Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

New York Stories #7 – The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at New York JFK

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This is my review of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK Airport in New York.

I tried to fly Virgin Atlantic on one leg of my New York trip but availability wasn’t there on the days I needed it.  It is now far too long since I flew with them long-haul and I sometimes feel a little guilty writing about Virgin Upper Class without recent experience.

When I realised that Singapore Airlines First Class passengers get to use the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK, I perked up.  The London Heathrow Clubhouse lounge is regarded as one of the best airline lounges in the world with a range of features rarely seen.  I still remember getting my hair cut and sitting in a soundproofed room testing out a very high-end piece of hi-fi on my last visit.

I assumed that New York, as Virgin’s ‘2nd home’, would be as good.  Sadly, I was mistaken.

There is nothing wrong with the Clubhouse at New York JFK.  By the standards of 95% of US airline lounges it is outstanding.  It just doesn’t have anything special about it.  I ended up spending over two hours there which was far too much.

Here are a few photos.  This is a general overview shot:

Virgin Clubhouse JFK overview review

The funkiest part of it, which isn’t saying too much, is the pool table ….

Virgin Clubhouse JFK pool table review

…. and these odd seating pods built into one of the corners, which aren’t really comfy or convenient ….

Virgin Clubhouse JFK pod review

There is a tiny spa but it didn’t seem up to much.  I didn’t try to get an appointment.  I DID try to have a shower but every time I checked all three of the cubicles were locked.

Virgin Clubhouse JFK spa review

There is a decent sized dining area serving a full restaurant menu:

Virgin Clubhouse JFK dining area review

I didn’t want a full meal so I just ordered a chicken main dish.  It was acceptable but would not win any awards – there wasn’t much meat on the chicken and it was a little dry.  I would feel a bit aggrieved if I’d paid £15 for it in a London restaurant:

Virgin Clubhouse JFK restaurant food review

The dining area does offer a good view of departing Virgin aircraft through the windows.  There was no sign of my Singapore Airlines flight as it was on the other side of the building.

Virgin Clubhouse JFK view from dining review

Business facilities in the lounge were limited to three PC’s, one of which was out of order.  These were on a bar with bar stools for seating which is not hugely convenient.

The most interesting thing that happened to me in the lounge is that I was paged for the first time in my life.  When I got to the reception desk, it was Singapore Airlines on the phone.  There was a family of three checking in and Singapore wanted me to swap seats (moving forward a row) so that the family could have three in a line. 

As the seats are identical and I still had a window, I didn’t mind.  It did make me wonder what other airlines would have gone to such trouble to track down a passenger before moving his seat forward a row ….

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 points):

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (17)

  • Adey says:

    Not sure about JFK but the EWR clubhouse doesn’t serve alcohol until lunch time, Lorks a Lordy!


  • CV says:

    Off topic but just to mention the Virgin Money lounge opened this week in Glasgow and very nice it is too, spread over 2 floors (with a ‘cinema’ and a TV room). The actual banking area is tiny in comparison, but told there are separate private rooms in the building to conduct business, somewhere.

    Also the new Emirates lounge at GLA has just opened.

  • RIccati says:

    Virgin Clubhouse in Hong Kong is nothing special, except for waiter service.

  • Thomas says:

    Off topic but to do with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Points.

    At what price in UK£ would you sell one million points for ??

    These would not be transferred, but kept in account and the bookings would be made for the buyer as and when needed, with buyer ultimately paying the taxes or fees for whatever they wish to redeem for.
    Just trying to gauge a worth, thanks….

    • Rob says:

      £7,500-£10k for a ‘normal’ person, since an individual can buy sale tickets in J for roughly that level (ie 1p per point or less, so NYC would be £1300 inc tax etc). Market is slim since few people have that sort of cash to spare.

      Better is to use a mileage broker although your chance of getting ripped off is huge.

  • Thunderbirds says:

    I’m off to Tokyo with Virgin in a couple of weeks. Is there a Virgin lounge at Narita? Do they share? Anyone been in their lounge recently and can comment..?

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.