Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Delta Sky Club, SFO

Most of my travel has either been domestic with JetBlue or Virgin America (main cabin or first class), or international with OneWorld partners (like British Airways, Qantas, or Cathay Pacific (business class and first class).  However, this year, when I lost my status, I decided to take this opportunity to explore other airlines and options.

And thus, I flew on Delta for the first time ever, on a quick connection from SFO to LAX (before heading to Sydney on Virgin Australia ... stay tuned!)  Because I was flying international business class, this gave me access to the Delta Sky Club in SFO.

I don't have comparison points with other domestic Sky Clubs, but it was clean, modern, and well designed.  It was also barely occupied, likely because it is member's access only (aka, my First Class domestic ticket would not have given me access).

Setting

Vacant Entry Way.
Check-in for the lounge is located on the same floor as the gates, but the lounge is upstairs.  Once up there, there is another check in desk that wasn't staffed, and lots of vacant open space.  It felt a bit strange walking into such a deserted area.
Window Seating.
The open area along the windows was light filled and quite bright, with standard round tables and more comfortable arm chairs.  I was surprised that very few people choose this area, as it had all the views.
High Tables.
I choose to camp out at a high table so I could just stand (I'd be sitting enough soon!), but there were also individual work stations that seemed to be the most popular seating, which is funny, as this area was relatively dark and not welcoming.

Outlets were plentiful, even built into the high tables.

Local artwork hung on the walls.
Bar.
A fairly long bar has both complimentary basic drinks and a premium menu, plus food you could order (and pay for).

Bathroom.
The bathroom was particularly stunning, with red countertops and Malin + Goetz hand soap and lotion.  Showers were also available, which you could sign up for at the check in desk.  I imagine they were stunning as well, but I didn't investigate.

Food & Drink

The food lineup is buffet style, fairly basic, with some things to nibble on and a handful of hot options.

I wasn't really needing food while I was there, so I only nibbled on a few things, so, unfortunately, I can't tell you much about food quality.

I did appreciate that everything was well labelled and constantly refilled.
Snack mixes: ranch pretzel mix, unlabelled snack mix, roasted tomato popcorn.
Snack mixes are my favorite part of airline lounges, even when they are generally stale and not very good.  You know how much I love snacks!  I'm just a muncher, what can I say?

The ranch pretzel mix was mostly just seasoned assorted shapes of thin pretzels, with a few corn chips.  It was fine, but, I'm not really one for pretzels.

The tomato flavored popcorn tasted like plain popcorn to me, but, at least it wasn't stale.

The final mix was not labelled, and seemed to have all sorts of things in it.  Pretzels, corn chips, almonds, peanuts ...  It was salty and seasoned in some way.  Decent enough I guess, but I didn't find myself getting addicted to it in the way I do with American Airlines Admiral's Club snacks.
Cheese, Salad, Crudite, Dips.
Next up came some little cubes of assorted cheese, base for salad, and some veggies to dip, and hummus, caesar, and ranch dressing.

I didn't try these, but they seemed popular.
 Salads.
Next up was more veggies to dip/make salads with (cherry tomatoes and broccoli), and 3 prepared salads.

The options were Greek chicken and cucumber salad, Mediterranean bulgar and veggie salad, and ramen salad with kale and edamame.

I tried the ramen one.  It was ... ok, the noodles were not too mushy, but there wasn't much flavor to it.
Chicken Pho Base.
A novel unique element of the Delta line up was a Pho station, with bowls ready for the broth to be added.  There were plenty of instructions to ensure that people understood what this was all about.
Chicken pho broth, veggie chili, toppings.
The broth was next to a pot of veggie chili, and both had assorted toppings, like crunchy corn chips and shredded cheese.  And crispy french fried onions, which I was thrilled to see.  I didn't want the soup or chili, I just like fried onions!
Veggie Fried Rice.
 Next up was fried rice, two trays of the same thing.
Dark Chocolate Espresso Brownies.
The first dessert was brownies (using quality Guittard chocolate).
Chocolate Chunk and Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Fruit.
There were also jars of cookies and individually wrapped fruit.
Coffee Station.
The coffee station is Starbucks branded with drip coffee and a machine.  Decaf is offered in both.

I tried the drip decaf and it was only lukewarm.

The toppings were particularly impressive, several types of syrups (including pumpkin spice, because, November), chocolate powder, and mini marshmallows.
Tea.
Tea was from Harvey and Sons, a decent selection, but no rooibos

Assorted sweeteners and honey were on offer.
Infused Water, Iced Tea, Water.
I appreciated the sparkling water tap, except that I wanted a bottle of water to bring out the door with me.  Lemons were provided as well.

Other soft drinks were available at the bar, but, alas, no cans or bottles there either.
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