Travelling is tiring. Even when you are well-rested and haven’t had much physical exertion, you feel exhausted as soon as you step into an airport and have to navigate your way around the immense spaces – often with a tragic shortage of comfortable seating – to end up as close to your departure gate as possible. And once there, all the panicky rushing calms down as you realise that you now have to stay in place for anywhere from two to five hours – how terribly dull it can be. But it doesn’t have to be: airports now offer lounges where passengers can relax, eat, and even watch television or films while they wait. Of the twenty-plus lounges at JFK, most are members only, but some seven or eight of them sell day memberships for US$30 to US$50 a time. Let’s take a look at the three best of these.
Lufthansa’s Business Class Lounge
Free to use by those flying on Lufthansa or with Star Alliance, this lounge is immense, clean and packed with things to do to while away the time until your flight. For those not using those airlines or otherwise without membership, the cost is US$35 per adult and US$20 per child for a day membership. You can enjoy a meal from a range of options within the lounge, you can enjoy a nap or a shower – this is especially welcome if you are in transit following a much longer flight – or you can simply find a seat and while away the hours with a book or hand-held game. If you haven’t brought anything to read, there are plenty of newspapers and magazines, and there is also a small business centre, complete with Wi-Fi so send colleagues important files or you can confirm your travel plans (check out a JFK limo service here) to enjoy greater peace of mind during your flight.
Air France Lounge
With a day rate of US$50 (or 6,000 frequent flyer miles) this lounge is free for the use of Air France passengers, as well as those using KLM or Delta. Priority passes are also accepted. With typically Gallic interest in gastronomy, it will come as a pleasant shock to hear that there is an extensive buffet in the lounge, where you can help yourself to just those foods that you like. There is a premier lounge, tucked away inside the lounge – a lounge within a lounge, if you like – where first-class patrons can nap, shower, enjoy some spa treatments and tuck into delicious food and drink, including some of the best French wines. But this is not to say that the business class section of the lounge is in any way a disappointment! The seating area, in particular, looks out over the busy apron, so you can watch the planes take off and land while you wait for yours to arrive.
Perhaps the most welcoming of all the lounges at JFK, this sumptuous space is just waiting for you to come on in and relax into one of the many comfortable chairs. With free entry for children under six, other costs are US$54 for non-Priority members and US$35 for Priority Pass holders. You can use the Wi-Fi and
workstations to get ahead with your business – or simply check your emails, enjoy a drink at the bar – some patrons enjoy up to two free drinks – browse magazines and newspapers or enjoy a hot meal from the great range on offer. Once you’ve eaten, why not ask an attendant for a towel and go off and enjoy a shower so you are comfortable during your flight, and fresh when you arrive back home?