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Farewell to CCR in JFK T7 - reminiscences and remembrance

Farewell to CCR in JFK T7 - reminiscences and remembrance

Old Nov 16, 22, 4:14 pm
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Farewell to CCR in JFK T7 - reminiscences and remembrance

I start this thread so that those so minded can reflect and record their farewell to the Concorde Room in JFK Terminal 7, which will be shutting its doors soon. It is with some trepidation since there is another thread which covers some of this ground here, however the direct event involved there doesn't strike me as relating to the closure.

I've been using CCR for over 20 years so I am very sad to see it go. It was an oasis of calm, comfort and good service, which prepared the traveller to wind down for the often short return to London. The staff knew their passengers well, and made the experience all the better from their customer service skills. I was grateful that BA re-opened the CCR in 2021, after a year's closure forced by the pandemic, presumably knowing that T7 would not survive long.

One memory that I've never forgotten, and here I'm breaking my usual self imposed rule not to go into this area of CCR travel. Some members of the Royal Family used CCR JFK over the years, Prince Harry being someone I've seen in there more than once. On one of those occasions he was enjoying the company of a young lady who I didn't recognise at the time - they were in the area behind the pillar at the far right of the room. This was some time before there were headlines about Prince Harry's future wife, and it occurred to me that this potential blockbuster news would have been known to the CCR staff, and yet not a word appeared about it in the tabloid press, as far as I could tell.

My final visit was about a week ago, a good experience, unfortunately not one to be repeated. Goodbye CCR JFK, with fond best wishes to all the staff who have worked there over the decades.

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Nov 16, 22 at 5:05 pm
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Old Nov 16, 22, 4:23 pm
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Best and most courteous service on the network. Really as simple as that.
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Old Nov 16, 22, 4:24 pm
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Designed by Sir Terence Conran, the Concorde Room at JFK opened in 1999 and was refurbished three times since; new Conran-designed elements were introduced in the early 2000s, a major refurbishment took place in 2011, with a more recent refresh of selected elements being carried out in 2017. Despite changes over the years, including of course the untimely demise of Concorde herself, the Concorde Room at JFK retained a number of original elements right until the end, including the entrance wood panelling, marble-effect floor, glass and granite-clad bar and green marble washrooms. This lounge was special for its enduring connection to Concorde, for it was the only location in the BA network where you could still walk in the footsteps of those lucky passengers.

The Concorde Room’s long entrance corridor took up around half of the entire length of the lounge and was impressive in an understated, elegant way. Understated elegance was perhaps the best description for the Concorde Room at JFK; with the atmosphere of a private members’ club, it felt both homely and luxurious at the same time and was quite unlike any other airline lounge I’ve ever visited.

A cloakroom and washrooms were located off the entrance corridor, with a VIP room (formerly a smoking room) located at the far-left hand end. The washrooms featured the original green marble Conran design, and although dated at their end, they were befitting of the wider environment. The Concorde Room didn't feature showers; only the Club lounge (at the other end of the terminal) offered those.

The lounge was separated into two distinct halves; a collection of four ‘living room’ seating areas on the left, and the tended bar and waiter-service dining area to the right.

Each seating area was comprised of multiple different styles of armchair and sofa, with occasional tables interspersed between the pieces. To the untrained eye, the effect was slightly eclectic, but with a little more study it was apparent that the colours and styles of furniture and sumptuous fabrics were coordinated, in a way that seemed very elegantly British and far removed from the regimented modern interiors of, for example, the Qantas First lounges.

Additional seating and a small work zone were provided to the rear of the fire escape core. Opposite the fire exit was an additional entrance to Gate 1, which originally offered direct boarding from the lounge for Concorde passengers, who would've walked past a newspaper and magazine rack on their way to their Conran-designed seat.

Waiter service was not confined to the dining area, with the entire lounge offering made-to-order drinks. Service was mostly excellent, with multiple drinks refills and waiters circling regularly but unobtrusively a common occurrence. A small sweet station was usually available for those emergency moments when waiting a few minutes for service is impossible, with fruit and cheese available at the bar.

The dinner menu, whilst not extensive, usually featured a refined choice of exquisite and truly restaurant-quality dishes; a wine list was available via iPad.

