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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.

BA AA JFK T8 exterior

11 months and counting

Significant work is ahead. Despite breaking ground in early 2020, this is what the site looked like in November 2021:

JFK T8 construction

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:

BA AA JFK T8 premium check in

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:

BA AA JFK T8 Champagne bar

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.

BA AA JFK T8 Gold card buffet

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.

Conclusion

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.


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Comments (50)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Prins Polo says:

    One of the biggest advantages of T7 though was a real fast track. T8, similar to other terminals/airports in the US, generally group pax into “TSA-pre” and “rest of the world” so even flying J or F you’re stuck at the end of a long line.

    • Liam J says:

      Flagship first check in agents have walked people in my party to the front of the security line there on each occasion I’ve been travelling with someone without TSA Pre Check. Same in Miami.

      • Andrew J says:

        Yes in Miami they always do this – it makes you feel quite special actually.

    • Rhys says:

      It will be interesting to see how the premium wing works.

  • CheshirePete says:

    I think it’s highly unlikely the Premium lounge will be just for those travelling in First.

    • Andrew J says:

      I think it highly likely – First and GGL/ Concierge Key. The same as CCR is now.

    • Rhys says:

      Why not? That’s exactly how Concorde Room AND Flagship First Dining work right now.

      • Nick says:

        No, certain card holders have access as well regardless of class of travel. The article as originally published stated it was for only people travelling in First.

        • Cheshire Pete says:

          My point being CCR, but now GGL, already have access to CCRs, irrespective if you’re travelling in First or not.

          • Cheshire Pete says:

            Oh I see, the article now mentions this possibility since I read it at the crack of Dawn!

        • Rhys says:

          Agreed – I intentionally omitted this because it can get a bit long winded in a sentence (ie. First + GGL/CCR + AA Concierge Keys) but evidently I should’ve been more specific!

  • Stuart says:

    From other reports T7 is to be flattened, if so where is Alaska going to relocate? Since they have joined One World I was hoping to do a lounge safari into theirs next time I am in NYC

    • Rhys says:

      Not sure they have announced yet. Finnair and Qantas are moving in to T8.

      • ChrisC says:

        Finnair is already in T8 and have been for years. As is Qantas.

        When the mega redevelopment was first announced I’m sure I read AY were going to T1 as they only had one flight a day but that was a few years ago so could have changed

  • Kevin says:

    Pedant hat on: terminal 6 was demolished years ago, so not ‘currently occupied by’…

    • Rhys says:

      Don’t think I said that it was currently occupied!

      If you’re going to be pedantic, at least get it right 😉

  • Mike says:

    Having used the JFK Concorde room for the first and probably only time last month, I thought it was excellent. Far better than T5, it felt exclusive, it felt like we had our own personal butler, the food was excellent, the views less so.
    Check in was personal and individual and security rapid.
    I cannot see any change being an improvement

    • Andrew J says:

      Totally agree Mike – far better than the CCR at T5 and is also a final legacy of Concorde’s time is the sky to sadly now go – this was the lounge that was used by Concorde customers. I’ll try and get a few last flights back from JFK in F before the end of the year and then probably switch to VS as their JFK lounge is a pretty decent second.

      • Aston100 says:

        Would you really switch airlines just for the lounge experience?

      • Track says:

        Why not switch airlines if that means real fast track departing NYC and not being mixed with a hundred of other super-elites.

        Clubhouse will cater to a few VS flights.

        New T8 lounges will cater to all worldwide flights by AA, and basically all Oneworld departures.

  • John T says:

    I’m vary wary whenever AA have any involvement in a passenger experience like this. BA have a good setup in T7 and I will be shocked if AA equal, or improve it in T8. I expect the new OWS lounge will be a step down from the current BA T7 one.

  • Nick says:

    Not sure where you’re getting the information from that Concorde cardholders won’t have access to the finest lounge, or that passengers will be bussed to some planes, but you might want to double-check.

    • Rob says:

      They are building remote stands. Whether BA gets them is a different question.

      • Nick says:

        Well yes, they are building remote stands and BA will use them as they do at T7 – to park the first arrivals of the day after passengers have been let off via jetbridges.
        Later arrivals remain connected to the jetbridges, and are used for the first departures.
        The planes parked at remote stands are brought back to the terminal and are used for the late departures. There’s not enough gates to leave all the planes on stand all the time, and it’s more efficient to only tug some of the planes.

        Tugging planes to and from the terminal will continue, but bussing passengers isn’t planned. Whoever told you otherwise is mistaken, be careful what you repeat. The dangers of a credit card blog expanding in to travel news! 🙂

      • Nick says:

        Thanks for updating the article to fix the issue with lounge access for cardholders – “never wrong for long!”

      • ChrisC says:

        The BA press release which I linked to in my forum posts yesterday

        https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/ba-move-to-jfk-t8-confirmed-for-1st-december-2022/

        States “ …four new widebody hardstand parking positions,” not “remote stands”

        My understanding is these these won’t be used for passengers but for aircraft servicing for planes that don’t need to be at a gate because of the length of time they will be on the ground between arrival and departure and so other flights can use the actual gates.

  • NigelthePensioner says:

    I have found the AA Flagship lounges superb! The service, dining, food and bev standards all excellent. They seem to me to generate a better exclusivity than the Concorde Room at LHR. That said the LHR CR is a very nice area to while away a few hours – especially the outermost terrace which is always very well served and is quiet……..roll on tomorrow morning!

    • Andrew J says:

      Yes there’s nothing partially special or exclusive about the T5 CCR, run of the mill lounge just with decent quality champagne. JFK CCR really has that private jet terminal vibe about it.

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