Alaska Lounge in Terminal 7 at JFK
Today Alaska Airlines opened their brand new Alaska Lounge in Terminal 7 at JFK International Airport in New York. This is the first Alaska Lounge outside the West Coast. Currently Alaska Lounges are located in Seattle (C Gates, D Gates, N Gates), Portland, LAX, and Anchorage.
Previous to JFK, the newest Alaska Lounge was the Seattle C Concourse lounge, which I got a sneak peak of prior to opening. It definitely offered a fresh take on the otherwise dated lounges.
JFK’s Alaska Lounge is located above the TSA Checkpoint in what, I believe, is the space once occupied by a United Club.
Once you pass through security you take two short elevators up to the lounge level.
The British Airways Galleries Lounge is straight ahead and the Alaska Lounge is to the left.
There is only one small check in desk; I didn’t notice any self check in kiosks like they have in Seattle so I can imagine there might sometimes be a bit of a line.
The standard access qualifications apply:
- Flying on a First Class ticket on Alaska (if you are upgraded, you will not have access)
- Alaska Lounge members
- Day pass customers (either purchased for $45 or using an MVP Gold 75K certificate)
- Priority Pass members (if lounge capacity has not been reached)
- Members of partner airline lounge programs (Admirals Club for example)
I spoke with Alex Judson, the new Manger of Lounge Development, who was on site today for the opening. He mentioned that they believe that some of their customers will be passengers on British Airways that do not have access to the British lounge. British does not allow the purchase of entrance to their lounge, where Alaska does. Proximity of the lounges leads Alaska to believe that customers may come to them after being turned away from British.
After checking in, you walk down a long hall with glass windows on one side and reclaimed styled wood on the other.
Built into the wood are little planter boxes with moss (similar to that in the Seattle Lounge) and various small plants.
The Lounge is a large open space with a ton of natural light.
Alaska has identified three “sections” to the lounge (with generous amounts of buzzy names): Take a Breath, Help Yourself, and Cut Loose.
The first are you encounter is “Take a Breath”, an area to relax in comfortable furniture. There are private cubes along one wall that offer privacy (and plenty of outlets) and look quite similar to what you find in Centurion Lounges. This is the area I would want to relax in.
Next to this is the “Help Yourself” section that offers a self service snack buffet.
Many guests will be happy to know that the pancake machine makes an appearance along the back wall.
Debuting in the JFK Lounge is a to-order paid menu for guests to dine in or take with them on their flight. Catering of this food is provided by the same company that caters the flights.
In addition to some round tables and chairs, there are also leather Chesterfield-style chairs.
There is also a fireplace (pictured below the shelves, however it was not yet up and running).
Adjacent to the food station is the coffee stand. Unlike other Alaska Lounges that only offer self service coffee machines, the JFK Lounge has a Starbucks-trained barista. The coffee station will be open at all times, though the staff will exclusively be at the station only until 11am. At that point, coffee will still be made but you will need to ask a staff member at the (alcohol) bar or elsewhere in the lounge. In addition to three types of beans, there are also loose leaf teas available.
All coffee products are complimentary. All lounge staff are Alaska employees, including the barista. This means they have all been trained under Alaska policies in order to offer standard Alaska service.
There is a nice little high top table next to the coffee stand. I like the chevron tile in this area that also brings in the reclaimed wood and plants.
The third area is the “Cut Loose” area that includes the bar. Alcohol service follows JFK rules (M-Sat, service begins at 7am, on Sunday not until noon).
Complimentary drinks include wine, well drinks and beer on tap.
Premium beers, wine and cocktails are available to purchase (including various brands representing the West Coast).
There is also a Freestyle Coke machine for your creative soda requirements.
There are stools along a bar against the window for views of the tarmac. Notice the TWA terminal/hotel in the background.
Bathrooms are located down a hall. There are no showers available. I was told this decision was partially due to space constraints and partially due to cost to staff and service the showers.
The Alaska Lounge at JFK Terminal 7 is a great option to spend time before your flight, especially when you consider what a pit the rest of Terminal 7 is at the moment. It is nice to have a new Alaska Lounge and one at an airport that is more and more becoming a hub. With 16 Alaska flights arriving and departing daily at JFK, the Alaska Lounge shouldn’t become too overcrowded though it will be interesting to see how many non-Alaska travelers use the Lounge.
Full disclosure: Alaska Airlines invited me as their guest to the opening of the Lounge at JFK. I receive no payment for this post.