JFK Terminal 8 Gets New Lounges As American & British Airways Co-Locate

JFK Terminal 8 Gets New Lounges As American & British Airways Co-Locate

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New York’s JFK Airport is undergoing a major redevelopment, and that includes American Airlines’ Terminal 8. In 2019 we learned about the changes coming to Terminal 8, and also that British Airways would move to this terminal as of 2022.

We now have more details as to the timeline for British Airways’ move, as well as what this means for the premium passenger experience.

The basics of JFK Terminal 8 changes

Just to recap the very basics, $400 million is being invested to redevelop JFK Terminal 8. Among the changes, we can expect five new wide body gates, four new wide body hardstand parking positions, an enhanced baggage handling system, and 130,000 square feet of new and renovated terminal space, including new amenities and lounges.

For what it’s worth, those remote stands will allegedly only be used to park planes that are on the ground for an extended period of time, rather than for boarding or deplaning.

JFK Terminal 8 is growing

British Airways moving to JFK Terminal 8

British Airways will be moving from JFK Terminal 7 to Terminal 8 as of December 1, 2022. American and British Airways have a transatlantic joint venture, so this is fantastic news, since it will make connections between the two airlines much more seamless.

American has been underutilizing Terminal 8, while Terminal 7 isn’t very nice at all (if you ask me), so I’d consider this to be a positive move. Terminal 7 will also eventually be demolished as part of the airport’s redevelopment, so British Airways’ move is needed for that reason as well.

JFK Terminal 8 new premium check-in facility

With American and British Airways co-locating at Terminal 8, there will be a new co-branded premium check-in area providing “personalized, concierge-style service for top-tier guests.” This will replace American’s former Flagship First Check-in space (which will close on February 1, 2022, so that construction can start on the new facilities).

While exact requirements to use this space haven’t yet been revealed, I get the sense that this will be for most premium customers, and there will just be separate lines depending on your status and class of service.

JFK Terminal 8 check-in facility

JFK Terminal 8 new premium lounges

From a passenger experience standpoint, the biggest change will be made to lounges. Terminal 8 will feature “three distinctive custom lounges combining the best of both brands,” which will feature seating for roughly 1,000 customers.

Here’s what we can expect from the three lounges:

  • The most exclusive lounge will have an all-new champagne bar, fireside lounge, and a la carte dining room; this will replace American’s Flagship First Dining facility, though will be in a different location
  • Another adjacent premium lounge will feature sweeping airside views, a wine bar, cocktail lounge, library, and buffet
  • American’s Flagship Lounge and Concourse B Admirals Club will be repurposed into a single lounge for eligible business class passengers (the Concourse C Admirals Club will be the only lounge for Admirals Club members)

Access requirements for these lounges haven’t yet been revealed, though if I had to guess (let me emphasize that this is just speculation on my part):

  • The most exclusive lounge will probably be for oneworld first class passengers
  • Maybe the next most exclusive lounge will be for oneworld Emerald members, since historically British Airways has separate oneworld Emerald lounges
  • The last lounge will likely continue to have the same entry requirements as the Flagship Lounge, so will be available to oneworld business class passengers and oneworld Sapphire members

Lounges will continue to remain operational during the redevelopment project. That’s because the first two lounges mentioned above are in a new space, while I guess we shouldn’t expect too many changes to the Flagship Lounge.

JFK Terminal 8 lounge
JFK Terminal 8 lounge

Bottom line

British Airways will be moving to American Airlines’ Terminal 8 at JFK as of December 1, 2022. Overall this should be great news for passengers, given that it will make connections between the two airlines more seamless.

With the two airlines moving in together, we’re also seeing a reimagined passenger experience, including the introduction of a new check-in facility and new lounges. I’m particularly curious to learn more details about the lounges, including the amenities and access requirements.

What do you make of these changes to JFK Terminal 8?

Conversations (30)
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  1. OT Guest

    From the renderings, it looks like this will a major upgrade to the "look and feel" of the lounges compared to AA's design standard, even in the newest lounges, which fell cheap and crude in comparison to Polaris lounges, never mind leading OW lounges like CX, JL, QF, and even recent BA lounges, which have a real premium feel to them.

  2. lasdiner Guest

    I can’t possibly envision the coexistence of many aspects, for example the style and personal touch of BA legacy lounge staff working elbow to elbow with AA dragons. As some pointed out, I doubt GGL members and CK will be getting the same access to the equivalent of the current T8 dining, rather neither will likely get access so it will be uniformed.
    I haven’t gotten much personalized experience at check in either in...

