It’s finally here: the new Delta Sky Club airport lounge deep in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s (MSP) G Concourse!
The lounge officially opens on Wednesday morning. Delta kindly invited Eye of the Flyer to check out the 21,000-square-foot space during a special preview on Tuesday morning.
Where is the Delta Sky Club: MSP G Concourse?
You’ll find the new G Concourse Sky Club across from gate G18.
It’s at the west end of the G and C Concourse land bridge (or skyway as they’re called in the upper Midwest.)
I often fly between Los Angeles (LAX) and Minneapolis. It seems my flights are often at the end of the F Concourse or the far regions of G — which is a trek from the F/G Sky Club. So, I’m delighted this club is open.
How Do You Access the Sky Club?
Same as other the Sky Clubs. The lounge is open daily from 4:30 AM to 10:15 PM.
Take either the stairs (to the right) or elevators (on the left) to the third floor.
“Did you see the elevator?” Claude Roussel, Delta’s Managing Director of Sky Clubs, asked me with a Cheshire Cat grin during our quick interview on Tuesday morning. I almost needed to put on my sunglasses — his eyes beamed so darn bright. Like me, he is a man who appreciates a good elevator. They can show extra class, detail, and comfort for guests. (Or not, in bad cases.)
You can press the appropriate buttons. Your other option: be all George or Judy Jetson and use the touch screen.
These elevators are pretty nice. They’re not the headliner of the new club, of course. But I appreciate the thought put into them.
Once you walk or ride to the third floor, here’s where you check-in.
Need help with flights? These two desks serve as customer relations areas.
Inside the New MSP Sky Club
I’ll be honest — and I told Mr. Roussel and some of the Delta corporate folks this.
During my flight to Minneapolis on Monday, I started making notes about the new club. I figured its colors and furnishings would be somewhat similar to the Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Chicago O’Hare (read a review), and LaGuardia clubs.
That was a big waste of time. (They laughed.)
Why? The MSP G Concourse Sky Club is pretty different from any of the others.
It features rich, bold colors: dark greens, oranges, and yellows. The palette immediately brought to mind the Minnesota Wild hockey team’s logo and colors. Mr. Roussel told me the colors are representative of a sunset over a Minnesota lake.
The copper and orange colors are the sun, of course, and the dark greens symbolize trees.
I think they did a pretty good job.
The club seats 450 guests. Like many of the new clubs, the lounge features a variety of seating options.
There are plenty of electrical and USB outlets throughout the club. I did not see any USB-C ports. That’s not saying they aren’t there — but they escaped me if they exist.
If you’re the kind who likes to see and be seen, you’ll like the booths in the rotunda area. They overlook the gate areas.
The outdoor-facing windows are made of glass that can adjust tints to different times of day. When I visited (mid-morning to just past noon), they were tinted blue to help shade guests from the sun. It’s nicer than having to draw (and undraw) blinds.
There are no showers in this — or any — Minneapolis-St. Paul Sky Club.
Sky Deck at Delta Sky Club: MSP G Concourse
Here’s something I find truly incredible: a Sky Deck in Minneapolis-St. Paul that’s open year-round!
Most of the Sky Deck is climate-controlled: there’s air conditioning for the hot, muggy summers. And heaters for the (awful) winters. Frankly, it’s not so much a deck as it is a fancy porch. With a full bar.
That said, there are two open-air sections that open weather permitting. Both are on the lounge’s northern side. (Translation: the G gates get lower in numbers.)
One is toward the west (runway view) side.
The other is behind the TV wall. This patio features a living wall — similar to the kinds what guests at American Express Centurion Lounges. (Here’s a link to the current Sky Club drink menu.)
The Sky Deck’s electrical outlets are behind these weather-proof covers. I didn’t see USB ports; come prepared with an electrical charger and other means. Don’t rely solely on your USB cable and hope for the best.
Food and Beverage at the MSP G Concourse Sky Club
So, there’s good and bad when it comes to the MSP G Concourse Sky Club.
First, let’s address my chief complaint. Hot food-wise, there is only one buffet. And it’s single-sided. Here is where Delta could learn from a few Amex Centurion Lounges — and stage double-sided buffets with entrees available on both sides.
I understand there’s only so much space available — especially when building an airport lounge on top of an existing concourse. Sometimes, you have to make do.
But when the club gets busy, I can see the buffet lines getting very long. Considering this club is almost twice the size of the F/G Sky Club, I won’t be surprised when/if this becomes a problem.
That said, there are a number of cold sandwiches, salads, and charcuterie available at other stations.
I sampled one of the garlic parmesan rolls (yum!) but otherwise didn’t get a chance to try the rest of the food.
And desserts! Oh, yes, desserts.
You’ll also find other snack items available throughout the lounge: trail mix, potato chips, and other nosh.
Starting day one, the club will feature some recipes from Twin Cities native and Top Chef personality Justin Sutherland. This is part of the Delta Sky Club Local Flavor program that showcases local chefs and their foods.
“Justin specializes in contemporary Southern cuisine. Delta is the official airline sponsor for the milestone 20th season of Bravo’s Top Chef World All-Stars,” Delta said in a release. “Thanks to this partnership, guests of the MSP-G Club will be able to enjoy Justin’s take on classics like chicken and andouille gumbo, shrimp and grits, pimento cheeseburger sliders and banana pudding through mid-July.”
Also: unless I missed something, there’s only one water station in the club. It’s located next to the food buffet which, again, I see becoming quite crowded. The Los Angeles, Chicago, and LaGuardia clubs each feature two water stations. (If I’m incorrect, please send me a picture!)
Here’s the good news. The club has two bars — perfect for the Midwesterners who enjoy (and can handle!) their drinks. (I’m not judging! I lived in Fargo for 24 years. We’ve earned our reputation as formidable drinkers.)
We already saw the outside on the Sky Deck. Here’s the one inside.
Mr. Roussel insisted I try the club’s signature drink: a chocolate peppermint espresso martini.
It would’ve been rude to refuse, right?
So, for the second time in as many days, I fell on the grenade for the blog — and tried my second-ever espresso martini.
My goodness: this one was fantastic. The cocktail features peppermint schnapps liqueur from Minnesota distillery Dampfwerk.
Delta’s new G Concourse Sky Club opens for business on Wednesday, April 19. It’s a great airport lounge — and surely welcome for travelers whose flights leave from the higher-numbered G gates. (It’s also accessible via the C Concourses’s land bridge, so keep that in mind if you don’t want to visit that concourse’s meh Sky Club).
I wish there were more food stations — I think the buffet area will get crowded quickly. But Delta truly made this a unique and Minnesota-inspired club. I look forward to visiting during my travels!
Please come back to this post and share your thoughts in the Comments section once you’ve had a chance to visit the club!
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