Welcoming everybody from Qantas Club members right through to Oneworld business class passengers, the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at New York's JFK airport is the go-to spot for most jetsetters flying through Terminal 8.
Better yet, if you're stuck on the outside a payment of just US$50 gets you through the door – here's what you'll find waiting inside.
Location & Impressions
After passing through security at JFK's Terminal 8, look for Admirals Club signage and head upward to the mezzanine level where you'll find these clearly-marked doors. Inside, the lounge affords tarmac views which in turn provide plenty of natural light to illuminate the lounge's various zones and nooks.
- American Airlines business class and first class passengers flying to Europe, Asia, Central and South America, Mexico City and Australia (from December), including before same-day domestic connections to the same
- AA's domestic business and first class passengers travelling to Los Angeles or San Francisco on three-class Airbus A321T flights
- Other Oneworld business class and first class travellers including on Airberlin, Finnair, LAN, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian and TAM
- American Airlines Platinum and Executive Platinum members travelling on or connecting to a same-day international flight with any Oneworld airline, excluding to Canada, Mexico (except Mexico City), Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Caribbean
- Admirals Club, Qantas Club and Alaska Airlines Board Room members
- Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman's Lounge members travelling onwards with American Airlines or another Oneworld airline to all domestic and international locations
- Other Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald frequent flyers flying with any Oneworld airline (including AA) to any destination (exceptions apply for American Airlines Platinum and Executive Platinum cardholders, above)
- Holders of US-issued Citi/AAdvantage Executive and Citi Prestige credit cards (excludes Australian Citi Prestige cards)
- US military personnel travelling with American Airlines on active duty with appropriate ID and working orders
- Anybody not covered by the above for a payment of US$50
First class passengers and eligible Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers may also visit the adjacent Flagship Lounge.
All guests can snack on basic foods like bagels, pastries, cereals and oatmeal in the mornings... ... joined by orange juice, a tea selection and also machine-crafted espresso coffee throughout the day: More substantial food is also available on an a la carte basis in the dining room and surrounds, but for a charge – that's even if you've paid US$50 just to get through the door. To AA's credit the menu is quite comprehensive and reasonably-priced with everything from breakfast basics and salads through to quesadillas, premium sandwiches, signature dishes and also pre-packaged sushi: We settled on the simple breakfast BLT which although rather plain-looking was still quite tasty, accompanied by a small fruit salad for just US$6 on the menu (~US$6.53 including local taxes or A$9.08), plus tip. The bar serves up house wine (Flat Rock Chardonnay and Merlot), beer (Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors) and basic spirits at no charge, although it's customary to leave a US$1 cash tip for the bartender for each drink. Other options such as cocktails, premium wines, liqueurs and more are again available for purchase, although most Australians visiting the lounge including Qantas Club members and Qantas Gold frequent flyers receive drink vouchers from reception to cover these.
You didn't hear this from us, but returning to the front desk and asking nicely will normally furnish extra premium beverage vouchers – handy if your flight is delayed or you simply arrive early.
Download: Admirals Club food and beverage menu [PDF, 222kb]
With boarding calls absent the Admirals Club is a great and mostly quiet place to get things done. Desks with AC power outlets line the windows... ... computers are available for travellers without their own tech... ... group seats are available in wings off to the left for casual meetings or discussions with colleagues... ... and which also cleverly feature mobile phone charging ports, with cables supplied for the most common connection types and both AC and USB ports for anything else. A separate conference room for more serious discussions is also available for hire... ... with a second room serving as an 'overflow' space during peak times and open to all lounge guests. Wireless Internet also blankets the lounge and hovered around the 15mbps mark, which is more than usable.
Artwork serves to make the lounge a little more colourful, joined by magazines and newspapers to help pass the time... ... and a separate play room for children with cartoons on the TV, computer access... ... and a cute sign reminding that the room is just for kids and also for parents to supervise their children: Private shower suites are present, as you'd expect, rounding out a lounge that suffices for domestic travellers but may leave international flyers wanting something a little more 'international standard' – particularly at the buffet.
Visiting New York City on business? Also read:
- American to refurbish Los Angeles, New York lounges
- United B757 p.s. 'BusinessFirst' review: Los Angeles-Newark
- Review: Grand Hyatt New York hotel in Midtown Manhattan
- American Airlines A321T first class review: LAX-JFK
- Five tips for riding the New York subway like a local
- How to get half-price tickets to Broadway shows in New York
- 'Delta One' Boeing 767 business class review: LAX-JFK
Chris Chamberlin was travelling as a guest of American Airlines.
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