Detroit Rumored Getting Delta Air Lines Exclusive Business Class Lounge

Delta Air Lines does not currently have upgraded lounges for international business class passengers the way that United and American do (though their Sky Clubs are nicer than United Clubs and Admirals Clubs). However that’s about to change.

Now a source shares that the most recent SkyClub addition in Detroit, which opened last month across from gate A43, will become a Delta One lounge “when things become ‘normal’ again.” Access to these lounges will be extended not just to Delta’s international business class passengers, but also to their Delta 360 members (American extends Flagship Lounge access to its Concierge Keys). Update: Delta, for its part, denies the plan.

The rumored future Delta One lounge in Detroit currently has 99 seats and measures just 4,600 square feet.

New Delta Lounge, Detroit. Credit: Delta

New Delta Lounge, Detroit. Credit: Delta

I have to expect that Atlanta will see a business class lounge, and hopefully Minneapolis will as well. This seems less necessary in Salt Lake City.

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. Great news ! This has been a very weak link in the Delta premium product offering . The ground experience for J class passengers is currently not competitive. I have always wondered why DL doesn’t at least offer some sort of drink chits for J class passengers to at least have slightly upgraded cocktails – I am not talking JW Blue or Dom – but as a J class passenger , I should be able to have a comp Dewars or Woodford. This would be a good interim step .

    Is 99 seats going to be enough capacity ?

  2. As I previously noted, DTW is one of Delta’s highest priority hubs given that it is their primary gateway to Asia from the Eastern US. While it appears that DTW is losing some of its transatlantic capacity to Boston for the buildup there but DTW will regain capacity as Asia reopens.
    As for the question about the size of gate 43 lounge, DTW is a well-banked flight meaning that many international connections do not have time to go to a lounge.
    SLC might not be high on the priority list for a Delta One lounge but Seattle certainly does

  3. I think it’s funny how DL (the poster child of US airlines) is so woefully behind AA and UA in the premium category. AA had Flagship first and lounges along with Premium Economy fleet wide, years before UA start Polaris and DL has only done so during the past year.

    With Flagship Suites coming in 2023 – 2025 fleet wide – international that is – and the A321XLR coming in sizable quantities AA is making a strong case to be the US number 2 international carrier (UA will still be #1 due to pure size). If they can only get standardized onboard service and food, well, look out DL.

    AA has lead UA and DL in the hard products internationally and Flagship first is the standard on the ground for sure. Another case where AA isn’t following DL, as you seem to think is the case.

  4. I went to the new DTW club on Tuesday night. The new club is nice, but really it’s just the same food on nicer plates. I assume (and hope) it will change once it becomes a Delta One lounge.

  5. I guess it’s fair to say AA has come out the winner in the year end rush to Covid flying. Seems to me it had the least cancellations and was the Most reliable out of the big 3. In terms of domestic inflight premium dining, you can make the case AA serves the best and most quantity of food. Don’t even get me started on international Flagship, it is by far the best inflight service by far out of the big 3. Seems to me DL has a world of catching up to do!!

  6. 4600 sqft is smaller than many single family homes. This lounge is going to be turning away more people than the hottest clubs in Vegas.

  7. @Gary >Delta Air Lines does not currently have upgraded lounges for international business class passengers the way that United and American do…

    Not strictly true, and hasn’t been for a while. Most AA Flagship lounges and First Class dining annexes remain closed with no re-opening dates being discussed.

    Which is a real pain, frankly, although a first-World problem for international fliers. E.g., The DFW Term D Admiral’s Club, since it was reduced in size, is one of the worst lounges in the system.

    Well, at least AA leads in something. The race to the bottom, that is.

  8. @Woofie “Most AA Flagship lounges and First Class dining annexes remain closed with no re-opening dates being discussed.”

    Not quite accurate, most United Polaris lounges are open (they even opened a new one, IAD) and the idea that re-opening dates aren’t being discussed for DFW Flagship isn’t right, it just hasn’t been *announced* but should be shortly

  9. I wonder about the “minor hubs” Seattle and Boston. Fewer flights but a pretty decent international presence (in normal times). The original Sky Club in Seattle (S concourse) appears to be closed forever (the signage has been removed). The flagship (sorry AA) SkyClub between A and B remains one of Delta’s best. They are building a new second SkyClub at the end of concourse A where their International departures will depart soon. I could see part of that new club becoming a business class lounge.

  10. Interesting they went with a decor more like the old Northwest WorldClubs (and still the decor of the regular DTW clubs) than recent SkyClubs.

  11. sunviking,
    the reason why Delta has not done premium international lounges is because they didn’t need to up to this point -and that is confirmable by DOT data for both profit by region and average fares.
    Delta has been the most profitable US airline on its international network for years – far higher than United in terms of both margin and in terms of absolute dollars.
    Delta has consistently gotten average fares to most international cities as high as or higher than United, even in regions such as China where United is larger.
    Size does not necessarily translate into profitabililty which is what should drive what for-profit companies do.

    Delta clearly sees an opportunity to expand its international profits – and they set that as a goal even before covid. The fact that they got rid of the 777 during the pandemic and now have the most fuel-efficient international fleet among US carriers will make a financial difference where all 3 compete against each other.
    Delta also recognizes that it can improve its product and believes a higher lounge experience is part of that. Many of their SkyClubs are regularly full and while the SkyClub has food and a pleasant environment, they are not what AA or UA offers in premium lounges.
    Seeing opportunity to improve is not the same as needing to do something because they were inferior. Despite having “nicer” premium experiences, AA and UA have not made any where near as much money on their international networks as DL has.

  12. also, some sources are saying Virgin Atlantic’s new route will be to which might explain the large SkyClub Delta built there. They are building a similarly large one for a “spoke” city in Nashville.

    As for Boston, chances are high that Boston will get a separate D1 lounge if they maintain all of the international flights they are adding this summer. Since they operate the whole terminal, I am sure they can carve out space if they want to do so.

  13. @Gary,
    there are a whole lot of cities that want service to Asia and will never get it to Tokyo because Haneda is limited access by treaty and Narita will never carry the local Tokyo traffic because it can get into Tokyo faster via Haneda. Thus, Seoul becomes the only viable way that many cities could get Asia service.
    AUS and BNA both have decent-sized Asia business connections with Nashville the US home of several major Japanese companies. Wouldn’t it be all kinds of irony if DL and KE add Asia service to a number of secondary US cities including where Japanese companies are dominant?
    and, yes Asia and Europe flights do compliment each other in terms of timing so a DL or JV partner flight could leave to Asia in the morning and another to Europe in the afternoon. IIRC, KLM started AUS-AMS service briefly before covid.

    Virgin Atlantic was going to come to Texas at some point; AUS seems as good of a place as any.

    Delta has more new widebodies on order than American or United – perhaps combined other than United’s ever-delayed A350 order.

    That new AUS SkyClub might get well used after all.

  14. The new Delta Air Lines Business Class Lounge at Detroit Metropolitan Airport should be placed inside an expanded Spanx shapewear store for maximum marketing and corporate branding impact. Spanx offers slimming slips, hosiery, leggings, and more. A Delta Airlines-Spanx partnership would offer Delta Concierge Key, Delta One®, and other SkyTeam elite passengers one more reason to give their business to Delta Airlines or SkyTeam airlines.

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