I was only fortunate enough to visit the JFK Concorde Room once, but what a lounge it was.

Conran would've been proud of how long his design endured and how it continued to evoke the essence of Concorde for nearly two decades after her retirement.

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Old Nov 16, 22, 4:50 pm
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I cannot write as much as the other posters (nor post anywhere near as many pics), but I also only got to visit once after a friend was kind enough to guest me in.

All I will say is cheers to the JFK CCR and the delightful staff that work there.

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Old Nov 16, 22, 5:00 pm
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Thanks CWS for starting this thread, as I think it deserves its own.

I was quite emotional actually yesterday there. Couple employees also were very emotional.

Thanks Genius1, what great pics.

Good bye CCR.
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Old Nov 16, 22, 5:03 pm
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I was lucky enough to get into the CCR once, but I didn’t really enjoy it. Whilst I was gold, I was happier in GF.

But overall, I never really enjoyed the T7 experience. It was always a bit too crowded and claustrophobic. Hopefully T8 will be better, for when I get back to NYC…
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Old Nov 16, 22, 5:15 pm
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That’s made me a little sad. Mr LadyFlies and I travelled the Babybus westbound 4 times and on 3 of those we returned First. My first ever First I got the Prime Minister’s seat(1A). All 3 occasions in the JFK CCR were delightful, even considering the twin babies being sick on our first visit. That was surreal, as we left the lounge to board knowing the babies would be on our flight, another pair of very small baby twins were brought into CCR for a later flight. Lots of lost sleep across the pond that night.
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Old Nov 16, 22, 5:21 pm
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Last menu........
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Old Nov 16, 22, 6:05 pm
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Of all my flights, and a good number of them in F or from JFK, I only ever made it to the JFK CCR once - on a somewhat memorable and crazy (career defining) trip - it was an absolute pleasure and did feel a very special experience - sorry to see it go, and sympathies to those who will miss it more!
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Old Nov 16, 22, 7:53 pm
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Thanks for this thread. Never had the pleasure. But as a frequent customer of Conran's store in DC in the 1980s, I feel the connection.
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Old Nov 16, 22, 10:24 pm
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The first time I used this lounge, I was like “……if only US airlines could have lounges like this when I fly out of the country”. It was then so far ahead of what other airline lounges at US airports provided me, that being able to use this lounge “ruined the rest” for me from that moment.
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Old Nov 16, 22, 10:32 pm
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Thank you for this. I shall miss it.
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Old Nov 17, 22, 12:43 am
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I always found this lounge to be a favourite, especially the TV at the end where my family would camp out and watch some football (round ball) game and just relax at the end of another US trip visiting the in laws.

For me, the reason this lounge worked, was special and unique, was it was one of the few where everyone is on the same zone. We were all flying to LHR, so were mostly all in the couple drinks, relax have a meal and get on the plane mode. Whereas take the CCR(LHR) people are arriving from long haul, off on short haul, departing on long haul, time zones often messed up and people are not aligned on their sense of time and journey - no people transiting everyone on a shared journey. That coupled with excellent service, good food and a reasonable wine list, just made it the way it was. I always felt I ran out of time there.

Yes, T7 was and is a dump.

I will miss it...and was always a privilege to use it.

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Old Nov 17, 22, 2:13 am
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I took my mother to NYC for her eightieth birthday in 2018 on AMEX 2-4-1/Avios in First, B747 both ways of course. We bagged 2A and 2K outbound and 1K and 2K return (of course I swapped seats so she still boasts to this day she sat in the best seat on the BA747). Finishing the long weekend with a meal in the T7 CCR was fantastic, a real privilege.

Looking at the photos posted earlier by Genius1 I am confident in stating we will never see such elegance and luxury from British Airways again.
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Old Nov 17, 22, 3:05 am
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A very fitting thread to a great lounge.
I have had the pleasure of passing through it quite frequently over the last 2yrs and have gotten to know the staff and amazing CCR team at JFK and they are one of the reasons why I continue to give a large portion of my loyalty to BA. The lounge was always an oasis of calm when I passed through and I've encountered a reasonable amount of celebrities, but it was the general sense of the lounge that nobody acted above themselves from my observations. I look forward with interest to see the offerings at T8, but I doubt we'll see the likes of the T7 CCR lounge again on the network.

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