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Review: the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge at New York JFK Terminal 4

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This is our review of Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse business class lounge at New York JFK airport.

As part of this series we have also reviewed the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 and the Premium Economy cabin on a flight from London to New York.

At the end of my trip I once again found myself at JFK’s Terminal 4, which is where Virgin Atlantic and Delta are based.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK sign

Who can access the Virgin Clubhouse at JFK?

Note that you no longer have to be flying Upper Class to gain access to the lounge. It is now being managed by Plaza Premium which means that it is also available to DragonPass and American Express Platinum cardholders.

Access is also given to:

  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold
  • Delta SkyMiles Diamond Medallion cardholders
  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion cardholders
  • Delta SkyMiles Gold Medallion cardholders
  • Flying Blue Platinum cardholders
  • Flying Blue Gold cardholders
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Elite Gold members and PPS cardholders
  • Virgin Australia Velocity Club Gold cardholders
  • Virgin Australia Velocity Club Platinum cardholders
  • Virgin Australia Velocity The Club cardholders

…. as long as you are flying with Virgin Atlantic.

Importantly, you can also buy your way in. A 3 hour visit currently costs $68 as you can see here.

The Clubhouse is open from 5am until 8:30am and from 3pm until 10pm.

Where is the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK Terminal 4?

The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is located just above gate A5. It’s a few minutes walk from where security spits you out.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK entrance

This is a particularly convenient location if you are flying Virgin as their aircraft are usually parked at the A gates.

Inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at New York JFK

The lounge is – understandably – smaller than the Heathrow Clubhouse. The space is pretty square, with large windows on both sides which make it a very bright place during the day. It is darker in the evenings when most of Virgin’s flights depart and the sun has set.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK view

There is plenty of casual seating, mostly in groups of four:

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK casual seating

and

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK seating

In the centre is a slightly more social area with a pool table and bar:

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK entertainment area

and

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK pool table

On the other side you’ll find a more formal dining area:

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK dining area

Plus a handful of nooks:

Virgin Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK podsAtlantic Clubhouse JFK pods

At the back of the lounge are the toilets and showers. These are regularly refreshed with new towels and feature REN Skincare bodywash etc.

Food and drink at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK

As with all of Virgin’s Clubhouses table service is standard. You can order via the QR code or speak to a member of staff.

Champagne is Lanson Black Label NV:

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK champagne

I spent some time in the lounge and managed to sample a variety of different dishes. I first tried the salmon:

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK salmon

…. which comes on a bed of rice with a cherry sauce. This was, to be frank, disappointing – I’m not sure cherry goes all that well with salmon.

I also tried one of the snack options – Louisiana chicken wings. It seems to be a lucky dip as to whether you get actual wings or drumsticks:

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK chicken wings

These were tasty, although I feel like there should have been three!

Later in the evening I opted for my favourite item on the menu – the no-meat Beyond burger, which I’ve had here before and rate very highly.

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK Beyond Burger

I find beef often gets lost in the many flavours of a burger. To be perfectly honest, you would never know it wasn’t meat except that it doesn’t have stray bits of gristle you sometimes get in a ‘real’ burger!

To top it all off (and send me to sleep) I had the Turn Down Toddy which isn’t really a toddy but more of a hot chocolate spiked with Bacardi:

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK hot toddy

After all that food it was time to dash off and board my flight…

Conclusion

The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is not quite as impressive as the Clubhouse at Heathrow, although it gets seriously close.

The staff here are great and are much more on the ball than the contracted check-in staff and can get issues or requests with your ticket sorted.

The only minor niggle, apart from the salmon, is that some of the light fittings seem to have cold white bulbs in them. These cast an unsettling light and are less cosy than they could be.

The Clubhouse is also much better than the bizarre American Express Centurion lounge in New York JFK Terminal 4, which I will review in the next few days ….

You can find out more about the Virgin Clubhouse in New York, and book a slot for cash, on the Plaza Premium website here. Remember to select a time slot when the lounge is open, which is currently 5am until 8:30am and from 3pm until 10pm.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (January 2022)

As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:

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

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

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

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with two free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (18)

  • Andrew J says:

    I like the speakeasy in the Centurion lounge if you get a seat – great cocktails and atmosphere. But the rest of it is like all the other Centurion lounges – packed to the rafters full of people with economy tickets and a basic food and drink offering.

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