1st look: American Airways, British Airways unveil 3 beautiful lounges in JFK’s Terminal 8

Chelsea, Soho and Greenwich.

Three iconic neighborhoods, present in each New York and London, are actually the names of the brand new premium lounges in Terminal 8 at New York’s John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK).

They will open their doorways on Thursday. That is when British Airways formally strikes into Terminal 8 — a co-location with American Airways that is been years within the making.

Traditionally, Terminal 8 has been house to American Airways operations in JFK (together with two Admirals Golf equipment, a Flagship Lounge and a Flagship First Eating facility). In 2019, nevertheless, American introduced that its marquee Atlantic Joint Enterprise accomplice, British Airways, would co-locate in Terminal 8.


To try this, the 2 airways invested $400 million in increasing Terminal 8, including extra wide-body gates, redeveloping the luggage dealing with system and elevating the premium expertise.

Thursday marks the large day for BA’s transfer from its present JFK house in Terminal 7; the co-location will create a seamless expertise for the scores of passengers with connecting flights operated by American and BA.


The truth is, Terminal 8 is rapidly turning into the Oneworld alliance hub in New York, with Iberia (a Oneworld and Atlantic Joint Enterprise member) additionally transferring in as of Thursday. Japan Airways, one other Oneworld member, is switching to Terminal 8 in Could 2023.

To have fun the large co-location and terminal enlargement, American CEO Robert Isom, BA CEO Sean Doyle and representatives from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — the company that oversees JFK — hosted a press convention to unveil the all-new areas.


Here is your first look inside.

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Revamped premium check-in facility

The premium expertise begins the minute you enter Terminal 8 with two all-new, wood-lined premium check-in services.


The extra unique space is reserved for a couple of choose flyers (particulars beneath), and it provides probably the most personal check-in expertise in the complete terminal.


After verifying your eligibility, an agent will escort you thru frosted glass doorways to one of many roughly 10 check-in desks.


There are not any conventional counters right here — you may full check-in formalities when you’re sitting or enjoyable. To not point out, your checked baggage will probably be carted off to the luggage system with out you lifting a finger.

With fashionable carpets, fancy sconces and marble accents, this house feels fairly posh — and it represents a giant design improve over the Flagship First check-in facility that used to occupy this house.


From right here, you will be escorted on to the entrance of the safety line, which is situated only a few steps away from this space.


In the meantime, all different flyers with precedence check-in entry will use the bigger, open-air check-in facility. This house is not practically as unique because the one reserved for top notch, however it’s nonetheless a lot nicer than the common lanes.

There are lanes devoted to counter and kiosk service, and there are even a couple of couches that will help you regroup from the check-in expertise.


After finishing check-in, you will exit the power proper in entrance of the precedence and TSA PreCheck safety lane.

American and BA have not but revealed entry necessities for these two check-in services, however we’ll replace the story as soon as they’re confirmed.

Chelsea Lounge at JFK

After clearing safety, you will make your technique to certainly one of three lounges.

The fanciest and most unique is dubbed the Chelsea Lounge, and is situated on the higher stage above gates 14 to twenty.

After verifying eligibility (particulars beneath), you will be escorted to the lounge’s signature round Champagne bar. The bar seats about 15, however the servers could be completely happy to convey a crystal flute to wherever you select to take a seat.

There isn’t any phrase on which Champagnes will probably be out there, however the bar is without doubt one of the snazziest I’ve ever seen in an airport lounge. Hanging from the ceiling are 150 hand-molded items of frosted glass, which have been created solely for American and BA within the Czech Republic.

The Chelsea Lounge measures about 10,000 sq. ft and has seating for 128 flyers. There are a selection of seating choices lining the perimeter of the house, starting from particular person recliners to couches to cozy chairs.

Every seat is inside arm’s attain of an influence outlet, in addition to a USB-A and USB-C port. The partitions are lined with a dwell digital “wallpaper” that modifications settings all through the day, which ought to assist set the temper earlier than your flight.

Sadly, this house would not have any home windows or pure gentle.

Along with the Champagne bar, there will be a hearth within the middle of the lounge, however it wasn’t put in but throughout TPG’s tour. There are a couple of workstations constructed into the wall towards the again of the lounge, and there is additionally a devoted leisure space within the far again nook.

You will not discover any nap rooms or telephone cubicles on this house, however you will see that probably the most unique restaurant in the complete terminal.

