American Airlines JFK International First Class Lounge – Progress Report

On March 17, 2017, I visited the American Airlines International First Class Lounge at New York’s JFK Terminal 8.  American is converting its Flagship Lounges at JFK, ORD, LAX  and LHR (London Heathrow) into International First Class Lounges.  The JFK lounge will complete its changes first.

The JFK International First Class Lounge is located inside the Concourse B Admirals Club on the Mezzanine level.

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Take the elevator or stairs to the left just past security at T8
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International First Class Lounge entrance

AA Executive Platinum and OneWorld Emerald passengers, regardless of class of service, have long had access to the AA Flagship lounges when flying long distance international routes.  On this trip my access was by virtue of flying in economy on Iberia Airlines to Barcelona, Spain via Madrid.

I have been in the JFK Flagship lounge several times.  I liked the way AA renovated the D15 Admirals Club in Miami, FL First Look – American Airlines Renovated D-15 Admirals Club, Miami International (MIA) and was anxious to see how things were coming along  with the First Class International Lounge conversion.

The new look is impressive.

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New seating and plenty of power outlets.

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The lounge has an open concept that allows easy movement from one area to another.20170317_144728_001

The wine and champagne bar reminds me somewhat of the champagne bars in Cathay Pacific’s The Wing first class lounge at Hong Kong.20170317_144746_001

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Food is currently available at a buffet along one wall.  This wall is temporary.  It will come down to reveal the new First Class Dining area which is still under construction.  The general manager of the lounge expects all renovations should be complete in early May.

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AA buffet – Soup, bread and cheese
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Salads
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Entrees and side dishes

The food is currently similar to that which is offered in the First Class Dining area at DFW.

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The buffet provided a full meal – poached salmon, corned beef and cabbage, carrots, broccoli, and salad

When the Flagship First Dining area opens, it will have a tables with tablecloths.  Is AA trying to compete with the Qantas First Class lounge at LAX?20160409_182201

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Qantas First Class dining area LAX

The selection of premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages is extensive.20170317_14544220170317_145449

After eating I took a look at some of the other features in the lounge.

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A large but sterile looking quiet room.  Maybe the decor is unfinished.
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A phone room
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Magazines, newspapers and flight schedule display

Showers and lavatories have been updated.

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Men’s bathroom

The shower rooms have showers that are as wide as the room —  a handheld shower head and flip down bench at one end and a rain shower head at the other end.20170317_14532920170317_145321

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C. O. Bigelow Body Wash, Conditioner and Shampoo.

Shower rooms are equipped with lighted shaving mirrors, hair dryers, emergency phone, power outlet, a luggage stand, and packaged bath mat and towels.20170317_14530920170317_145340

In the main seating area there are alcoves where one can work in some privacy without retreating to a business center.20170317_150445

Overall (Interim) Impression

There is a little bit of the “50 shades of gray” that the Big 3 US airlines are so enamored with, but the overall appearance is pleasant and refreshing.  I also like the new furniture and showers.   Final judgement must await the opening of the dining area and clarification of the confusing wording on American’s website regarding who is able to access this lounge and Flagship First Dining.  Even at this stage, it is clear that while this American First Class Lounge may not challenge Qantas they will be far superior to the current British Airways first class lounge at JFK.   Looking good so far.

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