A few days ago I had some extra time at JFK, so I decided to check out the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in Terminal 4. Back in the day I visited this Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse all the time, though it had been years since I’ve been there, so I’ve been curious to return.
What makes this lounge unique is that it’s accessible by both Priority Pass and Plaza Premium guests during select hours, and I’d consider this to be the best Priority Pass lounge in the United States.
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK has a fun vibe and decor, great views, friendly service, and a la carte dining. This lounge is a real treat, if you can access it. Virgin Atlantic does a phenomenal job with its lounges, with the best lounge in the network being the Clubhouse London Heathrow.
In this post:
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK location
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK is located in Terminal 4. This terminal is primarily occupied by Delta (Virgin Atlantic’s joint venture partner), but is also used by many other international airlines.
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 Air India Lounge, the Emirates Lounge, and the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.
Once you’re on the upper level, you’ll see the entrance to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse right by the stairs.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK hours
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK hours are a bit confusing, since the lounge is used for different purposes over different hours:
- The lounge is open from 5AM until 8AM, operating as a lounge for Virgin Atlantic passengers and select Plaza Premium guests
- The lounge is open from 8AM until 1:30PM, operating exclusively as a Priority Pass lounge
- The lounge is open from 3PM until 10:30PM, operating as a lounge for Virgin Atlantic passengers and select Plaza Premium guests
As you can see, the lounge is open from 5AM until 10:30PM, except from 1:30PM until 3PM, but not everyone can access the lounge at all times. Clear as mud, right? 😉
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK entry requirements
If you thought the hours are complicated, let’s talk about the lounge’s current access requirements. First of all, a huge shoutout to the lovely Arlene at the front desk of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, for taking some time to explain the entry requirements to me (since they recently changed, and are kind of complicated).
In the middle of the day, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK operates exclusively as a Priority Pass lounge. This applies from 8AM until 1:30PM, and of course there are lots of premium credit cards offering Priority Pass memberships. Guests can stay for up to three hours.
During all other hours, here’s who can access the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK:
- As you’d expect, Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passengers, as well as Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold members and SkyTeam Elite Plus members traveling on Virgin Atlantic same day, can access this lounge
- Singapore Airlines sends its first class passengers, as well as Solitaire PPS Club and PPS Club members, to the Clubhouse; “regular” business class passengers are sent to the Air India Lounge
- With Virgin Atlantic having recently joined SkyTeam, this is a standard SkyTeam lounge, so SkyTeam long haul business class passengers, as well as SkyTeam Elite Plus members traveling internationally, can use this lounge
- The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse can be accessed through Plaza Premium; however, only Capital One cards offer access to this lounge, and not American Express cards; note that this access is also only offered on a space available basis, and in the afternoons this lounge can get crowded
I should also mention that there’s a hard cutoff when this becomes a Priority Pass lounge. In other words, when this operates as a Priority Pass lounge, other eligible travelers can’t access the lounge, and vice versa.
For what it’s worth, I accessed the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in the morning using my Capital One Venture X Card (review). Interestingly I was the only passenger that morning accessing the lounge through Plaza Premium, as I was the only non-Virgin Atlantic passenger.
In general I’d expect fewer capacity constraints for Plaza Premium guests in the mornings than in the evenings, given that Virgin Atlantic has a single daytime flight to London, while there’s lots more crowding in the afternoons. The lounge was quite empty during my visit.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK seating & layout
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK is around 10,000 square feet, and has a super fun vibe. Even though the lounge is more or less in a rectangular shape, the space is divided into a few unique areas, so the layout feels totally different.
When you enter the lounge, you’ll find the largest part of the lounge right in front of you, which also has the most fun decor. This area has a pool table, several couches in unique shapes, benches, and some individual seats.
Deeper into the lounge is another sitting area, with a long bench and some seats.
The bar is also located in this part of the lounge. You can either order a drink here directly, or one of the friendly servers in the lounge will be happy to bring one to wherever you’re sitting.
The second part of the lounge is inside the entrance and to the left. This area has dozens of seats arranged in rows facing one another, some semi-private couches, several chairs with ottomans, and some high-top seating.
This part of the lounge also has the best views, as it faces the central apron around Terminal 4.
Then inside the entrance and to the right is the third area of the lounge. This is where the dining area is, featuring around a dozen tables. You can enjoy a meal here, or you can be served food anywhere else in the lounge.
This area has plenty more seating options, including swiveling chairs and several couches. While this part of the lounge also has views, there’s not as much movement on the apron here.
Even though this lounge has been open for a decade now, and there haven’t been any major design changes, it still feels fresh, modern, and fun. While the lounge has a slight W Hotel vibe, the furniture is actually pretty comfortable.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK food & drinks
Food and drinks at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK are almost entirely a la carte. In the morning there was a small beverage station with some coffee, tea, orange juice, and water. Other than that, everything was available from a server.
Each table in the lounge has a QR code with a menu that you can scan, and through that you can place all food and drink orders. Below is what the breakfast menu looked like.
As much as I would have loved to order a bunch of things for the pictures, I just got back from a trip to Europe where I ate way too much, so you’ll have to forgive me for exercising restraint. I simply ordered the coconut yogurt and berry pot, with mixed seeds and agave syrup. As you can see, there are all kinds of more substantial options.
I also ordered a cappuccino. While not particularly artfully presented, it was barista-made and tasted great.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK service
Back in the day I was on a first name basis with just about everyone at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK. While I didn’t see any familiar faces this time around, the staff here were just as lovely as I remember.
They’re friendly, fun, and proactive. In the short time that I was in the lounge, someone checked on me on five different occasions to see if I wanted anything. And that’s not even accounting for the fact that you can order whatever you’d like through the website that the QR code directs you to.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK bathrooms & showers
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK’s bathrooms and showers are in the back of the lounge, down a hallway with cool mood lighting.
All the bathrooms are in their own rooms, which is nice. Each bathroom has a sink and toilet.
There are also a couple of shower suites, featuring walk-in showers, sinks, and toilets.
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK used to have an awesome spa area and hair salon. Unfortunately much like at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse LHR, this area has been shut down. Instead there was just a model of a Virgin Voyages cruise ship, and some curtains.
Hopefully something is eventually done with this space, even if it’s not a spa.
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK is an excellent lounge, with a fun layout and decor, beautiful views, friendly staff, and a huge selection of food and drinks.
While this is a nice lounge for Virgin Atlantic passengers, it’s especially nice to be able to visit this lounge through Plaza Premium. If departing Terminal 4 in the morning (before 8AM), I’d highly recommend making this the lounge you visit. I can’t imagine there will be many space constraints, and this is in my opinion the best lounge experience in the terminal.
What do you make of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK?