delta could designate a portion of its larger lounges into Delta One sections. Delta is building larger and larger lounges given that cities like AUS and BNA get 10k sf lounges. Hubs are getting new 25k+ sf lounges and the JFK lounge at 36k sf will be the largest lounge on Delta's system regardless of its use.

  2. glenn t Diamond

    Given that the concept of 'social distancing' in this era of coronavirus pandemic will be with us for quite some time, the (rather ugly) seating arrangement as pictured fails in every way possible.
    Tell me that is not seriously being considered.

  3. Another Steve Guest

    Does anyone know whether Delta is going to keep the existing SEA SkyClub at the junction of Concourses A and B when they finish the new lounge at the far end of Concourse A? The new concourse A lounge is planned replace the South Satellite SkyClub and is planned to be two floors, with a total of 27,400 SF and a SkyDeck...but does anyone know if the existing A/B lounge could change?

  4. shoeguy Gold

    About time Delta does something about its lounge situation. There is nothing premium about SkyClubs, including the JFK one. They are all subpar, with mediocre food, over crowded, and little attention to luxurious detail. It is somewhat surprising Delta has taken this long to invest in the ground experience as it relates to lounges.

    1. Tim Dunn Gold

      probably because DOT data shows they get average fares on a global basis as good as United and better than American.
      Given that Delta said pre-covid that it was focusing on improving profits on its international network, it isn't a surprise they are starting to roll out new products.
      With a plan to put Premium Select on every widebody by next summer and with the most fuel efficient widebody fleet among US carriers,...

      probably because DOT data shows they get average fares on a global basis as good as United and better than American.
      Given that Delta said pre-covid that it was focusing on improving profits on its international network, it isn't a surprise they are starting to roll out new products.
      With a plan to put Premium Select on every widebody by next summer and with the most fuel efficient widebody fleet among US carriers, adding an international premium lounge makes sense.
      The only question is when it comes to Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Seattle among Delta's largest international gateways.

    2. shoeguy Gold

      Oh yes, I forgot. Delta rules the world and no one else can or should compete. Delta absolutely does not have the most fuel efficient fleet among the US carrier. That is just not true. Plenty of 763s and 764s and 20 year old A330s in the mix.

    3. Tim Dunn Gold

      1. I didn't say anything about Delta ruling the world. I did say that they get as much revenue per seat mile on their international network as United and more than United. That data is not my opinion but available if you know where to look. Delta's int'l network has also been more profitable than AA or UA's for years, also available from the DOT on a public website.
      2. My comment about fuel...

      1. I didn't say anything about Delta ruling the world. I did say that they get as much revenue per seat mile on their international network as United and more than United. That data is not my opinion but available if you know where to look. Delta's int'l network has also been more profitable than AA or UA's for years, also available from the DOT on a public website.
      2. My comment about fuel efficiency was about the international fleets - and my statement is not only correct but can also be verified from DOT data. You simply do not know how inefficient the 777 is if you don't realize why Delta got rid of its 777s and why AA and UA will have a disadvantage due to its 777s for at least a decade unless they early retire even the 777-300ER. The A330-300 burns 17% less fuel per hour than the B777-200ER and the gap is even wider with the A330-900. The B777-300ER burns 34% more fuel per hour than the A350-900; given that American has a nearly identical number of seats on their 77Ws as DL's A359s, there is indeed a major fuel efficiency difference
      3. Also according to DOT data, the 767-300ER for DL and UA burn nearly identical amounts of fuel as the 787-8. Although the 787s do operate longer flights, it is heavier than a 767-300ER and there is simply not enough fuel burn advantage on the 787 to offset the higher weight.
      4. Specific to the entire (including domestic fleet), yes, Delta does have a more fuel efficient fleet than AA or UA when including regional jets which is most certainly part of AA's fleet. DL's A220-100s burn 13% less fuel than E175s -and the A220-100 carries 50% more passengers than the E175 and can and does fly transcon flights. The fuel savings on the A220-300 is even greater.
      5. and specific to Delta's premium lounge at JFK, it was clear they needed more space, esp. as they take over parts of A concourse on terminal 4. While they are doing well compared to AA and UA on their international network, it is certain they combined their need for more premium lounge space w/ a dedicated premium cabin lounge, esp. given that Delta operated close to 50 widebody flights/day at JFK pre-covid and will do that again likely before the terminal expansion is finished.

      and Lucky himself said he thought that SkyClubs in general were more premium than AA or UA's "base" lounges. Adding a premium cabin lounge could very well put Delta in a stronger position relative to not just AA and UA but also against the plethora of int'l carriers at JFK with which DL competes.

