Review of the New BA/AA Soho Lounge at JFK T8
This is my review of the new BA/AA Soho Lounge at JFK T8 which offers some promising new facilities at New York JFK airport.
I am a BA Executive Club (BAEC) Gold Guest List (GGL) member and I enjoy spending time in great lounges at big airports. JFK is one of those big airports that I have spent a fair amount of time at over the past 10 years or so, flying with BA (and to a lesser extent AA). Bear in mind that my reviews are likely to have a BA bias to them. That’s why I refer to these new lounges as “BA/AA lounges”, rather than the more generally accepted reference of “AA/BA lounges”.
Apologies for all of the acronyms. I have done my best at explaining what they mean when they are first mentioned.
Quick reminder, the Soho Lounge is located just after T8 Security.
From Security looking straight ahead, on the right hand side, there are two lifts behind Bobby Van’s Grill. If you wander down there and look behind the restaurant, you will see signage for the two new premium lounges: the Chelsea Lounge and the Soho Lounge. The lifts and stairs are directly opposite Gate 14.
This is where it gets complicated and there have been a lot of disappointed passengers with premium status being turned away from accessing the Chelsea Lounge when they thought they should have access to it. That could also be the case with access to the Soho Lounge.
When I was there last week, I took a photo of the official guidelines available to the attendants.
Reading between the lines, at a high level, this is who should be able to get access to the Soho Lounge:
- First Class passengers flying with a Oneworld airline (other than BA/AA).
- BA Gold Card Holders (this is the equivalent of the Heathrow T5 First Lounge).
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum members (if travelling on a Flagship itinerary).
- AAdvantage Platinum Pro members (if travelling on a Flagship itinerary).
- Other Oneworld Emerald members (e.g. Finnair and Iberia).
After heading up in the lift (you can take the stairs just to the right of the lifts if you prefer), you enter the main registration area for the Soho Lounge ahead.
As you enter the lounge, the first thing that stands out is that the Soho Lounge has floor to ceiling windows! So passengers can look out on to the apron and see some aircraft action! That’s got to be a good thing!
There is a good range of seating all around the lounge. You should definitely find somewhere comfortable to sit. When I was in the Soho Lounge last week, it seemed much quieter than the Chelsea Lounge. That might have been a one-off; perhaps down to the timing of when I was visiting.
The next thing that struck me was the slightly understated bar on the far side of the lounge. I guess anything is going to look understated when you have seen the Chelsea Lounge’s Champagne bar!
Food and Drink
There’s an extensive buffet available for passengers on the right-hand side as you enter the Soho Lounge. It has the feel of the buffet from the old Flagship First Lounge (which of course is now the Greenwich Lounge).
Other Lounge Facilities
All of the normal facilities are available including good quality restrooms and showers. I didn’t get chance to try the showers out, but I can attest to the quality of the restrooms! To be honest, they are almost identical to the facilities in the Chelsea Lounge.
The customer services area is located on the right of the extensive buffet – there didn’t seem to be anyone manning these desks when I was there last week, but based on previous experience the team offering help tend to do everything they can to get you to where you need to go.
Overall, my thoughts on the Soho Lounge:
- It’s a really nice lounge with great views of the apron. For me that’s a minimum requirement of any good quality lounge.
- It’s big so it’s unlikely to struggle when passenger numbers are high.
- The food is of good quality and there’s a good range of drink options.
Bottom line: A nice lounge, worthy of supporting mid-status passengers. In some respects, it’s better than the Chelsea Lounge!
You can see the related reviews of JFK T8 lounges below:
- Review of the new JFK T8 BA/AA Lounges
- Review of the new BA/AA Chelsea Lounge at JFK T8.
- Review of the BA/AA Greenwich Lounge at JFK T8.
Follow the whole story here: New York JFK T8 Lounge Reviews in Dec 2022