Delta Sky Club San Diego: Possibly the best lounge at SAN?

Delta Sky Club San Diego

I’ve got good news for all the Delta customers out there hoping for a good lounge experience at the San Diego International Airport (SAN). As you will see in this review, the Delta Sky Club at SAN is one of the best in the entire network.

It’s also one of the smallest. And noisiest. And it’s difficult to get into during peak times. However, if you can wrangle your schedule to get in there when it’s not so busy, it’s about as good as a domestic airline lounge can get. I’d even go as far as to to say that it’s the best of all the San Diego Airport lounges.

Where is the Sky Club at the San Diego Airport located?

The Sky Club at SAN is located in Terminal 2 West on the upper level (above the food court).

The easiest way to get there is to go through the security checkpoint in Terminal 2 West. The escalators (and elevators) to the lounge are 30 seconds away to your right as you exit the security screening area.

Escalator to lounges San Diego airport
Wait! Before you get lured into the food court by the smell of freshly baked pizza, hop on that escalator. It’ll take you to the Delta Sky Club, where free food (and better seating) awaits.

At the top of the escalators turn right. The entrance to the Sky Club will be impossible to miss. If you turn left, you’ll find the United Club.

Delta Sky Club and United San Diego airport
Decisions decisions. I wrote a full review of the United Club at SAN if you’re curious, but…my advice is to turn right. The Sky Club is better.
Delta Sky club entrance San Diego airport
If you take my advice and turn right, you’ll see the entrance to the Sky Club.
Check in desk delta Sky Club San Diego airport
Walking into the lounge after checking in a the main desk. She’s probably double checking my credentials to figure out how an idiot like me actually got in.

The layout of the Sky Club at the San Diego Airport

The Delta sky club at the San Diego airport just might be the smallest one in the entire network. It’s tiny! It consists of five main sections:

  1. The main seating area
  2. The food buffet
  3. The bar
  4. The terrace overlooking the food court (and windows out to the tarmac)
  5. The business center

As you’ll see in the pictures, it’s essentially one big room with a wall separating the main section from the terrace. The lack of proper walls between sections is why it feels borderline unbearable when it’s busy.

Delta Sky Club interior San Diego airport
I’m starting off with the least-flattering pic first, but don’t worry. It gets better.

What is the seating like in this lounge?

Despite being a small lounge that can feel claustrophobic at times, Delta was kind enough to provide fairly comfortable seating options.

The main section of the lounge features large (somewhat plush) chairs arranged in a fairly tight grid pattern.

Delta Sky Club San Diego airport main seating area
I know. The main section of the lounge is about as charming as the waiting room of your local proctologist’s office, but I stand firm about what I said about this being the best lounge at SAN. It gets better, I promise!

The bar area features a mix of high and low tables (there is no seating at the bar). None of these seating options are very comfortable IMHO, so my condolences to you if the only seating options available are in the bar area.

Delta Sky Club San Diego bar area
The seating section in the bar area. You’ll be drunk anyway, so you probably won’t even notice how uncomfortable this is.

The terrace also features a mix of tables and chairs. The chairs are similar to what you will find inside in the main area, while the tables are high and compact along the main wall. There’s even some rocking chairs available as well.

San Diego Sky Club terrace seats
The terrace offers a variety of seating options, but you’ll have to act quick if you want to sit out here. These seats are always the first to become occupied.
SANspotter selfie delta Sky Club San Diego airport
There’s even rocking chairs out on the terrace if you feel like practicing for your eventual transformation into your grandparents. I’m not hating by the way – these are some of the most comfortable chairs in the entire lounge.
Delta Sky Club San Diego airport toilets
Yes. The toilets in this lounge are a good place to sit and ponder life before a long flight to Atlanta.

Is the food any good?

The first time I visited the Delta Sky Club at the San Diego Airport was way back in 2014. Back then, food options were fairly limited. However, on my most recent visit, I was pleasantly surprised by the offerings. 

I was in there before a morning Delta One 767-400 flight to JFK, and they were still serving breakfast. Seeing a full spread of hot breakfast items such as scrambled eggs, sausage, and hashbrowns was nice to see. And it looked good!

Delta Sky Club San Diego airport food
The entirety of the buffet. And I’ll refrain from making any comments about bare feet near my food.
Delta Sky Club San Diego airport breakfast
See? I told you this was better than the scent of pizza wafting from the food court below.

