A Restaurant At JFK Airport Joins Priority Pass!

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Over the past year we’ve seen several airport restaurants and bars in the US join Priority Pass. The concept is that at some airports Priority Pass has a tough time striking a deal with a major lounge due to crowding issues, so when that’s not possible, they instead work with a restaurant.

My assumption is that Priority Pass pays a fixed amount for each guest who enters a lounge, so instead Priority Pass is just paying these restaurants a fixed amount, and then you can spend some dollar amount at that restaurant (typically $28-30). So far in the US, non-traditional Priority Pass locations include:

Priority Pass has just added their latest US restaurant location — Bobby Van’s Steakhouse at JFK Airport Terminal 8 is now part of Priority Pass. The restaurant is open daily from 6AM until 10PM. It’s located airside, after security. Just walk about 100 feet and you’ll see the restaurant on the right, near gate 14, and across from the elevators to the Admirals Club.

For those of you not familiar with JFK’s layout, Terminal 8 at JFK is primarily used by American Airlines, though there are also flights operated by Cathay Pacific, LATAM, Royal Jordanian, and Qatar Airways departing from the terminal. Unfortunately Terminal 8 isn’t connected airside to any other terminal at the airport.

Priority Pass members will be entitled to $28 worth of food & drinks per person. This restaurant has added one other restriction we haven’t seen before — you’re limited to bringing one guest, meaning that you can get at most $56 worth of credit for two people. Of course if multiple travelers each have their own Priority Pass memberships, then you could get significantly more credit. The Priority Pass member will be responsible for any overage beyond the $28 credit, and that credit can’t be applied to gratuity (and personally I think it’s appropriate to tip, as a Priority Pass membership is just a form of payment here). You do need a same day boarding pass to visit the restaurant with Priority Pass, though either an arriving or departing boarding pass should do the trick.

You can visit the restaurant’s website here, and find the full menu here. And here’s the lunch and dinner menu:

As you can see, this is definitely one of the higher end restaurants belonging to Priority Pass. Some will like that, since you can actually get good (and hopefully high quality) food, while others won’t, since the credit won’t get you as far as it would at some other Priority Pass restaurants.

As a reminder, the following credit cards come with Priority Pass memberships (I’ve also listed the respective guesting privileges, though keep in mind this restaurant limits you to one guest):

Card# Of Guests Who Get Free AccessAuthorized User AccessCost To Add Authorized User
The Platinum Card® from American Express2Yes$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN2Yes$300 Per Person
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit CardUnlimited GuestsYes$0
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card2Yes$75 Per Person

In addition to this, Priority Pass has three other lounges at JFK — the Air France Lounge Terminal 1, the Korean Air Lounge Terminal 1, and the Wingtips Lounge Terminal 4.

Bottom line

This is a fantastic new addition to the Priority Pass network, especially given that there’s not currently a Priority Pass lounge at JFK’s Terminal 8, and the terminals aren’t connected airside. I’d say this is probably the highest end restaurant to join the Priority Pass network, and I can’t wait to check it out.

The only downside is the restriction of one guest per Priority Pass membership, which is one of the stricter policies we’ve seen from a Priority Pass location.

Do you plan on visiting Bobby Van’s Steakhouse using Priority Pass?

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Comments

  1. This is awesome and makes T8 way better to fly out of if you don’t have AAAdmirals club Aaacess.

    Sadly T7 is just…. oof. No good food no matter how much you’re willing to pay.

  2. Just wondering, and it does not apply to me. If an airport worker who does not have a boarding pass is a priority pass member, can they stop by before or after work and get a nice meal?

    Could become quite nice.

  3. Note in Miami at the Corona Beach House, we were explicitly told tip was included and could not even sign to tip.

  4. @ jfhscott — You do need a boarding pass (either arriving or departing) to use this. However, in my experience they don’t always ask. So I imagine some could get away with it, but after a while I think Priority Pass might catch on and take issue with that.

  5. Hey Ben, Wondering how does it work if you have two priority pass accounts? So, I have one from Amex Platinum and one from Citi Prestige, does that mean I can bring 1 guest and spend $112 (28×4).

  6. I can’t see myself going here over the Flagship Lounge when traveling internationally. I do get the occasional domestic flight out of T8 though, so this could be really nice in those situations.

