The British Airways New York Move Begins Next Month, Readying New Premium Lounges

British Airways is moving into the American Airlines terminal at New York JFK next month. That’s actually ahead of the most recent schedule because at the start of the year it was expected to happen in December. BA moves from New York JFK’s terminal 7 to terminal 8 on the following schedule:

  • Move begins with first BA departure from terminal 8 on November 18
  • Move completes with last BA departure from terminal 7 on November 30

For this 12 day period it will be important to check which terminal a given flight departs from. Come the start of December British Airways will be fully moved to terminal 8.

It’s not yet clear when customer experience in terminal 8 will be fully aligned and updated. There’s a new shared premium check-in area and revamped larger joint premium lounges with a dedicated premium path directly to the lounges.

Flagship First check-in is being enlarged, renovated, and rebranded, since it will be used for both BA and American. Lounges are being redone as well, with a total capacity for 1000 passengers.

The most premium lounge – replacing First Dining – will include a champagne bar, a sit down dining room and a fireside lounge.

The premium lounge beside it will have a wine bar, cocktail lounge, library and a buffet along with terrific airside views.

Meanwhile the current Flagship Lounge (that now also encompasses what was once the Concourse B Admirals Club) will become the new business class lounge, with the two spaces more fully connected. (The only Admirals Club will remain on the C concourse.)

The American Airlines Flagship lounge and first dining are only five years old. BA only just renovated its lounges before the pandemic at a cost of $65 million. Even though what’s happening now has been in the works for years. The two carriers had discussed co-location at JFK in 2010, when airlines were moving at the airport as a result of of the terminal 3 and terminal 4 refurbishments. American’s bankruptcy and the British Airways lease on terminal 7 got in the way of progress at the time. The project puts almost all of oneworld under the terminal 8 roof.

New York JFK terminal 8 was designed for 57 gates, but only 36 were built. This project involves creating new widebody gates and hardstands, and eliminating some narrowbody gates and regional gates. On net there is actually a reduction in gates resulting from expanding the number of gates that support widebody aircraft, even while adding hard stands (bus gates).

Ultimately, though, American and BA need to more seamlessly allow customers to move from American to British Airways and vice versa, so that their Heathrow flights are truly the same to the customer. Between the two carriers there are currently 10 peak daily New York JFK – London Heathrow flights.

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