1st look: Inside Delta’s stunning new Sky Club in Minneapolis

18 April 2023

Delta Air Lines wants to position itself as America’s premium airline.

From fancy onboard cabins to upgraded catering to free fleetwide Wi-Fi, the airline is on a mission to elevate the travel experience (and charge you extra for it).

Perhaps nowhere is that strategy more apparent than in the carrier’s latest upgrades to the Sky Club network, which now includes a collection of lounges that travelers actually want to visit — so much so that overcrowding has become an everyday phenomenon.

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While Delta has already opened a slew of new and expanded Sky Clubs since the pandemic began, the airline isn’t resting on its laurels.

Many more lounges are expected to open in the coming months and years, but on Wednesday, Delta will officially inaugurate its newest Sky Club: a third location at its hub at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

I visited the new lounge in advance of the opening, and it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Sky Club in 2023: a luxurious space with plenty of seating, top-notch catering, a year-round Sky Deck and much more.

Want to see inside? Read on for a first-look tour.

Inside Delta’s new Minneapolis Sky Club

Delta’s new Sky Club in Minneapolis is located in Concourse G, between gates 17 and 18, and it’s open daily from 4:30 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. All Delta gates at MSP are connected post-security, so assuming that you don’t mind a little walking, you can use the lounge before any Delta flight departing from the airport.

The entrance is located on the ground level of the central rotunda, and it’s nearly impossible to miss because of the wood-grain wall and backlit Delta Sky Club branding.

Once inside, there are two elevators and a staircase to take you up to the lounge itself. Delta does a great job with the details, and thanks to some colorful artwork, a beautiful chandelier and spacious elevators, this entrance area feels more like a five-star hotel lobby than an airport holdroom.

After ascending one level, you’ll find yourself in the 21,000-square-foot lounge. There are three self-service check-in kiosks, as well as one agent-staffed reception desk, to help you get registered.

This area is also home to my favorite piece of artwork in the entire space, “Minneapolis.” I’m a fan of calling cities by their airport codes, and Dennis Kalow’s take on Minneapolis is life-sized “M,” “S” and “P” letters interwoven in enameled wood and painted in red, white and gold.

After completing the entry formalities, you’ll pass by two agent-staffed help desks, where you can go for assistance during irregular operations or for any other travel questions.

This part of the lounge is shaped like a semi-circle that spans the perimeter of the central rotunda area. There are a variety of couches lining the glass walls that are sure to be popular with groups who want to relax near the entrance of the lounge.

While Delta has really elevated the Sky Club experience in recent years, I love the color palette the airline chose for this outpost. It’s based on the concept of Minnesota being the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” and the copper, bronze and sage green accents throughout the space were chosen to evoke summer sunsets in the Great Lakes region.

That said, you’ll still find a pop of Delta signature colors throughout the lounge, including on the red-lined chairs that make up the visually appealing “U-shaped” sitting nook near the bar.

“We are happy to not do cookie cutter,” Claude Roussel, Delta’s managing director for Sky Clubs, said about the lounge design in an interview with TPG. “This lounge, like all of our other new Sky Clubs, is really curated for the city,” he added.

The lounge’s signature bar is located just as you enter the main relaxation area. It’s easily one of the largest in the Sky Club network, and the bronze finishes contrast perfectly with the dark-green barstools and the gold lights hanging from the ceiling.

As with other Sky Clubs, there’s a menu of complimentary spirits, and premium beverages can be purchased using cash or SkyMiles.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

In addition to barstools, you’ll find individual chairs and two-top bench seats in the bar area.

The bar gives way to the lounge’s main relaxation area, which is split between a business center and a large room that’s better suited for families and friends traveling together — the lounge has space for a whopping 450 passengers in total.

The business center features four rows of individual cubicles, a coworking table and three Framery phone booths, one of which can accommodate travelers who use a wheelchair. These phone booths have been popping up at Sky Clubs nationwide, but I wish Delta added more of them in Minneapolis — I can’t imagine finding an empty one during the week.

The business center is also home to the lounge’s shared wireless printer.

