Delta Sky Club – SFO

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The new Delta Sky Club at San Francisco International airport opened in September 2015, replacing the airline’s former landside lounge. To call it an upgrade would be an understatement.

Delta Sky Club design

Delta Sky Club - San Francisco, CA (SFO)

Delta Sky Club – San Francisco, CA (SFO)

The Sky Club is located on a mezzanine level above the concourse. Enter by gate 41, where friendly and courteous agents will greet you and be happy to give you an overview of the facilities with visible and justified pride. Use the elevator or the stairs by the reception desk, and you’ll reach a modern, snazzy and spacious customer service area with designer seats.

But it’s the view that strikes you. The luminous and airy space. The high ceilings. The pristine décor. The serenity. Indeed, the Sky Club benefits from a prime location with soaring ceilings and a long window wall that offers a sweeping 180 degree view of the tarmac and a unique vantage point on the brand new control tower.

For their San Francisco Sky Club, Delta has chosen to depart from their traditional design, which while modern often feels somewhat sterile. The initiative is a success: the simplistic décor boasts clean lines and predominantly white tones that contrast with colorful furniture. Elegant and lightweight partitions break up the space. The vibrant ambient light unifies all elements: the space is filled with California sunshine, and at dusk smart LED lighting takes over (the facility is Delta’s first Gold LEED certified lounge), giving the club a soothing vibe.

Delta Sky Club - San Francisco, CA (SFO)

Delta Sky Club – San Francisco, CA (SFO)

Selected art dots the lounge: pick up a flyer by the entrance or in the hallway that leads to the bathrooms for details on the various works.

The club is large — surprisingly so, in fact, for San Francisco, which is a secondary market for Delta in a region heavily dominated by United. You will be guaranteed calm and privacy even at peak times.

The seating area offers chairs with individual side tables, a social area with coffee tables, high shared communal tables ideal for laptop users, and high backed chairs for increased privacy — a new interpretation of Delta’s traditional cube chair. Power outlets are built in virtually every surface: in the side tables, under the coffee tables, and in the ground.

Delta Sky Club - San Francisco, CA (SFO)

Delta Sky Club – San Francisco, CA (SFO)

The visually striking bar is one of the center pieces of the design. The backlit shelves change colors throughout the day, creating a dynamic and vibrant mood. No detail was overlooked: wine coolers keep bottles at the perfect temperature, and power outlets are available below the counter. With light background music playing, the bar area is a pleasant space to relax and gaze at airplanes.

Beyond the bar lies a large, posh dining area, with a grand collage depicting San Francisco in the background. Each table comes with a small planter, elegant salt and pepper shakers, and either a traditional leather bound menu or an iPad advertising the amenities and menu items. With plenty of space to walk around, the area is peaceful and relaxing; a great place to socialize.

Delta Sky Club amenities

The buffet features a noteworthy selection of snacks, salads, soups, hot entrees, and attractive desserts, all beautifully presented in elegant dishes including Le Creuset pots. The staff meticulously keeps the serving area spotless and promptly replenishes and refreshes the dishes. Simply put, this is the best complimentary selection we’ve ever experienced at a domestic lounge run by a legacy carrier. Forget the pretzel mix — patrons may truly enjoy a real meal on the ground.

Delta Sky Club - San Francisco, CA (SFO)

Delta Sky Club – San Francisco, CA (SFO)

Complimentary drinks include soda, red and white wine, local beer, and basic liquor. There is also flavored water, ice tea, as well as a fancy Starbucks machine with a digital screen and an assortment of syrups. Premium drinks are available from the bar. Our favorite? Real, fresh orange juice squeezed just for you.

Beyond the dining area is a modern business area equipped with a high communal table, small work carrousels, a shared printer, and a smart feature: a shredder. Again the pristine and bright space adorned by orchids is a welcome departure from the traditional drab business centers.

In the very back a hallway leads to the bathrooms and shower suites, which are both pleasantly designed. The bathrooms retain the traditional red touches familiar to Delta Sky Club patrons, but with designer sinks, fresh flowers and elegant finishes that give the facilities a luxurious vibe.

Delta Sky Club - San Francisco, CA (SFO)

Delta Sky Club – San Francisco, CA (SFO)

The showers are an unexpected highlight. The small vestibule sets the tone, with a design straight out of a spa, complete with meticulously rolled fresh towels carefully arranged on a wooden shelves with orchids. The two humongous shower suites are equipped with a spacious changing area, toilet, and rain shower. But it’s the small details that stand out, such as the beautifully displayed towels tied up in a bundle next to a selection of Isaac Mizrahi bath products. With only two shower suites, you might want to inquire early should there be a waitlist. But the facilities are truly first class worthy.

Other amenities include newspapers and magazines and a small library with books to read on site.

Delta Sky Club bottom line

Overall, the new Delta Sky Club at San Francisco International airport is a sumptuous lounge which truly raises the bar. What makes the dimensions, design and breath of amenities of the lounge so noteworthy is that the club serves exclusively domestic passengers. Delta is seriously stepping up its game in the Bay area in an attempt to lure more passengers to its transcontinental services to New York JFK and Atlanta, as well as flights to Detroit, Honolulu, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City and Seattle. And it may very well work — Delta beats United by leaps and bounds on their own turf.

For information on possible alternatives, other lounges at SFO and rankings, check out our Definitive Guide to the SFO Lounge Scene.

The pluses
  • The gorgeous design and light filled space.
  • The expansive food and drink selection.
  • The luxurious shower suites.
  • The friendly and helpful staff.
The minuses
  • Frankly, we can’t think of anything.
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