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British Airways unveils its new New York JFK business class lounge

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If you have flown through New York JFK in the last week you may have been one of the first people to see the new British Airways Club lounge which has just been unveiled.

It is the culmination of a £52 million investment that included the refurbishment and expansion of the First Class lounge and the Concorde Room last Autumn as well as improvements to check-in areas and other general amenities.

The Club lounge at JFK is the third, after Rome and Aberdeen (reviewed here), to have the new “contemporary and luxurious” design theme that is slowly being rolled out across the network.

Note that British Airways seems to have dropped the ‘Galleries’ branding.  It is just called the ‘Club lounge’ rather than ‘Galleries Club’.

Click on any picture to enlarge.

British Airways new Business Class lounge New York JFK

The lounge is 22,000 square feet.  It is only slightly smaller than Delta’s flagship SkyClub in Terminal 4 at JFK and significantly larger than the 13,000 square foot lounge that Cathay Pacific has at Heathrow Terminal 3.  BA has calculated that 16,500 customers per week will be eligible for access, including those flying Iberia and on some Qatar Airways flights, so it has to be big.

British Airways new Business Class lounge New York JFK

From the looks of things, one of the key improvements appears to be additional connectivity in terms of available plug sockets.

There’s also a new entertainment room with what sounds like Playstations, a re-opened Elemis Spa, the brasserie-style dining room for pre-flight dining (Club World passengers only, no status card holders) and a BrewDog craft beer room (three different beers on tap) to celebrate the new custom-brewed Speedbird 100 beer that is now available on flights.  A granite-topped Scottish-themed Quaiche bar is available with an “experienced bartender” at peak times.

British Airways new Business Class lounge New York JFK bar

Rob will be reviewing the lounge on his next trip to New York in June.  BA did invite us over to take a look last week but Bank Holiday parenting duties called.  Here are some photos that a reader, Alex, sent in:

British Airways new Business Class lounge New York JFK
and
British Airways new Business Class lounge New York JFK

Whilst the new lounge is certainly an improvement on what was there before, general online feedback so far is that it lacks the flair of the new lounges in Rome and Aberdeen – although neither of those is on anything like this scale – or Gatwick South, which used a different design team.  We’ll let you know once we’ve seen it in the flesh.  However good it turns out to be, it will have a very short life following the decision to move in with American Airlines in Terminal 8 in 2022.

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Comments

  1. Yawn says:

    I was at the Delta Sky Lounge at JFK in March. Can’t comment on its size. It was under heavy refurbishment and it was therefore really difficult to find a seat… Rather underwhelming, tbh.

  2. Andrew says:

    An interesting interview on Business Traveller with Jude Winstanley, Head of Ground Product at British Airways yesterday. Hilarious response to the question about how BA feel about everyone using the Cathay or Qantas at T3 rather than their own sub-standard lounges – basically BA don’t care because it’s a benefit of One World and keeps you lying with them anyway! At JFK you have no other lounge options so it’s good to see some improvements being made. Has Concorde Room also been refurbished?

    • Matt says:

      I don’t believe that “everyone” uses Cathay or Qantas lounges at T3. I certainly do thanks to the advice received on here and flyertalk. But remember we’re a tiny proportion of people who fly BA. Outside of our tiny world I think most people assume that if they’re flying BA they have to use a BA lounge – a friend (CCR cardholder) certainly thought that was the case last year!

      • Andrew says:

        That is true. And actually even an “informed” friend who was doing a TP run to Helsinki thought that as he didn’t have status, just a Club ticket, he could only use the BA lounge.

      • Mike Wilson says:

        @Matt, you are correct in saying that not everyone uses Cathay or Qantas lounges at T3. I was in both lounges yesterday and they were both pretty much empty at around lunchtime. Meanwhile, the BA lounge was once again on the brink of breaking fire regs with the amount of people crammed in.

        • Shoestring says:

          Got my first tour of T3 Oneworld lounges lined up for 2 weeks’ time – I wouldn’t dream normally of paying Business for European flights but was in a ‘use them or lose them’ situation with the cheap IB90K points so thought I’d give it a whiz on our way out to the place in the sun.

          Economy on the way back, mind you 🙂

          • SimonW says:

            G and Ts in the Qantas, then eat in Cathay. A world away from BA lounges. Enjoy

          • Catalan says:

            You’ll enjoy the Cathay lounge. I haven’t visited the BA lounge in the last three times I’ve departed from T3.

          • Andrew says:

            My usual circuit too. I only pop into the BA lounge to pick up a free copy of Business Traveller magazine and whatever other magazines they have (QF has zero magazines, not even their own, and CX have few that are in English).

          • TokyoFan says:

            Off to Singapore with CX after work on Friday. Where would HFPers recommend for a shower in T3? Qantas or Cathay?

