READ MORE FROM THIS TRIP
Introduction: Dream Trip for My Wife (and daughter) To Hawaii
• Review: Delta Airlines 767-400 (Business); Detroit to Honolulu
• Review: Delta Sky Club Lounge (Detroit)
• Review: Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach (Honolulu)
• Review: Southwest Airlines 737-800 Inter-Island (Economy); Honolulu to Maui
• Review: Fairmont Kea Lani (Maui)
• Review: Southwest Airlines (Economy); Maui to Atlanta (via Oakland)
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After going through security, we proceeded down a large escalator to the terminal level.
After arriving on the terminal level, it can be difficult to identify the Delta Sky Club. It is to the left and directly above the World Duty Free Store (near gate A41 if you’re connecting within the airport).
It can be easy to miss the nondescript logo and letters (that are the same color as the wall) and walk by the lounge.
The Sky Club is open daily from 5AM until 10PM daily.
Typically, when you are flying business (or first class) you have access to a lounge. However, we were told that this flight was considered a domestic flight, so we did not have access to a lounge. Fortunately, I have the Business Platinum Card from American Express (Read More) that offers complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when I am flying on a Delta itinerary (even if I am flying a Delta economy ticket).
We entered the lounge on the terminal level and checked in at the reception desk, however, the rest of the lounge is located one level above the terminal. Therefore, after entering the lounge reception area, you have to take the escalator up to the second level.
As we entered the lounge (on the 2nd floor) from the escalator, there was an agent that was registering individuals for “Clear.” If you are unfamiliar with Clear, it is a program that uses biometrics (e.g. your eyes and finger prints) to confirm your identity instead of using traditional ID documents. We weren’t interested so we continued into the lounge.
The lounge has an open concept, but surprisingly did not appear particularly large given Detroit is a sizable hub for Delta. In my experience, Sky Clubs tend to be pretty busy at Delta hubs, however, I welcomed the change.
The lounge had several different rooms and ample amount of seating. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
The lounge also had a small business area with cubicles and a copier.
Note: A number of businessmen were having a pow-wow in the cubicle area so I didn’t obtain of photo of that area.
It is virtually impossible to find an outlet in an airport so one aspect that is important in a lounge is the ability to charge electronics. Fortunately, this Delta Sky Club has you well covered as practically, every seat has it’s own outlet and USB charging station.
The center of the lounge had a large circular room where the buffet was served and news headlines were flashed on the wall.
One of my favorite aspects about lounges are the views. Generally, lounges overlook the runway / taxiway and you are able to obtain an unobstructed view of arrivals and departures. However, this lounge didn’t have much in the way of views. It simply faced the interior of the terminal. I think this is unfortunate because the terminal has floor-to-ceiling windows (thus a lot of natural light) and would’ve allowed this lounge to really shine (no pun intended).
At this point (10:30 am), we decided to visit the buffet. It was a breakfast selection that included assorted pastries, fruit (melon and pineapple, bananas, oranges and apples), scrambled eggs and toppings, hard-boiled eggs, cereal, bagels, muffins, and oatmeal. They also had specialty “Sky Bowl Bases” such as Quinoa Sweet Potato Hash with Spinach and Scrambled Eggs with Herbs.
There was also an area (in a separate room) with beer, wine, self serve liquor, soda and fruit juices. You will find that some Sky Clubs have bars (with bartenders), while others have self serve drinks. The Detroit Sky Club falls in the latter category.
There were several coffee stations throughout the lounge, including canisters of Starbucks coffee, and Starbucks coffee machines that made espressos and cappuccinos. They also have the syrups and various types of milk to choose from. I’m a fan and as far as I’m concerned, Delta beats the majority of lounges when it comes to their coffee selection.
Although, I would’ve enjoyed taking a shower (the perils of being the person that carries all of the bags for the family), I simply did not have time but I did visit for comparison sake.
The SkyClub has several shower rooms. There was an attendant at the entrance to the showers that informed that me that a shower was immediately available but I had to sign in first. Although, I just wanted to take pictures, I went through the process. Name, date, time…done! She unlocked the door and I was in.
