AA JFK First Class Lounge – not what it used to be

AA First Class Lounge JFK 1

American’s First Class lounge offering at JFK Terminal 8 used to be a haven of service and the home of good food offerings. I enjoyed that it was quiet, except during the peak evening departures period, and that the staff were friendly and helpful.

That is pretty much all gone with the refurbishment.

The new First Class lounge, soon to be available to American’s Business Class passengers, occupies the space that used to be used for the Admirals Club and is certainly larger. However, it is simply not going to cope with the number of passengers who will shortly be entitled to access it. There are lots of different seating areas – high chairs at high tables, working areas with large tables, comfy seats by the window. Take your pick.

I was there mid-afternoon after arriving from Heathrow and apart from a few kids running around, it was fairly quiet.

The food selection has been dumbed down – less range and less warm items I am afraid.

AA First Class Lounge JFK 2

It was enough for an afternoon snack, but would not qualify as pre-flight dining I am afraid. The presentation is more stylish than the photo’s indicate. There were two soups, some warm sausage rolls plus salad, cheeses, fruit and cold meats. The rolls were pretty good. It was all self-service as was the alcohol.

The wine selection has improved and there is champagne available as free pour.

The WiFi was terrible, often disconnecting or not connecting devices at all. I had to do a conference call whilst I was there and it was touch and go as to whether it would work.

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Whilst it is a perfectly serviceable lounge now, I still miss the old Flagship Lounge.


  1. Huh? This lounge is miles better than the one it replaced. More and better seating, improved food and beverages and quieter.

    I miss the Eames lounge chairs, but overall this is a vast improvement.

    It’s as if this reviewer went to the wrong place or has a case of nostalgia for something that never existed.

  2. Aren’t they supposed to introduce a la carte dining anyway (maybe only for true F?), which would negate the lesser food supply?
    I was never too impressed by their buffet anyway.

  3. I agree. The buffet is weaker. It does improve a bit in late afternoon – but too late for the 6:00pm departure to London. As it relates to space – you’ll notice the big temporary white walls on the right as you enter the long hallway where the old Flagship lounge was next to the windows. I ‘assume’ they will be opening up that space for additional seating (perhaps that will be F dining?). It’s still a bit of a work in progress – so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for the moment – but more does need to be done to provide a better quality buffet for sure. On the plus side the Champagne has improved markedly.

  4. I was there a couple of weeks ago between 4pm-6pm. I was shocked. It was crowded and loud. I really miss the old Flagship. Also, I agree on the poor wifi. Couldn’t work at all.
    A big downgrade.

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