          • Lady London says:

            CX

          • Lady London says:

            Think AA has OK ones too….. and jellybeans

          • Genghis says:

            Aesops at CX 🙂

          • Shoestring says:

            Making notes…the good news is: our one-way in Business tickets cost (£250/90,000)*15000, +£35.85 IB fee = £77.52.

            So I can live with breaking a ‘travel Economy in Europe’ principle.

            Why, with 4 lounges to rotate – and we’ll max out on 2x 32kg each more or less (as we always have heaps of stuff waiting to get taken out) – you could almost argue the ticket’s for free!

          • Gilbert O. says:

            Why are economy passengers allowed to post here?

      • CV3V says:

        Same experience at a couple of airports. In SIN everyone heads to the BA lounge, which is ok, but i head to the Qantas lounge. In SFO in Jan while the BA lounge was being refurbished the check in staff were sending passengers to one of the lounges for a chinese carrier (the lounge looked rammed full), but if you walked down the corridor another 20m there was the Cathay lounge which was completely empty apart from the 2 of us – they had to open the champagne for us on request.

        • @TokyoFan – The showers in Cathay Lounge are brilliant. Super clean and packed full of Aesop products to use. I didnt even go to the BA lounge (didnt have time for a G&T in the Qantas lounge unfortunately)

          • TokyoFan says:

            That’s good. I’ve used the Qantas ones in HKG before which were great too, but none at LHR. If there’s a queue I’ll swap lounge!

      • Olly says:

        I normally don’t have a choice as the BA T3 lounge is the only one open for my normal very early flights

        • David says:

          CX opens at 5:30 – what flight are you on?!

          • John says:

            BA opens at 0500 every day and CX opens at 0730 on Sundays, however you are right that the earliest flights are usually 0615 or later. I can never manage to get to security earlier than 0515…

    • John Q says:

      I was in the JFK Concorde lounge on Monday evening, they have added a grand piano and some extra seating for meals, but the food was not as good. I went to look at the First lounge which has improved a lot with a lot more space.

  3. Kevin says:

    Some factual inaccuracies that will hopefully be amended once somebody has actually visited.

  4. Nick G says:

    Looks very meh to me…..could be from a priority pass list and I honestly couldn’t tell the difference

    • Came to the same conclusion. Looks like a bunch of office furniture picked directly out of Viking Direct.

      • Shoestring says:

        Pragmatic mgt decision on level of investment given it only has to last 3 years.

  5. Daniel says:

    I visited this lounge on Monday evening, taking a look because the food offering available in the FIrst lounge was pretty dismal.

    As a series of spaces, it is a very clear improvement on the old lounge, with a number of options depending whether you want lounge chairs, bar seating, restaurant-style, business centre etc. This all works well, and the spaces are well segmented, making each seem less impersonal than the overall size of the lounge might suggest. I would not say that the level of design and ‘finish’ is up to the standard of the other new lounges that Rob references. This is still a working-horse lounge deigned primarily for capacity and fast turnover – the seating is still very dense in places. It feels like a refresh rather than a total overhaul, and is in sympathy with the First lounge in that regard. It’s nicer, but certainly not going to compel you to get to the airport early!

    My big *big* problem is with the food offering. I was on the 7pm flight and remember the pre-dinning at JFK to be a fairly slick and generously catered affair. On Monday it was dismal, to the extent that I had to ask to ask staff where the restaurant was – I thought I was looking at the remnants of the causal dinning options from the sandwich buffet, but no that was all there was. I had come over from the First lounge because the items on the hotplates there were tried, dried-out and hadn’t been refreshed. Others in First dinning seemed as confused as me at what was going on. It was worse in business. It looked at through they’d simply run out of food, and the passengers themselves had given up. Quite a few people took the meal on board, and I’m not surprised.

    It was really odd. I hope it was just a bad day, teething trouble with a new contract perhaps. Because this is BA’s premium route; the cash cow that keeps the businesses flowing, and they absolutely cannot afford to let these customers actually go hungry like that. The old offering may not have been a very ‘premium’ experience, but it was hot, plentiful and lots to choose from.

    Hopefully others will soon be able to add some more points of reference.

    • Prins Polo says:

      Not only a premium route – it’s a very premium-heavy route on which a lot of regulars eat before the flight and then do everything to maximize the sleep on the flight, so pre-flight dining should be an area of focus.

      Flying VS/DL from JFK T4, you can at least go to Shake Shack if you don’t like the DL lounge 🙂

  6. meta says:

    I have an Iberia flight in business next month (90k promo) and was wondering if the pre-flight dining is only available to BA CW passengers or it extends to Iberia business class passengers too?

