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delta one lounge at jfk

Sneak Peek: Inside Delta’s First (& Incredibly Restrictive) Biz Class Lounge

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Delta Sky Clubs are so 2023. Delta One Lounges are here.

Well, almost. The very first Delta One Lounge in New York City (JFK) is set to open its doors on Wednesday, finally offering a dedicated and exclusive space for its business class passengers who forked over a pile of cash (or a mountain of SkyMiles)… and almost no one else. With its supposed “white-glove service” to whisk you through security at check-in, restaurant-style dining, and unprecedented amenities in a gargantuan, 39,000-square-foot space, this lounge should put even the best Sky Clubs to shame.

“Our teams have spared no detail to ensure Delta One Lounge guests receive a truly memorable experience,” Claude Roussel, Delta's vice president of Delta Sky Clubs and lounge experience, said in a statement. “It’s a new era for Delta – this lounge is raising the bar across the board, from the amenities to the food and beverage offerings to the level of personalized service.”

And more are on the way. Delta plans to open its second and third business class lounges in Los Angeles (LAX) and Boston (BOS) by the end of the year. 

But enough of that. Let's get to what's inside the first Delta One Lounge – and who can actually get in. 


Who Can Get Into Delta One Lounges? 

Don't expect to waltz into this snazzy business class lounge with *amex platinum* or a *delta reserve card* like you would for any old Delta Sky Club. Delta One Lounges will be among the most restrictive in the country. 

After staying tight-lipped about the access policies for years, Delta is finally sharing details about exactly who can get in. It's a short list: 

  • Travelers with a Delta One ticket, including long-haul international flights as well as transcontinental routes branded as Delta One
    • A Delta One ticket departing from the airport or arriving earlier that day will qualify
  • Flyers departing or arriving on a business or first class ticket with some (but not all) SkyTeam partner airlines, including:
  • Flyers with the airline's invite-only Delta 360 status can get in … but only with a departing or arriving first class ticket


delta one jfk lounge entry


That's it. Delta won't sell memberships nor day passes to the Delta One Lounge, nor will they offer ways for other passengers to upgrade their way into the exclusive lounge – at least not at launch. Bringing a guest is off-limits with the exception of Delta 360 flyers, who can bring up to two guests … for an extra $100 apiece. 

That makes the Delta One Lounge even more restrictive than American's Flagship business class lounges in airports like Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Chicago-O'Hare – the airline sells day passes and also offers access to far more flyers with status to its best lounges. But Delta is opening the door to more passengers than United Polaris Lounges, which are only open to long-haul business class passengers – and only ahead of departing flights on partner carriers like Lufthansa or Turkish Airlines. 

Then again, with nearly 40,000 square feet to fill, Delta should have plenty of room. And by the looks of it, there's a lot to love inside all that square footage. 


High-End Finishes

Full disclosure: We haven't set foot inside the Delta One Lounge ourselves yet. Heck, it hasn't even officially opened. 

But it's clear that Delta has taken the winning formula behind new Sky Clubs in Minneapolis-St Paul (MSP), Chicago-O'Hare (ORD), and Los Angeles (LAX) … and cranked it up to 11. From the furniture to the decor and finishes to the overall ambiance to the mammoth size of the space, Delta has set an even higher standard with this exclusive business class lounge. 

You can see that in the signature, curving bar, surrounded by both earthy wood paneling and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out at the tarmac – oh, and a gold leaf ceiling overhead.


delta one lounge bar


There are not just chairs every which way to accommodate the masses: There are spaces dedicated to relaxing, like this homey lounge decked out with a fireplace. 


delta one jfk lounge fireplace


And a sprawling, year-round terrace that puts even the greatest Sky Decks at clubs in Los Angeles and Minneapolis to shame. 


delta one jfk lounge terrace


Delta's commitment to raising the bar is evident in the golden arched doorways leading into the dining room. You won't see something like this in your everyday Sky Club. 


delta one jfk lounge


And you can see it in the little details, like the gleaming golden taps at a dedicated “Rejuvenation Bar” where you can pour your own fruit- and herb-infused waters and juices. 


delta one lounge jfk taps


Delta teamed up with Italian design house Missoni for a few extra touches throughout the lounge (as well as brand-new Delta One amenity kits onboard) like pillows, vases, and coffee table books. 