There are a selection of two- and four-top tables within the eating room, and you will be handled to a multicourse, restaurant-style meal in case you resolve to dine right here. The menu will characteristic a mixture of American and British classics.

Along with a signature afternoon tea service, you will take pleasure in some delicacies — similar to bagels and lox, Reuben sandwiches and shepherd’s pie — which have been displayed through the media tour. James Beard Award finalist chef Ayesha Nurdjaja (of New York’s Shuka and Shukette fame) is curating the menus in each the Chelsea and Soho lounges.

We’ll replace the story with the total menu as soon as it is finalized. There is a small drink station close to the eating room that’ll characteristic quite a lot of mushy drinks and bottled water.

The Chelsea Lounge options gender-specific restrooms, that are lined in wooden and marble; they characteristic three to 4 stalls and urinals every.

There are additionally three average-size bathe suites within the lounge, which will probably be out there on a first-come, first-served foundation.

For all intents and functions, the Chelsea Lounge merges the very best of American’s Flagship First Eating facility and BA’s Concorde Room. It provides chef-inspired a la carte eating, in addition to loads of house to unfold out and chill out. The one downgrade is that it would not supply any pure gentle, however the design is considerably extra elevated than the prevailing Flagship First Eating facility.

Definitely, that is American’s fanciest lounge worldwide, and it will seemingly be a toss-up for frequent BA vacationers if they like the Chelsea Lounge or the Concorde Room in London.


When it comes to entry, the next vacationers will take pleasure in some preflight leisure within the Chelsea Lounge:

  • American Flagship First flyers (together with on transcontinental routes).
  • American Flagship Enterprise Plus flyers (this can be a new bundle out there on choose routes).
  • American invite-only Concierge Key members on Flagship routes, together with from the U.S. to:
  • Asia.
  • Australia.
  • Europe.
  • Center East.
  • New Zealand.
  • South America (excluding Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela).
  • Entry is obtainable no matter cabin class.
  • British Airways first-class passengers.
  • British Airways Gold Visitor Record members.

Soho Lounge at JFK

The second-most unique lounge in Terminal 8 is now the Soho Lounge.

It shares a welcome space with the Chelsea Lounge. A pleasant receptionist will usher you to the suitable house if you enter the upper-level foyer close to Gate 14.

Inside seconds of getting into the Soho Lounge, you will rapidly notice you have entered one of the vital fashionable and fantastically designed areas within the airport. The lounge measures 12,000 sq. ft and has seating for 282 vacationers.

As you stroll inside, you will be within the cocktail and bar space, which is decked out with some high-top seating, in addition to quite a lot of eating tables and bench seats.

From there, you will end up in the principle lounge space, which provides a eating room, residing space, personal workstations and a so-called library.

In case you’re trying to seize a chew to eat, you will seemingly wish to decide a desk within the middle of the lounge. There will be a buffet serving a variety of sunshine bites, in addition to a la carte service out there to order by way of a QR code.

We could not get a way of the standard of the meals and drinks within the Soho Lounge, however we’ll remember to comply with up with an in depth evaluation after it opens.

That mentioned, representatives for each airways promised scrumptious fare and complex drinks, together with a cocktail menu designed by Richard Boccato — the person behind Queens’ well-known bar Dutch Kills. Gotham Espresso Roasters will present the espresso within the lounges.

There’ll even be a wine desk constructed out of petrified wooden, however that amenity wasn’t on show through the tour.

In case you’d choose to chill out, you will have a selection of a number of areas. The lounge boasts spectacular floor-to-ceiling home windows with expansive views of the tarmac, so aviation fans will seemingly gravitate towards the person recliners lining the perimeter of the house.

There are 5 personal workstations towards the again of the lounge, and there are some communal co-working tables at both finish of the house, too.

The carpet-lined “library” ought to supply a quieter and extra enjoyable expertise, however you will not discover any books right here. That mentioned, it’s going to undoubtedly be the perfect place to cozy up with a e book in case you introduced one your self.

The Soho Lounge additionally contains a leisure space, however it wasn’t completed in time for TPG’s tour.

The house will probably be staffed by American and BA brokers, in case you want some last-minute help together with your journey plans.


There are each gender-specific and gender-neutral restrooms, all of that are designed equally to those discovered within the extra unique Chelsea Lounge.

4 particular person bathe suites are additionally out there right here — half of that are accessible to vacationers who use wheelchairs.

