This is the second segment of my journey home to visit my parents for the holidays.
I wanted to check out the Sky Club in Concourse F as I heard it was the best Sky Club at ATL. My flight departed from Concourse D, but I read on Flyertalk that the D Sky Clubs should be avoided. So after getting off my flight, I headed straight for the air trains below. They run on fairly quick intervals and it only takes a minute or so to reach each concourse from the previous one (Concourse F may have taken 2-3 minutes from E).
The lounges are located on the top level when coming up the escalators from the air train. Both lounges in Concourse F are easy enough to find. The Club (a Priority Pass lounge) is directly across the Sky Club.
Here is the Sky Club:
Once inside, I was quickly checked in by a friendly associate.
Despite this being the international Sky Club, it did not feel all that big. Immediately to your after walking in is the buffet and bar area. Restrooms can be found to the left of this area. Further in is a long room with various lounge chairs. At the very end of this room is the shower area (I did not pop in to check out the showers).
To the right of the buffet is the terrace. It was rather crowded when I first got here. You can see that the glass barrier made it hard to take pictures in the glare.
Heading back inside, to the right of the entrance is more seating. There are some desks with dividers for working, though they are fairly open still. Upstairs is just another small seating area.
The buffet was similar to what I saw in Austin. For an international lounge, this was a disappointment. The main difference (aside from the actual dishes) was the availability of Dom Perignon for purchase. I'd rather get a bottle of the Laurent Perrier Rosé for 3,950 Sky Miles if I had my pick.
I grabbed some hot food and a glass of SweetWater 420. I used to visit Atlanta all the time and had grown fond of SweetWater beer during my visits.
Boarding was scheduled for 6:27pm ET. I left the lounge at ~6:10 and made it there in about 8 minutes (taking the air train). Gate D9A was a very small gate.
My ride was N362NB, a 16-years old A319. Unfortunately, this was the only angle I could take a picture from as the other side was blocked.
I saw the captain arrive and board at 6:24 and figured we likely won't board on time. Sure enough, at 6:33 (6 minutes after scheduled boarding) the gate agent made an announcement they were waiting for the cleaning crew to get off. Preboarding began at 6:37.
Delta's A319 has 3 rows of domestic first class arranged in 2-2. I'll be glad when United finally catches up and adds another row to their own first cabin on the A319s. In any case, these seats were more or less the same as the ones from my earlier flight on the A321. As before, a small pillow, blanket, and bottle of water were waiting at my seat.
According to Delta's website, seat pitch is one inch less at 36.
The other aspects of the seat were the same: nice little IFE, well-placed outlets, various seatback pockets. The only difference was the overhead controls were of a newer variety (at least I think these are the newer ones).
I asked for some prosecco before takeoff.
This time there was no leftover headphones - the purser came around and brought a pair to everyone who wanted one.
We ended up pushing back at 7:05 and took off at 7:17. Luckily, there is enough padding in both the boarding process and the blocked flight time to ensure an on-time arrival.
I checked out the bathroom immediately after takeoff. These are cramped as you would expect on an A319. Delta uses the same Malin + Goetz amenities.
Drink orders were taken at 7:24, I asked for a SweetWater 420.
The snack basket was brought around shortly afterwards, it was so dark I couldn't actually see what was inside it and I didn't want to shine my phone's flashlight on it in case it bothered people around me. I blindly grabbed a bag of fudge-dipped Oreos. These were pretty good! Just based on this item alone I would say this is a better snack basket than the one on my previous flight.
Checking out the IFE in flight:
We landed at 8:18pm and arrived at our gate 4 minutes later, 12 minutes ahead of schedule. Gotta love small airports!
Lounge: I don't really see what the fuss is about the Sky Club in Concourse F. It was rather crowded and not all that big. The terrace is a nice touch, but the buffet was rather lackluster for an international lounge. Overall, it's not a bad lounge, but you just would expect an international lounge at a major carrier's hub airport to be better. I believe this is the best lounge at ATL though.
Cabin & Seat: Again, a fairly standard recliner seat. Not much else to add.
Service: Service was warm and friendly, not much more to say.
Meal & Catering: The snack basket was ever-so-slightly better than what was offered on the AUS-ATL segment.
Bottom Line: This is definitely one of the nicer flights I've had into ROA. UA only flies in to ROA from ORD or IAD. IAD isn't so bad, but I end up with a weather delay or cancellation more often than not from ORD. Moreover, the flight from IAD doesn't offer a F cabin.