Delta Announces Two New New York JFK Clubs, Including First Dedicated Business Lounge

With the closure of New York JFK terminal 2 last week, Delta has consolidated its operations in terminal 4. Since that terminal was already crowded – it features the longest lines to get into any Sky Club – that didn’t seem like a positive for customers. I actually liked the low key aging terminal 2.

Fortunately relief is on the way for those accessing the Delta club at New York JFK, and not just because the airline is banning employees from using their lounges and charging more for memberships, banning non-elite customers from buying them, taking away access from elites flying coach on international trips and from club members who are flying on basic economy tickets.

There are two new lounges coming.

  • Delta will open a new 14,000 square foot, 200 seat Sky Club on the new A concourse this summer.
  • And JFK terminal 4 will have Delta’s first dedicated business class (“Delta One”) lounge. That won’t open until “early 2024” and will be 36,000 square feet next to the main security checkpoint.

Details on these lounges leaked out of the Port Authority a year ago. What’s new is the projected timeline to open, and that New York JFK’s business class lounge will be the first one Delta opens.

Currently American Airlines (Flagship lounges) and United (Polaris lounges) have dedicated business class lounges separate from their paid membership clubs. Delta has lacked this product, but their basic Sky Club is nicer than Admirals Clubs and United Clubs – when you can get in (it is not nicer when you’re waiting in a line in the terminal).

In summer 2021 I wrote about the plan for a Delta One business class lounge at LAX and later that the new A43 club in Detroit could become a dedicated business class lounge.

I would have hoped that at least one of these lounges would come to fruition in 2023, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until next year for the first one.

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. Leo,
    given that this article is well into the 2nd page of VFTW’s article list, you clearly are desperate to try to get an upper hand.
    You are failing.
    Nobody except you wants to litigate the past 2 quarters; I and others clearly accept that UAL got an advantage because they made calls that anticipated the return of demand while DAL focused on operational leadership. Both achieved their goals.
    The difference which you can’t seem to accept – which is why you fixate on the past – is that Delta will return to industry financial leadership while United will settle right back into its middle of the pack position.

    I”m not sure why you spend so much time arguing against what the markets themselves and professional market analysts understand – Delta is the best run airline in the US and United is still trying to – but not succeeding – in getting out of the “runner up” category.

    As long as you would like to get this going, I’m happy to stay w/ you – but it is your ego – and nothing else that is at stake. The rest of the industry understands the facts.

    And you can add Auckland to the list of markets that United has dominated which Delta is entering – on top of Geneva. Delta is challenging United’s rhetoric about being the US’ international carrier.

  2. @Tim

    You wrote this before I even commented on this post.

    “Btw, did you notice that Delta not only had a higher profit margin for the 4th quarter than United but DAL is also guiding to a higher profit margin than UAL for the 1st quarter of 2023, even though DAL is baking in the new pilot contract while UAL is not even negotiating – let alone implementing a new pilot agreement with hundreds of millions in additional costs per year?

    UA’s ONE quarter [Q3] of industry leading margins has come and gone.”

    But now, “ Nobody except you wants to litigate the past 2 quarters.” and starts trying to shift the argument once other’s refute with usable data. I’ve fixated on the one argument you fail to defend, that DL didn’t just concede profitability to United by reducing capacity the last 2 quarters.

    All while failing to provide concrete data to back up your claims. A winning argument doesn’t need to elongate and misdirect, but that’s precisely what happens any time a competent challenge gets thrown your way.

  3. yet you clearly can’t accept that UAL is NOT going to overtake Delta in financial leadership and that is confirmed by guidance for the 1st quarter of 2023 and beyond.
    UAL had a great two quarter run.
    It’s over.
    Move on.
    Delta managed to run the most reliable airline in the US.
    Meanwhile, Newark is still the most delay prone airport in the US which is what happens when you try and run a 500 flight/day hub out of a 2 runway airport that has to be shared with other airlines, even though United wanted to believe otherwise and lost slot controls at EWR because of that misguided belief.

  4. @Tim

    So you’re saying UA with it’s inferior position in EWR somehow outperformed DL in the last two quarters. Isn’t DL the largest carrier in NYC by local market revenue?

    Seems like a much needed wake up call to have better performance for the next year.

    The Tim Dunn playbook of misdirecting, elongating and being data deficient won’t quite cut it.

  5. Apparently you want to keep gloating until next quarter’s earnings are announced since you can’t accept that the reasons for DAL’s underperformance and UAL’s overperformance are well known – nobody else seems to struggle to understand the reasons – and has come to an end.
    Today is Jan 20. the quarter ends in 70 days and DAL and UAL are both likely to update their guidance before the end of the quarter.
    Move on – if you can find something else to talk about.

