After my early morning flight from Dallas, I had roughly 3 1/2 hours before my flight to Seoul. Korean Air doesn’t have a lounge in Atlanta, so your only options are the Delta Sky Clubs. After checking in, I headed over to the “flagship” Sky Club in Concourse F to pass a couple of hours.
See also: Rohan’s review of the Concourse F Sky Club from last year.
Note: this post is part of my trip report series about my long weekend to Japan in July. Click here for the introduction and trip report index.
Delta Sky Club Atlanta Concourse F
On the second level, just past the security checkpoint for Concourse F. If transferring from another concourse on the Plane Train, you’ll see the lounge upstairs right after entering the concourse. Hours are 5:30 am to midnight daily. Important: anyone with Sky Club access can use the Concourse F club; however, budget plenty of time, depending on which concourse your flight departs from. Concourse F is out there, and it’s about 5 minutes by train from Concourse E. From there, it’s anywhere from a couple of minutes to 5 to the other concourses, and you may have quite a walk from the Plane Train station to your gate.
The following passengers may access Delta Sky Clubs:
- Delta One and SkyTeam international and transcontinental passengers
- SkyTeam Elite Plus members traveling on any SkyTeam flight in any class of service
- Delta Reserve cardmembers on Delta coded or operated flights
- Amex Platinum and Centurion cardholders traveling on a same-day Delta flight
- Virgin Australia Club members
Those with Gold and Platinum Delta Amex cards can also access the lounge for a discounted $29 fee.
Date of Visit: Saturday, July 13, 2019
Delta has by far the most efficient process for checking in lounge visitors. In addition to the desk agents, Delta has a couple of “roving” agents checking in guests on an iPad. This minimizes waiting time, especially during peak times. This time, there was no wait at the desk, and a friendly agent welcomed me in quickly.
Once past the check-in desk, the lounge opens up into the buffet area. When I arrived shortly before 10, the club had the breakfast spread out. I found it similar to that found in the JFK Terminal 2 and Terminal 4 Sky Clubs; it included a selection of decent quality breads and cereals, fruit, yogurt, and a few hot items. Today’s hot spread included oatmeal, patatas bravas, and scrambled eggs, among other items.
I left just as the lunch buffet came out. On this day, the club set up a pretty good looking taco bar. I’m not sure if this is a regular thing, or specific to weekends. Anyway, wanting to save my appetite for my flight to Seoul, I passed on taco time.
To the left of the buffet area is The Bar, the Sky Club’s…well…bar. Unimaginative name aside, the bar makes a nice focal point for the center of the lounge. Though it feels smaller than the one at JFK Terminal 4, I think that’s just a function of the square shape, versus one long table.
Sky Club bars feature a limited selection of complimentary beer, wine, and spirits. Select clubs offer premium spirits and cocktails for purchase. The Concourse F club is one such select club; however, they do offer a few rotating cocktails free of charge. One free cocktail option was the “Traveler’s Mule”, a variation of the Moscow Mule made with Maker’s Mark. I enjoyed this drink, refreshingly tart with a hint of richness from the bourbon.
Meanwhile, continue left from the bar, and you’ll enter a long, straight room with seating on both sides. It seemed like this side functioned as the “quiet section” of the lounge.
Head right from the buffet/bar area instead to find a much larger seating area. Here you’ll find a large variety of seating, including traditional seats, a work bench, and some cubicles. The cubicle placement seems perhaps not very well thought out; I’d think workspaces make more sense in their own separate corner. But, the real flaw here is a big one (and it’s an issue throughout the lounge) – an acute lack of power ports, aside from the cubicles. Signs throughout the Sky Club indicate power ports are “coming soon”. During my visit, however, I saw very few seats with working plugs. At least a lounge attendant noticed my frustration, and walked me over to a chair with one.
Hidden in one corner, meanwhile, are some relaxing loungers if you want to stretch out.
There are a few more of these chairs on the opposite site of the lounge along the interior window as well.
I also found a couple of “pod”-style seats at the edge of the seating area.
If you manage to secure a window seat, you can enjoy a pretty good view of the ramp area and taxiways. On this day, the lounge wasn’t very crowded, so if you wanted a window seat, you could get one. I imagine this Sky Club gets much more crowded during the week. Then again, with nine (yes, nine) Sky Clubs at Hartsfield, maybe not.
If none of the seating downstairs strikes your fancy, the Concourse F Sky Club also includes an upstairs seating area. You can access this area via a staircase near the lounge entrance.
This area truly was deserted; I came up here first, and it was just me and one other person. This area has mostly small tables and traditional lounge seats.
There is also a long booth at the back of the room.
You have nice views of the main lounge down below from up here. The view includes one of the lounge’s few pieces of art, a paper airplane-type drawing. That’s one other thing I noticed about this lounge; the design feels rather sterile. No, it’s not as bad as the monotone grey minimalism I always complain about. But comparatively speaking, the New York JFK Sky Clubs at least spruce up the surroundings with some artwork. The Terminal 4 club, in particular, has some nice AvGeek pieces, like the giant bag tags on one wall.
In any event, I enjoyed the peace and quiet up here. But the lack of working power ports sent me back downstairs. Also, as reader “DLPTATL” notes, the downside is the need to carry luggage up and down the stairs, and to negotiate them any time you need to visit the buffet, bar, or restrooms.
Anyway, the Delta Sky Club Atlanta Concourse F has an ace up its sleeve. Like the JFK Terminal 4 club, the Concourse F club features an outdoor “Sky Deck”. Unlike my last trip through JFK, though, this Sky Deck was open for business. The Sky Deck provides a brilliant view of the ramp and taxiway area.
Sky Deck seating includes communal tables, a few separate wicker chairs, and some really comfy looking couches. Surprisingly, I found few people out here enjoying the fresh air. Especially since it was a not terribly hot by Atlanta in July standards.
Service in the Concourse F Sky Club deserves a mention as well. One particular lounge attendant in the main part of the lounge was truly wonderful. She helped me find a seat with a plug, and came through frequently to clear away plates and ask if guests needed anything. Southern hospitality at its finest.
Delta Sky Club Atlanta Concourse F – Final Thoughts
My overall thoughts on the JFK Terminal 4 Sky Club were pretty much validated here. Delta generally provides a better “standard” domestic lounge experience than the competition. I’ll pick a Sky Club like this over a typical Admirals or United Club any day. It does fall short of the premium Flagship and Polaris lounges, though in Atlanta, Delta doesn’t compete with those lounges, either for domestic or international traffic. And when it comes to an International First Class lounge, it definitely falls short. In fairness, it’s not Delta’s fault that no other SkyTeam members have lounges in Atlanta. Plus, it’s not like Korean Air’s First Class lounges are paragons of excellence, either.
Anyway, perhaps thanks to the lack of crowding, I enjoyed this Sky Club more than the ones in New York or Detroit. The Sky Deck certainly makes this club worth a visit if you have Sky Club access.