  7. Aston100 says:

    Off Topic, sorry but I can’t see any forums on this site to post on (why doesn’t this site have discussion forums?).
    I’m trying to work out how much Avios it would cost to fly business class from AMS or ARN to BKK with Qatar during a peak time (date irrelevant).
    This site and others seem to suggest using the usual BA book with Avios tool, but unfortunately it isn’t returning many Qatar flights and seems to be trying to get me to fly with BA back to LHR and out again. I even put in single segments (ARN > DOH and DOH > BKK) but it’s hit and miss with the results.
    Also, wondering if it’s definitely better to go ex AMS/ARN to BKK than from LHR, using Avios and Qatar. My aim is to experience a couple of Qsuites flights on the journey.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Andrew says:

      It’s probably not returning any options as there isn’t any availability. Try searching individual sectors such a ARN to DOH and then DOH to BKK as the BA tool will route you on the most efficient route and using BA. If you find all your sectors have availability you can call them to book. To note, with partner flights such a QR, there are no peak time or off peak times – all peak.

      • Julian says:

        I have mentioned the issue of a lack of a proper structured HfP Discussion Forum many times to Rob (the site owner) but he chooses not to do anything and leave us stuck only with these blog post discussions that have no ongoing continuity after 2 or 3 days.

        • Aston100 says:

          That seems really odd. Any idea why? I’m presuming the cost of moderating a discussion forum would take away from whatever this site earns.

          • Julian says:

            I think the cost and time probably comes in to it.

            He was hiring for a full time assistant a few months ago (although he already seems to have two assistants both of which are supposed to be going at some point but still seem to be with him) but seems to have changed his mind after Amex’s recent clamp down on bonus membership points seeking card churners (a phenomenon that Rob was also heavily responsible for promoting) altered the total level of profitability and/or ongoing income stream from his current business model.

        • CV3V says:

          If you a forum for specific subjects and a long thread of comments why not just use Flyertalk?

        • Russ says:

          I don’t think HFP’s readership is up for trails through discussion forums looking for stuff like best routes like FT does. We can’t spare the time.

      • Aston100 says:

        Hi Andrew, thanks for that. I’m now seeing some results when I try alternative dates.
        I find it interesting that it costs 37500 Avios to fly from ARN to DOH which is a journey very similar in duration to that from AMS to DOH, but the latter incurs 60k Avios (for a ten minute longer flight).

        • Andrew says:

          Yes, certain cities in Europe incur the 37,500 bracket whereas others are 60,000. Frankfurt is 37,500 and if you book the A380 flight of the day you can book First for 50,000 – 10,000 less than flying in Business from another Euro city. Also a point to note is that Iberia Plus charges 100,000 return from all Euro cities in QR to DOH (not available as one ways and can’t be cancelled) so LHR-DOH-LHR is 100,000 which is the same as say ARN-DOH-LHR.

  8. Gabe k says:

    Which terminal is this ? You mention Term 4 for Delta and term 8 for AA . But you don’t say which one BA is flying from ? I guess we can look it up but let’s just wait for the Rob comprehensive review

  9. EmmaB says:

    We used this lounge yesterday. It’s a bit soulless and somehow feels quite temporary. Even though we were in Y a staff member showed us in to the dining room and told her colleague manning the door that it was OK (we didn’t ask – indeed, we told her we knew we weren’t allowed in).

    The food in the dining room was a bit random – some nice fish and a range of veggies, chicken curry, and some varieties of bao. There’s a salad bar and you can order about 3 things from a menu (including the fake meat burger).

    Overall the lounge was incredibly hot. The Brewdog area looked like they’d given up partway through setting it up (there are some shelves with some empty cans on plus taps to pour your own beer, and that’s sort of it).

    Overall a bit underwhelming and could have been any airline’s space – there was very little personality to it at all

  10. hi

    what options do you recommend for lounges departing from Las Vegas on BA?

    • Andrew says:

      I generally find the One World website helpful for deciphering which lounges are going to be best to use for a certain flight. The site shows the terminal the lounges are in, the opening times and any restrictions for access for certain airlines. But if it says “open to any One World airline” is in the terminal you’re departing from and open at the times you’re going to be there then give it a go and visit a few until you find a good one.

      • Andrew says:

        And a quick search shows the only lounge option is The Club at LAS – which seems to be some sort of third party lounge available for BA and Latam. There’s no AA facility at LAS.

      • David says:

        The Flyertalk BA lounge database threads are even better than the oneworld site…

  11. KirtjE says:

    OT: I have Emirates Skywards miles expiring in June (about 30,000 of them) and don’t intend to fly with Emirates in the near future. What is the best way of using/transferring them?

    • Heathrow shopping vouchers, easyJet flights, hotel credit or (if it comes up again) Queen’s Club tennis VIP tickets.

      • KirtjE says:

        30,000 Skywards points is about £100 in Heathrow Rewards vouchers. Think that is probably the best option now Emirates High Street has closed. Thanks Rob.

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