A few days ago I had some extra time at JFK, so I decided to check out the Air India Lounge in Terminal 4. This is the only lounge in the terminal run by a Star Alliance airline, and it’s also open to Priority Pass members. The lounge isn’t worth going out of your way to visit, but it’s not necessarily totally awful either.
I’d visit this lounge if you have no other options, but that’s about it…
Air India Lounge JFK location
As mentioned above, the Air India Lounge JFK is located in Terminal 4. This terminal is primarily used by Delta, but also hosts all kinds of other airlines, including Air India, Avianca, Singapore Airlines, and more. Note that terminals at JFK aren’t connected airside, so you’ll only want to use this lounge if traveling from the terminal.
Once you clear security at Terminal 4, take the escalator down to the main concourse level, and turn left. Follow the signage toward gates A2-21.
Once you’re near gate A5, you’ll see stairs and an elevator to the left, leading up to lounges. There are three lounges here — the Emirates Lounge, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, and the Air India Maharaja Lounge.
The exterior of the lounge doesn’t exactly make a great first impression, as it looks more like the entrance to a government office than an airport lounge.
Air India Lounge JFK hours
The Air India Lounge JFK is currently open daily from 7AM until 12AM. It’s odd, because the door of the lounge has completely different hours listed (and it’s not like the sign is permanent — the incorrect hours were listed on a laminated sheet of paper taped to the door). But as of now those are the hours.
Air India Lounge JFK entry requirements
The Air India Maharaja Lounge JFK can be accessed by a variety of methods:
- This is a standard Star Alliance lounge, which can be accessed by all Star Alliance business class passengers, as well as Star Alliance Gold members; business class passengers can’t bring any guests, while Star Alliance Gold members can bring one guest
- This is a Priority Pass lounge, and members can visit for up to three hours, though access may be restricted over peak hours; of course there are lots of premium credit cards offering Priority Pass memberships
- Access can be purchased at the door for $45 per person, subject to availability
Air India Lounge JFK seating & layout
The Air India Lounge JFK isn’t large at all. It’s just one room, with floor-to-ceiling windows on one side. I’d estimate that the lounge has seating for maybe 60-70 guests, so I imagine this place gets really crowded before Air India’s flights.
The lounge has a central walkway, and then has seating arrangements on each side of it, along with some seating at the end.
The lounge by no means has cutting edge decor, but it looked clean enough, and at least early in the morning it was nice and empty (though I’m sure it’s a different story prior to a Star Alliance flight). I also appreciate the amount of natural light the lounge has, though the views from the lounge are fairly limited, as it faces a less busy apron.
Usually I’d go into much more detail on a lounge’s layout, but there’s nothing else here to share.
Air India Lounge JFK food & drinks
The Air India Maharaja Lounge JFK has a modest buffet inside the entrance to the lounge and to the left. It has some tasty-looking Indian dishes, but don’t get excited other than that.
In terms of food, the lounge had a variety of finger sandwiches, cheese slices, crackers, chips, instant noodles, muffins, veggies, quiche, chicken tikka masala, sambar daal, and basmati rice.
Drinks included an espresso machine, bottled water, canned soda, juice, three kinds of beer (Corona Extra, Heineken, and Budweiser), wine (a Yellow Tail Chardonnay), and five kinds of liquor.
Air India Lounge JFK bathrooms
The Air India Maharaja Lounge JFK doesn’t have showers, but the bathrooms are inside the entrance to the lounge and to the left. The men’s room had one stall, urinal, and sink. That’s not a whole lot of capacity for a lounge of this size, at least if it’s full.
The Air India Lounge JFK is fairly basic, and just consists of one room with lots of natural light, and an okay selection of food and drinks. This lounge is better than not having lounge access, though it would be one of my last choices in Terminal 4.
So I’d only use this as a last resort, if it’s the only lounge you can get into. Otherwise I’d consider lounges like the Amex Centurion Lounge, Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, etc. Still, this place is like the Lufthansa First Class Terminal compared to the Swissport Lounge Chicago…
If you’ve visited the Air India Lounge JFK, what was your experience like?
Very bad service and I had left my jacket there which I am trying to find since a week but no answer
The air India lounge needs some serious upholstery and carpet cleaning. It’s so easy, just rent the machine! How do you not see it?
I am just amazed how they have managed to recreate an impression less government building facade and cafeteria down to the washroom counter and stalls- exactly how you have here in India. I would personally either pay for Emirates lounge next door or wait near the boarding gate. Pretty appalling to see when one would have expected some of Tata's exceptional hospitality to brush off post privatization but alas the Old Maharaja suffers in isolation!
It’s so sad to see it right next to the Emirates lounge.
Agreed, especially since there is no comparison between them. Accessed the lounge in December, via a Singapore Airline flight, and it was so packed!! People were literally standing around waiting for others to leave. The food had all run out.. we left after 10 minutes. Do not recommend.
Got dumped in there by Egypt Air in 2021 when their lounge closed during covid.
We were not pleased but it actually turned out not bad. They had some decent finger sandwiches and I don't know where they got their grapes but they were good enough we took some extra with us. Better than the slop served on Egypt Air
Golden showers included without request.
The chicken Tika looks far more appetizing than The food this month at the centurion lounge JFK. Chicken and potatoes are the main courses this month and the flavor is bland. Other months the food is better.