Separating the business center from the rest of the relaxation area is a small walk-up Starbucks coffee bar.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Throughout the relaxation zone, you’ll find plenty of seating choices that range from shared couches (that serve as natural room dividers) to individual chairs to velvet seats along the perimeter of this space.

No matter where you sit, you’ll never be more than an arm’s reach from a power outlet. Most seats also have access to USB-A ports, and some even have newer USB-C charging ports nearby, too.

The lounge’s buffet is located at the back of the relaxation area. The marble-clad action stations don’t just look great — the culinary offerings that they display are also some of the best you’ll find in any airport lounge.

This includes charcuterie plates and cheese boards (that look nothing like the depressing cheese cubes you’ll find in Admirals Clubs), a cold salad station, four rotating entrees, a dessert bar and much more.

At the outset, Delta is partnering with Bravo’s “Top Chef” alum and Twin Cities native Justin Sutherland to curate the lounge’s food program, which will include chicken and andouille gumbo, shrimp and grits, pimento cheeseburger sliders and banana pudding through mid-July.

As it does with its other clubs, the airline will rotate the lounge menu and chef partnership every few months as part of its so-called Local Flavor program.

While you might be focused on grabbing some food (or catching a flight), you may want to take a moment to appreciate the design of the dining room, and in particular, the artwork hanging next to the buffet — “Seagulls Have No Use for Satellites” that encourages viewers to slow down from all the distractions in their lives.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

The lounge features two main dining areas that are located right next to each other. There are a variety of seating choices and configurations, including plenty of high-top tables with just one stool — perfect for solo travelers.

The dining room is also where you’ll find the lounge’s main beverage station, which features a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, Bevi water dispenser, Starbucks coffee and two Eversys coffee machines.

My favorite amenity in the entire lounge is the year-round Sky Deck, which can fit a whopping 110 passengers.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

While some Sky Decks are seasonal and just feature chairs and tables, this one is designed for every climate and style of traveler.

The Sky Deck features glass partitions that can be closed depending on the weather, as well as a heating and cooling system. It boasts fantastic views of the G concourse, along with runway 12R in the distance.

There are outdoor-themed chairs and couches, as well as two Tilt-a-Whirl-shaped cars, in a nod to the fact that this iconic carnival game was invented in Minnesota.

Moreover, you can pick up a drink from the outdoor bar without needing to head back inside. I was particularly impressed with the lounge’s signature peppermint espresso martini that’s crafted with liquor from a local distillery.

There are even two completely open-air “rooms” on the Sky Deck, one of which features a coworking table sitting in front of Delta’s new signature green living wall — a feature the airline seems to have borrowed from the Centurion Lounges operated by its credit card issuer, American Express.

The lounge features one set of gender-specific restrooms, as well as two single-use all-gender bathroom facilities, along the hallway that goes from the main bar to the dining room.

With specially curated artwork, marble sinks, fancy sconces and red/green occupancy indicators above the stalls, these restrooms are some of the nicest in the entire airport.

Unfortunately, Delta opted not to install showers in the Sky Club, though that’s something the airline may decide to add in a future renovation in Minneapolis, Roussel told TPG.

Bottom line

Delta’s new Minneapolis Sky Club has been years in the making, and it’s one that frequent flyers are sure to enjoy.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

From the eye-catching design to the top-notch catering to the year-round Sky Deck, there’s something for everyone inside this brand-new lounge. Plus, with 21,000 square feet and room for 450 passengers, overcrowding hopefully won’t be much of an issue on most days.

While the outpost is certainly Delta’s nicest in Minneapolis, it’s not necessarily the best in the entire network. In my mind, that award still goes to the Sky Club in Los Angeles or possibly even to the outpost that just opened in Chicago.

One thing is for certain, though. Even if the latest Sky Club in Minneapolis faces some stiff competition from Delta’s other award-winning outposts, it still raises the bar for an airport lounge, especially compared to what American and United offer at their Admirals Clubs and United Clubs, respectively.

Related reading:

The best credit cards for airport lounge access
The ultimate guide to getting Delta Sky Club access
The 7 do’s and don’ts in an airport lounge
The best credit cards to reach elite status
7 domestic lounges that are worth going out of your way for
Best Delta credit cards

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