Review of the New JFK T8 BA/AA Lounges

This is my review of the new BA/AA lounges at the new combined hub at New York's JFK at Terminal 8 (T8).

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A BA flight coming into Gate 14 at JFK T8
A BA flight coming into Gate 14 at JFK T8
A BA flight coming into Gate 14 at JFK T8
A BA flight coming into Gate 14 at JFK T8

Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Feb 2024: Day 1 – New York JFK to Los Angeles LAX

By Nige on Fri 16 Feb 2024 at 23:16
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Feb 2024
Tags: American Airlines | Hilton | JFK | LAX | Los Angeles | New York | Trips

When I finally got out of the baggage hall, I headed up the escalator to departures and popped into the First Class check-in area to see whether I needed to exchange my BA boarding pass for an AA boarding pass in order to get me into TSA Pre-Check.

Airside at JFK T8
Airside at JFK T8
Airside at JFK T8
Airside at JFK T8

Aparently, I would be fine and indeed there were no issues with the scanning of my boarding pass. The TSA Pre-Check queue was quite long and it took a good 10 mins to get through there.

Finally into the BA/AA lounge complex, I checked with the registration area as to whether I was allowed to go in the Chelsea Lounge or the Soho Lounge. Due to my status on the inbound flight, I could use the Chelsea lounge.

I grabbed a seat and asked for a glass of cold still water, which went down nicely. I asked whether there was any LPGS available, and the answer was a firm no.

A very busy Soho Lounge at JFK T8
A very busy Soho Lounge at JFK T8
A very busy Soho Lounge at JFK T8
A very busy Soho Lounge at JFK T8

I popped into the Soho lounge to see how busy it was. It was super busy!

My final flight of the day to Los Angeles was due to leave from Gate 35, which is a good walk away from the lounges.

Flight: AA0117 Equip: A321T
Sched Depart: 20:00 Actual: 19:55
Sched Arrival: 23:42 Actual: 23:21
Takeoff: 20:23 Landing: 23:13

Before heading down to the gate, I was tempted by some fries and ketchup. You can’t order anything like that in the Chelsea Lounge, so I had to pop back into the Soho Lounge one more time.

Fries enjoyed in the Soho lounge at JFK T8
Fries enjoyed in the Soho lounge at JFK T8
Fries enjoyed in the Soho lounge at JFK T8
Fries enjoyed in the Soho lounge at JFK T8

I arrived at Gate 35 with about 45 mins to go. There was only one passenger waiting vaguely close to the priority boarding queue, so I stood next to her, although there KI ensured there was a good gap between us.

Over the next few mins, a few more passengers did the same – I’m not sure any of us were trying to construct a queue; we were just hanging around near the gate.

Over a very short space of time, we had created this meandering queue extending through the terminal. The further away from the gate, I think passengers felt convinced they were joining the back of a queue.

An empty business cabin on board the AA flight to Los Angeles
An empty business cabin on board the AA flight to Los Angeles
An empty business cabin on board the AA flight to Los Angeles
An empty business cabin on board the AA flight to Los Angeles

I have probably not explained it very well, but it was quite bizarre.

When boarding commenced, no one could hear the gate staff due to louder announcements being made at an adjoining gate – they had no idea.

If it was me, I’d be wondering why no one was approaching to board when they called for Concierge Key and then Group 1.

The first passenger to move was me when we finally heard Group 2 being announced!

Into seat 06F, settled in, read the menu, and enjoyed a glass of champers. Music on and earbuds in.

My view of New York city from the runway using the S23's night mode
My view of New York city from the runway using the S23’s night mode
My view of New York city from the runway using the S23's night mode
My view of New York city from the runway using the S23’s night mode

There was some messing about in the seat next to me. Initially there was a guy in the seat, but clearly, he didn’t fancy spending 6 hours next to me.

He exchanged with a fairly tall young woman, so I probably got the better deal in that seat swap!

Although we didn’t really converse that much. Her long legs just got in my way when I wanted to get out of my seat!

We pushed back 5 mins early, but there was a long queue for the runway, so that took another 25 mins or so.

The relatively spacious front row of business class on the AA Transcon
The relatively spacious front row of business class on the AA Transcon
The relatively spacious front row of business class on the AA Transcon
The relatively spacious front row of business class on the AA Transcon

Fairly quickly after take off, the initial drinks and nuts service started.

I decided that water was the prudent thing to go for but I happily accepted the warm bowl of nuts.

But I only picked at the nuts – the collection of warm nuts are just not that nice – simple as. I love BA’s bag of nuts – just right for me.

I had pre-ordered the beef, but I can’t say I was bothered about eating a great deal.

The salad course served on board the AA flight to Los Angeles
The salad course served on board the AA flight to Los Angeles
The salad course served on board the AA flight to Los Angeles
The salad course served on board the AA flight to Los Angeles

Starters were served not long after the drinks and nuts.

I partially ate the salad starter, which was quite nice, but I quickly concluded I needed to get some sleep.

That was my excuse to offload my food tray, pop to the loo and get my head down for some shuteye.

I must have slept for a good 3 hours or so. I really needed it.

A view of Los Angeles on final approach
A view of Los Angeles on final approach
A view of Los Angeles on final approach
A view of Los Angeles on final approach

I woke at the right time, just as the warm cookies were being handed out. More calories that my body simply didn’t need at this time of the day!

I spent the rest of the flight listening to music and playing games.

We arrived into Gate 45. There was very little delay in opening the door and I was soon off heading to the curbside exit.

No hassle in getting through the baggage reclaim hall on this occasion!

I normally head right from T4 and fight with the traffic to cross a number of roads to start my walk down Century Boulevard.

The view from my room at the Hilton LAX
The view from my room at the Hilton LAX
The view from my room at the Hilton LAX
The view from my room at the Hilton LAX

Today, I decided to avoid all of that hassle and I headed left and walked around the outside of the airport U, to avoid the need for crossing the streets.

It was probably no shorter or longer than my normal route, but it saved a bit of hassle.

Thirty mins after walking out of T4, I was walking into room 1728 using my Hilton digital key. Looking forward to some more sleep.


Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Feb 2024


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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

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