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I spent the night at the Sheraton JFK Airport, which I’ve reviewed in the past, so won’t be covering again in this trip report.
My flight from New York to Madrid on Iberia was scheduled to depart at 5:35PM, though I decided to leave the Sheraton a bit early, at around 2PM. The hotel’s shuttle dropped me off at Terminal 7 at JFK. This is primarily British Airways’ terminal, though several of their partner airlines, and also some other random airlines, operate out of the terminal as well.
United used to also operate their Premium Service flights out of Terminal 7, though they’ve now pulled out of JFK altogether.
The terminal is rather outdated, and the architecture is definitely a bit past its prime.
Premium check-in for oneworld airlines is located on the left side of the terminal, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, and OpenSkies.
I was way early, so there were no queues at check-in. Within 60 seconds I had my boarding pass, and was directed to the security checkpoint. In the evening there’s a dedicated premium security checkpoint across from this check-in area, though it was too early for that, as the area wasn’t open yet.
So I headed to the standard security checkpoint, located by the economy check-in counters. Security took only about 10 minutes, which is pretty good for Terminal 7. Once through security I took the escalators up a level, turned left, and then took the escalators up one more level to the British Airways Galleries Lounge.
This lounge has both a first and business class section. It’s worth pointing out that The Concorde Room (for British Airways first class passengers) is on the opposite side of the terminal. So this portion of the “first class lounge” is for oneworld Emerald members, as well as those traveling in first class on airlines other than British Airways.
I actually sort of prefer the business class section of the lounge, so headed there first. From the reception desk that required turning right.
As you enter there’s a business center with some PCs, though there’s not much privacy between seats.
Then if you keep walking you’ll end up in a long hallway with plenty of seating, though there’s no natural light.
At the far end of that room is the Elemis Spa, where British Airways business & first class passengers can receive a complimentary treatment. That benefit isn’t extended to Iberia customers (which I don’t really get given that the airline is owned by British Airways, and beyond that, operates as part of a transatlantic joint venture).
Across from the spa is a play area for kids.
The main area of the lounge can also be accessed from near the entrance. Rather than walking straight ahead you simply turn left.
The lounge is huge, though ironically almost feels sort of private thanks to the low ceilings and square pillars throughout the lounge, which wouldn’t typically seem like a “feature.”
The lounge has a lot of seating, though given how many flights British Airways (and other airlines) operate out of New York, the lounge can still get really crowded.
As you can see, the furniture in the lounge sure is eclectic. I’m not sure whether to view the different “themed” areas as a feature, or simply a creative way to buy a lot of furniture on wholesale.
Perhaps the below “design” properly sums up just how confusing the lounge’s decor is.
The lounge also has a pre-flight supper facility, which I’ve reviewed in the past. However, it only opens later in the evening, and is available exclusively to British Airways business class passengers as well as Cathay Pacific first class passengers traveling to Vancouver.
The food selection in this lounge is somewhat limited, given that:
- British Airways first class passengers have access to the Concorde Room
- Oneworld Emerald members have access to the first class lounge (not that the food there is much better, but…)
- British Airways business class passengers have access to the pre-flight supper facility
- A lot of other airlines use this lounge, so British Airways doesn’t have all that much of an incentive to have great offerings
There are several service stations, some of which have mostly drinks, while others are more heavily focused on snacks.
There’s one station with a few types of juice, beer, and all kinds of packaged chips.
Then there’s a bar of sorts, which has self serve liquor and wine.
Also on that bar are several types of snacks, including trail mix, pretzels, M&Ms, etc.
Then there’s a table with fresh fruit.
There’s also a station with instant noodles and more packaged chips.
There are packaged cheese and crackers, finger sandwiches, etc.
There’s a station with cookies, biscuits, etc.
All-in-all it’s a pretty underwhelming spread, and not even to the level of a Delta SkyClub, for example. But I’m guessing that’s by design, since British Airways has other facilities for their more “premium” customers.
As a oneworld Emerald member I could also use the first class section of the lounge, which is on the opposite side of the reception desk as you enter (on the left).
The lounge is rather sad, and isn’t significantly differentiated from the business class lounge.
The lounge is fairly small, and has virtually no natural light, so it’s just not a nice place to spend a lot of time.
The snack selection in this lounge is ever-so-slightly enhanced, in the sense that they have slightly better finger sandwiches. But that’s about it.
Even the liquor selection is mostly the same. The good news is that they serve Laurent Perrier, which is a fairly good champagne.
I was quite hungry at this point, so had some finger sandwiches and blue corn chips.
While I was in the lounge most of the other guests were Japanese passengers on the ANA flight to Tokyo. While I love Japanese culture, the noodle slurping and snoring really got to me. The ANA passengers were just going to town on those instant noodles, and I felt like I was in the middle of a surround sound slurping competition. On top of that, several of them fell asleep after their noodle soiree, and snored in unison.
I got some work done on my laptop, and at around 4:45PM headed to the gate for my flight to Madrid. The departures board at Terminal 7 had some cool traffic, and I was especially intrigued by the Ukraine International Airlines flight to Kiev.
My flight on Iberia was departing from gate 6, which is located at the other end of the (small) concourse.
I could see the Iberia plane as I approached, and noticed it was in the old paint scheme.
While I find Iberia’s old livery to be hideous, at the same time there’s something I love about how “classic” it is.
Though my favorite plane at JFK Terminal 7 is the British Airways A318, which operates their all business class service to London City Airport.
As I approached the departure gate I noticed the two pilots still in the gate area, and the rest of the crew slowly strolling up to the gate as well.
At around 4:50PM they began lining up passengers, where there were different sections for each group, which is a smart system.
Finally at 5PM boarding was called, starting with business class.
British Airways Lounge New York bottom line
For a contract business class lounge this is perfectly fine. The lounge does get really busy, though, given the volume of passengers flying out of Terminal 7 on a daily basis. Still, this lounge pales in comparison to the likes of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse New York, which in theory should be similarly nice (both are business class lounges of British carriers).
So yeah, I wouldn’t make a point of arriving at the airport early to visit this lounge, though it’s also not the worst lounge out there.
If you’ve been to the British Airways Lounge New York JFK, what was your experience like?