Review: Delta Sky Club Atlanta Terminal F

Filed Under: Airport Lounge Reviews, Trip Reports

With an overnight flight in economy and a pre-dawn arrival into Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL), we were more than ready for a reprieve.

ATL is basically a Sky Club museum, with lounges of every variety dotting every terminal. While I usually fly through here at least once a month, I was delighted that our flight arrived into Terminal F, which is arguably the airport’s best Sky Club – and one that I hadn’t visited in years.

Terminal F serves mainly international flights, and was a veritable ghost town when we arrived. But it sure was a pretty ghost town:

Terminal F Atlanta

After some pretty weak lounge experiences in Santiago, I recognize that it didn’t take much to impress me, but even the signage had a premium feel to it.

We were able to access the Sky Club free of charge with our Sky Team Elite Plus status, due to the fact that we were coming from an international itinerary. However, there are several credit cards that offer complimentary access to airport lounges, including Sky Clubs, provided you are flying on a Delta itinerary.

Sky Club Terminal F seating

Once inside, I was impressed at how empty the club was – although I suppose it’s no surprise, given how the rest of the terminal felt at that hour. Like most renovated Sky Clubs, there was an abundance (and diversity) of seating:

Terminal F Sky Club seating
Terminal F Sky Club seating
Terminal F Sky Club seating

When I’m traveling solo, I usually opt for the red cube of seclusion. This time, however, we found ourselves an upper mezzanine section that remained almost completely empty, even as the club started to fill up.

Terminal F Sky Club Mezzanine Seating
Sky Club mezzanine stairway

I’m not sure if our relative solitude was due to peoples’ aversion to taking the stairs, or the guy seated across from us who was apparently getting paid by the “F bomb” on his Very Important phone call. Either way, I appreciated the privacy.

Speaking of privacy, there were a couple of other features here that you don’t see at most Sky Clubs, including a nap area:

…and an outdoor deck.

Despite it being a balmy 60-something degrees in Atlanta, the chosen air freshener of Eau de Exhaust Fume kept me from spending too much time here. Still, if you don’t mind the odor (and the fact that the lamps look like they came from a Dr. Seuss book), this could be a pleasant place to kill the time and watch the (air) traffic go by.

Sky Club Terminal F food

We were there for breakfast, which was…typical of what you would expect from an airline lounge in the U.S. That is to say, reminiscent of a three-star hotel continental breakfast, but with slightly prettier packaging.

There were your typical cereal towers:

…pastries:

and less healthy pastries:

There was also yogurt:

And, given that we were in Atlanta, we had the requisite oatmeal/grits station, along with all of the accouterments:

While I’m not much of a greens, eggs, and ham for breakfast kind of person, I do appreciate the local touches.

Speaking of local touches, it wouldn’t have been an Atlanta-based Sky Club without the Sweet Tea (although I would have paid good money to swap one of those containers out for cold brew):

And like most Sky Clubs, there was an espresso machine that remained fully functional for the duration of our visit:

Finally, the centerpiece of the dining area was flanked with a full-service bar that was surprisingly void of Bloody Mary and mimosa drinkers.

All in all, breakfast was…serviceable. While we’ve come a long way from the snack towers of sadness, there’s only so much carbo-loading a person can do if their only run of the day is from terminal to terminal. And while the grits provide a nice local touch, they aren’t necessarily everyone’s cup of, well, grits.

Still, there’s only so much complaining I can do with unlimited lattes at my fingertips.

Sky Club Terminal F amenities

Fully fed and caffeinated, I decide to take a tour of the bathroom and shower area. Despite this being one of only two Sky Clubs in Atlanta to offer showers (the other being nearby Terminal E), the area was, once again, completely empty.

The shower attendant, while perhaps confused with my fascination for photographing red subway tile, was more than happy to show me both the standard shower:

…and the ADA shower:

This being a Sky Club, both showers offered Malin+Goetz products (naturally). They were also found in the nearby restrooms, keeping the succulents company:

Otherwise, the facilities were pretty similar to other renovated Sky Clubs: nice sinks, lots of privacy, red subway tile that looks really cool but I would never actually renovate my bathroom with.

And it’s nice to see a U.S.-based lounge with full-service shower facilities.

Sky Club Terminal F bottom line

Between the mezzanine, the sleeping area, and the outdoor deck, this is easily one of the nicest Sky Clubs in Atlanta, and probably beats the nearby Terminal E club if you value space over spa. Sure, if your goal is coffee, internet, and a charger, most clubs here will do – and the experience here probably varies a bit based on the time of day.

All that to say that if I’m connecting through T, which is basically in Alabama, I won’t be going out of my way to come here. But if I’m here on a longer layover – or even connecting through nearby terminals D or E – I wouldn’t hesitate to make the detour.

What’s your favorite Sky Club?