Fine Dining & Elevated Service

It's not just a restaurant. It's a brasserie.

What does that really mean? I'm not sure. But Delta is leveling up in the dining department for business class passengers, offering a la carte meals a league above the hot dishes and finger food you'll find in most Sky Clubs. 

The 140-seat dining space will offer a three-course meal service. Delta is touting dishes like hamachi crudo, steak tartare, and lasagna bolognese on the menu. 


DeltaOneJFK brasserie2 5089.crop scaled


Don't have the time (or appetite) for a full sit-down meal? The lounge also offers a “Market” and “Bakery,” where Delta business class passengers can grab pre-plated dishes or get made-to-order salads, for example.


delta one jfk lounge market


Want a glass of wine or bubbles without leaving your seat? No problem: Delta is introducing roving beverage cart service in this business class lounge. By the looks of the bottles in that cart, Delta is pouring champagne from Charles de Cazanove – a big step up from the complimentary sparkling wine you'll find in your average Delta Sky Club. 


delta one lounge jfk bar cart


Extra Amenities, Too

With all that space to fill, Delta threw down the gauntlet with more amenities than you'll find in almost any U.S. airport lounge – including some new additions.

For starters, there are a whopping eight private shower suites. That should be more than enough to accommodate Delta's many passengers who want to freshen up before (or after) a flight across the country or overseas. 

And it's not just about quantity but quality. These look superb, decked out with sharp marble tile and equipped with Grown Alchemist amenities. You can even drop your clothes and shoes in a dedicated closet to get steamed or shined as you powder your nose. 


delta one lounge jfk shower suite


Unfortunately for travelers looking to take a snooze, Delta apparently elected not to go with full-blown nap rooms. Instead, there's a “Serenity Lounge” where you can relax in a space with lighting designed to enhance your body's circadian rhythms – that's what Delta says, anyway. And there's also a wellness area, where you'll find nine relaxation pods and “nap chairs.”


delta one lounge jfk wellness room


There's even a dedicated treatment room, where you can get a complimentary (though brief) massage from a certificated therapist on hand. 


Bottom Line

The first Delta One Lounge for business class passengers is ready to open its doors. And it looks like it's in another league. 

The Atlanta-based airline clearly went all out for its first Delta One Lounge at JFK. Dedicated nap rooms would have been a nice touch, but the airline appears to have made up for it with additional amenities and a la carte dining – all in a snazzy looking (and truly massive) space that makes even the best Sky Club lounges look like a dump in comparison. Ultra-restrictive policies that limit who can actually step inside should ensure passengers can enjoy it all.


All photos courtesy of Delta

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

4 Responses

  • My initial take:

    1) With the exception of some private rooms for work, they’ve eseentially copied the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse and arrivals lounge at LHR, right down to an ala carte menu, pressing and shoe shine services. I wonder if they’ve brought physical newspapers back?

    2) Will Delta loosen Sky Club entry requirements? 500 fewer people in the Sky Club every day should make the Sky Club significantly less crowded, though some people might prefer the location of the main JFK Sky Club over the location of the Delta One lounge.

    3) I’m really surprised they are allowing passengers from partner airlines to access the lounge. Air France/KLM and Virgin Atlantic each have their own lounges at JFK. Air France also just opened a new LAX lounge.

    4) This really confirms that 360 is the new diamond. Previously, 360 was never codified. Increasingly, we’ve seen 360 benefits defined in a tangible way. It would be nice if Delta was more transparent about earning requirements for 360.

  • Kyle Potter… your article is incorrect… LAX Delta One Lounge has been opened for many years now… jfk is not the first D1 lounge! What’s nice about the D1 lounge at LAX is the private entrance with a dedicated TSA security entrance just for D1 customers… does JFK have that service?!

    • Not quite. LAX does have the private Delta One check-in & security but the exclusive Delta One Lounge at LAX is not yet open – just the (very excellent) LAX Sky Club, which opened a few years ago. The reverse is true at JFK: A dedicated private security line is supposed to open this fall.

  • Shame JFK > SAN first class doesn’t qualify despite it being trans con, that route needs to get upgraded to D1

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