    I can’t possibly envision the coexistence of many aspects, for example the style and personal touch of BA legacy lounge staff working elbow to elbow with AA dragons. As some pointed out, I doubt GGL members and CK will be getting the same access to the equivalent of the current T8 dining, rather neither will likely get access so it will be uniformed.
    I haven’t gotten much personalized experience at check in either in BA first or AA flagship over the past 15 years, save for the really hit and miss BA SS and the occasional CK car transfers (on connections). So the combined personalized check in area won’t be much of an issue.
    I might not be on the same page of other posters, but for me the reason to fly BA F, which most people label as one of the most solid J product out there, is that while its not AF or a ME3 F, its thankfully not a US carrier attempt at a premium product. On the ground and in the air.
    So i am bracing for the ‘integration’

  3. D3kingg Guest

    I can’t wait to try this over the holidays. Even better things will be back to NORMAL . Federal mask mandates will be lifted by then out of desperation ahead of the November elections.

  4. Adam12345 Guest

    I like terminal 7 very much. It is small but cozy, and everything you need is at your hand. Upon entering T7, the check-in counters are right there, the security is close, and after security the lounges and gates are very close. Everything is simple, and very close. No need to walk much, nowhere to get lost as the terminal is small. To summarize - everything is simply easy and stress-free at T7.

    I would...

    I like terminal 7 very much. It is small but cozy, and everything you need is at your hand. Upon entering T7, the check-in counters are right there, the security is close, and after security the lounges and gates are very close. Everything is simple, and very close. No need to walk much, nowhere to get lost as the terminal is small. To summarize - everything is simply easy and stress-free at T7.

    I would contrast that to terminal 4 which is a disaster… complete opposite of T7. Yes, terminal 4 has more lounges and fancy stores (gucci, etc) Amex lounge, but you need one of those golf carts to get around this terminal… it’s just way too big…

    T7 on the other hand is very convenient. You can even park easily and there’s a very short walk from the car park to the terminal.

    1. Hobbs Guest

      T4 signage points you in the wrong direction for real. Terrible attention to detail.

  5. RobASFO Guest

    While it makes sense to put AA and BA in the same terminal, Terminal 8 is awful.
    It's a long walk (10 mins) from security to the gates, going up and down escalators in the process.
    I've flown AA's first class transcontinental many times (SFo-JFK mostly) and the one plus was having that small, dedicated first class check in area where there is never a line. No, combining this with premium BA customers...

    While it makes sense to put AA and BA in the same terminal, Terminal 8 is awful.
    It's a long walk (10 mins) from security to the gates, going up and down escalators in the process.
    I've flown AA's first class transcontinental many times (SFo-JFK mostly) and the one plus was having that small, dedicated first class check in area where there is never a line. No, combining this with premium BA customers only makes this busier and less desirable for someone like me. I always liked Terminal 7 when United was flying out of JFK: as others have put it, more compact and less travel to the gate.

  6. snic Guest

    Add me to those who sort of like T7. Yeah, it doesn't have good lounges and the food selection is pathetic. But it's small, which means the security lines are almost always short, and it takes less than 5 minutes to walk from anywhere in the terminal to anywhere else. And it's the least crowded and hectic of all the JFK terminals. So it's actually my favorite of all of them.

  7. Cody Guest

    Great! But who wants to fly American Airlines?

    1. maxpower Guest

      Considering they flew the most passengers, by far, in the US in 2021, I'd say the answer is that a lot of people want to fly American Airlines.

  8. AA Guest

    Wot, no concorde room?
    I actually liked T7 because it is so small end efficient - always feels like a throwback to old world travel.
    I used to like leaving my place in Brooklyn in the morning, hand luggage only, timed so I would be going through the (empty) premium sloped upward security when the flight was already or just about to board. Minimal hassle, no long walks as the gates are right...

    Wot, no concorde room?
    I actually liked T7 because it is so small end efficient - always feels like a throwback to old world travel.
    I used to like leaving my place in Brooklyn in the morning, hand luggage only, timed so I would be going through the (empty) premium sloped upward security when the flight was already or just about to board. Minimal hassle, no long walks as the gates are right there, and straight on board for breakfast. Originally there were two BA day flights so if I missed one for whatever reason, I could always move to the second, but I never did miss it.
    If I was on a night flight - typically the last one - pre flight dining for the sleeper service passengers was really useful and I never found it to be overcrowded. I never really had an issue with the lounges there and the CCR was nice. The BA staff were also exceptional - I do hope they move across too.

    I'm no a fan of T8 - very busy, lounges a bit meh, just a soul-less place really. And too much walking, especially that that stupid bit under the taxiway/runway/whatever it is, which is just irritating.

  9. Mark P Member

    If Alaska moves to T8, wonder what will become of their Alaska Lounge currently in T7. Is there a space being set aside in the new T8 for an Alaska Lounge?

    1. shoeguy Guest

      T7 will be demolished to make way for the new T6 so AS will have to move. I'm guessing AS will downsize JFK to just SEA, PDX, and SAN (SAN is not performing well) and drop SFO so there would be room for them at T8.

