Despite an hour and a half delay out of Amsterdam, I still had about 2 hours to kill in Detroit. Helpfully, Delta’s flagship SkyClub in Detroit sits right outside the security checkpoint for international-domestic transfers. Later, thanks to a weather delay, I checked out two other SkyClubs in Concourse A. Unfortunately, like the KLM Crown Lounge in Amsterdam, all three suffered from terrible overcrowding.
Note: this post is part of my trip report series about my quick weekend trip to Belgium. Click here for the trip report index and introductory post.
Delta SkyClubs – Detroit Metro Airport Concourse A
Three clubs in Concourse A – the main club near Gate A40, one near Gate A15, and one near Gate A65. To access the clubs at A15 and A65, take the escalator up to the second level, for the intra-terminal tram. You can access the A40 club from the main level of the concourse.
Delta provides SkyClub access to the following passengers:
- 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
In addition, Delta sells day passes for $59. Those with Gold and Platinum Delta Amex cards can also access the lounge for a discounted $29 fee.
Review – Concourse A Main Club (Gate A40)
As I entered the main club, I found a few people waiting in line. However, an employee with a handheld check-in device quickly greeted me and checked me in. I do appreciate this initiative, as it really speeds up the process. The handheld reader rejected my boarding pass, though, so she walked me to the main desk to try again. Both of the employees I interacted with were kind and helpful. That was a common theme on all of my SkyClub visits on this day. From the check-in desk, head up the elevator to the lounge on the second floor.
This lounge consists of one large rectangular room divided into several sections. One thing became clear upon entering, though. This place was an absolute zoo. I apologize in advance for the small number of photos. The lounge simply had way too many people around to effectively photograph it. Anyway, once you reach the second floor, you’ll find a ticketing/help desk, with the lounge to the left. It opens up into a large central room, with nearly every seat taken.
The seating continues quite a ways to the left, with even more seating behind the coffee machines. The right side features large windows, though the shades were closed during my visit. (They face an office building in any event.) You’ll find a variety of seating, from single seats, to 2×2 chairs with tables, to 4×4 sofas and tables. Some of the combinations did seem mismatched, though the decor itself looked nice enough. And sheesh…more crowds!
Continue back, and there’s a somewhat less congested seating area towards the restrooms. However, the table configuration seems – odd. You have 4×4 seating with a table large enough for maybe one person to use. There is also some interesting bicycle wall art here (the club in general seemed sparse in this regard).
I found a few seats with views overlooking the terminal concourse, and Delta’s intra-terminal tram.
One thing I appreciated about this lounge – Delta provides power outlets everywhere. As long as you can find a seat, you’ll have access to power. WiFi was pretty fast, sufficient to handle a Skype or FaceTime call. Impressive given the number of people using the lounge, I thought.
Meanwhile, head right from the entrance for the dining area. This consists of a decently-sized buffet, with both standing and sitting tables. The sitting tables surround a large TV screen and “ticker tape”, for those who want to take in the news while eating.
Due to crowding, I couldn’t get many photos of the food and drink selection. However, it consisted of a salad bar, cookies, and a couple of hot options.
The hot options included mac and cheese and soup, both of which I found pretty tasty. They sure beat the snack towers of sadness at Admirals Clubs, anyway. However, don’t expect to receive a full meal substitute in a SkyClub.
There are also a few beers on tap, along with a decent selection of self-serve wine and liquor (pardon the poor photo).
I left the lounge shortly before scheduled boarding for my flight to Dallas. However, just as boarding began, the captain announced a significant delay due to a ground stop at DFW. Rather than sit around at the gate, I decided to check out the other two Concourse A SkyClubs, hoping for a quieter experience.
Review – Satellite Sky Club at Gate A65
Just as in the main club, a friendly Delta employee greeted me to the lounge; she also offered to check on the status of my delay, a nice touch. Both this lounge, and the other SkyClub at Gate A15, are basically mirror images of each other. These are small lounges, with one long corridor flanked by seating areas on both sides. And just as crowded as the main lounge (in fact, this one had the sign up temporarily suspending day pass sales). Amusingly, when the next passenger came in and complained about the crowding, the agent suggested he try the bigger lounge by A40. If only he knew…
The decor looks very similar to the main lounge.
Each “room” features a similar layout, with a few chairs/tables along the windows, and a couple more along the front and back walls. There are additional sections across from the windowed rooms, with perhaps a half dozen loungers and small sofas. I couldn’t get a good photo of one of those areas due to crowding. Unlike the main SkyClub, these satellite clubs do provide nice views of the ramp area.
At the very back is a food and beverage area, providing basically the same selection as the larger club.
With more time to kill, I then decided to check out the SkyClub near Gate A15, at the opposite end of the concourse. It was just as crowded. I also didn’t take any photos of that lounge, as it’s identical to the A65 satellite lounge.
Delta SkyClubs certainly aren’t bad for domestic lounges, with friendly staff and a better (if still meh) food selection than what American or United provide. But geez, the overcrowding sure was a buzzkill. Perhaps I found the crowds surprising, given the presence of three lounges in the same concourse. I don’t know if this was just bad luck on the day I visited, or a common occurrence.