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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 Dec 13, 2022, 9:22 am
  #271  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: LDN / NY
Programs: BA GGL, Marriott Amb, Hyatt Glob
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Originally Posted by Work2Travel333
Just had this response from the GGL team regarding Chelsea access:

"I'm sorry to report that the access has changed and what you were advised is correct.
Gold Guest List members can only access the Chelsea Lounge when travelling either on a BA flight or any AA long haul service. Access to both Soho and Greenwich Lounges are both options when not travelling on the above.
I have fed this back to all the GGL team so were all aware of this change to access requirements. BA.com will be updated to reflect this in due course. I appreciate this isn't the outcome expected but rest assured this will be under review as we settle into life in the new shared space with AA."

So this seems to be aligned with CK access now.
This is sad to hear. I thought this would be a comparable service for the very limited (by comparison) number of US GGLs who would pass through BAs new Concorde Lounge equivalent.

How many domestic AA GGL pax are there really?!
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Old Dec 13, 2022, 9:43 am
  #272  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Originally Posted by jjLDNY
This is sad to hear. I thought this would be a comparable service for the very limited (by comparison) number of US GGLs who would pass through BAs new Concorde Lounge equivalent.

How many domestic AA GGL pax are there really?!
I'm now uncertain how this impacts connecting flights. e.g. If flying LHR-JFK-MIA, as the JFK-MIA leg would be AA Domestic, does this not qualify for access? Or do they just mean that stand-alone domestic (non-flagship) itineraries that don't have an associated same-day "long-haul" connection?
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Old Dec 13, 2022, 10:01 am
  #273  
 
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Originally Posted by Work2Travel333
I'm now uncertain how this impacts connecting flights. e.g. If flying LHR-JFK-MIA, as the JFK-MIA leg would be AA Domestic, does this not qualify for access? Or do they just mean that stand-alone domestic (non-flagship) itineraries that don't have an associated same-day "long-haul" connection?
By the sound of what's been happening since opening, I suspect they (AA BA) don't know themselves!

It is disappointing they can't get their access rules fixed.

I still suspect GGL will get access as long as flying AA or BA, any cabin, any route , connection or otherwise, despite the GGL agent referenced in post above saying different.

I too have been told by the GGL team about access. The reply I got was you do as GGL get access.

I'm pretty confident that GGLs do get access, but nothing now would surprise me now really.
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Old Dec 13, 2022, 12:32 pm
  #274  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
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I'll be in the Chelsea Lounge on Thursday (connecting off a BA flight onto a AA transcon to LAX), and again on Sunday (connecting off a AA transcon from LAX onto a BA flight. I've got my physical GGL card, and I've printed out the lounge access 'benefits' on the GGL page. I will report back.

Originally Posted by BA038_Passenger
I'll be in the Chelsea Lounge on Thursday (connecting off a BA flight onto a AA transcon to LAX), and again on Sunday (connecting off a AA transcon from LAX onto a BA flight. I've got my physical GGL card, and I've printed out the lounge access 'benefits' on the GGL page. I will report back.
edit: maybe, I will be in the Chelsea lounge!
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Last edited by Prospero; Dec 20, 2022 at 1:05 pm Reason: combine consecutive posts
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Old Dec 13, 2022, 1:03 pm
  #275  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
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Originally Posted by BA038_Passenger
I'll be in the Chelsea Lounge on Thursday (connecting off a BA flight onto a AA transcon to LAX), and again on Sunday (connecting off a AA transcon from LAX onto a BA flight. I've got my physical GGL card, and I've printed out the lounge access 'benefits' on the GGL page. I will report back.
Pretty sure you'll fine assuming it's all on one ticket. And even if not they'll probably let you in as they hash out the access issues as you're in transit.

It's just the domestic only tickets that will be affected by this. Let's see if we get any further updates on how things are developing..!
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Old Dec 13, 2022, 4:08 pm
  #276  
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I am currently in the Soho lounge but the staff at reception were kind enough to let me have a quick look around Chelsea too.

I have a lot to say.

Stay tuned for a Genius1 trip report of both lounges coming soon.
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Old Dec 13, 2022, 4:12 pm
  #277  
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Originally Posted by EchoVictor
Yesterday, they were out of Krug and the previous 14 champagnes were shortened to 5 or 6 on the official list. All LVMH and boring except for the Krug and Ruinart BdB. I did spot an empty magnum of Krug at the bar, so in theory yesterday there was some that day at some point earlier.

Food was all meh. The tomato soup tasted like eating a can of pasta sauce. The Caesar salad was overdressed. The sandwiches in the tea set were a tad stale.

Service was chaotic. When I asked for the wifi password for my laptop I was brought a QR code and the server didnít want to give me the wifi password. Everyone said it was their first day.

PS. At the Greenwich lounge where I did a driveby, there were dozens of bottles of Piper and it looked like the normal old Flagship lounge but less crowded. Thumbs up. The Soho lounge was beautiful and much better space with light and zen feel, but they only had Roederer Estate american sparkling, a lesser wine than the Piper in the Greenwich. Bartender said she wasnít sure when they would have Champagne again or what the selection would be. No menu. Chaos.
Roederer Estate is delicious, and one of the better made sparkling wine from the US. To put it below Piper? Just depends on what type of bubbly you are into.

