The Delta Sky Club Seattle(SEA), an average domestic lounge with above average entrance requirements. Mistakenly, I often correlate exclusivity and quality. Because Sky Clubs are a bit more difficult to enter than some others, I had this notion that once inside, it would somehow be superior. It’s not.
I only have a couple reasons for considering Delta’s Sky Clubs more exclusive than some competition. First, they are not a member of the Priority Pass network. Many without elite status or a premium cabin ticket rely on this entrance method to cushion their economy travel. To this group, Delta Sky Clubs are usually off-limits. Second, Delta does not provide any single-use passes to its semi-premium co-branded cardholders. A courtesy rival United extends.
Those holding a Platinum Card from American Express have more options. Delta allows these cardholders use of the club if they’re also departing on a Delta coded/operated flight.
Additionally, one can enter if traveling premium cabin on a Skyteam carrier, selects a club membership via Choice Benefits or is a Skyteam Elite Plus travelling internationally. Personally, I went the Amex route. Having just acquired the plastic, err, metal, during Amex’s recent 100K point signup bonanza, I was anxious to put it to work.
A bit off-topic, but I consider the Amex Platinum the best option for those primarily investing in a premium card for airport lounge admittance. The card offers access to the Priority Pass network, similar to the Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige. Furthermore, the addition of Amex’s own Centurion Lounges and the Delta Sky Club network put Amex’s offering leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. The disparity is even more pronounced for those whom primarily travel domestically. Many members of this group know, that in the US, Priority Pass often straddles the “ok/worthless” line.
Size and Layout
Size and arrangement of a lounge, primarily because it directly effects comfort and privacy, is my primary concern when forming an opinion. In this regard, I find the Delta Sky Club Seattle(SEA) to be good, but not great. Seating is relatively plentiful. Even though the lounge was busy, it didn’t feel crowded. This alone deserves praise. Some lounges, ahem, “The Club” in Phoenix, seem to arrange furniture in a manner that requires one to step over another entrant just to grab a drink. Luckily, this is not the case for visitors to the Delta Sky Club Seattle(SEA).
Nicely, the Delta Delta Sky Club Seattle(SEA) makes good use of it’s footprint by adding a second level. This increases the lounge’s square footage by approximately 50%, and provides a somewhat cozy upstairs atmosphere. I’m not sure if everyone was oblivious, or averse to stairs, but I only found one other group of travelers in the loft area. Conversely, most ground-level “good-seats” were taken.
Interestingly, the Delta Sky Club Seattle(SEA)’s second floor doesn’t appear to be serviced by an elevator. A fact that initially annoyed me, but that I later came to appreciate. Nobody likes hauling luggage up, or down, and it very well might cause some people to not even bother. Those hauling a gaggle of kids and a small apartment’s worth of goods might just find it easier to stay at ground level.
I consider an airport lounge an oasis. A concept that’s directly inverse to the number of adults who happen to be concurrently visiting. When uncontrolled children are brought in, the relaxation factor nosedives. So, if the presence of stairs acts as some sort of barrier, then I consider them a welcome addition.
Delta Sky Club Seattle(SEA) Booze
Next down the hierarchy ladder, is the availability and quality of alcohol. Cutting right to the chase, the Delta Sky Club Seattle(SEA) absolutely fails. Perhaps I didn’t fully explore my options, but the fact that they charged $4 for a beer is obscene. Furthermore, the tap offerings were mediocre at best. Stella Artois and a local Scottish ale were considered “premium” and thus subject to the surcharge. Worth noting, is that Michelob and Delta branded IPA were complimentary. But still, a surcharge on Stella? A step above Budweiser, but by no means premium. I might have found the request a bit more reasonable if the surcharged beers were truly premium. I’m thinking something like a Belgian Abbey or Micro-batch craft. But Stella?! GTFO of here with that Delta.
Considering it was only noon, and I have principles /sarcasm/, I passed. Annoyingly, the bartender almost seemed offended. As soon as I said no thanks, she walked way. No further “sorry about that” or anything of the sorts. The whole exchange felt trashy. The exact opposite of what I would expect from America’s best legacy carrier.
Otherwise, the bar appeared well-stocked, with a normal array of low to mid-grade liquors. I didn’t test the waters, but I’m guessing that fell into a premium/free hierarchy as well. Worth noting, is that I’m fully aware of the first-world nature of this complaint. Nonetheless, I wasn’t impressed. If anyone from Delta ever reads this, know that you’re being completely outclassed by nearly every other lounge in the world. At least when it comes to the bar.
For a non-boozy morning, the Delta Sky Club Seattle(SEA) offers a nice selection. I always appreciate the availability of a self-serve latte/espresso machine. On deck was a touchscreen, frothed milk and a selection of Starbucks roasts accompanied by a plethora of syrups and flavorings. Not quite the full, manned coffee shops you’ll find in some lounges, but fully adequate.
Next up, we had a great selection of infused waters. I gave the cucumber variety a try and it was quite delicious. Worth noting, was the fact that it was somewhat sweetened. I enjoyed it, but realize some might not.
Heading further north, we find a great little hot/cold/sparkling water dispenser. It’s really nice to see this option becoming more prevalent. Refillable bottles are the way to go. Packaged water is certainly convenient, but it does feel wasteful, I much prefer Delta’s take.
Finally, we have a run-of-the mill fountain soda dispenser. All major flavors are covered. Though die-hard Pepsi fans may be disappointed.
While I certainly would not consider the Delta Sky Club Seattle(SEA) a culinary destination, the food offerings were more than adequate. Landing somewhere between meal-worthy and a hearty snack. We find all the usual accouterments, pastries, cheeses, crackers, raw veggies and random grain based things. Additionally, there appeared to be a nice selection of hearty soups. Luckily, I’m not simply referring to some cheap broth and noodle options either. No sir, on the menu was Ivars’ clam chowder. A pacific northwest staple, and a welcome addition to the spread.
I believe I even saw some bread bowls at one point during my visit. Had I been ready for lunch, that, plus Ivars, would have made a great meal.
Internet speed at the Delta Sky Clubb Seattle(SEA) was acceptable, but completely unremarkable. Approximately 10 mpbs up and down should do it for most tasks, though 4K streamers might find disappointment.
While the speed was adequate, the hunt for the password was not. In my opinion, if you’re that paranoid someone sitting outside might hop on your network, at least make a point of telling customers the password upon entrance. Getting settled, then having to search, feels amateurish.
The restrooms at the Delta Sky Club Seattle(SEA) were clean and well stocked with “I can’t remember the name” brand soaps. They appeared nicer than what’s available outside the lounge. Honestly though, I don’t think I’ve ever judged a lounge by the name of their hand cream.
Showers are available. Sadly, I did not have the opportunity to grab a photo or even take a look at the quality of Delta’s freshen-up stations.
The Delta Sky Club Seattle(SEA) appears to have been designed by a firm specializing in the ordinary. The facility is certainly a step up from the terminal, just not a massive one. Considering Delta does not grant access to Priority Pass customers, thus lending a feel of exclusivity, I was hoping for more.
Decent WiFi, a nice spread of food and drinks, plus a relatively unused 2nd floor all bode well for the lounge. The only real complaint I have, is mentioned above, the nickel and dime policy at the bar. Considering Delta provides better beer for free when flying international economy, there really is no excuse.