  7. One thing I like about these priority pass restaurants is that I don’t have to tip. Since he final bill for me is usually $0 and 12%*0 is 0. I usually leave a dollar though…

  8. @ dc_nomad — Unfortunately you’re only supposed to be able to use one Priority Pass card per person at a time, so you couldn’t stack them.

  9. @Jackie: Seriously? For any type of arrangement like this, you should tip at least somewhat in the ballpark of the pre-discounted total. The waiter isn’t receiving a cut of that sweet, sweet Priority Pass money. I hate tipping as much as the next guy (how did the responsibility of the business owner to pay the wait staff a living wage become partly my responsibility?), but as long as the system exists, I think it’s pretty tacky, as well as bad karma, not to tip on a comped meal.

  10. I understand that Corona Beach house automatically adds a tip, but I didn’t see anything in the Priority Pass website saying gratuity wasn’t covered. It just describes it as a flat credit towards your bill.

    I understand there may have been confusion on the issue when it first started in Portland, but are you sure it’s not covered? Seems like automatically added or manually added would not be a distinction in applicable T&C (which I can’t find).

  11. For credit cards in which an authorized user gets their own Priority Pass membership — are those memberships considered separate from the main membership? And would they have the single-guest privilege, or be restricted only to the authorized user?

    My teenage daughter is an authorized user on my Sapphire Preferred, but will soon be trading that in for a Sapphire Reserved. Not interested in paying $75 to make her an authorized user on that card unless we could find some benefit (I’d just move her to another card with free authorized users).

    In other words, if a family of four with a Sapphire Reserved and a single authorized user get two, three, or four times the $28 benefit?

  12. @ LarryInNYC — Authorized users with a Priority Pass membership get the typical guesting privileges, so they could also each take a guest in.

  13. @ beachfan — I can’t be 1000% sure, but that’s my understanding. Priority Pass works the same way as a gift card for the purposes of these restaurants, so unless otherwise stated, I assume it’s not included.

  14. I agree with you @Matt. Hate tipping, but I put myself on the position of the waiter and if I receive a decent service I’ll tip.

    Out of curiosity, are there no minimum wages in the US? Or are they simply too low? (Live in Germany but travel every now and then to the US)

  15. @Ben Holz: I believe the law makes special exceptions for waiters, bartenders, and others in service industries where tips are standard. I think the hourly wage for a waiter is like $3 or something because tipping 15-20% is expected.

  16. I love this feature of Priority Pass and sometimes prefer it over lounges for short-ish connections. I’ve used this at the Pasta House in STL and my wife and I got a free dinner while waiting for our connection. To get around the tipping, I just had them ring up the least expensive item in their computer (sauce packet for $0.05) and then I added an appropriate tip on my own card since we didn’t exceed our Priority Pass allowance.

  17. The PGA MSP LOUNGE at Minneapolis airport is a Priority Pass lounge that also gives you a credit to use at a restaurant at the airport. This lounge offers you a golf experience including a pro shop plus golf lessons in an indoor green. The lounge provides a $20 credit to use at Ike’s restaurant which you can order from the menu in the lounge and food is brought to you. Not sure if they give the same credit for guests as I was alone but you can get some good plates for $20.

  18. This is most interesting given that Amex Platinum no longer includes Admiral’s Club access but still includes Priority Pass. This means there is once again an Amex Platinum lounge option for AA flyers out of JFK after a several year hiatus. I have walked past this restaurant dozens of times but I haven’t eaten there in years once I started going to the Admiral’s Club just upstairs.

  19. According to Jackie, I am way over tipping when I leave 20%… 12%???? That might be more a slap in the face then $0.

  20. Wow… Here in Germany it’s 8€ but you’ll barely ever see anyone with those wages. I know people working in mid-range restaurants earning a 450€ monthly base salary + 9-12€ per hour. You can’t live a luxurious live, but you can live pretty decently in some places

  21. @Ben Holz,

    The average waiter in NYC earns $70K. Most of that comes from tips. That is much higher than the average salary in Germany. I wouldn’t pity the waiters here. There are plenty of people in NYC who loves to tip. So I let them. The waiter will be fine without my tips.

