My March 2023 flights to some Pittsburgh Penguins matches had a nice highlight from an aviation point as well. For the very first time, I flew via the refurbished New York JFK Airport Terminal 8, in which British Airways and American Airlines joined forces in late 2022. While some parts of this joined venture still struggle to work, a really nice part of it has been visiting the Soho Lounge, which is driven by the two airlines together. Here are my thoughts about the visit, which I had twice during my trip.
JFK Soho Lounge Terminal 8 – Location & Access
It is hard to miss the lounges driven by American Airlines and British Airways in the Terminal. Right after security, you to an elevator to the left to the Greenwich Lounge, which I reviewed as American Airlines Flagship Lounge before its rebranding. I guess that overall, that lounge is less crowded now. If you head to the right, elevators or stairs take you to the Soho Lounge as well as to the Chelsea Lounge (see below).
The Soho lounge is not the “real” First Class Lounge by BA and American Airlines. First Class passengers on these two carriers can use the even posher Chelsea Lounge, which is sharing the reception area with the Soho Lounge. Thus, the Soho lounge is mainly a lounge for British Airways Gold cardholders. American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro members can also use the lounge if they travel in American Airlines Flagship class. The lounge is also serving oneworld First Class passengers of other carriers like JAL and any oneworld Emerald status members flying from Terminal 8. The lounge operating hours are 4:30 to 0:30, daily.
JFK Soho Lounge Terminal 8 – Atmosphere
The first thing which almost inevitably catches you is the size of the lounge. It is really large, but still has a nice structure. Right at the entrance is a bar with some cosy seats and long table which are nice for working. You find a few of them at the other end of the lounge, which features a fireplace-alike atmosphere. The central part of the lounge is the key dining area. You just cannot miss the large buffet. on the wall. Opposite to it are restaurant / bistro tables. These tables also feature QR codes, which you can use to order food to your table.
Another lovely feature of the Soho Lounge are its large windows. You have a great view of the tarmac and some of the gates right in front of the lounge. Due to major connection times, I spent quite a lot of time in the lounge and definitely did not get tired of that view – which is especially cool at sunset. One area which is missing, though, is a relaxing area, where you can maybe lay down and have a short nap before the flight. Therefor, there are also two photo booths if you have an confidential call.
JFK Soho Lounge Terminal 8 – Eat & Drink
The lounge comes with a massive self-service buffet. I did not take snaps of the warm dishes, but American Airlines and British Airways offer some nice savory bites as well as hot and cold dishes. I had two longer stays at the Soho Lounge and enjoyed the food offered. Alcoholic drinks are served via the bar only. The only exception are beer (which is available in cans) and different kinds of wine, both are available in dispensers.
A nice feature is ordering food in the restaurant area. Service time has been fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, their system has a known bug and you should not mix bar items and food. Unfortunately, the onewold members don’t tell that to you. I tried several dishes, including the amazing vegetarian burger and a custom-made ice cream sandwich (you can choose the ice cream flavor as well as the cookies. Another really nice bite was the kale salad. Overall, the nutrition in the lounge was really good.
JFK Soho Lounge Terminal 8 – Services
The staff was quite attentive. Sometimes, I would have loved tham to clean the table quicker. Maybe I was eating too much, when the pile of tableware was growing :). When there have been issues with the food ordering process, the employees of the lounge were very helpful as well. The WiFi provided was excellent and absolutely sufficient, even in peak visiting times. JFK Soho Lounge at Terminal 8 also offers showers.
JFK Soho Lounge Terminal 8 – My View
This one is indeed a great upgrade for travelers, especially with British Airways Executive Club Gold status and those traveling in oneworld First Class. The lounge is a beauty, the service is working well. There are still some technical issues, which I wonder that they could not be solved yet (e.g. the ordering system). Nonetheless, this place is one of the finest ones I met so far flying British Airways or American Airlines. Definite Top Pick!, of course.
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