First look: Delta’s refurbished JFK terminal with 11 new gates and 2 new Sky Clubs

Major changes are underway at Delta’s two New York hubs, and the latest expansion is now open at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

The Atlanta-based carrier wrapped up a $1.5 billion upgrade in JFK . Terminal 4 over the past few days and are making some passenger-friendly improvements.


Although Delta is not building a brand new terminal at JFK like it did at its LaGuardia centerThe upgrade reaffirms its commitment to New York.

Here’s a look at all the changes.

Refurbished registration area

From the moment you step into Terminal 4, you’ll quickly notice a number of improvements.

The airline has expanded check-in stations to four rows, which will help distribute crowds across multiple areas during peak times.

Delta also digitizes the entire check-in experience by adding self-check-in kiosks and a new signature high-definition digital wall that serves as an eye-catching backdrop and provides a treasure trove of important information, including the latest. Sky Club flight status and crowding stats.


Perhaps the most notable improvement is a much larger dedicated Sky priority area. Previously, this space occupied a small lobby next to Terminal 4.


It now extends to an entire row of check-in counters, giving luxury and elite passengers more space to spread out.

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Meanwhile, the lobby that once served Sky Priority customers has been renamed the business-only Delta One registration area.

Only visitors flying in Delta’s premium transcontinental and long-haul business class cabinwith Delta 360 members are invited only, can use this space. Additionally, those flying in KLM World Business Class, as well as Virgin Atlantic Premium, are invited to check-in here.

According to Stephanie Baldwin, Delta’s vice president of airport operations in New York, the expanded check-in areas have only been open for a few days, but the response and net advertiser scores are “impressive” and ” wonderful”.

Ryan Marzullo, Delta’s executive director of New York design and construction, added: “While the Delta One lobby is certainly a welcome upgrade to the premium cabin ground experience, it’s about to get much better.


The next phase of construction will open this summer and it will include a completely separate concourse that will be built from the station entrance straight to the dedicated check-in counters. Other upgrades will include a refreshed lobby area with new furniture and a mini bar area serving snacks and drinks.

Better yet, Delta is building a separate TSA security lane that will be attached to Delta One’s check-in lobby for a more seamless check-in experience.


When you remove your security, you’ll be just a few steps away Brand new business class lounge – more on that below.

2 new Sky clubs

Historically, Terminal 4 was home to only one Sky Club, located near gate B31. That is about to change as the airline has added 10 new gates on Pier A and has begun to improve the business class ground experience.

The most exciting addition will be Delta One’s exclusive premium lounge, which will occupy the space of El Al, Swiss and wing tip position. It will be 36,000 square feet and open in the first quarter of 2024.


While the layout and amenities remain a well-kept secret, the lounge will expand to the existing airport area. As part of the extension, there will be an outdoor (and heated) Sky Deck all year round. Marzullo explains: The lower level of this expansion will have space for non-Delta lounges, including future Wingtips and possibly other lounges.

(In the meantime, visitors who previously used the now-closed Wingtips Lounge can use the temporary lounge Accessible privileges Primeclass Lounge is located near Gate A3.)


When it’s time to board, you’ll go down the escalator from the lounge to go straight to the departure floor. Instead, VIPs and those with Delta 360 status can be escorted straight to the airport, where Delta is building dedicated parking spots for its fleet of Porsche feeders.

In addition to the new business-class lounge, the airline is completing a new lounge. Brand new Sky Club at Gate Alocated on new high floor near Gate A7.

The 13,700-square-foot space will seat more than 220 and feature Delta’s latest design motifs, including an open kitchen, a fully equipped upscale bar, and a locally curated art gallery direction. Year-round heated Sky Deck will also be available.

The rendering looks pretty impressive, so we’re counting down the days until this lounge opens this summer.

Temporary Sky Club Express

Many Delta travelers are familiar with the problem of overcrowding the waiting room of airlines. In fact, it got so bad that Delta had to roll out new expressway Sky Club entry lane and soon introduces overhauled lounge usage policies.

