American Airlines and British Airways today announced changes that will take place at New York’s JFK airport.
British Airways will move its operations to Terminal 8 and close its lounges at the airport. American Airlines and British Airways will have cobranded Premium check-in area and three lounges at Terminal 8 for premium customers and elite members of AAdvantage, Executive Club, and other Oneworld airlines.
Here’s the announcement from BA:
AMERICAN AIRLINES AND BRITISH AIRWAYS UNVEIL PLANS FOR ENHANCEMENTS TO THE WORLD-CLASS CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AT JFK’S TERMINAL 8
- Preview of plans follows 2019 announcement to redevelop and expand Terminal 8
- Newly released designs showcase an enhanced premium guest experience
- American Airlines and British Airways to launch joint operations under one roof beginning December 2022
New York, 25 January 2022 – American Airlines and British Airways announced more details regarding plans to co-locate operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s (JFK) Terminal 8 beginning Dec. 1, 2022. Enabled by a $400 million investment to redevelop, expand and enhance the terminal, the move will bring the Atlantic Joint Business partners closer together. Jointly, the terminal investments and co-location will offer a more seamless customer experience while supporting the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s ambitious plan to transform JFK into a leading global airport.
“American is eager to welcome British Airways to their new home at JFK,” said American’s Chief Customer Officer Alison Taylor. “Their move to Terminal 8 further deepens our longstanding partnership and makes it easier than ever for customers traveling between New York and London or onward across our global networks.”
American and British Airways were the first carriers to begin redevelopment efforts at JFK, breaking ground in Jan. 2020 on five new widebody gates, four new widebody hardstand parking positions, an enhanced baggage handling system, new customer amenities and expanded premium guest offerings — including approximately 130,000 square feet of new and renovated terminal space.
Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience said: “New York holds a special place in our heart as one of our most well-loved and important destinations. Our move to the redeveloped and expanded Terminal 8 will bring a range of benefits for our customers, including a better transfer experience, enabling them to travel to more than 30 destinations across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America with American Airlines.
British Airways will remain in Terminal 7 until Dec. 1, 2022, and we have continued to invest in the experience for our customers, including our check-in area, concessions and lounges.”
Further elevating the premium guest experience
When complete later this year, premium customers traveling on both airlines and other oneworld partners will have access to a reimagined journey through JFK depicted by newly released artist illustrations.
As customers arrive at Terminal 8, a co-branded premium check-in area providing personalized, concierge-style service for top-tier guests will replace American’s former Flagship First Check-In space. Thoughtfully designed architectural elements will also define an exclusive new check-in space for eligible business customers.
Once through security, three distinctive custom lounges combining the best of both brands will provide a refined, welcoming preflight experience for select guests based on cabin of travel and loyalty program status. The expanded premium lounge offerings will incorporate seating for approximately 1,000 of American and British Airways’ most loyal customers. Each lounge has been designed with original high-end finishes — evoking a unique sense of space while elevating the experience and service offered to every guest.
- The most exclusive lounge will have an all-new champagne bar, fireside lounge and a la carte dining room, which reimagines American’s Flagship First Dining into a fully immersive experience.
- Adjacent, another premium lounge — with sweeping airside views, a wine bar, cocktail lounge, library and buffet — will offer an elevated, lively experience.
- American’s Flagship Lounge and Concourse B Admirals Club will be repurposed into a contiguous lounge for eligible business class customers.
While disruptions to the customer journey remain limited, American’s Flagship First Check-in at JFK is expected to close beginning Feb. 1 for construction. Premium customers traveling on eligible itineraries will be directed to temporary check-in counters located nearby. All lounge spaces will remain open and operational through the duration of the redevelopment project. Following completion, the Concourse B Admirals Club will close. The Concourse C Admirals Club will continue to serve members, qualifying elite customers and those traveling on eligible itineraries.
Creating a seamless travel experience
As Atlantic Joint Business partners, American and British Airways offer the most flights and the most competitive schedule for customers traveling between New York and London compared to any other partnership — with up to 14 peak daily departures scheduled to operate between JFK and London Heathrow Airport (LHR) this summer.
When co-located, American and British Airways customers will be able to realize even more value from established reciprocal benefits while enjoying unprecedented flexibility and a truly seamless connecting experience when traveling across airlines. Until operations are fully transitioned to Terminal 8 in December, British Airways will continue to provide a world-class experience for their customers at JFK’s Terminal 7.
So there will be “Most Exclusive,” “Premium,” and “Business Class” lounges.
Most Exclusive is likely for international first-class passengers, Concierge Key (AA), Gold Guest List & Premium (BA) members. Premium is then where they will dump Emerald members flying in business or economy, and business class lounge for Oneworld Sapphires and those flying in the business cabin.
It certainly makes it easier to transfer at JFK and helps in case of irregular operations (easier to move to other flights when terminal change is not involved).