New British Airways lounge at New York JFK about to open

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There is good news for anyone heading to New York next week.  The fully refurbished British Airways Galleries Club lounge is about to open.

The lounge partly opened last week.  British Airways told me yesterday that the full space should be open at the ‘end of this week or early next week’.

British Airways Galleries Club lounge New York JFK

I have been promised a full set of photographs so keep an eye out on HFP.

The Galleries Club lounge can be accessed by anyone with a Club World ticket or who has a British Airways Silver card or oneworld equivalent.

I will be in New York in June and will do a full review then.  The image below is one of the mock-ups of how the new BA facilities will look.  There is a special BA website on the changes at JFK which you can read here.

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Comments

  1. Genghis says:

    OT does anyone have any recommendations for a two centre holiday in Europe with a one year old baby (spending IHG, Hilton, Marriott, Radisson or hotels.com vouchers), taking in a city and beach / mountains?

    Thinking Lisbon and Algarve or Ljubljana and Bled / Rovinj.

    Thanks

    • Valencia and Seville or Barcelona. I really like Valencia 🙂

    • memesweeper says:

      Valencia, city then mountains, then beaches. You can tack on Stiges/Barcelona very easily.

      • memesweeper says:

        posted that before seeing BJ’s reply! might be on to something with Valencia then…

        • 🙂 It could work in conjunction with Madrid which would open up possibility of a longhaul aircraft in business class.

    • Nick M says:

      I’ve been looking at Marriott Praia D’el Rey (Cat 5) for my travel package… I think it is about an hour away from Lisbon

    • KBuffett says:

      Conrad Algarve as one?

    • Munich/Vienna and Salzburg. Easy to travel between them on the train.

    • Bilbao and San Sebastián (and the surrounding areas) have all of those. Im not sure how reliable the summer weather is though

    • Lady London says:

      You could stretch it and do Florence and then Bellagio, which is lake, kind of mountains-ish (well, it; high above the lake and the drive up there from Como can be stunning). I am not sure of the tolerance of 1-year-olds for car journey length from Florence though. Could substitute Florence for, say, much closer by Bologna/Parma/Modena area if you;re more into food than art. Some very nice places to stay in all of these which will have both luxury and good help with children.

      • Shoestring says:

        Florence in the summer? Are you completely crazy? 🙂

        It was bad enough when I lived there for a year, must be hellish by now.

        Florence these days = November-February unless crowds everywhere wouldn’t bother you. March-October you’d be better off going somewhere else.

        Bologna/Parma/Modena as you say would be OK or even Verona

  2. If me and my partner are both First ticketed and we met a couple of friends at Heathrow who are travelling economy with another airline can we sign them in to the Concorde room?

    • Michael says:

      Not unless you and/or you partner are gold.

    • I’m pretty sure that to get in the Concorde lounge you have to be travelling on a F ticket or have some kind of very elite status with BA!

    • ChrisC says:

      Which ‘other airline’ are your friends flying on. I’d assume Iberia as they are the only 2 airlines using LHR T5.

      CCR is not a one world lounge so the usual guest access rules don’t apply. If your friends were flying BA you could guest 1 person each but not if they were on IB

      You could take the in the the F lounge though.

      Bud if you have status with BA then different rules apply

    • Lady London says:

      not sure about the other airline bit.

  3. OT:
    want to visit USA this August. Any suggested itinerary that
    A. USA west coast 2 weeks
    OR
    B. west coast/hawaii multi centre 2 weeks
    OR
    C. Another combination
    Must include disney.
    3 kids: 7, 8 and 11 years.

    • LA to include Disney and Universal studios. Drive up cast to San Francisco with one night stop en route to make more leisurely for the kids. Stopover with kids probably best in Santa Cruz as kids will like Boardwalk. 3 nights in San Francisco onwards to Tahoe where kids can cruise on the Lake and take cable car up the mountains, Circus Circus casino overnight in Reno. Head back south via giant redwoods and Yosemite national park. Go pony trekking in park for kids. California is awesome, just a few ideas.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Very good suggestions from BJ except WAY more than 1 night’s worth of stops between LA and SF, especially if doing just West Coast. Do not just blast up i5 because it’s easy and fast (it’s like thinking you’ve seen Western England because you drove the M5 and M6 :D).

        Santa Barbara (v. kid friendly), Morro Bay, Hearst Castle, Route 1. Big Sur, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove and Monterrey (aquarium). Santa Cruz.

