Soda Fountains in Sky Clubs

Old Dec 18, 18, 6:48 am
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Soda Fountains in Sky Clubs

Why is it some clubs (PDX & DTW for example) have a coke soda fountain that I can go pour my own drink from, and the vast majority (SEA, ALL ATL clubs, MIA, MKE, EWR, LGA, etc etc etc) do not?

I for one dont like having to go to the bar for a non alcoholic drink and I am certain when the bar is busy the staff would rather focus on making drinks. The line it some lounges (ATL B for example) can be really long to just ask for a sprite. I do tip for non alcoholic drinks but it annoys me that I have to because DL just cant make it easier at all the clubs on the patrons and staff alike.

If anywhere you would think ATL would have the machines as Coca Cola would want the branding in their home town.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 7:15 am
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Not everything is uniform across any carrier's lounge system. The best place to ask is at the next SC where there is not one and perhaps someone will know.

If I had to guess, it is that those machines are freebies installed by, in this case Coke as a branding effort. Many vendors do that and it may often affect why a particular wine or brand of booze is offered as well. I doubt that Coke has to do much branding in the ATL area.

As to the staff, I can't imagine they like it at all. It means fewer tips and I have to imagine that most people tip $1, so that adds up across a shift.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Not everything is uniform across any carrier's lounge system. The best place to ask is at the next SC where there is not one and perhaps someone will know.

If I had to guess, it is that those machines are freebies installed by, in this case Coke as a branding effort. Many vendors do that and it may often affect why a particular wine or brand of booze is offered as well. I doubt that Coke has to do much branding in the ATL area.

As to the staff, I can't imagine they like it at all. It means fewer tips and I have to imagine that most people tip $1, so that adds up across a shift.
To be fair DL Sky Club bartenders are making substantially more than the $2.13/hour that most bartenders and servers make...(before tips) $15.34/hour plus tips is a pretty good gig!

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Old Dec 18, 18, 7:44 am
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I'm not sure about PDX, but, I'm pretty sure it's been reported that the origin of the seff-service soda fountains are in the clubs that used to be NW hubs, as they didn't have bartenders.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 8:42 am
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Originally Posted by vincentharris View Post
To be fair DL Sky Club bartenders are making substantially more than the $2.13/hour that most bartenders and servers make...(before tips) $15.34/hour plus tips is a pretty good gig!
Are you sure that's $15.34/hr plus tips? Is Indeed's info on this is employee-reported and not provided by the company? Minimum wage for wait staff varies quite significantly by state. https://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm

The self-serve vs. bartender argument is old in this forum.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by davetravels View Post
I'm not sure about PDX, but, I'm pretty sure it's been reported that the origin of the seff-service soda fountains are in the clubs that used to be NW hubs, as they didn't have bartenders.
That is a good point I never thought of before, and make a lot of sense.

I personally prefer self serve across the board since it makes the club 21+ only by law but thats for a different story. It would just be nice to even just grab a can of soda and ice instead of waiting in line for a sprite or coke etc. I k now that would not cost DL much if anything because my guess is they dont pay for soda they serve since its "promotional" for Coca Cola or they are paying literally pennies per can.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Are you sure that's $15.34/hr plus tips? Is Indeed's info on this is employee-reported and not provided by the company? Minimum wage for wait staff varies quite significantly by state. https://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm
Thats a good point and the flaw of places like indeed and glassdoor if the position has commission or tips attached. you never know what the true salary is.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 9:08 am
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It's also not relevant to the thread. Whether you are making $2 or $20 an hour, the opportunity to make more money for no more work is always appreciated. In any event $30K/year is not the lap of luxury.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 10:05 am
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The Delta Sky Club Seattle(SEA) provides an adequate oasis for those seeking ... Finally, we have a run-of-the mill fountain soda dispenser.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 10:27 am
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The renovated SC in DCA has both a self-serve soda dispenser and a water fountain that provides both still and carbonated water. The SCs in both LAX T2 and T3 have similar machines, as does the new club in SEA (interestingly, the new club in SFO does not have a self-serve soda machine); PDX was mentioned above (this club has bartender service for beer and wine, but no hard liquor). Another club that had a self-serve soda machine was PHL (they have self-serve booze in there, too). And, of course, all the former NWA World Clubs that Delta now uses have self-serve sodas and booze (except for MSP Concourse F).

The A17 club in ATL once had a new-fangled soda machine that dispensed about 100 flavors of sodas from one spigot (they have such machines inside Roy Rogers fast food restaurants in the DC exurbs), but some genius got it removed from the A17 club.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
NAs to the staff, I can't imagine they like it at all. It means fewer tips and I have to imagine that most people tip $1, so that adds up across a shift.
People tip $1 on non-alcoholic drinks? I think it's the opposite and the bartenders would rather not waste their time with the soda orders.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 10:34 am
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This setup is a relic of the first wave of renovations that added staffed bars. After a few years of customer feedback that folks wanted self-serve soda as an option in addition to the bar, Delta started building clubs with that in mind - the two SEA clubs are a good example.

Unfortunately, adding separate dispensers requires plumbing, so itís not trivial to retrofit into existing clubs.

Expect to see these added back to clubs throughout the system over time as space permits when major renovations to serving areas occur, but probably not before then.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 11:00 am
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First, I'm all for a soda fountain, and being that Coke & Delta share ATL, you'd think they'd have the best of the best product offerings for their most valued customers.

ATL A17 had the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, but my understanding is their monthly rental is sky high.

ATL B (new) had a simple legacy fountain where the Starbucks branded espresso machine is now. Written correspondence to SkyClub management about returning the soda fountain ended up with some suboptimal results. Management stated there were issues with the woodworking of the soda fountain and that it probably wouldn't return. Shameful, because the bartender service is pretty awful, along with everything else in that club.

The NW legacy club fountains are great, but they're built so small that you can only get the smallest of glasses under the tap.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 11:20 am
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When I saw the title of this thread I pictured the SkyClubs having a little corner where you could order a milk shake or ice cream sundae. Now that might make me renew my lapsed SC membership!
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Old Dec 18, 18, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by Ysitincoach View Post
First, I'm all for a soda fountain, and being that Coke & Delta share ATL, you'd think they'd have the best of the best product offerings for their most valued customers.

ATL A17 had the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, but my understanding is their monthly rental is sky high.

ATL B (new) had a simple legacy fountain where the Starbucks branded espresso machine is now. Written correspondence to SkyClub management about returning the soda fountain ended up with some suboptimal results. Management stated there were issues with the woodworking of the soda fountain and that it probably wouldn't return. Shameful, because the bartender service is pretty awful, along with everything else in that club.

The NW legacy club fountains are great, but they're built so small that you can only get the smallest of glasses under the tap.
AA uses Freestyle machines in all their clubs. I love them since I can get drinks that normally aren't available. HiC Lemonade being one of them. I can't imagine the costs is too much for DL, but not AA.
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