Goodbye JFK Concorde Room: British Airways and American are joining forces in New York
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Three years ago, British Airways announced it would be leaving its dedicated Terminal 7 facilities at New York JFK airport and re-locating to Terminal 8 with joint venture partner American Airlines.
The move is part of a $13bn improvement project at the airport. It will see JetBlue expanding from Terminal 5 to cover the space previously occupied by Terminal 6 and Terminal 7. As part of the process, Terminal 8 will be expanded at a cost of £250m.
Somewhat shockingly, it appears that the building work has not been delayed by Covid because British Airways has announced that it will be moving into its new home on 1st December 2022.
11 months and counting
Significant work is ahead. Despite breaking ground in early 2020, this is what the site looked like in November 2021:
The new building work will see five new widebody gates plus four widebody remote stands being built, plus upgrades to the baggage handling system.
The most visible changes will be to the premium facilities. These are being reconfigured entirely, with both BA and AA sharing lounges and more.
A new, Heathrow First Wing-style premium check-in service will replace the current Flagship First check-in experience and cater to both AA and BA customers:
Business class customers will also have a new “thoughtfully designed” dedicated area.
Three new lounges are on their way
Once through check-in, the airlines are completely re-imagining the lounge spaces. Three new lounges will emerge with seating for a total of 1,000 passengers.
The top lounge will become an exclusive retreat. Although access rules have yet to be announced, it is likely to be those travelling in First only, potentially with Concorde Room cardholders too. This is essentially a combination of the current Concorde Room and Flagship First dining spaces and will feature a champagne bar, fireside lounge and a la carte dining room:
A second premium lounge will be open, most likely for anyone with BA Gold or oneworld Emerald status and will feature a wine bar, cocktail lounge library and buffet. “Sweeping airside views” are also promised.
Finally, the current AA Flagship and Concourse B Admirals Club lounges will become a single business class lounge. Although not confirmed, we assume this will be open to anyone flying business or with BA Silver (oneworld Sapphire) status.
The loss of Terminal 7 is not hugely detrimental. Flying has changed a lot in the 52 years it has been open and in many ways it was no longer fit for purpose.
Whilst it’s sad to say goodbye to the Concorde Room branding, these new lounges look like genuine upgrades to the current British Airways and American Airlines lounges at JFK. Finnair and Iberia will also be using these new facilities.
With such a vast volume of premium passengers it will be interesting to see how they can create intimate and cosy lounge spaces. One of the criticisms of the current British Airways lounges at JFK, only recently refurbished, is that they feel like a soulless IKEA restaurant.
To facilitate the work, Flagship First check-in will close from 1st February for construction. However, this should have minimal impact on BA customers who will continue to use the Terminal 7 facilities until the move in December.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.