Skyclub

The end of #SkunkyGate – Welcome “The Bar” at the Delta Sky Club.

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


the BAR at Delta SkyClub Delta Points blog review (1)

As I blogged about a few weeks ago, changes are happening in the Skyclubs and this is a good thing. Once Delta dumped free beer, well other than SkunkyBeer, it marked a slow and steady decline in quality of offerings in the clubs and then on 1MAY14 the ridiculous $29 upcharge to bring a guest into the clubs even if you had the high end Delta AMEX Reserve card or the non-Delta AMEX Platinum card. Even Diamonds now no longer can guest folks in, including their families.

the BAR at Delta SkyClub Delta Points blog review (2)

So what has changed? The fees are the same but at least things, from a product standpoint, are getting much better. The VERY cheap house wines are being upgrade from a basic Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to a number of choices. Take a look:

the BAR at Delta SkyClub Delta Points blog review (3)

A complimentary Malbec and Pinot Noir are HUGE upgrades in flavor choices. The price point for the bottles is also markedly higher that the ones that preceeded them. I tested the Malbec as you can see from the shot above and it was just fine and even enjoyable.

I don’t know what was wrong with me, but I did not check what “Local Craft” beer they had in MIA but the point is each club should have something different and that is also HUGE. I think it is really fun to be able to try a different beer in each city and will be a reason to stop in and see what is on tap. Why not (other than the $29 upcharge)?

the BAR at Delta SkyClub Delta Points blog review (4)

There still is a menu of drinks you have to pay for at “The Bar”. Again, I do not and have not reviewed the prices of drinks at the Skyclubs because on principle I feel they should all be free. International clubs, from my experience, don’t charge you for any drinks. Centurion lounges that are the new upper class standard here in the USA do not charge for drinks. But let’s just call this a work in progress for the Skyclubs. What disappoints me the most is there is NO complimentary sparkling wine for guest. A mimosa is just nice off a redeye I think and I am NOT paying $7.00 for one – Sorry Delta that is a #FAIL.

the BAR at Delta SkyClub Delta Points blog review (5)

Then we have the last page of the menu. Nice to see my much loved Woodford Reserve as a choice. Maybe an upgrade would be to let me use a HOOU coupon to get one in the club since they are free onboard? Just an idea.

1 buck ikea wine glassThe final upgrade that I saw at least in MIA, and maybe others can confirm, is the end of the worthless 67 cent IKEA FÖRSIKTIGT wine glasses. Nothing makes a cheap glass of wine even more worthless than these uber el’Cheap’o glasses. It was nice to have a real-ish glass to enjoy my Malbec. Not as nice as the large ones you get with a “paid” glass of wine but still an improvement so I give credit where credit is due.

So now the ultimate question. Delta has improved the drinks. They have improved the food offering acceptable soups, an OK salad type bar, some other good snacks. Are all these changes enough to make the Skyclub worth the price of admission? I would say I have moved from a SOLID NO to a maybe bordering on “Yes-if” and here is why.

You may not have noticed but wifi speeds are much better. They really are most times. Showers are nice and many clubs have them. The drinks now are OK to good on the complimentary menu. The food, for what it is, is not bad. Help when you need it from Skyclub reps can save the day.

My biggest problem is still the $29 +1 fee. If you are paying AMEX $450 for a Delta AMEX Reserve card or a non-Delta AMEX Platinum card you should be able to get your +1 or family in free. The above improvements are many times still not worth it. Also if you reach Diamond you should be able to in some way get your +1 in. Maybe the fix is 4 club passes as an automatic gift when you make Diamond. I think that could fix that issue and allow Delta to keep the current club membership plans.

Lastly the food. A little more is needed. Delta reps said when they tested the sandwiches they were displeased with the quality. I get that. But something else is needed. I don’t have all the answers but with more and more AMEX Centurions clubs coming on-line, and other 3rd party clubs offering more and more, Delta needs to live up to the “Keep Climbing” slogan and make the clubs just a little bit better. – René

{S.
PS – You only have a few hours remaining to WIN one of 3x prize packages today for this weekends SWAG Saturday so don’t miss out!

 

Gold-Platinum-Reserve Delta SkyMiles®
Credit Cards from American Express®
Click HERE for more info

 

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses 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.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

17 Comments

  1. Great post, I agree. NYC is my hub and I go to either the Centurion lounge at LGA or Wintips at JFK because of drink and food selection. Delta needs to step up their game to compete with them.

  2. Rene,
    Also glad for the food and beverage upgrades. Did the ‘free admittance +1″ go away for GM and above when traveling on an international flight?

  3. Mike From DC Reply

    Rene,

    I’ve been reading the blog for a while, and I have to ask. Have you ever been to the Woodford distillery? I went to college in Lexington and have probably been about 15 times, worth the cost of admission every time. They have several offerings each year that are very rare to find and limited release, while expensive they are also worth it.

    • @Mike from DC – I have NOT but so want to do that. Really do. Plan to do some golf along the “bourbon trail” one day. Thanks!

  4. Diamonds can choose Executive club membership as one of their annual choice benefits which entitles two guests free, $29each thereafter. Hate that I have to burn a choice for something that used to be gratis, but I frequently travel with co-workers or my family (wife+daughter) so this is a good value. And yes, the WiFi speeds have gotten better.

  5. Come on the bourbon trail tour and play golf at Valhalla. It’s worth the trip!

    And, delta, it really isn’t worth $29 for me because I don’t drink and eat lightly when flying. Delta allows 45 minute connections so I’m usually scurrying to catch my connecting flight besides.

  6. The prices for the paid wines are still absurd for a lounge. United gives premium choices without the big markup (like Stags Leap for $12).

    But the whisky looks like the bargain here. Macallan 12 and Laphroig for the same price as Johnny Black? That’s the sweet spot.

  7. Oh and the Dona Paula name…

    That’s actually their cheap ‘Paula’ version which is like $8 a bottle.

    Not to be confused with the full Dona Paula Estate and other wines!!

    Delta is not that generous sadly!!

  8. I am pleased they have tightened up the rules for guests. The clubs were getting way too overcrowded. At one point it was better to wait at the gate than in the club. Now they seem a lot better.

  9. Often we walk right out of a Skyclub as soon as they let us in. Airports are getting better and we would rather pay for good coffee and better food outside.

  10. If they made Woodford complimentary, I’d be willing to forgive them for having paid options.

    I’d also like a complimentary single malt Scotch, but one can only dream…

  11. dotti cahill Reply

    the white wine (CHARD and SAV BLANC) satill stinkss in the lounge and in the air.. Andrea (delta somm) where are u we need you….the paid so called wines like Chalone are $9.00 for the bottle in a wine store and we are to pay WHAT IN THE skyclub???$10-$11 for a glass +++tax and tip… nuts it should be the free charddddd

  12. Pingback: DeltaONE Sky Club ATL pre-flight dining & drink choices (a work in progress at best). - Delta PointsDelta Points

  13. Pingback: American Express Centurion Club Miami MIA review & access for Delta flyers (how to get to the club) - Delta PointsDelta Points

  14. Pingback: Atlanta F International concourse Delta Sky Club Review by RenesPoints - Renés PointsRenés Points

Write A Comment

BoardingArea