Delta Air Lines Planning Sky Club For Charlotte

The Charlotte airport is working with American Airlines to move their main Admirals Club into a space that’s nearly twice as large, creating one of the world’s largest airline lounges. That project is a couple of years away from fruition, and documents aren’t signed yet.

Meanwhile it seems that Delta is working to add a lounge to Charlotte as well.

Delta Air Lines confirmed to The Ledger this week that it is looking into the possibility of a lounge at Charlotte: “Delta Sky Club is currently exploring expansion to Charlotte Douglas International Airport,” a Delta spokeswoman told us.

That’s a step forward from what Delta told us last May, which was that it had “no comment or announcements to make at this time.” The Ledger reported at the time that a rendering of a Concourse A expansion released by the airport showed a Delta Sky Club logo.

Customers Without Lounge Access In Charlotte Are Relegated To Rocking Chairs

American is the dominant carrier in Charlotte, offering a huge array of non-stop flights supported by a low cost connecting operation. However the terminal is overcrowded and so are the lounges. Delta offers more of a boutique operation there and with a brand new club, in their new style (upscale and gorgeous), could peel away some premium business unless American improves its customer experience.

Delta Sky Club Austin

Driving forward on its own improvements is imperative for the Dallas-based carrier, even as it strives to avoid making capital expenditures due to its high debt load.

A Delta Sky Club in Charlotte will be great for Delta passengers but could also be good for American passengers as well as a result of competitive pressure, and would add to a Centurion lounge, The Club, and two Minute Suites locations at the airport.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Not too surprising….AA has a club down the street in ATL.

    I’d love to see it…either it helps DL to skim a few AA pax, making a little more room in CLT for Admirals members, or it keeps the pressure on AA to up their game.

  2. Why should AA care? The route network is the product. Remember? Everything else is irrelevant. The appalling state of CLT’s infrastructure is irrelevant. Right?

  3. @Joe, why does a DL SkyClub in CLT put pressure on AA to up their game? AA has a near monopoly on flights into and out of CLT. It is a fortress hub for them, with relatively low costs and for a city that size, gets exceptionally good coverage. Delta opening a club there is to cater to its customers, no different than the Admiral’s Club at ATL. Delta may have been the bell weather for the industry that replaced AA a few years ago, but that’s not the case any longer. All of the US4 move at their own speed now when it comes to customer facing offerings. The idea that DL is somehow the one that sets the bar is a bit ludicrous.

  4. Dumb business move by DL, they fly less then 300K passengers our of CTL. Waste of $.

  5. It’s on DL to decide how to spend their money and how much to spend. It’s not the publics business. Delta caters to it’s customers for their customers to keep flying with them and that’s a very good move on their part .

  6. @shoeguy : The AA clubs/lounges in CLT are pretty dated compared to the ones at their other hubs. A competitor (DL in this case) opening their own club/lounge at CLT would give them a competitive advantage in catering to frequent/elite business customers, especially if it’s modern & up to date. AA doing nothing would risk them losing those coveted frequent/elite customers to a competitor.

  7. I am one of the routine long-haul business class passengers based in Charlotte that Delta is going to take away from AA (over 10 year straight EP flyer on AA). AA’s airport experience at CLT is indicative of an almost negative view of Charlotte-based business class flyers. To get the same experience as I can get on Delta or United to say LHR, or even Lufthansa, I have to connect on AA to JFK, LAX, ORD, PHL (which is always delayed in and out) to get a decent business class lounge. As such, I might as well move to Delta, especially since they are opening a SkyClub at CLT and partner with the Centurion Lounge. I recently fly out of Newark to CLT and could not believe how nice the AA lounge was at EWR versus the decades old C/D club at CLT. The Club at CLT is also so much nicer than the Admirals club. I suspect I am not the only EP / premium customer in CLT that feels this way.

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