Atlanta lies only 2 hours by car from Greenville, South Carolina, by air the flight is an impressively fast 25 minutes. I prefer to fly out of and into Greenville; it's easier for friends and family to pick me up. Greenville also is less of a hassle getting through TSA screening points since passenger traffic is so much lower than at a major airport like Atlanta. Soon after arriving at the airport, we boarded the plane and made way on the first of many legs on my biggest trip of the year.
After landing in Atlanta and deplaning at Concourse T, I had a long walk to the international terminal which is located at the opposite end of the airport. While Atlanta does have a train system to travel between concourses, I decided to walk the long distance between concourses. After all I was about to sit on a plane for 8 hours, seems best to get a little exercise before hand.
Once I stepped into the international terminal, I walked down through the departure gates to get an idea of where things were in the terminal since I’d never flown internationally out of Atlanta. After familiarizing myself with the lower level, I was ready to go check out what is considered to be one of the better of the Delta Sky Club lounges. Only problem is, I couldn't find any signs directing you to where it was. So after looking up the location on a terminal map online, because it also wasn’t shown on the in-terminal maps I saw. I discovered it on the second level that I had not yet visited.
Entering the lounge, the staff was extremely friendly and inviting. After a few moments fiddling with the non-working mobile boarding pass, I was on my way into the lounge. The first thing that struck me was how much smaller the lounge was than I was expecting. In the lounge is the well advertised sky deck (outdoor seating), a large sitting room indoors, a long sitting hall area and a small loft in the main room. It probably is quite large, but the way it is laid out, things seem much smaller than they likely are.
After checking out the vegetarian food options, I headed out to the Sky Deck to check it out. The Sky Deck is an open air deck that is one of the few places in the world that you can actually be on the secure side of the airport and be able to go outside. Keep in mind that this is Atlanta, so it was quite hot outside, and I was attempting to charge my phone. Atlanta heat and a charging device do not mix well. Both my phone and my tablet started to get hot.
In an effort to avoid overheating my electronics and myself, I moved inside for the remainder of my time there.
Overall the lounge is certainly better than my other experiences in Delta lounges, but concourse B has actually just opened a brand new lounge that looks to be on par with the international lounge if not better. Despite the concourse F lounge being one of the best Delta lounges I’ve been in, it is still a lounge from a US based airline, so it was a little lackluster, and did get fairly crowded as the evening rush made their way to the airport.
One thing I do appreciate about US airline lounges is that they tend to do buffets over served food. I've found that served food tends to be difficult to order if only because there often isn't anyone around to order from when you want to get something.
Food at the lounge was pretty standard for a US based lounge. Cheese, fruit, crackers, cookies, other snacks and a few soups and hot dishes.
Soups on offer were Italian Wedding and Red Lentil. I did not try either, but it is worth noting that many of the lounges for Delta are now serving a Squash soup that is vegetarian, and it is very good. I was able to try some on my return to the US at the LA lounge. If your lounge offers that option, I recommend that, keeping in mind it is a tad bit on the sweet side.
Back in Atlanta, I made my way to the hot dishes table. There were only two options, the one I chose was the vegetarian pasta. Really it was run of the mill, just sauce and pasta, nothing too exciting. If you're hungry though, it'll do the trick. Personally I didn't go overboard since I knew a meal would be served on my Virgin Atlantic flight.
Once I had some food, I made my way to the main seating area where the views of the aircraft were great. That is certainly one thing going for this lounge, it has one of the better views of the many lounges in Atlanta. I say that because many of the other lounges sit much lower and closer to the tarmac, also the other lounges tend to see rows and rows of Delta planes. Concourse F is an international terminal though, so you get a range of aircraft passing by during the day and variety is the spice of life.
Really the lounge isn't as great as I had hoped. It did get fairly crowded in the lounge, and the food selection didn't blow me away. It certainly has some unique features, but acting as a flagship lounge, it was not nearly as large and open as I had thought it would be.
Certainly a good spot to spend the hours prior to your flight, but nothing mind blowing.