Over the past couple of years, I’ve really started to become a big fan of Delta Sky Clubs.
But on a recent trip to HNL, I had my doubts about the Delta Sky Club mostly because I knew it would be small and the prior lounges I visited at HNL were nothing special.
But luckily, my expectations were surpassed at this compact yet equipped lounge and in this article I’ll tell you all about the experience!
Getting to the Delta Sky Club at HNL
It was extremely easy to get to the Delta Sky Club which was no surprise because HNL is not very big.
The Delta Sky Club is located in terminal two just outside of security near Gate F1.
Delta check-in was located in lobby seven so that is the lobby that we entered through after going through the USDA check for our checked bags.
Once you make it past security, you’ll turn left and it’s very hard to miss the lounge.
Gate F1 also happened to be our gate so it made getting to the lounge and planning our exit as easy as could be.
Access for the Delta Sky Club at HNL
We had access to the Delta Sky Club HNL via our American Express Platinum Cards because we were flying Delta back to the mainland.
Specifically, we were flying Delta One Suites from HNL to SEA and then Delta First Class from SEA to PHX.
We had just arrived from Kona to HNL about four hours before our departure and the check-in agents were gracious enough to check our bags for us.
However, the lounge strictly stuck to the three hour prior to flight window and that meant that we would have to kill some time before being able to enter the lounge. That was annoying but it’s probably a good thing they have the policy because it is such a small lounge.
Experiencing the lounge
When we were finally able to get into the lounge, the agents were very friendly and professional.
They made sure to tell us about all of the features of the lounge and invited us to send our own Hawaiian postcards (with postage paid for by Delta). That, to me, was a very nice and fitting touch for travelers departing Hawaii and we sent a couple of them out to family members.
The lounge had a pretty minimal amount of traffic which made it very relaxing at least for the first hour or so.
It would pick up and get a little bit busy but it never got too crazy and died down towards the end of our visit. That was nice because for small lounges like this, I always worry about the lounge becoming an unenjoyable madhouse.
There were a hand full of different seating areas and we decided to grab a couple of chairs just on the other side of the bar. Some of the seating does have counters with outlets so look out for those if you need to stay powered up.
Most of the seating options offered in the lounge were the same or similar and consisted of typical airport lounge chairs. Comfortable yet a little boring by today’s lounge standards. You can get a feel for the different seating areas with some of the photos below.
I liked the Hawaiian artwork on display and also liked that they had a profile of the artist below each piece.
Aside from the entire lounge feeling pretty dated, I did like the relaxing color scheme found throughout the lounge with teal/mint accents contrasted against woodgrain. Not necessarily the most impressive decor for sure, but I appreciated that they at least had done something a little bit different.
The drinks and dining
I went over to check out the dining options and I was pleasantly surprised to see so many different hot food items along with some tasty sandwiches.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect in this lounge since our last lounge experience at HNL definitely was nothing special.
But this exceeded my expectations with a diverse range of food options raging from Hawaiian to Japanese, and also offering your basic items like ham and cheese sandwiches and even comfort foods like chicken noodle soup. I’d say it was a pretty solid food line up.
Here’s a close look at all of the food items that were offered in the late afternoon/early evening.
If you were just looking for snacks, they did have a stand with Lays potato chips.
And another station with desserts which included some type of pudding dish, oatmeal raisin cookies, and a small freezer with some sort of special ice cream.
As for drinks, the lounge has a small bar with a very friendly bartender who also was pretty efficient at serving up drinks. You never saw the line get a long at all.
The mai tai drinks, complete with decorative flower and umbrella, seemed to be a major hit for many people. I just went with my usual sparkling water but Brad had one last mai tai before we departed Hawaii.
There’s also a good lineup of different teas with honey and an easy to use hot water dispenser.
Iced tea, lemonade, and ice water were also available.
If you want some soda water they had a small soda water dispenser and if you’re in the mood for some coffee they had two espresso machines.
Near the food station, they had a pretty long row of two person dining tables along with some seats with tables found along the wall.
In the back corner of the lounge there was a TV area with a large screen playing ESPN. This appeared to be the busiest area of the lounge during our stay.
The lounge had a rack of literature to check out and I decided to try out a travel magazine to pass some time.
It had been a while since I had sat down with a magazine and I actually enjoyed going through it and learned quite a bit about some cool spots on different islands of Hawaii.
I definitely think I’m going to return to magazine reading as it was something I used to always do at airports and when flying but at some point I just dropped the habit.
There’s a small workstation area with a few chairs, some outlets, and a printer station. If you have something that you need to print, you can send it to the printer via email by just following the instructions.
In this back corner of the lounge there is another TV area but it’s a good amount smaller than the other section. It was also much quieter over here.
One thing that I thought was interesting about the lounge is that they came around with a cart serving mini cannolis and some type of special alcoholic tea. That’s not something I typically see in an airport lounge, especially a small one, so I thought it was pretty cool and once again a nice touch by Delta.
While some Delta Sky Clubs on the larger side have some pretty amazing (and huge) bathrooms, the men’s bathroom here is quite small with one urinal and one stall. I know this is a smaller lounge but only having one stall is under equipped to me.
The Delta Sky Club at HNL is pretty compact and yes it is dated.
However, the staff is great and the dining and drink options were solid and plentiful. The lounge also provided a few special touches here and there that made the experience feel a bit more premium.
Overall, I really liked the lounge and would prefer visiting this over the Plumeria lounges any day but it will be nice if the lounge can get some renovation love in the near future.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.