Review: British Airways Pre-Flight Dining New York JFK

Filed Under: Airport Lounge Reviews, British Airways

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Review: British Airways Pre-Flight Dining New York JFK
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In the last installment I reviewed British Airways’ First Lounge JFK, which is open to oneworld Emerald members. In this installment I wanted to review British Airways’ pre-flight dining, which is open to all British Airways business class passengers departing JFK.

The restaurant is located inside the lounge, and can be accessed either from the first or business class side. As I said in the last installment, note that this isn’t actually the dining area that first class passengers would use, since those flying British Airways first class can use The Concorde Room.

British Airways’ JFK pre-flight dining opens at 4:30PM, which is plenty early for any of the redeye departures to London.

I accessed the dining area directly from the First Lounge, where my boarding pass was verified.

British Airways pre-flight dining JFK

The dining area doesn’t have a la carte dining, but rather has a buffet that’s spread across two rooms. The first room probably has a bit more seating, with a bunch of tables that mostly seat two people.


British Airways pre-flight dining JFK


British Airways pre-flight dining JFK

Then there was a second room with more seating, and with another buffet. I used this facility years ago, and I feel like British Airways has made it significantly bigger, which is nice.

British Airways pre-flight dining New York JFK


British Airways pre-flight dining New York JFK

The buffet in the first room had several types of salads, soup, vegetables, dumplings (which were served by one of the lounge attendants), and desserts.


British Airways pre-flight dining buffet JFK


British Airways pre-flight dining buffet New York


British Airways pre-flight dining buffet New York


British Airways pre-flight dining buffet New York


British Airways pre-flight dining buffet New York


British Airways pre-flight dining buffet New York


British Airways pre-flight dining buffet New York


British Airways pre-flight dining buffet New York


British Airways pre-flight dining buffet New York


British Airways pre-flight dining buffet New York

I appreciated that they had signs that clearly indicated what everything was.


British Airways pre-flight dining menu description New York


British Airways pre-flight dining menu description New York


British Airways pre-flight dining menu description New York

The second room had a Middle Eastern section, a salad bar, chicken and vegetables, and more dessert.


British Airways pre-flight dining New York JFK


British Airways pre-flight dining New York JFK


British Airways pre-flight dining New York JFK


British Airways pre-flight dining New York JFK

I’ve gotta say, all the dessert options looked really good.


British Airways pre-flight dining New York JFK


British Airways pre-flight dining New York JFK


British Airways pre-flight dining New York JFK


British Airways pre-flight dining New York JFK

The dining area also had a self serve drink selection, including soft drinks, water, and wine.


British Airways pre-flight dining drink selection New York JFK

I had some dumplings for dinner, which were quite good.

Dinner in the British Airways Lounge

While the lounge doesn’t really have table service, the people working in the dining area were really nice (like the lady who prepared my dumplings, those clearing plates, etc.).

Different people will have different preferences when it comes to what kind of pre-flight dining they prefer. In general I far prefer a la carte dining to a buffet.

However, I do think there’s some merit to a buffet in the case of British Airways, given just how many passengers they’re serving. Many people may only have 15 minutes to spare but want a full meal before they board, so they can sleep onboard, and realistically it’s hard to serve an a la carte meal that quickly.

I’ve seen a lot of people angrily storm off in lounges with pre-flight dining when their meals weren’t served punctually.

British Airways pre-flight dining bottom line

Is this the most spectacular pre-flight dining facility in the world? No. But it’s a significant improvement over the last time I used it several years ago. I thought the buffet had a big selection, and everything tasted pretty good. On top of that, the people working in the lounge were generally friendly.

So all things considered I’d say British Airways now offers a decent ground experience at JFK, between the new First Lounge, the Elemis Spa, and the pre-flight dining. With the old first lounge and old pre-flight dining experience I would have said it was a sub-par experience.  Collectively, this doesn’t make my list as one of the best airport lounges in the world, but I definitely appreciate the ability to enjoy pre-flight dining.

Personally I still prefer the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK, which is one of my favorite business class lounges in the US. This also doesn’t compare to American’s Flagship First Dining JFK, but that’s only open to first class passengers.

If you’ve experienced British Airways’ pre-flight dining JFK, what was your experience like?

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Comments
  1. Well that looks pretty good and above average for lounge food. Good to keep in mind. Unfortunately my trips to LHR are less frequent as they used to be.

  2. This looks pretty decent. But does anyone else find it a bit weird that the entire buffet is asian and middle eastern food on BA? Feels a little random to me.

  3. @Sam: I must admit to noting it, but then I thought, London and New York have some of the most diverse and multicultural dining options in the world. So, Asian and Middle Eastern food options make as much sense for flights between those two cities as would burgers, pizza or roast beef. I believe Chicken Tikka Masala was voted as the most British dish a few years back, beating out Fish & Chips (which was originally influenced by Iberian recipes imported by Sephardic Jewish immigrants). These days in NY and London, it’s not uncommon to see white chefs and restaurateurs running restaurants serving non-European cuisine.

  4. Accurate assessment in my opinion. Fast and convenient but with just enough personal service. Gets rather crowded a peak times. Food is fairly good for a buffet, and I don’t usually like buffets.

    I have to also agree that the BA la carte for First is superior experience at PHL and ORD…but alas, I understand those are going away.

  5. @ Laurel: No, you must be traveling in Business class (or higher). If you were in BA F, you could use the CCR.

  6. I find the food quality to be mediocre. With AA Flagship lounge at JFK now renovated with an on demand menu added which I find to be of higher quality and even champagne available, I think AA really stepped up and thus making the BA dining even more mediocre now. For buffets, I do think BA’s is on the better end of the JFK lounge options.

  7. @Lucky, is this this facility access to Iberia J passengers flying out of Terminal 7? We are on JFK-MAD in Feb on Iberia J and I cannot find any information about this! I guess it doesn’t matter if I’m also OWE

  8. @Lucky — with the amount of time you spend sitting on planes and all the great food you eat, how do you manage to stay in shape? Do you have a few bites of each course when you’re traveling in first class and then move on to the next one? With your lifestyle, I would find it very easy to overindulge…all the time.

  9. @David…its called age. Once you are 30+ it aint the same no more. Becoming more devastating being gay. Good thing you are married lucky. Lolz

  10. @Billiken took the words out of my mouth. Further there is nothing that says F about THAT buffet. Boa in firs class. Totally unsuitable for us dedicated meatatarians.

  11. I’m confused. The buffet appears to have a large variety of appealing selections, but it still a buffet like those found in many other lounges. So why is it considered to be separate from the biz class lounge and why does it referred to as dining.

  12. Personally I thought the pre-flight dining at JFK was great. I love buffets as you can mix and match and try stuff you might not otherwise touch. I would agree the team are very helpful and overall I thought is was brill !! Personally I prefer it to Virgin as I am a bit sick of the Virgin angle at the moment and do feel they are getting a bit pretentious…..just my opinion.

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