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The new British Airways First Lounge has opened at New York’s JFK Terminal 7

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In April 2017 British Airways announced a £52 million refurbishment to its Terminal 7 at New York’s JFK airport.  This was to include an update of the check-in areas, lounges and departure gates.

The Concorde Room was refreshed earlier this year and so were the First and Club World check-in areas.  This included a new Premium Zone with direct access to Fast Track security for Club World travellers, and the new First Wing and First check-in for First Class passengers and BAEC Gold members.  For the rest of you, the main concourse has received additional seating in the gate areas and a number of new power outlets.

Earlier this week the new First Lounge opened its doors.  The pictures look very promising.

As a reminder, this lounge is not for First Class passengers who are able to use the Concorde Room.  The First Lounge is for British Airways Executive Club Gold card holders.

BA JFK T7 new first lounge

The new First Lounge is 60% larger than its predecessor and split into several zones.

There is a special wine room with fridges and shelves to keep every wine at the right temperature:

BA JFK T7 new first lounge

and

BA JFK T7 new first lounge

The new First bar is stocked with, apparently, ‘premium’ beverages:

BA JFK T7 new first lounge

The lounge has a dining room for (only) Club World passengers who would prefer to eat before an overnight flight and go straight to sleep on the plane:

BA JFK T7 new first lounge

….. and those who need to do some work before their flight can use the quiet work area:

BA JFK T7 new first lounge

Executive chefs Gavin Mackenzie and Waylon Walker have ‘created a boutique menu with seasonal dishes’ as well as a new ‘bowl food’ concept which was apparently designed to offer customers a chance for a lighter option before they fly.

A reader called Antony dropped us an email on Friday night to say that he had just been in and:

“Have to say, I’m super impressed with the variety and quality of food.”

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said – not entirely unpredictably:

“We fly thousands of customers between London and New York every week so we’re absolutely dedicated to making the experience as relaxing, comfortable and enjoyable as possible. We are investing £52 million in to our home at JFK this year as part of the £4.5 billion investment we’re making in our customer experience globally, and there will be further investments at JFK planned for the future. We hope our guests enjoy using the new facilities as much as we’ve enjoyed designing them.”

The refurbishment of Terminal 7 is due to be completed in 2019.  Next up is the upgrade of the Galleries Club lounge.

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A few thoughts about the St Regis New York hotel and my $2,800 suite
Good redemption option for flights inside South America

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Comments

  1. Rob – please bear in mind that the proper dining room (called “boutique dining”, as you have pictured) is only for Club passengers who have access to pre-flight dining as part of the sleeper services. “Regular” OW Emeralds in economy/premium economy have to make do with a selection of sandwiches and snacks in the main lounge. (I appreciate that BA have overlooked this detail in their press announcements!).

  2. Visited here last Tuesday – definitely a big improvement. The Galleries Club side of the lounge is still to be renovated and it’s a marked difference! It also means that at present, as Club pre-flight dining is in the Galleries First side, you get access to that bit of the lounge too!

    Definitely a more extensive food selection, although confusing layout whilst work still going on – I thought they only has the Asian salad/noodle bar selection until you go through a small connecting door and find a whole other buffet selection!

    Overall definitely a good improvement, although sadly boarding was as chaotic as ever at JFK.

  3. Peter K says:

    Minor typo in first paragraph. You put ckeck-in rather than check-in.

  4. randomizer says:

    (unashamedly) OT: The wife and I both have Tesco accounts, both have BAEC accounts and both received the 1000 bonus point offer. I’ve read the T&Cs and can’t see why we wouldn’t get a bonus on an additional two transactions from my Tesco to her BAEC and vice versa. Thoughts?!

    • Genghis says:

      “The bonus Avios will only be awarded once per British Airways Executive Club account”?

  5. This is all very well but it doesn’t address the worst part of using Terminal 7: arrival and progressing through immigration.

    For the last 3 trips to JFK I have queued for over 2 hours – most recently just shy of 3 hours – to get through passport control.

    BA/AA should be investing their money in a combo of paying more to the immigration authorities to provide more staff and/or lobbying them to do significantly better.

    It may now be increasingly pleasant to leave NYC through JFK T7 but it’s still a nightmare to arrive there!

    Until they sort that out it’ll be the 1 or 2 BA flights into EWR for me, or another airline.

    Sorry – rant over.

    • T7 is simply not fit for purpose and will be demolished as part of a mega rebuild of JFK.