        • Problem, as in most cases , is time. With a week going to be taken up with LA and SF alone the dilemma is to do the coast justice and spend a full week on it or try to get an overview by filling in more places like Yosemite and Tahoe. I tried to be mindful of keeping the kids entertained with changing activities in my suggestions.

        • You sound informed sir!

          I’m doing 7 day fly-drive in late October LAX – SFO two adults (going with a mate, not the missus)

          Might you have other ideas (that are also allowed to include wine!) ?

          Is Yosemite (and/or north of San Francisco) viable for our timescale?

          Many thanks!

        • @ Chris, if you are happy to skip LA you could do a great 7 day loop from San Francisco comprising the city, 17 mile drive, cut across to Yosemite, back north via San Joaquin Valley for wine, into Sacramento the Capitol and back to San Francisco. Depending how much time you wanted in each stop and how much driving per day you could detour as far as casinos at Tahoe or Reno for a night after San Joaquin Valley. I am suggesting latter as opposed to Napa because Napa takes you a different direction complicating the route. Check when Lodi grape festival is but I think you’ll be too late.

        • Thanks BJ, but we fly into LAX ?

      • Chris – I think you’ll struggle to do north of SF or Yosemite justice in 7 days from LA. Personally I’d make the most of the scenic coast route LA to SF and see the great places on the way – would personally recommend San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Cruz. And despite what I said above I’d leave a couple of nights to spend in SF at the end, it is a fascinating city.

        • +1 I suppose I’d do 2 nights LA, 3 nights along the coast and 2 nights SF. If you base yourself someplace convenient for 2 nights along the coast a decent day trip to Yosemite is entirely possible and so worth it.

    • We did San Diego – Long Beach – Anaheim – Las Vegas – San Francisco last year, all road trip apart from LAS to SFO which we flew to save time. Think it took us 18 days in total.

      Would definitely recommend San Diego, we loved it there and felt two nights wasn’t enough. Similarly we did three nights in Anaheim for Disneyland and could have easily filled another whole day – despite hitting the parks for two full days until midnight. Cars Land is just something else, the theming is amazing and Radiator Spirngs Racers is one of the best rides I’ve done anywhere in the world. We stayed at the Hotel Indigo Anaheim, which was a steal on IHG points and easy walking distance to the parks each day.

      We were disappointed in San Francisco this time around, they have a real issue with homelessness and drug use in the streets and the atmosphere wasn’t as we’d remembered. That said it’s always worth a visit.

      We didn’t go there this time but Monterey was a fabulous place when I visited before. Another recommendation would be the Jelly Belly factory near Fairfield, which is easily driveable to/from San Francisco. The factory tour is free and you get free samples!

      • Wow, excellent suggestions. Thanks all

      • Doug M says:

        +1 on San Fran. The homelessness is overwhelming. The city has definitely lost some vibe too. Too many rich Silicon Valley types have changed the unique feeling it always had.

        • Lady London says:

          Portland seems has started going a bit that way too. Not what it was.

        • It’s always been the case with major US cities that different ends of a street can be like different world’s. For example, Market Street in SF or pop out the wrong end of the station in DC. 30 years ago the States still felt like the happening place, more recently it just feels like most of it has been left behind with the those parts that haven’t being in denial.

      • I agree and disagree with SF, yes there are some issues but it’s an amazing city with lots of very cultural things to see and do. To be honest though, every time I have visited, I have never stayed city centre. Mission is the closest I’ve stayed, Castro and Noe also close to city but far enough out. That is my top tip.

        My stays in San Fran include minimal time in the cbd city centre itself and enjoy the adorable surroundings around.

        • My top tip, and only place I ever stay in SF, is the Chancellor Hotel on the corner of Union Square. Forget St Francis, just a few doors down, this place has the real SF spirit. Old and well worn it may be but it’s as comfortable as old clothes, staff are great, ambiance is breath of cookies and coffee available in the lobby round the clock, fantastic location, and last but not least the silliest gift ever at check in 🙂

        • AndyGWP says:

          Did you steal your rubber duck too? 😬😆

    • Graham Walsh says:
    • Kevin C says:

      It doesn’t sound if you will have time to go to Hawaii but if you do the Disney hotel Aulani has an excellent reputation.

      In LA, Anaheim is a long way from Universal City (Universal Studios) so bear that in mind. I think you can spend a lot longer at Disney than Universal but it depends what your kids are into.

      Other things for kids in LA: The Santa Monica Pier, cycling on Venice Beach, The Warner Bros tour.

