British Airways has today, Friday 4 October 2018, opened its newly refurbished First Class lounge at New York JFK Terminal 7.
This is part of its refurbishment of the terminal and the lounge has been closed since January of this year.
Despite its name, ticketed First Class passengers have access to the Concorde Room. This means this lounge is effectively for British Airways Executive Club Gold Cardholders and Oneworld Emerald equivalents, of which there are a very substantial number on this route.
It is fair to say that for a lounge branded as First Class it did underwhelm a little. However, given the length of the refurbishment the new lounge should be a big improvement.
Unfortunately, no press images are available at the moment. It is understood that BA’s regular press photographer is flying out to New York this weekend so hopefully a full set will be available next week.
The lounge has been enlarged and it is described by BA as having new zones including a dedicated wine room, an “opulent” First bar, and a quiet work area. There is also a new pre-flight dining area.
The next lounge to be refurbished is the expansive Galleries Club lounge. However, it is not known whether facilities such as pre-flight dining will be disrupted.
New York JFK Redevelopment Plans
On a tangential note, the Governor Of New York State Andrew M Cuomo did announce this week a major refurbishment plan for the terminals at New York JFK.
Under these plans Terminal 7, dubbed “48 years old, undersized and functionally obsolete” will be demolished. A new terminal will be developed by JetBlue on the site of Terminals 6 and 7 and connected to JetBlue’s existing home in Terminal 5.
Construction is expected to begin in 2020 with the first new gates opening in 2023 and substantial completion expected in 2025.
Neither BA nor its parent company International Airlines Group have yet commented on these plans. However, a logical outcome is for BA and fellow IAG airlines to follow their Oneworld alliance partners Cathay Pacific and Qantas and join American Airlines in Terminal 8.
However, it is clear from these plans that BA’s new lounges will have a much shorter life span than usual. Given the huge importance of the New York JFK route to BA it is likely that it will retain a very strong brand presence at the airport.