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British Airways and American Airlines Chelsea Lounge - JFK Terminal 8

Old Jan 5, 2024, 11:41 am
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British Airways and American Airlines Chelsea Lounge - JFK Terminal 8

Old Nov 28, 2023, 6:05 am
  #1606  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 84
Anyone have photos of the afternoon tea? Our flight next year is at 6:50pm out of JFK and due to distance and traffic probably will be there at 3pm. Thank you.
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Old Nov 28, 2023, 7:22 pm
  #1607  
Moderator: Qatar Airways
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: LHR/NCE/MIA
Programs: BAEC GfL & GGL, SQ Gold, Amex Centurion, Mucci des Chevaliers des Bons Mots et Qui Savent Moucher
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So as others have reported, most of the Chelsea staff will be moving to Soho on 1st December - including many of the regulars favourite staff-member R.

The new Lounge Manager hasn't detailed much to the staff, and they don't even know their shift hours yet. Intriguingly, the Soho staff are meant to be moving to Chelsea, but there are no training days booked - so I sense an impending cluster of disaster!

A couple of the staff who know me, have asked me to send an email to BA and to mention something to the SS team (many of whom moved across from T7).

I'm back next week so it'll be interesting to see whether there is any difference in service.

I'd say I've never had bad service in Chelsea, but they're certainly far slower to come across with menus etc (unless you're actually in the dining area). Does this impact me? No, not in the slightest, but perhaps the staff change will herald other upgrades too - who knows.

In other news, a new menu launches on 29th November (which is why the kitchen is out of stock of a lot of items tonight). I've just had a lovely chat with the Head Chef, and he's detailed a few changes.

Gone is the steak, to be replaced by a beef short-rib with fried onions. There will be a wild mushroom risotto, and a rigatoni with calabrian chilli.

The menu will move towards a Mediterranean feel for spring, while focusing on hearty food for the moment.

M
CTV, seanp7, ryanbriar and 1 others like this.

Last edited by msm2000uk; Nov 28, 2023 at 7:49 pm
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Old Nov 29, 2023, 12:56 pm
  #1608  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Programs: BA GGL & GfL, AA LTP, Marriott (sigh) Ambassador, Hilton Diamond, Accor Gold, Avis Preferred
Posts: 3,290
updated menu today--first day. overall i think it is am improvement and the crab cake was excellent texture/flavor and the short ribs is certainly a heavy rib-sticking meal. it just fell apart and wonderfully spiced. the "trifle" was more ice cream sundae but still delish. hope they keep it up!

service is excellent but probably due to it being wednesday lunchtime before the rush and madness begins, and extra treat with julie andrews having just been sat opposite from me.

oh and last night came in from LAX in biz and had to argue my way in, even as the BA agent sat there not knowing what GGL is.

today in biz to MXP on AA and same song and dance then asked why i didnt use my "ggl status" which, i dont know how i could more if my ggl number is already there. but glad to see THATS still a thing.




Last edited by VSLover; Nov 29, 2023 at 1:20 pm
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Old Nov 29, 2023, 1:00 pm
  #1609  
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I see anyone who doesnt eat gluten is going to have to get used to broccoli.
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 8:06 am
  #1610  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: AA 1MM CK, DL Plat, Hilton Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador (RIP SPG), BAEC Gold
Posts: 1,378
Looks like the burger was also removed. A bummer if that is the case. Hopefully they still have fries on offer to complement the crab cakes.

Curious how 12/1 plays out and if it will be a repeat of a year ago.
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 9:59 am
  #1611  
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete
I see anyone who doesn’t eat gluten is going to have to get used to broccoli.
There's also the beets and risotto marked as GF. (Not sure what Gluten Friendly means as opposed to Free though).
And not sure why the shrimp & grapefruit or salmon wouldn't be GF also (or couldn't be, if say there's flour in the sauce).

Bummer about the steak going away, they always seemed to do a nice job on that, but nice to have new options.
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Old Dec 2, 2023, 5:21 pm
  #1612  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Programs: AA Exec Plat, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Bonvoy Platinum
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I paid for Flagship Business (LAX-JFK), but accepted a paid upgrade offer in the app to move to transcontinental Flagship First.

I tried to get into the Chelsea lounge, but was told that upgrades didnt qualify. This hadnt seemed clear to me previously, I thought that only Operational Upgrades didnt qualify.

All good, went to Soho instead, but was the agent correct to turn me away?


Edited to add:
According to the AA site, it does say Get access if youre traveling in Flagship First International, Flagship First Transcontinental or Flagship Business Plus on a qualifying same-day flight marketed by a oneworld airline or JetBlue* and operated by American. So based on this, I am traveling in FF Transcon.

