Passing through Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on Saturday, it was great to see that the Airport Library is back open with plenty of comfortable seating, lots of books, a grand piano. My faroite whimsical touch: the “airport library” lampshades.
It’s been six months since Delta Air Lines opened a new Sky Club on Concourse A at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. And, from the views of Mt. Rainier to the in-house spa, the artwork, the soaring ceilings, the bar and the food offerings, it’s still quite a thrilling and surprising space to visit.
A few weeks ago Delta upped the Sea-Tac Sky Club offerings quite a bit with the formal roll-out of a seasonal and locally-inspired menu created by highly regarded Seattle chef and restaurateur Ethan Stowell, who has about a dozen eateries in the city, including four in my neighborhood alone.
The snacks I nibbled on when Delta’s new Sky Club at Sea-Tac opened were fine, but now club visitors will find a variety of salads, including a house-roasted chicken salad with Washington-grown jazz apples, cranberries, dill and mint; a weekly rotation of crudité and dips, including mixed Mediterranean olives with orange zest and fresh herbs; a tasty pasta dish, as well as fresh popcorn with a hard-to-resist fennel pollen topping.
In a phone chat, Stowell told me his goal was to create a menu that leans towards “lighter, fresher, brighter foods” that are vegetable and protein-focused, rather than “rib-sticking heavy foods,” and to offer “a taste of the bounty we have here” in the Northwest, such as asparagus and peas, which are definitely fresh right now.
As you might imagine, Stowell is a busy guy. So he said when Delta asked him to get involved with the club menu he was only interested if he was going to be allowed to put his own spin on it.
“They’re definitely let me put my take on it,” said Stowell. “I’m not saying it’s an Ethan Stowell restaurant in the club, but it’s as close to having a branded restaurant in a club as you possibly can.”
If the airport club partnership works out well, the next logical step might be for Stowell to create menus for Delta passengers to dine on in the sky.
“We’ll probably get there,” said Stowell, “We’re in that getting to know each other phase. We both want this first project to be successful, but that will be the logical next step.”
It comes as no surprise, but Alaska Airlines announced its plans for the Virgin America name and brand and has decided that it’s going to keep the Alaska’s name and logo and retire the Virgin America name “likely sometime in 2019,” according to a company statement.
That’s bad news for those who love the Virgin America overall brand, vibe and amenities. But the good news is that Alaska Airlines is keeping its word and bringing some of the best Virgin America amenities forward.
Alaska says it will adopt “enhanced in-flight entertainment, mood lighting, music and the relentless desire to make flying a different experience for guests” as part of an overall goal to create “a warm and welcoming West Coast-inspired vibe.”
Alaska says it will adopt some other Virgin America touches including introducing music by new artists on planes, in airport lobbies and at gates (2017); redesigning the cabin with new seats and amenities (2018) and introducing new uniforms by fashion designer Luly Yang (mid-2019) for flight attendants, customer service agents, pilots, mechanics and ground crew.
Alaska also promises to upgrade the Wi-Fi connectivity fleet-wide, add more premium seats, expand the lounge network and offer other new amenities you can read about here.
What do you think?
Delta Air Lines recently opened an impressive, 21,000 square foot Sky Club at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, with seating for more than 400, 30-foot ceilings, direct runway, tarmac and (weather permitting) Mount Rainier views.
Amenities include six (!) complimentary shower suites, spa services (for purchase), foods and beverages that include local items such as Beecher’s ‘World’s Best’ Mac & Cheese, and some great art including this piece by Rebecca Coles (in the spa area) made from postage stamps.
Orlando International Airport has lots to entertain travelers waiting for a flight, but those who want a bit of extra pampering now have The Club at MCO as an option.
The 11th in the string of lounges operated by Airport Lounge Development (ALD), the new 8,000 square-foot open-to-all-travelers lounge at MCO is located on Airside 4 near gate 91 and will be open daily from 6:00am – 9:30pm.
Inside the lounge there are spaces for working or holding meetings, private restrooms with showers, a children’s zone with Xbox games and TV, complimentary snacks and beverages, high-speed WiFi and bar service.
Day passes to The Club at MCO are $35 and entry is also available to Priority Pass, Priority Pass Select, Lounge Club and LoungeKey Members with existing memberships.