There’s a special new treat in the Delta Sky Club at Los Angeles International Airport and it’s pretty cool (literally!): fresh gelato.
Don’t look around for a freezer with boxes of pre-made gelato in the 30,000-square-foot Delta Sky Club near Terminal 3 at LAX, though. Instead, three countertop Solato machines whip up made-to-order gelato on demand.
These sleek machines are the dessert world’s answer to the Keurig. Simply pop a gelato pod into the machine to get a single-serving of fluffy, perfectly sweet gelato, ready for your choice of toppings. The entire process takes just 60 seconds, so you can easily make a sundae to go before boarding your flight.
Solato representatives quietly debuted the gelato in the Delta airport lounge at lunchtime on March 7, and within minutes, a line of excited guests began forming—a sign this offering is sure to be a hit as more lounge-goers discover it. That day, guests could choose from three traditional gelato flavors (vanilla, chocolate, and yogurt) and two dairy-free, vegan options: coconut and mango. Solato offers more than a dozen distinct flavors, though, so other options may soon become available. Visitors could also personalize their gelato at the topping bar, which included caramel and chocolate sauce, crushed cookies, chocolate shavings, and wafer crisps.
The gelato may be just as exciting for an eco-conscious traveler as it is for a jetsetter with a sweet tooth. Solato says its technology allows gelato to be made with 85% less energy than it would usually take to manufacture, transport, and store the conventional pre-made stuff. Plus, you can reuse the pod cup that contains the mix as your bowl for the finished gelato.
You can find the machines in the rear dining and lounge space near the buffet at the LAX Delta Sky Club. The lounge, which is one of Delta’s largest Sky Clubs, opened in April 2022. In addition to made-to-order gelato, the massive airport lounge also offers ample space to rest or work, shower facilities, a heated outdoor bar with views of the planes and the Hollywood Hills, private phone booths, hot buffet with regional cuisine (like tacos), and a “coffee grotto” decked out with shiny Beverly Hills Hotel-inspired mosaics on the wall.
In an effort to reduce crowding, Delta has recently tightened access to its popular Sky Clubs. To get complimentary access a Delta Sky Club, you’ll typically need a same-day boarding pass for a Delta or partner airline and one of the following:
- Delta Sky Club membership (only available for purchase for Delta SkyMiles Medallion members)
- a confirmed seat in a Delta One cabin (or international first or business class on a SkyTeam-operated flight)
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
- American Express Centurion Card
- American Express Platinum card
There are a handful of other ways to access the Sky Club, but it’s not exactly easy, and that’s by design. Check out Delta’s Sky Club access rules and policies for more information on entering the lounges.
The gelato might be even more exclusive than the lounge themselves, though. At this point, the LAX T3 Sky Club seems to be the only one with the Solato machines, so you’ll need to book a flight in or out of Los Angeles to give it a try. I’ve reached out to Delta for more information and I’ll update this story with new details as they come in.