  22. In Russia, in Moscow is possible priority pass for 2 railway stations: (ZKD) Leningradsky Railway; (MOW) Kursky Railway. In St. Petersburg, it was also recently possible priority pass for to enter the Moscowsky railway station, but now there is repair.

  23. @ Tom – @Jackie may be a troll but plenty of people think 12% is awesome, especially when they order only a low cost item, take up a table to themselves for an hour, then throw down that cheapskate tip in a bunch of loose change.

  24. Lucky says: Of course if multiple travelers each have their own Priority Pass memberships, then you could get significantly more credit.

    Yes this is what I’ve always wondered. If my wife and I both have priority pass memberships, can I use mine and get $56 and she use hers and get $56? I imagine not in one sitting. But if we sit at the bar, use mine and get $56, then leave restaurant, and come back in sit in traditional table (i.e. another server’s area), could we get another $56 using her membership?

    Is the above ethical? Probably not… 😉

  25. @Jackie According to your logic, Apple makes tons of money and has hundreds of billions in their war chest, so I should be able to help myself to some free Apple products, and let everyone else pay.

  26. @ Jackie – NYC has tons of restaurants, and they’re mostly busy, so the waitstaff probably won’t remember you, but what do you suggest for serial non-tippers in smaller places without the luxury of so many establishments? Wear disguises? Carry devices to test for saliva?

  27. Just grab some stranger who wants a free salad, and order yourself a 22oz Ribeye and get the extra $18 allowance. hmmmm….

    Unfortunately my Priority Pass membership expired a while back…

  28. @Jackie
    You go girl. Like most women you probably never pay at restaurants because some pasty that thinks all women need to be rescued pays for you.

  29. PGA Lounge at MSP gives you a credit that can be used at over 6 restaurants in MSP not just the one attached to the lounge, theres a great grab and go soups and sandwiches spot located near the lounge that’s great, just go into the lounge get your credits then you can immediately leave and use credit in the 6+ locations like I mentioned.

  30. I regret getting Priority Pass.

    99% of my trips are domestic. I reside in San Francisco. Air France/KLM lounge at SFO is the Priority Pass lounge and it is in the international terminal. All my flights are from other terminals. Which means, if I want to visit the lounge I would have to go through security twice.

    I have taken six flights in the month after getting Priority Pass, including SFO to PHX, LAX, ORD. I was able to access a lounge only once out of the six trips due to the lounge being in a different non-connectes terminal or lounge closing at 3 p.m. – five hours before my flight. So, I was unable to use this membership for 84% of my trips.

    Just a recommendation – PLEASE CHECK THE PARTNER LOUNGES BEFORE SIGNING UP. Don’t make the same mistake as I did.

  31. Ben, you need to point out MSP and make it a new post because it really is unique. The PGA lounge voucher is valid at several restaurants as of a few months ago. 5 are sit down ones, rock bottom brewery, ike’s (3 different locations), and French meadow, and the latter also has a very good take away side menu selection as well that is also applicable to the voucher. This has been the latest gem in th PP system for those in the know, even though it’s only a $15 voucher per person.

  32. Regarding tipping. I hate the North American tipping culture. Flying back after a long time in Japan last year, I missed my connection, and United comped me a nights stay at EWR and 3 #10$ vouchers for meals (inbound plane went mechanical, so I was flying out of Beijing 4 hours later then planned). So in the morning before my next flight I went and had a beer, a sandwich and a bag of chips, maybe $28 all together. So I hand the waiter 3 vouchers, and he goes “THat’s not enough!” and I go “Eh? Sandwich $14, chips $3, beer $10, and this is thirty bucks!” and he goes “But where is my tip?”.

    Tips are there for exceptional service. What did he do? Handed me a bag of chips and a sandwich, that was premade and prewrapped, and poured me a beer. Where is the exceptional service here?

  33. Before anyone makes plans around using a Priority Pass card at Bobby Vans, you should know that mine was not accepted this morning. They told me that “it isn’t in the system yet.”

  34. Lucky,

    If you have 2 PP memberships and traveling with a guest, could you place an order, then close out using Card 1, then start a new bill and use Card 2 netting 4x$28? Alternatively, could you just split the bill at end of the meal and use Card 1 credits on 1st half and Card 2 credits on 2nd half?

  35. At least we can all agree that @Jackie is the worst… cheap, entitled and just all around mean-spirited

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