      There is simply no space to expand the immigration hall at present. Without expansion there is no more room for more immigration officers etc.

      The money BA is spending (a requirement of their lease with the Port Authiruty) at the moment on T7 is simply putting lipstick on a pig

    • “It may now be increasingly pleasant to leave NYC through JFK T7 but it’s still a nightmare to arrive there! ”

      Unless you take BA001 from LCY of course, when it becomes an absolute pleasure!!

    • We are currently in Boston.
      Customs and Immigration was completely electronic and took about five minutes.We may have just been lucky.

      • Completely? I’ve used the APC kiosks a few times now, and it has certainly speeded up the process, but I still had to present a slip to an Immigration Officer and get my passport stamped. Has this changed?

      • USA immigration is actually becoming almost a pleasant experience than what it used to be a few years ago. I think non EU nationals arriving in London have a far worse experience than we do arriving in the USA these days since they introduced those kiosks.

        Having said that, I went to Boston on a new passport last year and had to use the first time visitor line and the immigration officer couldn’t understand why I’d visit Boston alone with not knowing anyone who lived there

        • O’Hare was very, very good for the last few years, but when I arrived at about 4pm on a Saturday a month or so ago, it was a total and utter nightmare – took about 3hrs to get through!

      • +1 for Miami this summer! Washington DC on the other hand was grim, 2 1/2 hours of queuing ????

        • thehornets says:

          I agree. Arriving in Detroit on Delta the other day, it took less than a minute to clear the US border.

          On return to Heathrow (as a UK citizen) it also took no time at all via the T3 eGates. I was very impressed.

          That said, passing through security at Newark was almost worse than Stansted!

    • If making frequent trips then Global Entry definitely worth considering – always through in a couple of minutes (including customs) – only delay is if waiting for checked bag.

      $100 for 5 years (although a bit more now to for additional cost of UK checks), but last year when arriving at MCO to multi-hour queues it paid for itself in one go – so much nicer to be at the hotel bar rather than still being in an immigration queue!

      I suspect things could be about to get a lot worse for short-haul trips from April though, last few times I’ve been through the EU passport eGates in minutes but the non-EU queues have been very very lengthy…

    • JFK terminal 8 is much better for arrivals. For the past few times with Finnair from Helsinki it has taken 5 minutes max to get through immigration thanks to the automated passport readers.

  6. TTraveller says:

    O/T
    Trying to book a trip through BA Holidays (Flight + Car), i.e. trying to put the flights and hotel under the same booking to get the avios bonus

    Any idea if I can use avios / companion vouchers as part of that process? Or if I need to book flights and hotels separately to achieve that?

    Thanks in advance!

  7. Shoestring says:

    [We are investing £52 million in to our home at JFK this year as part of the £4.5 billion investment we’re making in our customer experience globally,]

    You’d have to be pretty stupid to believe this.

    • Whether you believe it or not the JFK investment is a requirement of the T7 lease BA has with the Port Authority and is clearly happening both airside and landslide

  8. Flew into jfk last week in first
    About 1 hour to get through immigration no more escort to front of the line as in the past
    Came back next day in club
    They have now closed the fast track security on the left ramp but rather end up in main section with left lane for fast track took me over 25 min
    Lounge was packed as usual with all the night flights back
    Overall experience in T7 well bellow expectations

  9. Nothing to do with this article, but I’m currently sitting in a packed No.1 lounge at bhx, which appears to have been booked out to a stag party. I’m surrounded by a cacophony of course language and various noises playing from mobile phones. The staff look very stressed, and there is no attempt to enforce a basic standard of behaviour (i.e. don’t play noise on your phone). I don’t resent people having a good time, but surely the point of these lounges is to offer an escape from this kind of thing? I supposed I should count myself lucky to have been granted entry on my PP!!

    Oh well, over to Aspire for me, but I feel sorry for the people who have paid good money for what should have been a relaxing time before their flight, not fthe equivalent of free-bar-at Wetherspoon’s night.

    • If it makes you feel any better (it won’t), this happens elsewhere too. In Hamburg the other night there were 3 of us in the lounge and one guy decided it was ok to watch a film on his tablet without headphones!

    • Charles says:

      You’re in a No. 1 lounge at BHX. What else do you rationally expect?

  10. OT but looking to fly out of LHR T3 in December. Planning to leave the car for a few days and wonder what the best option is for hotel and parking?

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