First look: fresh Oneworld first, business class lounges for New York

When Qantas returns to New York’s JFK airport, travellers will find three new lounges at the ready.

By David Flynn, November 30 2022
First look: fresh Oneworld first, business class lounges for New York

Terminal 8 at New York’s JFK airport is entrenching its position as a Oneworld hub with this week’s opening of new lounges which will welcome Qantas travellers when Sydney-Auckland-New York flights take off from June 2023.

The upmarket lounges are a joint development by American Airlines and British Airways as part of their trans-Atlantic joint business venture.

Other Oneworld airlines flying out of T8 include Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia and Qatar Airways.

So this trio of lounges has been designed to cater for a wide variety of passengers, whether they’re holding frequent flyer status or a first class boarding pass.

Terminal 8's two new premium check-in areas should speed time from kerb to lounge.
Terminal 8's two new premium check-in areas should speed time from kerb to lounge.

What’s described as an ‘elevated journey’ actually begins at the check-in stage, with a spacious dedicated business class check-in area plus an first class check-in suite providing “personalised, concierge-style service for top-tier guests” for first class passengers and those with Oneworld Emerald status.

Once through security, loungeworthy flyers will find three lounges have been given unique names of New York neighbourhoods which are also London landmarks.

The Chelsea Lounge is for first class passengers as well as high flyers holding membership of elite programs such as American Airlines Concierge Key, British Airways Gold Guest List and Qantas Chairman’s Lounge.

New York JFK T8's new Chelsea first class lounge
New York JFK T8's new Chelsea first class lounge

Highlights of the Chelsea Lounge include a champagne bar (reportedly serving Krug)...

New York JFK T8's new Chelsea first class lounge
New York JFK T8's new Chelsea first class lounge

... an à la carte dining room...

New York JFK T8's new Chelsea first class lounge
New York JFK T8's new Chelsea first class lounge

... plus a fireside lounge, luxury shower suites and nap beds in case a pre-flight snooze is called for.

The Soho Lounge is effectively a Oneworld Emerald lounge, which will include Qantas Platinum and Platinum One-grade frequent flyers.

New York JFK T8's new Soho lounge for Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers.
New York JFK T8's new Soho lounge for Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers.


Located next to the Chelsea Lounge, the Soho Lounge has an expansive dining area with a self-serve buffet and a tender wine bar...

New York JFK T8's new Soho lounge for Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers.
New York JFK T8's new Soho lounge for Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers.

... along with private shower suites, work-friendly cubicles and sweeping airside views through sloping floor-to-ceiling windows.

New York JFK T8's new Soho lounge for Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers.
New York JFK T8's new Soho lounge for Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers.

Finally, the Greenwich Lounge is the go-to for business class passengers and Oneworld Sapphire frequent flyers (such as Qantas Gold).

New York JFK T8's Greenwich business class lounge is a rebranding of the American Airlines Flagship Lounge.
New York JFK T8's Greenwich business class lounge is a rebranding of the American Airlines Flagship Lounge.

This is actually a rebranding of American Airlines’ Flagship Lounge, which explains why it lacks the lush look of the new-build Chelsea and Soho lounges and instead looks like, well, an American Airlines lounge.

Features of the Greenwich business class lounge include a terrace bar, ‘chef-inspired meals’ and a ’premium wine table’.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 886

From past experience other One World members (including British Airways, and American Airlines) either don't like giving Qantas Frequent Flyers their correct entitlements when entering/ trying to enter the lounges or don't know the correct entitlements which is a real turn-off.

bsb
bsb

21 Jul 2011

Total posts 95

Yes it’s very boring at JFK arguing with “guards” who don’t know their own airlines policy. 

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1027

I've never had a problem getting access to the correct lounge at JFK T8.

My status based access has almost always been 1 or 2 levels higher then my cabin flying based access, and they've always let me into the lounge based on my status.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1193

The creation of The Chelsea Room as a true First Class and super high value customer product above traditional Platinum (Oneworld Emerald) level is an interesting move and probably reflect BA's approach where they pitched their Concorde Rooms.  

Given the exclusivity of the Chelsea Room, will it be available to F travellers on reward tickets or will they be directed to the Soho Room?

03 Jun 2019

Total posts 28

That would be up to the operating airlines, whether they want to pay for lounge access for pax on award ticket.

29 Sep 2014

Total posts 14

The lounges look lovely but the word “elevated” is becoming as grating and tired as marketing speak as “bespoke” and “curated” were a few years ago.

20 Dec 2017

Total posts 17

Am still hoping QF won't launch its SYD-AKL-JFK service when it wakes up to the fact most of its customers will see through its flawed timings and won't book it. Briefly: the forward journey on QF3 takes longer than flying from SYD or MEL via Dallas to New York and longer again when adding immigration clearance. And the return journey on the QF4 is slower than QF's own alternative but worst still, will also see you woken at about 2am AEST to land into AKL at 3am AEST for your hopelessly timed 90-minute layover. The details: going up using flying the faster alternative route via Dallas sees you clear customers at DFW during transit and saving up to an hour in the evening peak in New York. Coming back - the only jetlag-proof schedule is JFK-DFW-SYD/MEL which also offers nearly an hour less flying. No-one heading to the major cities on the Australian east coast is going to want that kind of timing of an AKL stopover. Qantas: don't insult your customers' intelligence with this scheduling at the same time as claiming you know all about jetlag from your in-flight Sunrise research. And critically, when you are so short of long-haul planes until well into 2024, don't waste a 787-900 on this route.


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