Temo Madrigal is a good friend and is a correspondent for my blog. He also is not loyal to any one airline and normally tries to find the best deal possible, especially when flying with his wife and three kids. Recently he had a flight by himself from Seattle (SEA) to Indianapolis (IND) with a layover in Minneapolis (MSP) on Delta Air Lines. I asked if he could check out the SkyClub during his four hour layover in MSP and give his honest impressions since he had never been in an airline lounge before. He agreed.

The SkyClub located at the entrance of the F and G concourses at MSP (there is another located on the C concourse) is Delta’s busiest club after Atlanta and takes up about 12,500 square feet. The club was re-done in January 2011 as part of Delta’s more than $2 billion investment in airport facilities and global products, services and technology upgrades. Here is Temo’s experience in his own words:

Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-200 at MSP. Photo by Daniel Betts

Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-200 at MSP. Photo by Daniel Betts.

Some of my fellow travelers like to book their flights direct with no stops. I, on the other hand am all about saving money, even if it’s a measly twenty dollars. As a stay-at-home-dad, I like to enjoy the few hours I spend alone in the sometimes-busy airport terminals. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, but getting to read more than one chapter of a book in one sitting is a rare treat.

Recently, I was traveling to the Midwest and had a four-hour layover in Minneapolis and the Airline Reporter (aka David) asked me to check out the Delta Sky Club and provide readers with an inside look at the amenities of the club and if a one day pass (normally $50) would be worth it.

Delta Lounge

The Delta Sky Club in Minneapolis was formally the Northwest Airlines Worldclubs and is one of the oldest lounges in the Midwest. One wouldn’t be able to tell since it was first updated during the merger of Delta and Northwest in 2008 and then again January of this year.

Honestly, before seeing the Delta Sky Club, I had never actually been in an airport lounge. In my mind I had imagined dark painted walls, black ceilings, old style leather couches, and maybe even a stuffed moose head on a wall over the bar. I usually travel with a child or two in-tow, so running up and down the terminal is something that we do to tire-out our kids and help them be less of a hassle on the plane (mostly to respect our fellow travelers), and due to my vivid imagination and ideas of what an airport lounge includes, I never looked into them. This trip had definitely helped me change my mind.

A good club takes more than just a comfy place to sit -- it takes good staff and Delta delivers.

A good club takes more than just a comfy place to sit -- it takes good staff and Delta delivers.

The foyer of the Delta Sky Club looked inviting and the young ladies at the reception desk welcomed me with genuine smiles and some humor. Something you might not see at every airport establishment at 6:10 AM. I was quickly asked if I had ever been to the Minneapolis club and if I needed any assistance with the services. I let them know that I had not and one representative provided me with a brief tour of the club and the amenities that are offered. I quickly realized that there was no moose head and my ideas of what I would find were completely the opposite.

The entire lounge was actually had a retro-yet-new-feel with florescent lights dimmed by blue stained glass, both the furniture and artwork were a cross between modern and art deco that gave the entire lounge a chic and upscale look and feeling. Being in the club actually made me feel as if I had entered an exclusive nightclub, but yet somehow I belonged.

Delta's SkyClub in MSP has lots of different seating options.

Delta's SkyClub in MSP has lots of different seating options.

After the brief tour I decided to use the amenities of the lounge. First, was the men’s room and I was a little disappointed. Being that I was on a red-eye and had a full day ahead of me, I was hoping that there would be showers at this location, but there were not. I felt awkward having to brush my teeth in sinks that were directly located in front of bathroom stalls for some reason. At least the restroom was very clean, so it that wasn’t a big deal.

The good part is most people won’t spend most of their time in the bathroom. The seating areas were outstanding, with the two level lounge being open and ample. There were a variety of seat options ranging from nest style seats that provided some privacy, full reclining chairs, living room style seating arrangements with coffee tables at the center, and bar table and stool seats as well. It also featured a “quiet area” that was in a sunken nook style space in the far corner of the club with full reclining chairs.

One can sit and relax or get down to business in the SkyClub.

One can sit and relax or get down to business in the SkyClub.

The business office area offered both desks with internet hook-up and telephones, as well as desks with ready-to-use desktop computers, printers and a fax machine. I was able to use the free Wi-Fi with my tablet after being helped by the reception desk. There is also satellite TV available, but if you are looking for non-electronic entertainment, you can find plenty of daily newspapers (Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, etc.) and magazines.

The Delta Sky Club offers what Delta calls “Snacks Served All Day”. I perused the continental breakfast selections; oatmeal with the trimmings, bagels, trailmix, fresh fruits, cereal, yogurt, and a multi-selection beverage dispenser that offered coffee, tea, and hot cocoa. I’m a Seattle coffee drinker and give kudos for the strong coffee that came out of the dispenser.

There might not be a ton of food an drink options, but you can have as much as you want.

