Delta’s newest Sky Club opened this week at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) in Austin, Texas — and the mothership should be rightfully proud of this lounge that has been under construction for a very long time.
The style is classier and more sophisticated than any of the other Sky Clubs I’ve visited like the flagship Sky Club in Seattle. (Which certainly isn’t a knock against the nicer ones of the bunch). The staff is great. The food is very good. And the cocktail offerings — especially the Flower District Margarita — are wonderful.
I visited the Austin Sky Club on Tuesday, May 21 — the day it opened to the public — and Wednesday, May 22. Balloons, swag, and a festive atmosphere were some of the grand opening day special features.
Some minor kinks with staff and equipment were present, though in the process of being fixed. Here’s what I experienced.
Delta Sky Club Austin – Basics
Delta’s Austin Sky Club is located on the departure level’s mezzanine, at gates 1-4. When you see this pod-like structure (which reminds me of the LAX Theme Building), you’re in the right spot.
Go around to the side and take either the stairs or elevator —
— to level “M.”
The lounge is open seven days a week from 5:00 AM to 6:45 PM. (Delta’s final daily departure leaves just before 7:00 PM.) Sky Club members, American Express Platinum and Delta American Express Reserve cardholders, SkyTeam Elite passengers on an international itinerary, and Delta One passengers are eligible for admission.
Delta Sky Club Austin – Gaining Entry
“You sure came here on the right day!” a gleeful Delta employee said when I entered the club. The Sky Club folks were downright giddy. It was a fun atmosphere they helped create.
I walked to the check-in desk and presented my boarding pass to a receptionist. She scanned it and wrinkled her brow.
“Mr. Carley, do you have an American Express card or…” she said. Apparently, my entry credentials didn’t appear. Maybe the new club’s computer system wasn’t synced with my Delta Reserve Business American Express card yet? Maybe she didn’t see it? I don’t know. Just as I reached for my Platinum Card from American Express, another agent came over and tried. Everything worked and I was in.
Delta Sky Club Austin – Inside the Club
“Wow,” I said aloud when I was barely a couple feet inside the lounge. Several people remarked that it feels and looks like an American Express Centurion Lounge.
The walnut styling throughout the lounge provides a warm, comforting atmosphere. This beautiful bar is the new club’s centerpiece.
Let’s take a stroll around before we come back for a beverage!
The circular portion of the club that includes the bar and beverage stations provides several little nooks where people can relax, work, or socialize. It really felt cozy and fairly private. There were plenty of power outlets and USB ports.
More seating is located throughout the club.
There are several stalls with two power outlets and two USB ports each.
The dining room features plenty of seating options — but I didn’t see anything with power or USB.
Delta Sky Club Austin – Food
Most of the Delta Sky Club food staples are here, with a few Austin-themed items thrown in. Plus, real glass plates and silverware are available — not the picnic-y paper plates and plastic ware we see in other Sky Clubs.
Scrambled eggs, pork chorizo, ground beef (for breakfast tacos), and an “Austin Scramble” are the breakfast entrees.
The scrambled eggs were nothing special; if you’ve ever had Sky Club scrambled eggs, you’ve had these.
Bread options include croissants, make-your-own toast, and these maple sweet potato muffins. Sweet potato haters, fear not: there’s enough maple and other flavorings to make the muffin taste good. (Though the texture is a little odd.)
Cereal, oatmeal, and fruit are also available.
Lunch is where the Delta Sky Club Austin brings the goods. The braised chicken tacos (with flour or whole wheat tortillas) were fantastic. The chicken was very juicy with just enough kick and spice to not scare off a bland, picky eater like me.
The tuna tartare was also delectable.
Delta Sky Club Austin – Beverages
Time for a cocktail? Let’s head back to the bar!
Here’s the rub: the beverage section — while centrally-ish located — can be a bit of a walk from many of the seating areas. You won’t break a sweat or lose your breath, but many guests were confused about why beverages weren’t anywhere close to the buffet.
You’ll find Starbucks coffee machines here —
— as well as sparkling and still water options.
For soda lovers, the club features a Coca-Cola soda pop fountain. It wasn’t ready for prime time for either opening or the following day.
Bartenders serve the usual suspects of complimentary beer, wine, and liquor selections. (That day, though, everything — including the bar menu’s premium items — was complimentary in honor of the grand opening!)
I ordered the Flower District Margarita, which is a complimentary signature drink.