With an opulent design, floor-to-ceiling home windows and loads of house to maneuver round, the Soho Lounge is a step up from American’s conventional Flagship Lounge, and even a lot of BA’s First lounges.


When it comes to entry, the next vacationers will take pleasure in some preflight leisure within the Soho Lounge:

  • American Govt Platinum and Platinum Professional flyers on Flagship routes, together with from the U.S. to:
  • Asia.
  • Australia.
  • Europe.
  • Center East.
  • New Zealand.
  • South America (excluding Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela).
  • Entry is obtainable no matter cabin class.
  • American invite-only Concierge Key members on non-Flagship routes.
  • Oneworld Emerald members from non-U.S. applications on any same-day Oneworld flights.

(For savvy vacationers, this house is actually reserved as a Oneworld Emerald lounge.)

Greenwich Lounge at JFK

The third and ultimate “new” lounge in JFK’s Terminal 8 is the Greenwich Lounge.

This house is not really new — it includes the prevailing Flagship Lounge, Flagship First Eating facility and Concourse B Admirals Membership. Nonetheless, the present Flagship and Admirals Membership advertising will probably be eliminated as of Thursday, and the complete house will then be rebranded because the Greenwich Lounge.

There will be no change to the design or format of the house, and vacationers might want to cross between the foyer space of the lounge to get between the previous Admirals and Flagship sides of the lounge.


The renovated open-air bridge house within the middle of Concourse B will even open within the coming months, and it will be folded into the Greenwich Lounge when it is full.


Altogether, the house will seat greater than 590 flyers. Savvy vacationers will seemingly camp out within the Flagship First eating facility as soon as it is decommissioned.


I will not get into too many particulars about this house because it will not be altering from my latest evaluation in September 2021. Count on upscale finishes, loads of seating, floor-to-ceiling home windows, showers and a beneficiant buffet within the Greenwich Lounge.


Entry will probably be granted to the next passengers:

  • American Flagship Enterprise flyers (together with on transcontinental routes).
  • American Platinum flyers on Flagship routes, together with from the U.S. to:
  • Asia.
  • Australia.
  • Europe.
  • Center East.
  • New Zealand.
  • South America (excluding Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela).
  • Entry is obtainable no matter cabin class.
  • British Airways Membership World passengers.
  • Oneworld Sapphire members from non-U.S. applications on any same-day Oneworld flights.

Whereas American has traditionally solely supplied three tiers of lounges (Admirals Membership, Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Eating), the co-location with British Airways in New York means there’ll now be 4 forms of lounges on the airport.

Most American flyers needs to be completely happy about these modifications for the reason that least premium of the brand new lounges nonetheless occupies the previous house of the Flagship Lounge and welcomes all the similar vacationers.


Those that profit from the co-location are vacationers with top-tier elite standing or on first-class tickets, as they will be welcomed to newer and extra unique areas.

If there’s one group who received the quick finish of the stick, it is vacationers who use the Admirals Membership. Sooner or later, there’ll solely be one Admirals Membership at JFK, situated in Concourse C in Terminal 8.

That signifies that irrespective of which gate your flight operates from, you will must trek underground to the far concourse to make use of the lounge. A little bit of a ache, however at the least the Concourse C Admirals Membership needs to be giant sufficient to deal with the crowds.


Moreover, British Airways used to supply its business-class passengers a preflight eating service in Terminal 7, which will not be out there within the Greenwich Lounge. Some Membership World vacationers may take into account this a downgrade.

Backside line

British Airways has a brand new house at JFK.

After greater than 50 years in Terminal 7, the UK flag service will name Terminal 8 house as of Thursday. That’ll make for quicker and extra seamless connections for vacationers hopping the pond. It additionally ushers in a revamped premium expertise for flyers passing by way of New York, beginning with an upgraded check-in facility.


The 2 brand-new lounges are gorgeous, and so they’re undoubtedly the 2 nicest ones in the complete American community. BA vacationers will seemingly additionally admire the upgrades — particularly the unique new Chelsea Lounge, which can substitute the prevailing Concorde Room.

Even American’s present Flagship Lounge is getting rebranded, and no facilities are getting reduce.


With BA and Iberia co-located as of Thursday, and JAL transferring in subsequent 12 months, Terminal 8 is rapidly turning into the Oneworld alliance hub in New York. That is nice for many flyers, however particularly those that have entry to one of many terminal’s snazzy new lounges.

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