    2. Mark P Member

      Yes, my question was about the lounge though. I haven't heard of any plans for a new Alaska Lounge in T8 once T7 is demolished.

    3. shoeguy Guest

      Well, if T7 is to be demolished, so goes the lounge. Presumably, AS will open another Board Room wherever they end up or if they move to T8 indeed, cut a deal with AA to use the Admiral's Club. AS's JFK Board Room is from a time when the AS network out of JFK was much larger, and included LAX,

  10. derek Guest

    I sort of like Terminal 7. It reminds me of what the heyday of the 1970's or 1980's might have been like. It's small and cozy. It's fine for economy class passengers.

    The main disadvantage of Terminal 7 is there isn't much choice of what to eat but Terminal 8 is not that much better.

  11. Sam Guest

    I wonder if the new "Flagship First" check-in area will have dedicated security that leads directly to the new "Flagship First" lounge given the location.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Sam -- I'm curious as well! I suspect it will, given that the check-in space is in the same area as the current Flagship First check-in facility.

    2. DMNYC Guest

      Ben, I think from the rendering it does look like the current Priority check-in stays where it is (which I hope will still be all priority customers, but effectively business class and OW Sapphire and Ruby)...and the Flagship First Check-in MIGHT become something akin to the First Wing at LHR T5?

  12. Anthony Diamond

    Will AA Platinum elites (Oneworld Sapphire) get access to any of these lounges on domestic itineraries?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Anthony -- I would imagine not, but who knows...

  13. Kieran Guest

    All AA lounges in T8 are hectic & offer a miserable food & beverage selection compared with T7 Concorde Room & First Lounge so it doesn’t look good for shared lounges! Also the lack of automatic access to Flagship First dining for AA concierge key members does not bode well for BAEC Gold Guest List members. Overall a likely downgrade of lounge standards and tighter access requirements with AA involved.

    1. shoeguy Guest

      I'd have to disagree. The BA lounge set up in T7 is awful, even after the facelifts of recent years. The spaces are darker, low ceilings, now views. Pre pandemic, they were also crowded and charmless. AA has made cuts to the quality of the Flagship Lounge food offering, but it is a nice lounge, though it could use some further enhancements.

  14. Mark Guest

    I'm curious where the other T7 airlines will move. I assume Alaska and the other OW carriers will make their way to T8, but there are other cats and dogs there that will need a new home.

    1. shoeguy Guest

      Eventually, the remaining OW carriers at JFK will most likely move to T8, mostly due to JFK's continued redevelopment. The T1 partnership that consisted of AF/JL/KE/LH is not part of the new T1 program. I can see JL and RM eventually decamp from T1 to T8 but not right away. IB will no doubt move to T8. There is no reason why that would not happen. AS is an open question as to whether there...

      Eventually, the remaining OW carriers at JFK will most likely move to T8, mostly due to JFK's continued redevelopment. The T1 partnership that consisted of AF/JL/KE/LH is not part of the new T1 program. I can see JL and RM eventually decamp from T1 to T8 but not right away. IB will no doubt move to T8. There is no reason why that would not happen. AS is an open question as to whether there are enough gates to accommodate its downsized JFK operation (since LAX was axed) but still not small one. EI has traditionally operated its own lounge at JFK, and has one in T5, so it remains to be seen if it moves over to T8. A lot of that I guess depends on how much connecting traffic EI flows over JFK and where it goes, to B6 or AA. I suspect more of it will continue to go to B6.

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Mark -- Yeah, there's going to be a lot of moving around of airlines, and it seems unclear where exactly some airlines will be going. This is really the first part of the JFK redevelopment, along with what Delta is doing in its terminal.

  15. Alex Guest

    That looks like the end of the Concorde Room in JFK... But with travellers in AA F and CK members having access to the Concorde Room in LHR T5, it kind of makes sense. I wonder how it will be called though.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Alex -- I'm also really curious about the branding here. It's not clear if this will truly be branded for both airlines, if it'll still have American branding, or what.

  16. Max Guest

    @Ben: Villa Kennedy is closing. https://www.top-magazin-frankfurt.de/news/villa-kennedy-schliesst-rocco-forte-stellt-hotelbetrieb-in-frankfurt-ein/

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Max -- Thanks for the heads up on this!

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Hobbs Guest

T4 signage points you in the wrong direction for real. Terrible attention to detail.

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maxpower Guest

Considering they flew the most passengers, by far, in the US in 2021, I'd say the answer is that a lot of people want to fly American Airlines.

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OT Guest

From the renderings, it looks like this will a major upgrade to the "look and feel" of the lounges compared to AA's design standard, even in the newest lounges, which fell cheap and crude in comparison to Polaris lounges, never mind leading OW lounges like CX, JL, QF, and even recent BA lounges, which have a real premium feel to them.

0
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