A slightly nervous but sweet bartender who seemed relatively new to crafting cocktails helped me. She was assisted on the other side by a woman who seemingly was either a liquor company rep or Sky Club beverage consultant. They asked if I’d wait while the bartender-in-training was talked through the making of my drink.
I understand it was the first day — but shouldn’t bartenders know how to make one of the club’s signature drinks? I didn’t mind, however; in fact, I enjoyed the learning process myself! (I really wanted to take pictures but didn’t want to spook the bartender 🙂 )
How did the new bartender do? 10/10! (Or 5/5 in Delta’s “Strive for Five” speak)
The Flower District Margarita is delicious. Very smooth, tasty, and refreshing. I highly recommend having one (or three) when you visit.
When I returned on Wednesday, I had to have another, just make sure everything was consistent and up to par. (You know, for science’s sake.) This one was a tad sweeter but still very good.
Delta Sky Club Austin – WiFi / Internet
Like other Delta Sky Clubs, free WiFi is accessible via the password posted throughout the lounge.
This was a speed test conducted without a VPN:
This was a speed test with my Tunnel Bear VPN activated.
Delta Sky Club Austin – Ambiance
Like the city of Austin, art and music feature throughout the club. The music selections are sort of modern, laid-back beats you may hear at a Vegas lounge or pool. Cuts by Yonderboi, Poolside, and Pele & Shawnecy were played.
Texas and Austin-themed sculptures and paintings enhance (in a good way!) the atmosphere.
I don’t believe any of it is for sale — though one wouldn’t be surprised if SkyMiles were an accepted way to purchase the artwork. 😉
Delta Sky Club Austin – Sky Deck
Delta’s gotten the message that Sky Decks are a big hit. They’re adding them to LAX, SLC, and — rumor has it — MSP.
Austin is home to the newest deck — a beautiful, semi-covered balcony with flat-screen TVs and several seating options.
The only problem? Austin is perpetually steamy. Even at 6:00 AM, my glasses fogged up. There are ceiling fans — which help a bit. Misters are also installed but weren’t turned on.
Delta Sky Club Austin – Restrooms
The restroom — men’s, at least — is tastefully decorated and nicely lit.
Delta Sky Club Austin – Wave!
In my experience, Texans are welcoming and friendly. So, naturally, waving is a big part of the new Sky Club! You’ll find a few, nifty motion-activated sensors throughout the club.
Germaphobes, rejoice! A motion sensor opens the restroom door!
Another motion sensor opens the Sky Deck door. It’s located underneath a television set (which seems like an odd place to have a TV but okay.)
The restrooms also feature motion-activated hand dryers next to each sink.
The blowers even tell you their function.
Delta Sky Club Austin – Staff
Delta Sky Club staff consistently impress me — and the Austin lounge crew is fantastic. I was frequently asked if I wanted any beverages refreshed or needed anything else. The service level was Centurion Lounge-like —but friendlier. A fun, welcoming vibe flows through this lounge.
Plenty of smiles, “hello!”s, and staff chatting up guests were the norm the days I visited.
Aside from bartenders not knowing the signature drink, the only other training issue that must be fixed is table bussing. There were plenty of empty glasses and plates that sat on tables for a long time when the club wasn’t busy. But these are growing pains and will be fixed soon, I imagine.
Delta Sky Club Austin – Too Much of a Good Thing?
I frequently overheard fellow clubgoers talk about how much they love this lounge. “Coming to the airport is now actually going to be fun!” I heard a guest rave.
Delta has really upped their game with the Austin Sky Club — which I can see biting them in the tail fin.
This lounge is now the airline’s new diamond standard to match. The Austin Sky Club isn’t the usual blue or red booths and rows of low-back chairs. It’s not carrot sticks, cheese cubes, and crackers. This club is unique and stands on its own!
Seattle has a great Sky Club, as does San Francisco; I like JFK’s T4 lounge and several of the Atlanta clubs. But people visiting, say, the DFW, Portland, or other clubs will be underwhelmed after visiting the Austin location.
But for Delta’s increasing Austin footprint, this is definitely a good thing as well as rumors of expanded direct flight options from Austin Texas to Europe and Asia. As word continues to get out about this stunning Delta Sky Club, I won’t be surprised to see Austin-based Amex Platinum and Delta Reserve American Express memberships to sky (club) rocket.
Have You Had a Chance to Experience the Austin Delta Sky Club?
Even though it’s only been open for a few short days, please tell us in the comment section if you visited Austin’s Delta Sky Club. What did you like and what needs improvement? Did anything surprise you compared to other Delta Sky Clubs? Did you have a Flower District Margarita? 😉 – Chris