There might not be a ton of food an drink options, but you can have as much as you want.

The bar was stocked with complimentary premium wines, beer and liquor. Again, there was no moose head over the bar, but there were three large plasma televisions offering both news and sports options for patrons to watch, and now that I think about it, it’s definitely better than having to stare at a dead moose head for four hours. The bar was clean, attractive, and the bartenders, Taslfalem and Sebele, were polite and very attentive. Both were able to multi-task by holding a great conversation and do their work with precision and a smile.

When heading back to Seattle and stopping at Detroit, I was offered a one-day pass to the Delta Sky Club for only $39.00. I had a four-hour layover once again and sitting with the “normal” people just didn’t seem appealing. I wanted to see the difference of how much money I would spend normally on food, drinks, etc. at the airport. I spent a total of $29.17 for an appetizer and two drinks in a bad Mexican restaurant with uncomfortable chairs. For ten dollars more (even for $20 more at the standard $50 price) I could have had the same positive experience I had in Minneapolis at the Delta Sky Club.

The bar was my favorite place. Good drinks and great conversation.

The bar was my favorite place. Good drinks and great conversation.

So is the cost of a day pass or even a yearly membership worth it? Well, I met a gentleman at the Sky Club Bar that mentioned he had become a member of The Delta Sky Club (formally Delta Crown Room Clubs) almost fifteen years ago because he wanted to find a better place for his kids to have a soda and relax during 2-4 hour layovers. He is a loyal member and feels that it only keeps getting better. I have to agree. It will be pretty hard for me not to have lounge access, but I do not travel enough for a yearly membership. Delta better believe they might see me a time or two using a day pass in the future, which is a big statement coming from a conservative spending guy like me.

B757 image by Daniel Betts
All others by Temo Madrigal

AirlineReporter.com correspondent

http://www.airlinereporter.com
Video: Boeing 787 Dreamliner Completes Certification & United Update
43 Comments
Lennie Briscoe

Nice review…except for all the moosehead references.

I think it is accurate (and humorous). Many folks think the clubs are some ultra exclusive men’s club of some sort. Where really they are comfortable place to get away from the regular hustle and bustle of the airport.

David

Angelica Espindola

I liked the review. It is informative, honest and fun. I guess I thought there were moose head’s in these places too. That was funny.

Lorena Sandoval

Very well written review! Very informative!

Catti Alvarez

Nice review! It was easy to read, informative, honest, & funny!

I have a complimentary membership and find the renovated Sky Clubs to be quite nice. The variety of seat types and the higher availability of little tables next to chairs to put a cup or wine glass down is a little thing but worth tons… Whoever came up with the new design succeeded.

I love that sky club, was there in May.

Nice post. Never been to MSP but now i know the club is upto snuff.
I am mostly familiar with DTW, ATL, DUS (air france lounge), ZRH (AF), AMS (KLM), CDW (AF), NRT (Korean air lines), ICN (KAL) lounges.

Let me know if you’d like a review of any of those*
🙂
You wouldn’t even have to buy me a day pass

Well, he was forced to miss the club at DTW — what did he miss? 🙂

David

MSP is a newly re-done club. The DTW ones just aren’t quite up to snuff compared to MSP.

I’ll cobble together some past pics and maybe snap some new ones when I fly out again nest week. The DTW clubs ain’t all that bad. There are 4 total. The main one with the best hours (Terminal A between gates 38 and 40). One at each end of the Sky Train, and another in Terminal B (but I can’t vouch for that one).

In the meantime here is the SkyTeam Partner lounge of AMS (Amsterdam Schiphol Airport).

http://stringgirl.blogspot.com/2011/08/skyteam-partner-lounge-review-ams-klm.html

Haha, that is awesome!

David

thanks David. It’s an odd approach to a travel blog. But That little 2D girl has accumulated 350K qualifying miles in the last 3 years. Mabe she should guest post here at some point.

Temo may be the best writer on this blog

Haha 🙂 He is at least in the top three.

(Curtis, Temo and I unfortunately all know each other)

David

Temo Madrigal

Thank you, Curtis! Who are you again? Kidding, of course.

I think going to a club at MSP would be a waste. You can still get pretty cheap food (especially using the free coupons at the info centers) and there is a quiet area in Concourse D up the observation deck.

Yolanda Zamora

Well I’ve been in delta sky club before so its a like interesting you would think there would be moose heads in the lounge lol! I use to work for an airline before and waiting for hours for a flight on standby was no fun. Yet buying a day pass for busy MSP would make it so worth your money!

Angel Madrigal

Great article, Temo. Thanks for sharing. I don’t know about Daniel, but I like to drink before and while I’m on the flight. I don’t mean overly drunk but enough to calm the nerves and get me to relax. My girlfriend and I spend anywhere from $80 to $140 in food and drinks at the airport on every trip we take. I’ve been in Concourse D in Minneapolis and it’s not always quiet. There are more chances of children being at the observation deck than in the Sky Club. I’m not cheap, so reading your story has made me decide to want to check out the Delta Sky Club. It’s on!