      Unlike fare, fuel burn, and profitability data which is factual, perceptions of quality are subjective and what Delta will do with its premium lounge is speculative.

  5. Anthony Diamond

    With three different SkyClubs in T4, a Centurion lounge in T4, a big new lounge at LGA, big schedules and effective partners (Virgin Atlantic, KLM, AirFrance, etc), Delta is meaningfully reinforcing its NYC operations. Looking forward to everything opening

  6. Sharon Guest

    Will delta’s joint venture partners like Air France and klm , Korean remain in t1?

    Delta’s last resort for growth at JFK is up-gauging.

    They still several 737 routes they can up to the 321 (gain 15 seats/route)

    1. Icarus Guest

      KLM is already in terminal 4. At present there’s no chance of Air France moving from T1. They also invested in refurbishing their lounge.

    2. Bob Guest

      And Air France co-owns terminal 1, no?

      It will not move then to T4 and pay a rent.

    3. shoeguy Gold

      Terminal 1 is going to be replaced with a new, larger facility that will occupy the current space where T1, T2, and part of the old T3 footprint reside. Whether AF moves to T4 or remains in the current T1 will depend on how bad the construction gets around the existing T1.

  7. Tim Dunn Gold

    The entire presentation is worth highlighting.
    A 36K sf Delta One lounge is larger than the current SkyClub on concourse B and will be located closer to the headhouse so in addition to the SkyClub on B and new one on A, Delta is about tripling the amount of premium lounge space at JFK.
    The extension of concourse A which involves adding 10 RJ capable gates at the end of concourse A has...

    The entire presentation is worth highlighting.
    A 36K sf Delta One lounge is larger than the current SkyClub on concourse B and will be located closer to the headhouse so in addition to the SkyClub on B and new one on A, Delta is about tripling the amount of premium lounge space at JFK.
    The extension of concourse A which involves adding 10 RJ capable gates at the end of concourse A has to be finished by the end of 2022 in order to allow terminal 2 to be torn down.
    The first phase of the conversion of the current RJ gates at the end of concourse B to mainline capable gates will also have to occur by the end of 2022
    The headhouse of terminal 4 will be enlarged to add one more domestic baggage claim belt, more checkin space including baggage self-tag, and more curb space.
    Presumably as terminal 1 is rebuilt, some of the carriers in terminal 4 will move to terminal 1 which will give Delta more widebody gates in time.

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Tim Dunn Gold

again, DOT data shows that Delta gets average fares as high as or higher than American and United - other than in markets where American flies the A321T so that they obviously have higher average fares - but also much higher unit costs. Relative to their costs for those routes and the cargo that Delta carries (several million pounds per month), Delta's average fares do well. There is no doubt that Delta can do better and that is certainly why they are going to add another premium lounge. It is also probably cheaper to feed someone on the ground than it is to cater the same meal on an aircraft including staffing. Lots of people want to sleep when they get on the plane and in the air which Delta does not currently give an option to do. I doubt that Delta will restrict this to just its coastal gateway hubs. Delta is very big about product consistency so it will spread to any of its hubs that have more than a few widebody departures sold as Delta One. As for the question about Seattle below, Delta cannot consolidate its SkyClub demand as is into just one club, let alone increase the services it offers. Delta's operation is going to continue to operate from several concourses at Seattle and the current location is accessible to all gates. Also, it is very possible that Delta could designate a portion of its larger lounges into Delta One sections. Delta is building larger and larger lounges given that cities like AUS and BNA get 10k sf lounges. Hubs are getting new 25k+ sf lounges and the JFK lounge at 36k sf will be the largest lounge on Delta's system regardless of its use.

0
FNT Delta Diamond Guest

Back in 2015 or 2016, Delta ran an experiment for about four months in which Delta business-class passengers could get table service in its Sky Club lounges. That ended. This is much needed and long overdue. American and United are kicking Delta's butt with premium passenger experiences. Especially with Delta basically eliminating domestic first-class/business-class meals outside New York to Los Angeles/San Francisco. What Delta is serving inflight is mostly inedible. The wine is worse than Barefoot. Unfortunately, I suspect it's going to be limited to the lucrative New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles markets, although the new mini-Sky Club at Detroit is about the right size for a Delta One lounge. I suppose it could be converted.

0
glenn t Diamond

Given that the concept of 'social distancing' in this era of coronavirus pandemic will be with us for quite some time, the (rather ugly) seating arrangement as pictured fails in every way possible. Tell me that is not seriously being considered.

0
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