Lacking in building new spaces and expanding existing ones, there’s nothing Delta can do to address overcrowding.


Thankfully, however, the airline is working to build new locations, including opening temporary Sky Club Express spaces at some of its busiest airports. firstly Sky Club Express opened last year in Bostonand JFK is now home to the second one.

This makeshift facility is located on a corner just past the TSA security checkpoint. It will stay open for about six months until the A Sky Concourse is permanently open.

The new Sky Club Express at JFK covers approximately 4,500 square feet with seating for about 60 passengers. It’s significantly more attractive than the one sitting in a basement in Boston.

You won’t get any views from the frosted glass windows, but at least the space is filled with natural light. The lounge’s “L” shape offers plenty of nooks and crannies and plenty of comfortable seating areas.


Interestingly, Delta ships furniture here from clubs in Atlanta and Boston, Marzullo told TPG.

The Sky Club Express has a makeshift bar (no spirits), as well as a fridge stocked with packaged foods, such as mugs of hummus and kale Caesar salad. There are even brown takeaway bags that seem to encourage you to grab a bite on the road.

Aside from free Wi-Fi and clean restrooms, the lounge doesn’t have many other amenities.


That said, it’s not (yet) as crowded as the larger Sky Club near Gate B31, so it’s definitely possible to camp here if you’re looking for a more relaxing environment.

Also, Delta certainly deserves credit for doing what it can to address the long wait for a solution at JFK. It is unlikely that other airlines will invest in the construction of small temporary spaces in just six months.

11 new gates

For many years, Delta split its operations at JFK between Terminals 2 and 4. It used all 11 gates in Terminal 2, as well as the entire concourse B in Terminal 2. 4. However, Terminal 2 is now closedas it will soon be demolished to make room for New 23-gate Terminal One complex worth $9.5 billion.


Instead of reducing the number of ports it uses at JFK, Delta invest in expanding Terminal 4 including 11 new gates, allowing the airline to maintain approximately 400 daily flights to and from New York’s busiest airport.

That expansion began on January 14, when the airline consolidated all of its flights to Terminal 4.

All but one of the 11 new gates are located in a brand-new concourse area at the end of Pier A. These gates, numbered A9 through A21 (no A13 or A18), are primarily reserved for those Delta’s regional jet operations. (Another new gate has been added to concourse B of Terminal 4.)

These brand new gate areas are some of the prettiest in the entire terminal, as they feature Delta’s latest branding elements, including large digital navigation screens, modern restrooms, and more. Modern and upgraded seats have access to power outlets, USB-A and USB-C ports.

Additional franchisees will open soon in the expanded Pier A.

Perhaps the biggest downside to the expansion is that flyers will need to pack walking shoes and a pedometer when traveling through JFK. Although I didn’t measure it myself, I imagine it could take more than 20 minutes to walk from the furthest gate at Pier A to the furthest gate at Pier B.

Fortunately, help is underway in the form of air-side bus operations. Delta is working with TSA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the airport watchdog, to begin an air shuttle service that will fly passengers between Gates A9 and B55.

In the summer, the airline will expand this bus operation to include a second stop near Gate B15, providing travelers with an even more efficient connection experience.

bottom line

While it’s not a brand new terminal like you’ll find in nearby LaGuardia, the expansion of Delta at JFK’s Terminal 4 brings some much-needed improvements to travel itineraries.


This includes a revamped check-in area, two soon-to-open lounges and several new gates — upgrades that will be immediately noticeable to JFK passersby.

While much of the work is now complete, there are still a number of outstanding items that will complete the Terminal 4 modernization project, from airport shuttle operations to experience to convenience, including: including an expanded domestic baggage claim area and a larger security checkpoint for passengers. people connecting from international flights.


When the job was over, Delta made it clear that they would be working permanently in New York and especially at JFK Airport.

For more on flying with Delta, see:


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