They have healthy options as well, consisting of fresh fruit, boiled eggs, yogurt, and various kinds of bread.

Delta Sky Club San Diego airport breakfast options
If eggs and sausage isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of lighter options as well. Bu come on. Who doesn’t like eggs and sausage?
Delta Sky Club San Diego airport cold breakfast
I was boring and opted for some yogurt and a banana from this cooler.
Food on terrace San Diego airport delta Sky Club
Oh – and for anyone out on the terrace who considers waking 50 feet to the other room for food to be too far, don’t worry. There’s a mini food bar outside as well.
San Diego airport delta Sky Club bar
Speaking of the bar, no lounge review is complete without a pic of one. It’s standing room only, so you’ll have to take your drinks to go.

Is it possible to get any work done in the business center?

Probably! Just like everything else in this lounge, the business center in this particular Sky Club is tight and compact.

However, I’ve never seen many people in there at one time, so I would imagine that it would be a nice place to get some work done before a flight.

delta Sky Club business center San Diego airport
The business center. As usual, it’s not so busy.

There are a row of desks with communications ports and printers along the back wall. And a communal bar. Because, well, spreadsheets are a lot more fun when you’re high AF. Am I right or am I right?

delta Sky Club business center printer San Diego airport
$20 says that printer is jammed.
delta Sky Club business center SAN
Actually, when it’s not so busy (which is like always), it’s a pretty nice place to hang out.

How to get into the Delta Sky Club at SAN

First and foremost, no – you will not get access to this Sky Club by simply having a ticket for Delta domestic first class. Most people assume that you do, so I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. That being said, here are the most common ways you can get into the Sky Club at SAN:

  • You’re holding a ticket for a Delta One business class seat. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a domestic or international flight. As long as your boarding pass says Delta One (and not first class), you’ll have access.
  • You’re a Delta Sky Club member
  • You’re a Sky Team Elite Plus member
  • You’re a Delta Diamond Medallion member
  • You have an American Express Platinum Card and you’re flying out on Delta Air Lines that day

But wait! There’s more…

  • It is no longer possible to purchase a day pass to access a Sky Club. That option was discontinued in 2018.
  • There are a handful of other credit cards which will grant you access. Since that list of cards is updated on a continuous basis, it behooves you to check the official Delta Sky Club access page for the latest information.
View from terrace delta Sky Club San Diego airport
There’s a pretty nice view of the food court from the terrace. Airplanes too!

What time of the day is this lounge the least busy?

Mid mornings between 8:30 and 10:30am is usually pretty quiet. Afternoons from 1pm until 8pm are fairly quiet as well. Basically, any time right after a widebody flight to ATL or JFK departs is usually when it empties out.

What time of the day is it the most busy?

5am until 8:30am is extremely busy, as there is almost always Delta flights departing to every hub in the network in the early morning. There are usually extremely full flights departing to ATL and JFK closer to mid day, so 10:30am to 12:30pm can get really crowded as well.

Finally, things start to get busy again in the late evenings (around 8pm or so) before all the red eye flights to the east coast depart.

Delta Sky Club sign San Diego airport
Just in case you get so drunk that you forget where you are. Thanks Delta!

Is the Sky Club at the SAN worth the visit?

Whether or not you should go out of your way to spend some time at the Sky Club at SAN depends on your particular situation (and your tolerance for crowds and noise. Here are some things to consider:

It’s worth it if:

  • You’re a Delta Medallion member or Sky Team Elite and you already have complementary access to every Sky Club in Delta‘s network. It doesn’t hurt to check it out, and you won’t feel guilty for not deciding stay once you’ve popped your head in to asses the situation.
  • You’re feeling cheap and a bit hungry, and you want to get a quick bite to eat before your flight.
  • It’s not busy. As long as it’s not busy in there, it’s a really nice experience.

It’s not worth it if:

  • It’s busy. Forget about having a relaxing experience if you go in there an hour and a half before any Delta flight departing for Atlanta or New York.
  • You’re looking for high-quality food. As long as you don’t mind spending a bit of money, you’ll find far better food in other parts of the terminal. San Diego Airport food isn’t that bad!
  • You want to get up and stretch your legs every now and then. This is a tiny lounge, and there are few options for getting up and walking around.

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