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Comments
  1. As a First Class expert (always cash tickets / no points), I have yet to find a lounge in the US that can rival the top of the crop that you find in East Asia: The Pier in HK G, JAL first in Haneda…

  2. @Gene

    Just a bit of hyperbole to emphasize the distances; T to F and back to T looks like almost three miles.

  3. T to F on the train takes all of about 8 minutes. They also have scrambled eggs for breakfast in all the ATL SkyClubs. Maybe you were too early for that and they were still adding water to the powder

  4. @LeRoy they have these for sale in all of the ATL SkyClubs that I have been in over the past few months (T, Ax2, B, and C).

  5. @ Endre

    Why do you consistently feel the need to clarify to everyone here that you do not use points for 1st class flights? Does that make you feel more important? Do you think people actually really care? You realize you are on a points and miles blog right?

  6. Its eau de Fumée d’échappement the jet a-1 version is much more rare but is my personal favorite

  7. I find thet the F gate club is great, some great people work there, but its fair to say the other Sky clubs, are very good, The Immigration at Atlanta is miss and go, but the immigration guys, gals, seem to work hard, .

  8. If this is the best in ATL, this is an absolute shame. The lounges in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires easily surpass this one. It was overcrowded and nothing to write home about.

  9. Last year I had the chance to try this lounge. I think it was very good. But the Polaris and Flagship lounges by UA and AA are better imo.

  10. I have been to this SkyClub several times at ATL and love the fact that there are showers in the lounge to use. I definitely wish we could get showers at the one at MSP! Love the outdoor deck as well too. I also liked that when I’ve been at this one, it’s much less busy than the SkyDeck and Club at JFK in Terminal 4.

  11. ATL doesn’t have a Terminal F. It has a domestic terminal (divided into north and south portions), an international terminal, and five concourses. Concourse F is the right name.

  12. Sky clubs are a notch above the Admirals clubs. However the bar for domestic clubs isn’t too high

  13. Like you, @Steph, I’m usually in Atlanta at least once a month though primarily for domestic transcontinental flights (although I do like the ATL – SJO – LAX routing!). I like the ambience and the deck of the Sky Club in Concourse F but if I have the time and they have the slot, I love going to the Asanda Spa at the club in Concourse E and if I can’t make it into Concourse E because of time limitations, by choice for wine-by-the-glass would be the Club in Concourse B. I think I have been in all of the Clubs over the years and they all are staffed by helpful and courteous employees. Sure there are more luxurious clubs and better food amenities (I like the Amex Centurion domestic lounges for food) but ALL of the Delta Sky Clubs are consistent in terms of service. Usually the international port-of-entry airports have showers in their clubs. Great review in any case! Thanks.

  14. Sky Clubs, in my opinion, are meh at best. They don’t feel particularly premium and Delta does not have a restaurant like experience similar to what AA and UA offer in theirs for long haul flights. I find Sky Clubs often crowded, with mediocre food, cheap furnishings, and nothing with a wow factor. An area Delta ought to improve.

  15. Why can’t Delta Sky clubs just have an area with an open soda machine? Why do we have to go to the bar and wait for them to pour a soda?

  16. @John The Sky Club at MSP has a soda fountain. Often overcrowded, but that alone makes it one of my favorites.

  17. Personally, I love hanging out on the Sky Deck in this lounge. If I’m at ATL, there’s a high probability that this is where you’ll find me. I’ve made the trek over from A/B to F for this lounge plenty of times. It’s really not so hard with the plane train. Granted, on shorter domestic layovers, I usually stick with the B lounge (or if I’m going in and out of A, I’ll just go to the one there.)

    As for open soda machines, I agree. I’m not sure why Delta seems to hate those. When they opened the new B club, they had one there, but then they took it out later. Not sure why they decided to take it out.

  18. I’m in the lounge now and just went out to the skydeck. It’s like sitting on the surface of the sun!

    Out of interest given that from OneWorld BA and QR have daily flights and offer business (and first class in the case of BA) and star has daily flights on LH and TK why aren’t there ANY decent lounges at ATL at all?

  19. SkyClubs are yet another area where Delta does just enough, but not more than they need to compete. Its funny, because just a few years ago, they probably were the best of the domestic carrier lounges. Yes, at my home base at SFO the SkyClub is very nice looking, but food and drinks are very basic. The other SkyClub I frequent at SLC, always seems to be packed with people and has similar lackluster food. As these are both primarily domestic stations for DL, it would be nice if they provided more but not as expected. What DL should provide is a Delta One lounge at major hubs for Delta One passengers and Super Elites (and Skyteam F travelers). Then they would be on the same page as their peers. However, just as with Skymiles, they just might not need to, their profits speak for themselves.

  20. @Endre, I’m really curious about something. You must accumulate a lot of miles flying first and business all the time. Since you never use them yourself do you donate them to charities to help people out or anything similar? I know there are charities out there that could really use the help.

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