A couple weeks ago, I booked a one-way Delta One flight between Atlanta and Buenos Aires for 45,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles (and just $5.60 in taxes). I was pretty dang excited about the ability to do this, as it was my previous assumption that Flying Club awards flying partner airlines–at least Delta specifically–needed to be booked roundtrip. That is not the case. I will cover booking that award and the in-flight experience soon, but today I want to share what I learned about the Sky Clubs in Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport, and specifically my experience in the Sky Club of concourse F.
- Sky Clubs in Atlanta Airport
- Sky Deck
- Seating Areas
- Food & Bar
- Work Area
- Cards That Offer Sky Club Access
- Bottom Line
Sky Clubs in Atlanta Airport
Unsurprisingly, there are many Sky Clubs in the Atlanta airport. My plan was to arrive with ample time to relax before takeoff. FYI: Flying a premium cabin gives you access to either the airline you fly’s lounge or an airline of the same alliance’s lounge. So I researched which Sky Club I should check out before my red eye to the bottom of South America.
There are nine Sky Clubs at the Atlanta airport. All are airside, and all are open every day.
|A||Center of second level||6:00AM – 10:00PM||Average|
|A||Gate A17||5:00AM – 11:00PM||Average|
|B||Gate B18||6:00AM – 11:00PM||Good food, not crowded, good views|
|C||Gate C37||6:00AM – 11:00PM||Well decorated|
|D||Gate D12||6:00AM – 10:00PM||Toss up for the worst|
|D||Gate D27||6:00AM – 10:00PM||Smallest and worst
|E||Gate E15||6:00AM – 12:00AM||Good food|
|F||Mezzanine Level (International Terminal)||5:30AM – 12:00AM||Sky Deck and showers are cool|
|T||Gate T6||5:00AM – 10:00PM||Least crowded, best staff|
Not everyone is going to have enough time to hand pick a lounge to visit. Often your departing terminal determines your lounge. I figured I’d have at least a few hours, as I’d be arriving by car from Charleston, SC where I ahd been visiting my parents. I planned to leave early to give myself plenty of time for the 5.5 hour drive and for error/traffic. My time management is getting better with age (I did just turn 30!), but that development is offset by spending the majority of my 20s in a country that has little regard for timeliness (COUGH**Argentina**COUGH). I got to ATL and through security with just over an hour to kill before boarding. Not as much as I wanted.
Good thing I had already pre-selected the Sky Club in Concourse F as my desired destination. The SkyDeck piqued my interest, as I’ve never been to a lounge with an outdoor area. My flight to Argentina took off from Concourse F, so this all worked out well.
The Sky Deck
I collapsed into a chair to answer some emails. I didn’t do a speed test but the internet was quick. I successfully made a few clear calls through Skype, and then went to find the SkyDeck.
Cue sad trombone music.
Don’t visit this Sky Club for the express reason of the Sky Deck. You’ll be disappointed. As of May 3, there was nothing on the Sky Deck and no access allowed. If that’s changed since then and the roof construction is finished, let everyone know in the comments please. I get the feeling there are often issues with the Sky Deck. This Flyertalker reported in mid August of 2018 that they also could not access the SkyDeck due to a broken door.
There were three seating areas with lots of varied chair types, about half of which had outlets to plug in devices. All had some sort of table access to place drinks and food on. The chair I sat in, like the ones in the photo below, was comfortable.
This was the the biggest seating area on the ground level. I liked the wall of windows.
Half of it has a low ceiling (below the upstairs seating area)….
and the other half is vaulted.
…and the other half has a vaulted ceiling.
There’s another long, narrow seating area on the ground floor, behind the bar.
Upstairs there is one more sitting area, which I found to be the least crowded. When I first arrived around 8 pm (which seemed to be rush hour at this Sky Club), there were a few people, but an hour later there was no one despite the rest of the lounge remaining pretty full
Food & Bar
I thought the food selection was good for a domestic lounge.
There was a salad and hummus bar along the wall, and hot food in the center. There was macaroni and cheese, pulled chicken, sautéed squash/zucchini, and chicken tortilla soup. All the typical beverages were available: Starbucks coffee, tea, water, soft drinks. I noticed that the food bars remained stocked, and the staff cleaning up emptied plates and glasses were very much on top of their job and polite.
I didn’t order anything at the bar but there were complimentary house beer, wine, and cocktails available. If you want the premium stuff you need to pay for it. That’s average alcohol policy for–if not better than–many domestic lounges I’ve visited. I can’t remember which lounge it was but I know I’ve visited a major US airline’s lounges that only gave a coupon for one free drink, period. I think it was an Admiral’s Club (American Airlines).
There is a designated work area with private desks, ergonomic chairs, and print/fax station.
I’m pretty sure the Sky Club in concourse F is the only Sky Club in Atlanta with showers, which makes sense as it’s located in the international terminal. I didn’t have time to take one but the woman in charge of this area was very kind and happy to take me on a tour.
Each shower had it’s own toilet, sink, and plenty of room to change clothes.
Showers were stocked with MALIN + GOETZ bath products. The slick bottles lead one to believe these are high quality soaps, but I can’t imagine wanting my hair to smell like cilantro.
The ability to shower in the midst of a long flight is a huge perk and reason in itself to visit this specific Sky Club.
Cards That Offer Sky Club Access
All of the credit cards listed below offer access to all Delta Sky Clubs as a part of their benefits package.
- The Platinum Card from American Express*
- The Business Platinum Card from American Express
- Delta Reserve Credit Card
- Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
*Right now, the public offer for the Amex Platinum card is 60,000 Membership Rewards for spending $5,000 on your new card within three months. But the Cardmatch Tool is offering targeted consumers a much bigger sign-up bonus: 100,000 Membership Rewards for spending $5,000 within three months. Read 100k Amex Platinum Targeted Offer to figure out if you’re targeted.
The Sky Club lounge in concourse F of the Atlanta airport somewhat served its purpose to me. I wanted: A) to hang out on the Sky Deck, B) a decent snack, and C) good enough internet to get work done. My second two wishes were fulfilled, but not the primary one. The way my day turned out I wouldn’t have had time to visit any other lounge without being totally rushed anyways, but it was disappointing that I couldn’t access the Sky Deck. Hopefully they build the new roof quickly, as I take it that the Sky Deck is the primary reason (along with the showers) that someone would go out of their way to visit this lounge.
The detail that stands out the most from this lounge experience was how friendly and efficient the staff was. High-five to them.
Note that this Sky Club did not have a designated area for families with children.
What’s your favorite Sky Club? Amex Platinum cardholders: Would you choose a Sky Club over a Priority Pass lounge in the Atlanta airport?