  4. Anyone know if a UK Amex Plat refunds the US Global Entry fee in the same way that the US Plat does?

  5. Jonathan says:

    OT anyone know how to earn points topping up a Tax Free Childcare account besides BillHop?

    • Not familiar with the service you’re talking about but curve might be an option, linked to a miles earning visa or mastercard. If you don’t already have it feel free to use my referral code DXLAX4MD to get £5 credit loaded on to it.

    • Louise says:

      Revolut?

    • Alex W says:

      Revolut. Either bank transfer or revolut debit card works.

  6. Waddle says:

    OT:
    What in HfP readers’ opinions is the best place to put MR points if I’m considering leaving Amex and not having a MR card for a few months?

    • It depends on your current points holdings and your plans.

      • Waddle says:

        Ah yes of course. I collect Avios and HSBC Premier points. No hotels atm but not averse to building Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honours. I’m thinking KrisFlyer because I have been building towards flying in a premium Singapore Airlines cabin.

        • If you do Marriott Bonvoy you would be transfer g from one convertible currency to another so that would be the smart move if you had no short term use for the points.

        • Shoestring says:

          Not so smart if you lose on the translation with a ‘middleman’. Which you do.

          I’d stick to Avios, I do like a nice stash sitting there. Burned 75K just this week so feeling slightly nervous.

        • Depends if you think it is worth the risk to keep options open to use on difficult schemes such as LH. Despite all the complaints, my own view is that BAEC is still the best scheme around, especially for UK residents. It’s why I try to maintain at least a 2y cushion with avios at the expense of growing my M&M and FlyingBlue accounts.

  7. Shoestring says:

    Here’s one I didn’t know:
    Do Nectar points ever expire?
    Answer
    There’s no automatic expiry date for Nectar points. But if you don’t collect or spend any points for a year, we assume you no longer want to take part in the Nectar programme and close your account.

    —> you might as well link your Nectar card a/c to your Ebay a/c, which is points for free and stops expiry. I can’t bring myself to actively collect Nectar points – but I do buy things on Ebay – & I’d hate to see our Amex Nectar card accrued points disappear. Join your cards up as well if you have more than 1.

    • Shoestring says:

      Just downloaded the browser extension for a free 100 points on my wife’s a/c.

      Nectar keeps points earning separate on family (joined) cards! So my wife was at risk of seeing her a/c closed after 12 months. Losing half our Amex Nectar points.

      Very underhand. I guess I get all the Ebay points & since I keep both cards in my wallet that was down to me not bothering to collect Nectar points.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      I’m usualy pop into a Sainbury to get a few bits or a petrol and use my Nectar card. Handy having the tag on my keys. Wish I could do the same as Tesco and just have it on my phone.

  8. Shoestring says:

    O/T so 14th April 2020 (Tuesday after Easter Monday) was showing as off peak yesterday – but not available to buy as 356 days away.

    Today you can buy it but it’s peak. 15th April is showing as off peak now, let’s see if it turns into peak at midnight.

    • Thanks for pointing this out. I need to predict the July peak cut off dates so at least I know to take the availability calendar with a pinch of salt.

      • Shoestring says:

        Which July? 2019 should be pretty stable – but the calendar for 2020 isn’t published yet (is it?)

        I remember feeling pretty fed up because a year ago I got 4x Avios redemptions @ T-355 & paid peak Avios so +1000, yet a couple of weeks later they’d changed to off peak (1000 cheaper). I was going to follow it up with CS but forgot.

        • July 2020. I was going to base my plans around what I could see on the available dates calendar during award searches but if I understood you right and discussions yesterday, it now seems that info may not be reliable.

    • Yes, all very strange. I had to do a return one-way for short-haul on 14/04/2020 from Paris today. I booked the tickets (money&avios taken) and didn’t get a confirmation email for several hours. Then got an email which showed that I redeemed 1600 On Business Points. For a second, I thought I might have been logged in to On Business, but at the moment my company does not have that many points. BA’s IT seems to be all over the place last few days.

    • Annabelle says:

      Didn’t seem to show off peak for Tuesday 14/4/20 in advance but only weds 15/4/20. I booked return flights for 14/4/20 this morning at 1am and it was peak as expected.

      • Shoestring says:

        Weds 15th 2020 is off peak, confirmed

        • This is one instance where BA ignoring the north is a positive – my son’s school holidays next year stretch until April 27th so hopefully our return flights will fall into off peak!

  9. signol says:

    Shame about the JNB cut, but as long as DUR isn’t affected (similar schedule on the other days of the week) it shouldn’t affect us too much.

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