US airline Delta is well under way with its plans for a new terminal at New York's JFK airport, which means that Australians connecting to Virgin Australia's partner airline in the USA can expect some changes.
Delta's new terminal -- which is actually a bolt-on part of the existing international Terminal 4 -- will hold almost all of the airline's flights.
At JFK, Delta currently uses a confusing three-terminal system, with domestic flights checking in at terminal 3. For history buffs, that's the old Pan Am Worldport, which was built in 1960, and which will be demolished once Delta's new terminal space opens in 2013.
In the new terminal, travellers can look forward to covered curbside check-in areas, helpful during a New York summer thunderstorm.
Delta's Sky Priority fast-track passengers -- including their own top-tier Gold Medallion frequent flyers or SkyTeam partner Elite Plus card-holders -- will enjoy access to a "private check-in lounge, directly adjacent to security".
(Frustratingly, Virgin Australia's Velocity Rewards Gold frequent flyers continue to be turned away from Sky Priority fast-track facilities unless their boarding passes are marked "Sky Priority".)
There will also be a new SkyClub frequent flyer lounge, with a staffed bar, lounge area, free Wi-Fi and a separate work area.
And at the gate, Delta promises "an ample supply of plugs and USB outlets". That's a big innovation.
All in all, it looks like the best thing to happen to JFK since the airport knocked down the dismal old international terminal a decade ago -- the replacement for which is now the other half of Delta's Terminal 4 plans.