Photo by Heather Middleton
By Maria-Jose Subiria
On a recent Thursday afternoon, about 100 Delta Air Lines Sky Club members were inside the club at Gate B-10, on Concourse B at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
They were there during the Jan. 27 grand re-opening of the Sky Club, which had been closed since November for renovations.
LeRoyce Newton, of McDonough, said he's been a club member for three years and was still getting used to the new decor and atmosphere. "It's busy," he said.
Newton said he was pleased with the upgrade to the bar area and the private bathrooms.
James Lee, of Connecticut, was sitting at the club's cyber counter, a work space that offers power outlets for electronic devices with a view of the airport's tarmac below.
He said he has been a club member for three years and enjoys everything about it, especially the cyber counter.
"It's really nice ... a lot more modern," said Lee about the Sky Club.
According to Delta officials, the 3,104-square-foot Sky Club re-opened in January, and is one of two clubs on Concourse B, and one of eight at Hartsfield-Jackson.
The Sky Club offers its members a full-service bar with complimentary beverages and snacks, new art featuring aerial photography of the Atlanta region, personalized flight assistance, five private bathrooms, three satellite TVs and a work zone. The work zone includes complimentary Wi-Fi, the cyber counter, desktop computers, wireless printers and additional outlets to charge electronic devices.
Prior to the renovation, the Sky Club had regular double doors, but it now has sliding doors that allow members to walk through easier while holding their luggage.
Seats have been added around the bar.
Delta Air Lines invested close to $1 million for the upgrades of the club.
The club renovation is part of Phase II of the Sky Club upgrades occurring at the airport. The club is the first at Hartsfield-Jackson to be fully renovated with the brand's new design.
Phase I included minor renovations to five other Sky Clubs in Atlanta.
Phase III will include the construction of a ninth Sky Club, which will be located near Gate D-27 on Concourse D. Phase IV includes the building of a 10th club on Concourse F, at the Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal, which will open in the spring of 2012.
The eight existing Sky Clubs in Atlanta's airport were originally built from the 1980s, to 2007. The Atlanta airport has 20 percent of the Sky Club network. The network has 53 locations around the globe.
"We see 25 percent of our visits here," said Frances Egan, manager for Delta Sky Club sales and marketing. "So 2 million visits a year."
Egan added that the renovations are a part of Delta's $2 billion investment in its product for the entire network, through 2013.
"Delta Sky Clubs are an important part of our premium customer experience and we are committed to further improving the travel experience for those customers," said Tim Mapes, senior vice president of marketing for Delta Air Lines. "From aircraft, to airports, to technology at your fingertips, Delta is investing significantly to ensure our customers have an excellent experience with Delta."
On the net:
Delta Air Lines: www.delta.com