LATAM Joins Delta At JFK Terminal 4

Filed Under: Delta, LATAM

In September 2019 it was announced that Delta would be buying a 20% stake in LATAM, and that the two airlines would be forming a joint venture.

This is a gradual process, as LATAM has to give one year notice for leaving oneworld, meaning they’ll belong through the alliance through late 2020. In the meantime, Delta and LATAM will begin codesharing as of early this year, and American and LATAM will stop codesharing as of the end of this month.

Well, it looks like Delta and LATAM will now be co-locating in the same terminal at a US airport, which is the first time LATAM is moving terminals in the US since the Delta news was announced.

LATAM joining Delta at JFK Terminal 4

It has announced that LATAM will be moving from Terminal 8 to Terminal 4 at JFK as of February 1, 2020:

  • That’s really soon
  • Terminal 8 is American’s terminal at JFK, while Terminal 4 is Delta’s primary terminal at JFK

As it’s described, this relocation paves the way for smoother connections in New York between Delta and LATAM.

LATAM will be moving to JFK T4

Also as of February 1, 2020, LATAM business class, as well as LATAM Pass elite members (including Black Signature, Black, and Platinum), will have lounge access in Terminal 4.

LATAM will be updating reservations shortly to reflect the terminal change for all passengers traveling through Terminal 4, taking into account minimum connection times.

LATAM’s destinations from JFK include Guayaquil, Lima, Santiago, and Sao Paulo.

While there will be benefits to this in terms of connections with Delta and LATAM starting to codeshare, I’d say this is a downgrade in terms of lounges:

  • LATAM business class and elite customers will go from receiving access to American’s Flagship Lounge, to receiving access to Delta’s SkyClub
  • While LATAM elites will receive lounge access when departing Terminal 4 on LATAM, I don’t believe that other oneworld elite members traveling in economy will receive lounge access, since a SkyClub wouldn’t be a oneworld lounge (someone correct me if I’m missing some provision that would require this)

Delta SkyClub JFK Terminal 4

Reciprocal Delta & LATAM benefits coming soon

In addition to Delta and LATAM starting to codeshare soon, the plan is also to offer bilateral lounge access and mutual frequent flyer benefits during the first half of 2020.

Delta & LATAM should introduce reciprocal benefits soon

LATAM hopes to leave oneworld early

Also noted in this press release is that while LATAM is expected to belong to oneworld through October 2020 as of now, the company is evaluating an earlier departure date than the standard one year notice period. Any changes to that will be communicated in due course.

Even though LATAM is leaving oneworld, they intend to maintain bilateral agreements and customer benefits with a majority of the alliance members, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, and SriLankan Airlines.

In other words, not American Airlines. 😉

Bottom line

LATAM will be moving to JFK’s T4 in just a couple of weeks, to be closer to Delta. This will be positive in terms of ease of connections of passengers, though otherwise I’d say this is bad news — T8 is much quieter and more pleasant than T4, the Flagship Lounge is better than the SkyClub, etc.

Then again, all of this was inevitable.

It’ll be interesting to see if LATAM finds a way to get out of oneworld early, as they clearly want to do.

What do you make of LATAM moving at JFK?

  1. That SkyClub is already packed to the brim. Don’t know how feasible it is, but maybe Delta should look into expanding or building a second smaller club closer to the headhouse.

  2. I think that since LATAM will still be a oneworld member on Feb 1 (until September), they’ll still be obligated to provide lounge access for Emeralds and Sapphires in economy, per the oneworld lounge access rules [in theory]. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if it’s actually enforced.

  3. @lucky

    Airlines are supposed to give OW elites the same access to lounges as their own members, including to contract lounges. Obviously this is an unusual situation, but I’m not sure how LATAM would be able to get out of that requirement (…before October)

  4. @GuruJanitor

    Not sure when you visit, but I have never seen the giant Skyclub in terminal 4 be too crowded. Even during the morning rush, there are plenty of tables available.

  5. ‘including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, and SriLankan Airlines.”

    Hmmm…what about Alaska Airlines?

  6. @Sam: Rush hour for that lounge is about 3pm-8pm (during the transatlantic push) when its routinely packed. While this only adds two peak-hour flights (GYE and LIM are near-midnight) it still won’t help the crowding.

    They’re also going to have to find check-in space for these guys at what is otherwise peak time for T4.

  7. @ST well there is always space in terminal 3 at JFK LOL.

    In all seriousness the JFK lounge in T4 is packed. Didn’t realize they are building a centerion lounge but it’ll be nice to have both options.

  8. @Sam – as ST and James noted, the nightly Europe departure rush is a madhouse. The morning departure bank doesn’t even come close.

  9. In short, LATAM really wants to divorce and stay away from American Airlines. It can’t wait to move in with Delta, its new partner. Next year, LATAM will get rid of all oneworld’s members (e.g. British Airways, Cathay..) and become a new elected child of the SkyTeam parent.