  6. @Tim

    You’re the one that brought up the topic in the first place and now you’re complaining for it to end. Take accountability for once instead of constantly deflecting.

    Definitely not getting any Job Well Done certificate with that attitude.

  7. doesn’t matter who brought up what and when.
    My facts are correct… you are just grandstanding.

    UAL got a well-earned couple of quarters of strong financial performance because they were able to tap into the strong summer of international demand = but they got their boom because other carriers, including Delta, focused on other factors, including operational reliability in Delta’s case.

    I am telling you to walk away from the keyboard because, you, like me, are saying the same thing over and over again because you would rather continue to harp on DAL’s underperformance than accept that the reasons for that underperformance have ended and Delta and United’s investor guidance shows than United will, once again, take a back seat to Delta in financial performance.

  8. @Tim

    If your facts were correct, other people besides me wouldn’t have commented to correct you. That’s a fact that you won’t accept.

    “ As long as you would like to get this going, I’m happy to stay w/ you.”

    “ I am telling you to walk away from the keyboard.”

    You contradict yourself yet according to you are never wrong? Keep digging your own hole, because at this point you’re arguing against yourself.

  9. No, you are just arguing.
    And denying that UAL itself has given guidance that will underperform DAL.
    Since Scott Kirby takes every opportunity to dish other airlines and DAL provided its guidance first, UAL undoubted really will underperform DAL.
    And analysts didn’t question DAL if their guidance could be achieved – but they did UAL.

  10. btw,
    Delta’s pre-tax margin for 4Q2022 was 10.1% (which excludes several things including its refinery) while United’s adjusted pre-tax margin for the same period was 9.0%.
    Please read the appropriate earnings report on each carrier’s websites and let me know what I got wrong.

  11. @Tim

    That 10.1% is inclusive of the refinery at 0.9%, 0.5% for MTM on hedge, 1.3% MTM on investments and -0.9% on restructuring charges.

    So those excluded is 8.3% vs 9.1%.for UA.

  12. @Tim

    Also both DL and UA were 90% of 2019 Q4 flying based on ASM. That’s why I kept hounding you on the capacity argument. If DL significantly held back capacity relative to UA, it would reflect an ASM disparity. It didn’t because at Gary pointed out, UA held back capacity too.

  13. and as I have pointed out, which you can’t seem to accept, United flew a higher percentage of capacity across the Atlantic which is where margins are probably the highest during the summer. Delta also added a lot of capacity to competitive coastal markets such as BOS, NYC and LAX – which helped them secure market share that will very likely help them long-term but hurt them because their core domestic hubs of ATL, DTW, MSP and SLC were not as restored.
    Delta is fixing both of those problems by restoring most of the domestic capacity at its coastal hubs – including nearly half to ATL, the world’s most profitable hub which is built around massive connectivity at low costs – while aggressively adding transatlantic capacity. They just updated their summer schedules and are using the ex-Latam A350s on a number of transatlantic routes. That aircraft has the most seats of any aircraft in DL’s fleet and is far more cost efficient per seat than any aircraft in DL or UA’s fleet.
    UA has very little additional capacity to add this summer – they are still trying to restore regional jet flying which their partners cannot support which Delta long ago switched to more cost effective mainline flights – and that reality is why Delta’s margins are expected to grow much faster than United’s.

    Delta specifically excludes the refinery so analysts can compare airline to airline results but the refinery IS part of Delta’s operations and GAAP results.
    Excluding it destroys the argument you keep making that United beat Delta on its airline operations because they did simply did not.
    The refinery reduces Delta’s fuel costs and will continue to do so but when the airline is operating at peak efficiency, the refinery does not generate margins as high as Delta gets from running an airline as well as its airline-related ancillary services including credit card partnerships and maintenance services, both of which Delta gets far more revenue from – at higher yields than the airline itself – than United.

    HOW the capacity was deployed matters far more than the absolute number. The fact that you have struggled to understand why UAL had an advantage while continually repeating the same stale statistic is mind-boggling.
    More significant is that DAL IS taking away the advantage UAL had last summer while giving up none of the other advantages that DAL has had or will continue to have including lower fuel prices and lower interest expense.

  14. @Tim

    If you’re going to make the argument, use concrete numbers to support it like I and othersave. You just gave me GAAP margin and I had to point out to you it was adjusted margin.

    Can you see why I’m so critical of your arguments when you’re not able to understand a quarterly earnings? It shows you’re relying to much on guidance and quarterly earnings to do the analysis.

