American Airlines has recently hugely invested in its lounges at JFK Terminal 8, coinciding with British Airways moving to the terminal. I’ve reviewed the Greenwich Lounge, Soho Lounge, and Chelsea Lounge, which are the three premium lounges in the terminal. All three lounges are fantastic.
In this installment I wanted to review the American Admirals Club in JFK Terminal 8. Unfortunately this offers a very different experience than you’ll get at one of the three specialty lounges. This lounge is outdated, doesn’t have an ideal location, and has the typical Admirals Club fare.
So while I’m not a fan of this lounge, I also understand the circumstances that led to this. American closed its other Admirals Club in the terminal in order to expand the Greenwich Lounge. Here’s to hoping that this lounge is renovated soon in line with the new style American Admirals Clubs, as we’ve seen at Washington National Airport (DCA).
In this post:
Admirals Club New York JFK location
The American Admirals Club JFK is located in Terminal 8 Concourse C, near gate 42. Once you clear security, just keep walking straight, underneath the signage for American’s other lounges in the terminal.
Eventually you’ll see signage leading to gates 31-47, which requires taking the escalator or elevator down a level to the underground walkway.
Once you ascend on the other side, you’ll find yourself in Concourse C. Before you get to any gates, you’ll see the entrance to the Admirals Club on the left.
The above entrance only has a staircase, so if you’d prefer to use an elevator to access the lounge, that’s located right across the hall. The lounge is one level above the main concourse, on the third floor.
The lounge location won’t be ideal for many travelers. If you’re not departing from gates 31-47, you’ll have to go back to your gate via the underground walkway, so it’s quite a detour.
Admirals Club New York JFK hours
The American Admirals Club JFK is currently open daily from 4:30AM until 11PM, covering a vast majority of departures from the terminal.
Admirals Club New York JFK entry requirements
There are a variety of ways to access American Admirals Clubs, ranging from buying an Admirals Club membership, to having elite status and being on an eligible itinerary.
Personally I access Admirals Clubs using the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (review), which is one of my all around favorite airline credit cards. The card has a $595 annual fee, and offers an Admirals Club membership for the primary cardmember.
In and of itself that represents cost savings compared to a membership, as the cheapest cost for an Admirals Club membership is usually $850 per year.
Note that if you’re traveling internationally in a premium cabin or with elite status, you’ll probably have access to one of the better lounges in the terminal, so I’d absolutely go out of my way to use them.
Admirals Club New York JFK seating & layout
The Admirals Club JFK isn’t about to win any design awards, to put it mildly. The lounge clearly received new furniture in the past few years, but the rest of the lounge design will transport you back to the 90s. There’s also not much coordination between the new furniture and the old design, so it feels really mismatched. And those ceiling “tiles” ain’t pretty either.
Anyway, on to the lounge’s layout…
When you enter the lounge, there are rows of seats facing one another to the left, and then the bar area to the right. The bar area has cafe-style tables, as well as some high-top seating at the bar counter.
Once you go down that first hall, you’l find yourself in the main part of the lounge, which has red and gray chairs arranged in rows, as well as a handful of cafe tables and some communal high-top workstations. The lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows, which offer great views of the apron.
Then closer to the entrance of the lounge but on the other side are two TV rooms, separated by a glass partition.
Lastly, the lounge has a small play area for kids. Even this is totally no frills.
It’s not a big lounge at all, but then again, (hopefully) a vast majority of passengers have access to American’s more premium lounges, especially with JFK being a major international gateway.
Admirals Club New York JFK food & drinks
American isn’t exactly known for its great Admirals Club catering, and this lounge is no exception. The self-serve buffet is located just past the bar area.
I was there during breakfast, and options included hardboiled eggs, yogurt, fresh fruit (both whole fruit and fruit salad), cereal, muffins, bagels, oatmeal, and scrambled eggs (with accompaniments like cheese, bacon, tortillas, and pico de gallo).
To drink, there was tea, an espresso machine, La Colombo drip coffee, orange juice, and water. Other soft drinks are available from one of the bartenders.
There’s also a kitchen area of sorts across from the buffet, though there’s not anything there most of the time. Sometimes the avocado toast bar is opened, but that wasn’t the case during my visit.
Admirals Clubs offer complimentary house beer and wine, as well as basic liquor. Meanwhile premium drinks, as well as more substantial food, are available for purchase. You can find the menu for those options below.
While American has made some mild improvements to its lounge catering in recent years, think this is an area where there’s lots of room for improvement.
Admirals Club New York JFK bathrooms & showers
The Admirals Club JFK bathrooms are located past the bar area and to the left. The men’s room has three sinks, two urinals, and three stalls, so it’s not exactly a huge bathroom situation.
There are also some shower suites in the Admirals Club, though I didn’t have a chance to check them out. I’ve used them before, though, and they’re fine, though not as modern as the showers in the other clubs. At least American makes an effort to have showers in its membership lounges, unlike some other airlines.
While American has done an amazing job elevating its lounge offerings at JFK, the Admirals Club Terminal 8 is the exception. The lounge is on the small side, has an outdated design, and has a fairly disappointing selection of food and drinks.
This is such a contrast from the Greenwich, Soho, and Chelsea Lounges, which are all phenomenal. Hopefully American gets around to renovating this lounge. Then again, that will mean that there won’t be an Admirals Club at JFK for some amount of time.
What do you make of the Admirals Club JFK?