  10. I wonder if DL will step up their lounges at JFK and ATL to match AA? AA has maintained the premium heavy 773s to GRU since receiving those aircraft as there very much is a market for Flagship lounges and a “First Class” cabin.
    Even with a three-way Copa-Avianca-United tie up I cant see AA sliding further than a solid number two in the Latin American market. The amount of local city ticket offices, like MVD for example has three and Punta del Este which doesnt even have AA service gets one during peak season, combined with credit card deals (Santander, Itau, etc…) should help them remain a fierce competitor.

  11. Excellent news, T8 bliss (for awhile at least). Adios LATAM and I’ll see you at the next revolution.

  12. Good Riddance on LATAM Leaving Terminal 8. I never cared for LATAM and if the Delta Fanboys are thinking They are getting Some PRIZE….may want to do a REALITY Check. As far as them vacating T8….AA owns it, I would pretty much They called the shots on when the eviction would occur. AA isn’t perfect by Any means but the continual AA bashing is ridiculous to the point I rarely pay attention to the nonsense anymore. ONEWORLD losing LATAM is NOT a Loss after what they became with the TAM Merger………..GARBAGE!

  13. I prefer Terminal 4 much more than Terminal 8 (after Terminal 8’s renovation is completed I may feel different.) I’ve been to the JFK Delta skyclub in T4 and I can always find a place to sit but perhaps it just depends on the timings. Also, the food/restaurant offerings at T4 is much better than T8.

  14. @GuruJanitor @ST That makes sense that the rush is not during the mornings but during the evenings for transatlantic departures. The only evening departure I’ve taken on Delta from T4 was a 5pm JFK-ATH flight on the Thursday before Labor Day. The Skyclub wasn’t too bad, but then again 5pm is on the early side for transatlantic and given the holiday weekend there would not have been many business travelers.

  15. Anyone who thinks the move from T8 to T4 is good is clueless. Flagship lounge is 10x better than the sky club. Heck Newark has a nicer sky club than JFK. What a joke.

  16. Booked a trip to Peru from SFO-JFK-LIM and was looking forward to the lounge on the layover, now I guess I can expect a lengthy terminal change and crowded lounge. Bleh.

    Does anyone know if I can access the AA lounge on arrival coming in from SFO?


  17. @Roger,

    Just a minor technical clarification re who “owns” passenger terminals, cargo buildings, aircraft hangars, etc., at either of New York’s major airports:

    For JFK & LGA:

    – the City of New York OWNS all land/on airport buildings within the airport property line;

    – the bi-state operating agency known as the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey LEASES the airport from NYC, operates and manages, etc.,;

    – For JFK the airlines and/or terminal management entities such as:

    – Terminal One Group Assn, LP (which is a joint-venture partnership of Air France, Japan Airlines, Korean Airlines & Lufthansa that operates/manages JFK Terminal 1);

    – Delta Air Lines (JFK Terminal 2 only);

    – JFK IAT/Schiphol (the USA-affiliate of the airport by the same name in Amsterdam operates/manages JFK Terminal 4);

    – JetBlue (Terminal 5);

    – British Airways (JFK Terminal 7) and;

    – American Airlines (JFK Terminal 8)

    And for LaGuardia:

    – The future Central Terminal Building, aka Terminal B, LaGuardia Gateway Partners;

    – Terminals C & D, Delta Air Lines

    All of these passenger terminals, plus other on airport facilities on the NY side of the Hudson River are then SUB-LEASED by those airlines/other corporate entities from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

    My professional background includes 2 years as Principal Researcher for consulting assignments with an industry expert for terminals and/or within terminal facilities/concessions operated by BA, Terminal One Group Assn (TOGA) & HMS Services, as well as BA & Korean Airlines’ Cargo for their facilities’ operations, maintenance, repair, capital improvements, redevelopment and more, which is where I learned of the particulars regarding NYC’s airport ownership structure, leases and sub-leases.

    So, while American Airlines manages, operates and is responsible for the repair and maintenance of Terminal 8, or even has “a say” in the selection of concessionaires within the building itself (as the other terminal managers/operators do at their terminals), as most people round these parts and at airline C-Suites know all too well, while the sub-leasees may “have a say” in the decision-making process for “their” terminals, which DOES include “renting” gates, counters & baggage claim offices to other airlines (for example, LATAM), in terms of “controlling” much else that gets done within these structures beyond ordinary repairs and maintenance, virtually NOTHING ELSE can get done without the Port Authority’s reviews and approvals.

    If a wall sustains minor damage such was a luggage cart crashing into it and denting the sheetrock; or if a roof leaks and needs minor flashing, the terminal operator and its contractors may be able to get that done without much involvement by the Port Authority.

    But, once things go beyond minor repairs & maintenance, such as reconfiguring an office, ripping out a larger section of a cracked and leaky rooftop and replacing with new, NOTHING gets done without the Port Authority’s approval.

    And unless that’s changed since finishing up that work (approx 19 years ago), “NOTHING” gets done at NYC’s airports that comes remotely close to suggesting the terminal operators have “free reign” or dominion over their NYC airport facilities!

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