Yellow Tail chardonnay says it all! Currently retailing for AUD $7.95 a bottle in Australia - not considered a luxury or even mid-range wine on any scale.
Best Champagne? Brut Bovineurine
Much better than United Club lounge.
The entrance doors to the Air India Lounge and that of the Emirates lounge speaks volumes!
LOL a the comment of the Swissport Lounge Chicago.
Haven't visited this Air India lounge but it can't deny that my first impression on this review reminded me of the Swissport (which sadly I did visit).. But after reading the full review and seeing the food options I agree with your closing statement.
Cricket matches start at 10am east coast time. If they get willow tv going in the lounge that would be something.
Was in JFK on a Sunday from 9-11 AM and they were not admitting Priority Pass due to peak hours. Looks like Air India flights leave at 12:30 and 1:30 so something to be aware of!
I aplaud OMAAT for exteding their coverage to airlines other than Amrickan Airlines. These poor country airlines are trying put cannot even scratch the bathroom door of Amrican Airlines when it comes to the luxurious onboars and lounge experiences right from check in to check out. Once can view these reviews like Air India and only be thankful for Amrickan Airlines or dream to someday fly on them. Well done again Ben and the team.
I’ve been to this lounge among other AI lounges. Historically, this has been an area that AI has never bothered to invest in, even relative to other areas. I think Indian food in NYC area should be an easy one to get right but lounges in general were never AI’s forte even in best of times. Note that the only flight out of JFK until recently was DEL-JFK. Now with change in ownership and a...
I’ve been to this lounge among other AI lounges. Historically, this has been an area that AI has never bothered to invest in, even relative to other areas. I think Indian food in NYC area should be an easy one to get right but lounges in general were never AI’s forte even in best of times. Note that the only flight out of JFK until recently was DEL-JFK. Now with change in ownership and a BOM-JFK frequency, I wonder what kind of changes are in store for this lounge (and AI lounges in general).
Seems in NYC total luxury compared with Air India Lounge in Delhi (Flagshiplounge.....! At DEL they really try to show off everything negative they can. Some airlines give out Restaurantvouchers for Premiumpax, but the experience is not really much better. It's sad, that good impressions of a journey are destroyed within the last few hours of stay in the country (or for NYC: first impressions not good either)!
Literally half of the food items (maybe more) are from Costco lol.. the bagel crisps, cheese (probably), quinoa bites, and the pastries from the pictures…
Corona, some decent looking curry and view of the planes. Looks like a win!
Speaking of entry rules. I just flew Malaysian airlines business from Sydney to kl and was only allowed entry into the Qantas lounge in Sydney due to my AA one world status. Do they seriously deny J passengers on other one world airlines (eg cathay, American etc)?
Since you mentioned the swissport lounge ORD, can we get a fun article of the worst lounges you've visited?
It’s not for beverage but for the nuts, and dried fruits. This is exactly how it’s served in India.
Please tell me those paper cone cups aren’t actually meant for beverages. Is Air India trying to maximize productivity by keeping lounge guests from loitering at the water cooler? Or did they just get a really good deal on a bunch of stuff that’s been sitting in an Office Depot Warehouse since 2002?
Looks like the come cups are for the nibbles to the left
I guess if you had cared to look lower you would have seen the glasses below lol. Yup nibbles (especially Indian spicy ones) and drinks go together!
Curious if anyone knows - is the VS Clubhouse at JFK still accepting Amex Platinum members via Plaza Premium? Conflicting answers between Plaza Premium's website, Amex's site and Flyertalk.
I tried earlier this month as I was flying SQ Biz (not Suites). I tried using my AmEx Platinum and Venture X cards and was told that they were not accepting passengers using either of those cards for entry.
I got in last year using my Venture X card. At least there was food other than the usual SAD stuff.
I'm usually at JFK around 1 or 2pm and it's never too crowded.
That is more food than I have ever seen in this lounge. Staffing is minimal so they often run low on food, ice, etc, and just one person is trying keep things clean and restock the buffet/bar. I find the Indian food to be pretty bland.
It gets warm in there too, but, overall it's still better than a kick in the head.
Ben, you should review the new soft product on AI (Or ideally the DL 777 they have from NYC and SF to India)
Most blogger reviews are super outdated, and interested to see something after the privitization. I've heard there is an improvement in J/F, but they're still inconsistent.
He will, once he gets his pee-proof jacket.
Is this the lounge used by Singapore Air for their flights to FRA?
Yes for biz.
First uses the VS Clubhouse.
As of last month flying SQ,
Suites or Solitaire goes to Clubhouse
Business or PPS or *G goes to Primeclass or AI.
Back in Oct 2022 SQ was selling access to Virgin Clubhouse for USD 55 I believe it was at the check in counters. Although I was *G I regretted not taking that offer, and instead chose the free contract lounge (now deceased Wingtips Lounge) where I still had to pay USD 20 for a shower.
And their nonstop JFK-SIN flights. So there are two late evening SQ flights departing JFK (9 pm and 10:30 pm), each with large business class cabins. The AI lounge must be a mad house.
No urine comments, yet?
Someone is getting pissed off?
I was there at the end of the day before closing and the place was pretty trashed with very little food options. Hardly worth the visit :(
I’m impressed there’s a sign on the door at all. Living in india it’s very rare to find that sort of communication.