Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

My review of the (temporary) AA Admirals Club lounge, New York JFK Airport Terminal 8

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

And the award for worst lounge goes to ……

I was heading back to Europe on airberlin, flying business class from New York JFK to Berlin Tegel for the attractive price of 60,000 Avios and just £3 of tax.  I will write about that flight tomorrow.

First I had to brave the temporary American Airlines Admirals Club lounge in Terminal 8.  Rob did warn me that lounge standards in the US are pretty low, but what I found at JFK was even worse than I expected.

To be fair to American it is currently undertaking a major global refurbishment programme of its key lounges.  The Heathrow arrivals lounge, the only one AA has, re-opened two weeks ago.  The main Admirals Club lounge in Terminal 8, used by airberlin, is currently being rebuilt and will reopen in 2017.  A temporary lounge is currently open in Concourse B, which is where I was sent.

JFK airport new york

The temporary lounge is located on a mezzanine level. You can see security when looking down one side and shops down the other.

JFK airport new york admirals lounge bar

The temporary Admirals Club lounge is a small rectangular ‘room’ where someone tried to squeeze as many seats in as possible, whilst still leaving a bit of room for aisles inbetween.

Restrooms were about a 3 minute zig zag walk away.

JFK airport new york admirals lounge coffee seating

Don’t expect do be properly fed in this lounge. There were some carrot sticks, crackers and hummus, olives and soup and that was it.  You don’t know you’re born when you complain about Galleries Club at Heathrow!

jfk airport new york admials lounge

I tried the lemon chicken orzo soup which was absolutely horrible! Way too salty…

JFK airport new york admirals lounge soup

The cookies were ok …..

JFK airport new york admirals lounge cookies

…. and so was the G&T.  Note that the bartenders expect you to tip them for pouring your drink, so take a few dollar bills to the bar if you don’t want to get that look.

JFK airport new york admirals llounge food and drink

The socket situation wasn’t great and it took me a while to find a seat with a socket next to it.  There was at least one positive thing about this temporary Admirals Club lounge: there were USB chargers, woohoo!

JFK airport new york admirals lounge socket usb socket

Conclusion

The temporary Admirals Club lounge in JFK Terminal 8 Concourse B is currently good only to grab a quick drink before your flight or charge your phone.  You won’t want to spend too much time there.  Roll on 2017 and the new lounge.


Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

How to earn American Airlines miles from UK credit cards (July 2021)

American Airlines no longer has its own UK credit card.

There is, however, still a way to earn American Airlines miles from a UK credit card

The route is via Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy hotel loyalty points convert to American Airlines miles at the rate of 3:1. You receive an additional 5,000 miles bonus if you convert 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at once.

The best way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points is via the official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card. It usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up and 2 points for every £1 you spend.

Until 31st August 2021, however, the sign-up bonus is increased to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

At 2 Bonvoy points per £1, you are earning (at 3:1) 0.66 American Airlines miles per £1 spent on the card. This will increase to 0.83 AA miles per £1 if you convert Bonvoy points in chunks of 60,000 points.

You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

40,000 points sign-up bonus and Gold Elite status Read our full review

Comments (53)

  • krys_k says:

    For another JFK perspective – I used the BA lounge on Saturday at JFK. It was, I thought, pretty tired, with what I l consider was an odd set up – a lounge within a lounge – where BA passengers could have a hot meal (the mains were low quality, but the two deserts quite tasty).

    • Danksy says:

      Krys – was that an overnight flight back to UK?

      IIRC They offer a decent hot meal in the lounge rather than full cabin service on the night flights. We used the club world facilities when flying back from JFK last year and thought the food was good.. I don’t remember a cabin service but after a full belly and a few champagnes I was asleep within 30 mins of takeoff and didn’t wake up until breakfast was served!

      • krys_k says:

        It was a 19.30 flight, so full service on the flight. To be honest, I didn’t eat at the lounge because it just wasn’t tasty (after four weeks eating US food which was generally brilliant my expectations had risen). But there was a passenger at check in before me that he would be getting just a light meal on board, absolutely furious, I thought his braces would snap.

        Im also full of praise for the CW flight on BA. Great service, food etc. We flew as a couple and having the back two middle twin seats was pretty cool. I get how this set up isn’t to everyone’s liking, particularly if you’re flying solo. But for us, almost a double bed. Just goes to show that it’s horses for courses.

  • Kipto says:

    Used the KAL lounge last night at LAX using priority pass to enter. It is in the Tom Bradley International terminal a five minute walk from American Airlines terminal 4. Quite impressed. Good selection of food on offer. Flew from LAX to Honolulu with American Airlines. Five and a half hour flight. Unless you pre purchased food prior to the flight, no food was offered and refreshments limited to two cans of soft drinks and a flight attendant occasionally walking down the aisle with a large bottle of water to top you up and they had the cheek to charge $5 for hire of headphones to watch a film. Flight attendants were scruffy as well.

    • Paul says:

      Thanks for the tip on the KAL lounge might try that on way home. Am on Big Island and got here on a ex DUB so It was comfortable. AA food in F / J is not bad and can pre ordered. However even in F after 8/9pm there is no food service on any flight operated by AA domestically.

      • Chris says:

        Use the BA lounge in Tom Bradley, it’s very good by European standards which means it’s excellent by American standards

  • Oh! Matron! says:

    All of you stop whining! It’s still magnitudes better than the old ServiceAir Lounge at T1 Heathrow 🙂

  • Frankie says:

    Ah… The good old carrots and celery and the soups and crackers. An AA staple..

  • mark2 says:

    The BBC recently broadcast a series of three programmes under the title ‘City in the Sky’, which I found very interesting and not too gimmicky.
    They are not available on iPlayer but will no doubt be repeated soon.

  • paul mc evoy says:

    Was in the Miami lounge in July and was terrible.
    Crackers and packet soup.
    Paid for drinks.
    Let’s not even start about F on a 737……………

  • J says:

    I can’t wait to hear how you can get a business class fare from New York to Berlin for 60,000 Avios and just £3 of tax. I presume that this is a one-way fare (New York-Berlin) and not a return (Berlin-New York-Berlin)?

    Im looking to travel the first week or second week of Dec 2016 for about 5 days. Explored various options with 2for1 and just avios on BA website. Can’t seem to get a decent deal.

    • Rob says:

      One way. Return is £75 and 120,000 Avios.

      Although, remember, Dublin to Boston on Aer Lingus is only 75,000 Avios return and £75 of tax, as it is under 3,000 miles and falls into the cheaper Avios pricing band. Need to ring BA to book that though.

      Also remember that Iberia has more availability long-haul on its own planes if you move your Avios to Iberia Plus and book via iberia.com.

  • Vince says:

    My wife got moved from BA to AA for a flight from JFK in November. Is this the lounge she will be using? She is travelling in Y but has BA Silver so she would not have got pre flight dining in the BA lounge but from memory at least it was a relaxing place to wait with drink. This temporary AA lounge does not look great.

    • Rob says:

      There is another Admirals Club lounge on Concourse C so it is possible she would be nearer that one.

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.