Interested and flying quite a bit lately…..I’ll have to check one out the next time I’m caught in a layover!

Great article. I frequent the sky club everytime I can. If you don’t fly much, but do fly Delta a few times a year…you might want to check out the AMEX Delta card…$25 access to skyclubs. It pays for itself! And no, I don’t work for Amex or Delta :).

This makes the club experience very appealing. Is there a cut-off limit to the number of guest (besides the fire code) allowed in to maintain the “away” from the terminal feel?

This is one of the nicer clubs around, and to be fair there are some dog lounges out there (particularly in the US). As a Board Room Member with Alaska, I’ve checked out several of the Delta clubs (Atlanta, JFK, Seattle, Minneapolis), and by far this is the nicest one. Most don’t even come close. That said, all of them beat waiting with the crowds, particularly if I have a long layover. They’re definitely worth the investment if you do your homework in advance. Transiting JFK or Atlanta on a transatlantic flight — or LAX or SFO for Transpacific travel??? Make sure you know which of the Sky Club(or AAdmiral’s club or whatevery you’re going to pay to get into) locations have showers. Nothing worse than blowing $50 to find out that the other location was the one with the showers.

I have found Alaska’s club in Seattle to be one of the better domestic clubs in the US. It is a bit over crowded, but as far as atmosphere and amenities it is pretty slick.

There are some international business or first class lounges I have been in and thought, “really?”

Still haven’t found one better than Lufthansa’s first class terminal in Frankfurt: http://www.airlinereporter.com/2011/06/an-inside-look-at-lufthansas-exclusive-first-class-terminal-at-frankfurt/

David

I miss the showers in US clubs that i find in other countries and other airlines’ clubs

As Diamond member I use Sky clubs frequently and the one mentioned in article is quite functional- my only request pls stock Patron!

Jose Luis

I have found this article very good. I have been traveling since a very young age with my parents and I have never heard of such lounges. That’s what happens for not asking questions. Now been an adult and travel for business/pleasure I will look into getting a membership. Thanks Temo for your article.

Melinda Leal

Insightful review, I love that you obtained another club member’s opinion who also had children. I was always under impression club members were for the business class traveler’s only.

Isabel Uvalle

I have 2 very active children, who hate traveling because the are bore and have to be still. I’m glad there are lounges where they can relax while they watch TV. Also, that they provide drinks for the adults, because believe me when I say this flying with kids can be very stressful. Good article.

Yes, indeed, it is a great and comfortable club. I have enjoyed it for many years, by a smart investment in a lifetime membership in its predessor, NWA’s World Club. I wholly reccommend that to all freguent travelers. And it is good that no moose head resides….they are an endangered species here in the northlands. I suggest instead a deer head would look smart there…we have a more than ample population of them in Minnesota.

Interesting point of view, I never considered going into a skyclub (I am frugal myself) but now I might. It seems like a better place to spend my time during a layover.

Great job, brother! Very informative. Didn’t know this service existed.

Michael Jarecki

I will be going through the MSP in a few weeks and wondered if anyone has had an experience with the Delta lounge on the C concourse, which apparently is a smaller (possibly even quieter) lounge – wondering how it compares to the main, larger Delta lounge on the F & G concourses featured in the above review. Thanks!

I agree with Daniel about MSP. I find the Sky Clubs there to be more crowded and stressful than some quiet places in the terminal. Food and drink options outside the Sky Club are pretty good also (not so at DTW). I’m a frequent flier and think Delta has oversold their Sky Club product.

Silvia Edwads

automatic beverage dispensers are really great, we use them a lot in our office.*

View all of the most recently released post at our personal blog site
<img src="http://www.foodsupplementcenter.com/psyllium-side-effects/ “>

I know this is an old post but for anyone reading this i wanted to explain that Delta now charge for premium drinks. You get bud and miller lite free and other draft beer is $3. Spirits (that are not house) start at $5. Champagne and some nice single malts are available – at cost of course.

And it is expected that you tip at the bar. Delta lounges are nothing like Emirates or even Air France – just be careful what you expect!

Trying out Delta SkyClub. (Never been to Any) forgive my ignorance. I’ll be at MSP. Are the alcohol beverages free? And the food? I read the excellent review. Now if they had massage chairs I’d never leave.

Sui Generis

Does anyone know if my Lifetime Membership in the former Northwest Airlines World Club?

Sui Generis

Sorry, I hit ‘send’ accidentally. The question is whether or not Delta will accept my Lifetime membership from NWA World Club at the Delta Club since the two airlines have merged?

Great report and helpful experience. Not to be a troll but seems a little arrogant to not be with the “normal people.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *