Review – British Airways Galleries Lounge – JFK

After a fairly quick flight from Miami, I arrived at Terminal 8 at JFK. Since my next flight was on Cathay Pacific later that afternoon, I had to transition over to Terminal 7. After a quick tram ride I arrived at Terminal 7, cleared security and made my way up to the British Airways Galleries lounge, which Cathay Pacific utilizes for their flights out of JFK.

Introduction: Taipei Mileage Running Extravaganza
Review – American Airlines 767-300 Business Class – MIA-JFK
Review – British Airways Galleries Lounge – JFK
Review – Cathay Pacific 777-300ER Business Class – JFK-HKG
Review – Dragon Air G16 Lounge – HKG
Review – Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge – HKG
Review – Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge – HKG
Review – Cathay Pacific 777-200 Business Class – HKG-TPE
Review – Sheraton Grande Taipei Hotel
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Review – The Premium Plaza Lounge – TPE
Review – The VIP Airlines Lounge (JAL Contract Lounge) – TPE
Review – JAL 767-300 Economy Class – TPE-NRT/NRT-TPE
Review – JAL Sakura Lounge (Near Gate 61) – NRT

Review – JAL Sakura Lounge (Near Gate 92) – NRT
Review – JAL 777-300ER Economy Class – NRT-LAX
Review – The Club At DFW Lounge (JAL Contract Lounge) – DFW
Review – JAL 787-8 Economy Class – DFW-NRT

As I mentioned in my review of my flight up from Miami, I booked a business class ticket to Taipei using my American Airlines AAdvantage miles. To get to Taipei, I had to connect through New York and Hong Kong. As I was on a business class ticket, that gave me access to the British Airways Galleries lounge at JFK. Since I am a OneWorld Sapphire as well, that too would have earned me access to this lounge had I been on an economy ticket.

Cathay Pacific does not operate their own lounge at JFK and instead just shares the British Airways Galleries lounge. I have previously reviewed the British Airways Galleries lounge in Singapore and was not overly impressed with it. As such, I was a bit disappointed that this would be the only lounge in Terminal 7 for me to visit during my ~4 hour layover. Thankfully, I came away pleasantly surprised by the lounge and with a newfound appreciation for British Airways Galleries lounges.

Once you clear security in Terminal 7, you are directed up a set of escalators to the main terminal area. Terminal 7 is pretty small for an international terminal at a major airport like JFK, though there are a few shops and restaurants scattered throughout. I would not recommend spending any more time than necessary in this particular terminal if you can avoid it.

Once up the first set of escalators I turned left to take another escalator up to the British Airways Galleries lounge.

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The only other lounge in Terminal 7, the Seven Lounge, is right next to the British Airways Galleries lounge and serviced most of the non-OneWorld alliance airlines it seemed. The entrance to the British Airways Galleries lounge was pretty nondescript.

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Upon entering the lounge I was greeted by an association who took my boarding pass and my lounge invitation. There is a dedicated first class area to the left which is only available to those traveling on British Airways first class tickets. As I was only on a business class ticket, I turned right and entered the lounge. Upon entering the lounge there was a business center to the right with plenty of computers and a few printers.

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Past the business center there was a large array of seating in one of the several seating areas and the Elemis Spa, which was unfortunately not open when I was there. I was told that they did, however, offer shower facilities at this lounge, which is a very nice option to have if you are transiting through JFK. As I did not take a shower at the lounge, I did not take any pictures of the shower rooms.

To the left of the first small seating area was the dining area. There were a few small colorful tables and chairs in the area across from the food selection.

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I happened to be in the lounge for both the breakfast and lunch services – though neither were very good. The food selection for breakfast consisted of some cereals, instant noodles, yogurt, fruit (though it was picked over completely and never replenished while I was there), breads and pastries.

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There was also some hot oatmeal with various fruits and sugars to mix in.

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They also had a standard coffee machine that made various coffee drinks and hot chocolate. Next to that were a few jars of cookies – chocolate chip, nilla wafers and oreos.

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The lunch spread consisted of a few finger sandwiches and some Tillamook cheeses with crackers. The chicken, pesto and mozzarella sandwiches were excellent though and I probably had a half dozen of them during my 4 hours in the lounge.

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In the middle of the dining area was a large table with a varied selection of fresh fruit.

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Venturing further into the lounge past the dining area were several other large seating areas. I apologize for the quality of the pictures as the light from the outside caused some issues.

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To the left of the seating areas was a cool little pub with craft bottle and tap beers and a few snacks.

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The beers on tap were both from Blue Point Brewing Company – the Toasted Lager – their flagship beer which is quite good – and Spring Fling which is an amber ale that is one of my favorites from Blue Point!

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In the middle of the various seating areas was a little water fountain. To be honest, this is the first time I can ever recall seeing a fountain or water feature inside of a lounge before.

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I grabbed a seat in the back corner by the outside terrace as that area was mostly empty. The seats were in pretty good shape and were comfortable.

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The outside terrace was not open yet, though I love that they had the idea to offer this outside space and I would love to check it out in the summer months when it is open.

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The back section of the lounge features the awesome curved bar area (which was the real reason I grabbed a seat in this area).

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British Airways has style, I will give them that!

The bar featured a great selection of serve yourself liquor, beer, wine and champagne. There was also a selection of mixers – er, I mean, soft drinks, water, etc.

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The bar also featured a small selection of snacks like nuts, M&M’s and pretzels.

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Anyone who knows me knows that I am an absolute sucker for pretzel M&M’s, so I had more than my fair share of the two!

The restrooms were located right by the dining area and were surprisingly small for how large the lounge was.

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The bathroom was surprisingly pretty messy with paper towels and water everywhere. I actually had to clear off several balled up paper towels to get this picture.

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As British Airways has partnered with Elemis, it was no surprise that the soap and lotion in the bathroom were Elemis brand. You can see how dirty the tile grout in this lounge was in the picture.

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Surprisingly, the lounge never really filled up during my time there. There were always plenty of seats available and the staff seemed to replenish the lunch foods very regularly.

There was also a small dining area in the back corner by the pub, though it was never open during my stay. From other reviews that I have read, I actually think this was part of the first class lounge area which offers hot meals on demand. It is strange to me that the two would be connected, though I am sure British Airways was just working with the space they had. I hope to review the first class lounge side in the near future though so stay tuned for the comparison!

The lounge has its own dedicated WiFi which was decently quick, though I would imagine with the size of the lounge that it could be close to unusable during peak times.

I spent a few hours getting some work done and answering some e-mails and then decided to head out to the gate about 45 minutes before my flight to Hong Kong. Since Terminal 7 is so small, it was a short 1 minute walk to any of the gates from the lounge.

Final Thoughts

After my first experience with the British Airways Galleries lounge in Singapore, I was not expecting much from this lounge. Although the food variety left a bit to be desired, overall I was pretty happy with the lounge. It is a lounge I would go out of my way to spend a bit of time in, though I would imagine that it gets pretty busy during peak times for British Airways flights to London.

What is your favorite lounge at JFK?

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