However, the below bullet points contradict this with the wording Flights ticketed as Flagship First or Flagship Business Plus between The word ticketed potentially give leeway, if a paid upgrade is not considered ticketed

Last edited by bryanb; Dec 2, 2023 at 5:53 pm Reason: Additional details
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Old Dec 2, 2023, 8:31 pm
  #1613  
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Paid upgrade, mileage upgrade, or award ticket doesnt matter. They should all get into Chelsea. Id be pissed and probably demand a partial refund.
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 9:40 pm
  #1614  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Assuming you scanned your F boarding pass or mobile QR code, there should have been no issue as all the back end systems should have been in sync. Furthermore, other upgrades (using miles or SWUs) qualify. The rules are targeted at non-revs.

The agents were in the wrong (they are very quick to deny anyone who isnt 100% confident that they belong) and you should write to AA.

On that last point, I had a situation over the summer where I used a SWU to upgrade into F on AA LHR-JFK. The boarding pass stock was Iberia as I originated in MAD (mobile BPs didnt work) so even though the scan said I was allowed in, the agent said it wasnt possible as I was on an Iberia flight. I politely pointed out that this was the logo on the BP and to look at my PNR and the seat (2A on a AA 77W is F). The agent continued to push back, but a senior colleague that I knew from prior visits walked over and showed her how to access the screen with the details. All of that to sit in a windowless room
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Old Dec 3, 2023, 11:43 pm
  #1615  
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Originally Posted by bryanb
I paid for Flagship Business (LAX-JFK), but accepted a paid upgrade offer in the app to move to transcontinental Flagship First.

I tried to get into the Chelsea lounge, but was told that upgrades didnt qualify. This hadnt seemed clear to me previously, I thought that only Operational Upgrades didnt qualify.

All good, went to Soho instead, but was the agent correct to turn me away?


Edited to add:
According to the AA site, it does say Get access if youre traveling in Flagship First International, Flagship First Transcontinental or Flagship Business Plus on a qualifying same-day flight marketed by a oneworld airline or JetBlue* and operated by American. So based on this, I am traveling in FF Transcon.

However, the below bullet points contradict this with the wording Flights ticketed as Flagship First or Flagship Business Plus between The word ticketed potentially give leeway, if a paid upgrade is not considered ticketed
Originally Posted by ryanbriar
Assuming you scanned your F boarding pass or mobile QR code, there should have been no issue as all the back end systems should have been in sync. Furthermore, other upgrades (using miles or SWUs) qualify. The rules are targeted at non-revs.

The agents were in the wrong (they are very quick to deny anyone who isnt 100% confident that they belong) and you should write to AA.

On that last point, I had a situation over the summer where I used a SWU to upgrade into F on AA LHR-JFK. The boarding pass stock was Iberia as I originated in MAD (mobile BPs didnt work) so even though the scan said I was allowed in, the agent said it wasnt possible as I was on an Iberia flight. I politely pointed out that this was the logo on the BP and to look at my PNR and the seat (2A on a AA 77W is F). The agent continued to push back, but a senior colleague that I knew from prior visits walked over and showed her how to access the screen with the details. All of that to sit in a windowless room
How did the agent know bryanb was a paid upgrade then...?
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Old Dec 4, 2023, 1:53 am
  #1616  
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
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Originally Posted by ryanbriar
...they are very quick to deny anyone who isn’t 100% confident that they belong ...
Indeed they are. Some appear positively to delight in refusing entry. It's like Studio 54 in the good old days. I was (wrongly) rebuffed in the early days, to the visible joy of the AA employee. The BA staff member - who did nothing to intervene - was so mortified that she came to find me in the SoHo to invite me back. I politely declined, saying that I had settled myself with some food and a view. I did suggest that BA really needed to assert some authority over the entry process, lest some of its best customers might become rather peeved.
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Old Dec 4, 2023, 4:30 am
  #1617  
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Originally Posted by Finland Station
best customers might become rather peeved.
Best customers should be known to lounge dragons, so shouldn't be impacted by this.
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Old Dec 4, 2023, 4:57 am
  #1618  
 
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Originally Posted by percysmith
Best customers should be known to lounge dragons, so shouldn't be impacted by this.
Yes I'm sure every employee of every outstation lounge across the OneWorld network knows all of BA's most frequent fliers by name.
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Old Dec 4, 2023, 5:55 am
  #1619  
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
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Originally Posted by percysmith
Best customers should be known to lounge dragons, so shouldn't be impacted by this.
In the old days of T7, the guardians of the CCR were (almost without exception) members of the Special Services team, nearly all of whom I knew by name. Much has changed since Covid and the move to T8, and although one or two of the original team remain, they are not generally to be found staffing the entrance to what is clearly being regarded as AA's Lounge.

Now, I grant you, I don't go through JFK on a weekly basis. It does feature regularly in my travels (probably 5 or 6 trips a year), although the fondness I once had for it has dimmed somewhat. I really do miss T7 CCR.
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Old Dec 4, 2023, 5:56 am
  #1620  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Originally Posted by percysmith
Best customers should be known to lounge dragons, so shouldn't be impacted by this.
I would suggest that a customer with 'Gold Guest List for Life' status is fairly close to 'Best'
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