    Such a long and babbling argument and 0 numbers to back it up. Ridiculous.

  15. You just gave me adjusted margin that included refinery but said it was GAAP margin that excluded it.*

  16. You can’t read financial statements and just want to argue
    You can’t accept that United’s financial leadership lasted for a whole quarter
    Poor pathetic you

  17. @Tim

    “Delta’s pre-tax margin for 4Q2022 was 10.1% (which excludes several things including its refinery)”

    “Please read the appropriate earnings report on each carrier’s websites and let me know what I got wrong.”

    to which I responded

    “ That 10.1% is inclusive of the refinery at 0.9%”

    You don’t use numbers, because you can’t. Then you throw a tantrum and a hissy fit when corrected. And you wonder why other commenters hold you in such contempt.

  18. @Tim

    “ UAL had a great two quarter run.”

    Also you

    “ You can’t accept that United’s financial leadership lasted for a whole quarter.”

    Quality work Tim.

  19. Leo
    The refinery added $1billion plus in revenue that Delta excludes in its adjusted earnings so that its results are comparable to other airlines
    Adjusted earnings are not accepted for GAAP purposes
    On an airline to airline comparable basis Delta outperformed United on margin
    More importantly DAL will outperform United in 2023 and you simply can’t accept that so you incorrectly argue about the past

  20. @Tim

    That’s exactly why GAAP is used to compare airlines. To exclude things that are not airline related such as the 1 billion in third party refinery sales. Fuel savings from the refinery is included and is reflected is fuel cost and is included in both GAAP and adjusted which is why it’s even more exaggerated that UA outperformed DL.

    So why would anyone who presumably knows what they’re talking about say “Delta’s pre-tax margin for 4Q2022 was 10.1% (which excludes several things including its refinery).” When it’s clear 10.1% adjusted margin includes the additional 3rd party refinery sales.

    You asked me to correct you, “ Please read the appropriate earnings report on each carrier’s websites and let me know what I got wrong.” and I did.

  21. It is pretty clear that the ever-insecure Scott Kirby has reactivated the social media team that he had at America West and you are part of it at United.
    If you were as knowledgeable as you said you are and not trying to defend Scott Kirby and United, you would not be making the statements you are because they are categorically FALSE.
    GAAP statements do not EXCLUDE anything including refinery operations. On a GAAP basis, Delta generated far higher revenue in the 4th quarter but at a lower margin than Delta.
    On an airline to airline ADJUSTED basis, Delta outperformed United.

    And more significantly, United lost so much money in the 1st half of the year that it couldn’t offset those losses even with its gains in the 3rd and 4th quarter. Add on that United’s guidance for 2023 is not industry-leading and the notion of UAL’s superiority, whether in your or Scott Kirby’s mind – is patently not supported by real world data.

    No one who remotely understands financial statements agrees with what you write because if they did, United’s stock would be worth a whole lot more than it is.

    United is still worth less than 2/3 of Delta.

    United has settled back into its position as the middle of the pack US legacy carrier. You and Scott Kirby that spent most of the earnings call trashing every other airline in order to try to make United look better than it really is, can’t stand that – and so you have called out the dogs on this and every other site to take down anyone that dares challenge Scott Kirby’s superiority complex.

    Move on. It’s business and numbers don’t like.

  22. @Tim

    I’ve mentioned Ed Bastian and Scott Kirby literally once to use their quotes. And you’ve mentioned Scott Kirby 12 times including 5 times in your last post.

    Do you not realize how much most flyers would benefit if Delta were to restart service here and break this monopoly? Which Medallions do you think get Job Well Done Certificates to give out?

    I replied to you over the weekend and now you think United has some special forces social media team out to get you. paranoid and delusional, but you know what I’m insane for even engaging with you. Unbelievable and a complete waste of time.

    Apologies Gary for brigading this post.

  23. you are all over the map.
    I mentioned Scott Kirby specifically because he endlessly talked about how great United was and how no other airline could do what United did, including its financial performance – which is why it is relevant to this discussion which you think is a worthy place of defending United’s performance over Delta – when it is clear that on an apples to apples basis, happened in just ONE QUARTER.

    Specific to the discussion which Gary started, Delta is growing its premium revenue in NYC and is doing it because it sees an opportunity to grow its performance in coastal markets – precisely where United has been stronger.

    Competition is good.

    Trying to argue with falsehoods is not.

    If United is as good as what you think they are, they will show it in the midst of an increased amount of competition from Delta that is coming esp. in NYC and LAX.

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