BA unveils its planned redevelopment of New York JFK Terminal 7

British Airways is to redevelop the check-in, lounge, and gate areas of New York JFK Terminal 7.

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Late last year, British Airways unveiled a planned $60million revamp of its home at New York JFK Terminal 7.

Today, the airline has provided further information of what, and what isn’t, happening with the planned development of the terminal which is to be completed over the next two years.

BA has confirmed that the development will include redeveloped general check-in areas, a new premium check-in area, a new food court post security, redeveloped First and Club World lounges and pre-flight dining facilities, and refurbished gate areas.

Passengers of other airlines which also use JFK Terminal 7, such as ANA, Icelandair, and Qantas, will also benefit from many of these improvements.

The Concorde Room which is for use by passengers travelling in First Class and Concorde Room Cardholders will receive, to use BA lexicon, a “refresh” after being refurbished a few years ago.

The airline has today issued images of the planned check-in and post security areas, but not the new lounges. A cynic might wonder whether BA has rushed out this announcement in order to maintain momentum after a recent PR event for its new London Gatwick lounges and First Wing at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

There is also no mention of redeveloping the immigration hall which can become extremely congested and is ill-suited to manage queues for both self-service kiosks and manned immigration desks.

It is also has to be said that the development is less ambitious in some respects than what was originally planned for JFK Terminal 7 before the 2008 financial crisis. Gone are proposals to create a “drive through” check-in for First Class and Gold Executive Club cardholders.
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BA promises a $60million revamp of New York JFK Terminal 7

British Airways, New York JFK Terminal 7, May 2008
British Airways, New York JFK Terminal 7, May 2008

On 21 May 2008, British Airways held a press conference at Terminal 7 of New York JFK airport. The then Chief Executive of the airline Willie Walsh outlined ambitious plans for a $30 million revamp of the terminal. The plans included a “drive through” check-in for First Class class passenhers and Gold Executive Club card holders, revamped check-in and security zones, and refurbished lounges and travel spa.

What happened to the global financial system and the world economy shortly afterwards is well documented. The collapse of Lehman Brothers and state bail-outs of banks such as RBS and HBOS led to a dramatic fall in business and first class traffic, particularly from passengers who buy highly profitable flexible fares.

The plans for a revamp were put on hold and have remained on the drawing board ever since.

That is until today when British Airways CEO Alex Cruz announced a $60 million revamp of New York JFK Terminal 7 and a refurbishment of lounges in Boston, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Houston and Seattle over the next five years.
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