Delta has talked for awhile about a special Sky Club for business class passengers at LAX. United has a Polaris lounge, American has Flagship, but Delta doesn’t currently have a lounge apart from its Sky Clubs (though those are in some cases nicer than their U.S. airline counterparts).
It was reportedly being built on the top floor of the terminal two and three connector.
An executive was talking a little too loudly in a Delta Air Lines Sky Club in Detroit. It sounds like Delta has terminated Sodexho contracts for running some clubs, and that Los Angeles is getting its differentiated business class lounge soon along with improvements to the Delta One check-in experience.
Bear in mind that this is only one side of a three-way conversation, so it’s not 100% certain which comments refer to check-in versus lounge. Here are notes from my correspondent, quoting the female executive (seems relevant because of the ‘boobs’ comment) sitting inside the club,
Delta One LAX Getting Special Coffee, Tea, Amuse bouche, and Champagne service
“We are getting horrendous feedback at Delta One LAX [check-in].” Uniform appearance, not consistently staffed, etc. “This has to happen right away. Rene does not want to wait. We need to get rid of the coffee in there. They want a Nespresso machine. The associate will offer to make and serve the coffee. We’re going to have to buy it retail at Williams-Sonoma. At least have the coffee service changed by the 24th [of August].”
“Chef Jon, we need an amuse-bouche. Something like melon on a skewer to serve them. It’s that canape, amuse-bouche kind of experience. Very elevated service.” “These are products, I don’t know where we’re going to get them from. Who’s going to do this in the kitchen? Lisa is horrible, she can’t do any of this.”
“What’s happening is we are being challenged to perform at a higher level. The people we have, while they are lovely people, don’t meet expectations of demanding guests. The other thing they want is every adult guest is offered champagne from a tray. So, the associate is going to have to know how to serve a glass of champagne. I don’t know if we can do that, but that’s what they want. Maybe little shooter glasses would work.”
“Do we have anybody that fills the bill now?” “Can’t we find some attractive young women with big boobs to serve champagne?” “So, we have to figure out how to get this Nespresso thing. It’s going to have to be Williams-Sonoma. I don’t know where else.”
“Yeah, I’m really looking forward to Heath getting there because he will be able to drive this. [The current manager] can’t. She’s never experienced this kind of refined service.”
…”I think what I’ll do is order the Nespresso and the logo cups and saucers and ship them to Rosa’s house. They want them implemented them in two weeks. I also want to do a tea called Tea Forte. Can we get that through Compass? We want that now.”
Sodexho Out Managing Clubs In Atlanta
“As you heard, we were awarded the Sky Clubs at Atlanta in the E and F concourses. They are the largest and nicest clubs — large footprints in Atlanta. Super nice. Both premium.” “Our transition date is November 1. Sodexo departs those clubs the 31st, the night the clubs close. I think midnight. Both clubs get about 2,000 guest per day. We are hiring 100 hourly associates, one GM, four AGMs and one chef. We’re also hiring maybe seven supervisors.”
“The good thing about this is Compass has funded us an open budget. About $200,000 for all the small wares, uniforms, office supplies. Looks like we’ll spend $260 or so. We have $450,000 to spend on everything else, including recruitment. As you know recruitment is a huge problem. On August 25, I’ve arranged for a career fair at Atlanta’s airport.”
“We have to hire a lot of people. The badging for Atlanta takes eight weeks, which is insane. We can’t wait to hire. We will hire people immediately and put them on payroll, then send them to Atlanta aquarium while they wait for their badge. Same for managers. They will come to you, stay in a hotel and work in a successful club first.”
I’ve reached out to Delta for comment and will update if they respond.