Review: The IMPRESSIVE Delta Sky Club Chicago O’Hare T5

Review: The IMPRESSIVE Delta Sky Club Chicago O’Hare T5

On a recent weekend trip to Savannah, I decided to fly Delta via Atlanta. It ended up being the cheapest option, plus I got to try out two new lounges: the Delta Sky Club at O’Hare and the Centurion Lounge in Atlanta. While I haven’t been flying Delta much lately, this experience reinforced why they’re widely considered the best-run airline in North America. Of course, that doesn’t excuse how they treat SkyMiles members when it comes to redemptions – that’s a whole other issue!

Chicago’s O’Hare Airport isn’t exactly famed for its luxurious lounge scene and especially not Terminal 5 at O’hare. Most of T5’s lounges boast dated spaces, mediocre lounge food at best, and often suffer from serious overcrowding. In general, O’Hare airport itself lacks some of the modern polish found in other major US airports. And if you’re hoping for a premium credit card lounge experience like a Centurion, Capital One, or Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge, O’Hare will disappoint. However, Delta’s new Sky Club in Terminal 5 is a surprisingly welcome oasis in this landscape. Spanning over 22,000 square feet, this massive lounge offers great views of the tarmac and a decent food selection. The lounge is located next to gate M11 and is adjacent to the gates Delta uses to fly to only its hubs from the airport. I gained access thanks to my American Express Platinum card, which allows up to 10 visits per year for free.

The entrance to the lounge features a neat map of the United States with a somewhat random slogan given that this isn’t Southwest Airlines….

a lobby with a map of the united states and a couch


a room with a bar and chairs

Right across from the entrance area is the main bar area of the lounge, which also happened to be the buisest area of the place.

a group of people at a bar

Along the windows of the lounge are a large assortment of seating areas with great views of all the interesting birds visiting Chicago’s T5.

a large room with tables and chairsIn the center of the this massive area is the main food area of the lounge featuring a decent assortment of hot and cold dishes. There were a decent number of vegetarian options including zucchini sliders, pita bread, roasted potatoes, and a very good salad selection. This certainly felt like a step above the usual Delta Sky Club offering, which is already much better than what you find at Admirals and United Clubs.

Trust me when I say there is tons of seating! The couches are also very tastefully colored and conveniently designed with abundant power outlets and USB-C ports.

Keep walking and turn left to find yourself another bar and seating area. It appeared that they even offered some hot dogs and/or other hot food item here on occasion.

Go even further in to find yourself in an even quieter area of the lounge with sound proof phone pods and a massive projector screen where you can cast anything. This was a very quiet Friday, so people were just napping on the couch.

There are some self serve beverages in this area which included coffee, soft drinks, and a flavored soda fountain. There are some light snacks to go along with those drinks.

Additionally, if you need to freshen up before a long haul, the lounge boasts four shower suites conveniently located in the central corridor of the lounge, right next to the restrooms.

What makes it extra special:

The Delta Sky Club in Terminal 5 stands out with one special perk. For a seamless travel experience, the lounge offers direct boarding onto select flights, saving you the hassle of navigating back through the terminal bustle. While one of the gates (Gate M11) is used to board flights to New York-La Guardia, the other is supposedly going to be used to board premium passengers on flights on Air France/KLM at some point. I guess Emirates won’t be the only one offering this very soon.

Bottom Line

Despite O’Hare’s lackluster reputation for lounges (especially the dated offerings in Terminal 5), Delta’s Sky Club delivers a surprisingly refreshing experience. This massive space is an oasis of modern design, decent food, excellent tarmac views, and ample seating – a rarity for most airport lounges. While it’s not perfect, it’s as close as you will get at O’Hare. The direct boarding is a truly unique perk that elevates the travel experience for those lucky enough to travel out of Gate M11. If you ask me, the United Polaris Lounge doesn’t hold a candle to the Delta Sky Club. I’ll comment more on that later in another post.




  1. J Falk

    Hi – agree that the lounges in ORD T5 leave something to be desired and that the Delta lounge is really nice. A couple of points – BA Terraces in T5 closed last week since their flights now leave out of T3 and their passengers can use the Admirals Club or Flagship Lounge in T3. Also, the SAS lounge in T5 will close late summer when SAS moves to SkyTeam from Star Alliance. Polish LOT is building a nice new lounge (I think about 7,000 square feet) to open in Q3/Q4 2024 – do a search to get some renderings. The terminal still has room for one more lounge (not counting the SAS and BA lounge spaces).

    Lastly, any airline (like Qatar) that sends their passengers to the Swissport lounge should be so embarrassed. It is one of the worst lounges in the USA (maybe the world).

    1. Thanks for the low down. Yes I’m aware of those upcoming and present offerings, but as of now this is it for T5. The renderings of the LOT lounge look great and that should help SWISS, Austrian and TAP get a decent lounge in T5 hopefully (fingers crossed). ORD is long overdue for a Centurion Lounge and that prob needs to happen in T5 where as you say there is space.

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