The shower room didn’t have a toilet and although I don’t need a lot of room to take a shower, I felt the the space was a bit small. The water pressure wasn’t great, and some of the tile appeared to have seen better days.
The shower room was stocked with Malin + Goetz toiletries as usual. Generally, I find there are very few toiletry products that are made for my skin in lounge showers but Malin + Goetz are fairly good and they smell very nice too.
After taking a few pictures, I exited the shower room and the attendant jokingly said “you went in there to take pictures didn’t you? Are you a famous blogger or something?”
“Depends. Do I get lounge VIP treatment if I am?” I jokingly replied.
“Probably. See, I was wondering what was goin’ on. You didn’t even have any clothes to change into” she said as she continued to laugh.
That conversation made my day!
It was now approximately 11:15am and as I returned to the area where my wife was sitting, an agent approached and told us that the lunch buffet was now available. The buffet changes from breakfast to lunch at 11am.
Boarding for our flight was scheduled for 11:25AM and given the crowd that had gathered for the lunch buffet, I did not have time to take individual photos of the food. However, there was an ok selection, including quite a few vegetarian selections, cookies, pita, hummus and vegetable fried rice.
Boarding for our flight was scheduled for 11:25AM from gate A58. Typically, I like to arrive at the gate 10-15 minutes before boarding. With this strategy, I can be first in line to board the plane and take pictures in the few minutes I have with no one in the photo.
However, as usual with toddlers, things did not go according to plan. As we packed up to leave, we noticed / smelled a diaper “situation.”
As my wife went to the bathroom to change the diaper, I attempted to determine the best way to arrive at our gate (walk vs. train).
Unfortunately, the map was no assistance as you will notice that gate A58 is not even on there.
When my wife returned, she mentioned that the women’s bathroom did not have a changing table but she was still able to change her. 2019 and no changing table, really???
Regardless, we packed up, took the escalator to the terminal level. At the bottom of the escalator, I noticed this sign…
We determined that the easiest route for arriving at our gate quickly would be riding the train so we took another escalator back to the second level (the same level as the lounge). Although they are on the same level, the only way to get from the lounge to the train is by the method that I am describing.
Once I arrived on the departure deck for the train, I noticed the new Delta A350 parked below at gate A38. I told my wife that I would meet her at our gate and I jetted down the escalator (…why are there so many escalators in this airport!?!?). This was the first time I had seen Delta’s A350 so I was extremely excited.
You would also think DTW would be great place to take photos of planes given they have floor-to-ceiling windows. However, all of the windows have small black dots on them making it almost impossible to get a good picture.
I ran to our gate (A58A) and my wife arrived at the same time. At this point, the business class passengers had already boarded and they had begun boarding economy passengers. We quickly stepped in the Sky Priority line and boarded our 767-400. Unfortunately, the gate is located at an odd angle and this is the best photo you can obtain of the plane.
I have visited quite a few lounges at this point and generally Delta Sky Clubs are a solid bet. However, I have a few issues with the one.
First, this Sky Club needs a little TLC. If you’ve seen the renovated Sky Clubs in New York or Seattle, you will understand that this is not up to par. Fortunately, the sign at the bottom of the escalator suggests that a renovation is scheduled for 2020 so I’m looking forward to that day.
Additionally, the lounge doesn’t have much in the way of views, and that’s unfortunate given the amount of air traffic that passes through DTW.
Third, the showers…where are Chip and Joanna Gaines when you need them? Just start all over!
Last but not least, I feel that Delta needs a new concept. I would be disappointed if I had paid cash for an international business class ticket and this was the premium lounge that I had access to. Both, American and United are building premium business class lounges (Flagship and Polaris respectively). Delta, on the other hand, gives me this worn lounge and as far as I know doesn’t have a plan to build any premium lounges. This was a fairly weak offering for premium cabin passengers at a hub.
I think my daughter agrees…
If you fly in Delta’s international business class, what are your thoughts with the state of Delta Sky Clubs? Are they better than other lounges or does Delta need to do something better?