Originally Posted by Ned1968
I just don't understand why this is so difficult for AA/BA to remedy

They both ran decent quality first class lounges at JFK prior to this, with AA doing it within a few hundred meters of the new lounge. Flagship Dining and CCR both offered a decent menu, a reasonable bar, and reasonable service levels

Someone was in charge of creating the Chelsea Room. Someone is responsible for its operation. In both cases this will be someone who does this for a living and must have experience i.e. a professional

And yet two weeks after opening this sh*tshow is offering burgers and fish and chips and whatever random champagne they have lying around. And they don't even know who is eligible to enter the lounge (clue: you have one job to do.....)

Is no-one accountable? Why bother with a bespoke chandelier if you don't care about the catering or staffing levels? Why can't someone order a decent supply of food and drink so that it doesn't run out every day? If you order 100 burgers then order 100 rolls.

Did they forget everything they knew about operating an airport lounge and installed people who have never done it before so they can learn on the job, using a first class lounge at a key hub as their classroom?

Rule number one - don't make it worse than what you're replacing. Epic fail

Seriously - how is this possible?
It sounds like the Sodexho staff seriously dropped the ball, or lack of a proper kitchen or beverage manager to keep all the food and drinks in stock. Clearly they underestimated demand (which assuming that both BA and AA provided historical data), and did not have sufficient supply or people to run the operations properly. I mean, they know exactly how many eligible fliers for the day, average percentage of fliers who will use the lounge, add a few percentage for guests and looky-loo factor of a new lounge, and there's your estimated demand to drive the purchasing decisions.

At the same time, once the bad purchasing decision was made, if they are working with one of the big food suppliers (e.g., Sysco or US Food), they can't do just-in-time deliveries, not to mention specific requirements for deliveries to the airport. Champagne purchases have to go through the distributor, which may have limited supply due to December in NYC. All this dominos into the crap show that is week 1 and 2.

Hopefully they are (almost) back on track getting into week 3 and beyond.
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Old Dec 13, 2022, 4:15 pm
  #278  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Originally Posted by Genius1
I am currently in the Soho lounge but the staff at reception were kind enough to let me have a quick look around Chelsea too.

I have a lot to say.

Stay tuned for a Genius1 trip report of both lounges coming soon.
Were you taking photos about an hour ago? We are in Chelsea at the moment. Also, Andrew Neil just walked in (asking for a wine list...)

To add, my wife thought the buffet/food offering in Soho was better. Plus there is cheese when I had a quick look around.
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Last edited by csdavidson; Dec 13, 2022 at 4:16 pm Reason: addition
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Old Dec 13, 2022, 4:30 pm
  #279  
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Originally Posted by csdavidson
Were you taking photos about an hour ago? We are in Chelsea at the moment.
Most probably!
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Old Dec 13, 2022, 4:40 pm
  #280  
 
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I was in Soho on Sunday night. Itís an impressive space with nice furnishings. Iím not entirely convinced of the layout, basically having a dining room all along the middle feels weird. But the rest is nice.

However the food and beverage offerings need A LOT of work. I didnít touch the hot offering, it just looked totally dried out. The cheese, ďcharcuterieĒ (just plain ham and one type of salami) and salad bar was very uninspiring. The fridges for soft drinks were almost entirely empty with limited selections. The free service Coravin machine wasnít stocked. If you wanted a drink you needed to visit the tended bar, which had pleasant servers (but who, apart from one exception, seemed to know very little about the drinks on offer).

TSA Pre was lightning fast and the gate areas for BA are only a short walk from the lounge lifts.

I do miss T7. T8 feels very American, and not in a good way.
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Old Dec 13, 2022, 5:07 pm
  #281  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Originally Posted by BA038_Passenger
edit: maybe, I will be in the Chelsea lounge!
I am looking forward to your report. I am in the same boat later this month (only outbound though, inbound via BOS). Some say that I would not get the access, the other it's OK.
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Old Dec 13, 2022, 7:51 pm
  #282  
 
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Just arrived on BA 113 in JFK and apart from a pleasant chat with Paul McCartney and great service on board in the new F hard product, the rest pretty average, no suitcase and cannot tell me where it is, will file a PIR in GRU (connecting flight), Chelsea lounge is average at best, had a Prawn Cocktail, oh my goodness, simply bland at best, no premium Champagne just regular MoŽt , asked for fish n chips, and run out.., as mentioned by others, far too bright , Jared and Nalini are very nice staff though, they are from the old T7 Concorde room
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Last edited by RGMD11; Dec 14, 2022 at 8:57 am
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Old Dec 14, 2022, 5:26 am
  #283  
 
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Originally Posted by BlooJoo
I think they just need to live with the fact that itís an interior space, fix the catering and turn down the lights.
But you would say that ó youíre the person who wants to sit in the dark with the window shades closed throughout your transatlantic flights. Some of us like natural light:

Originally Posted by BlooJoo
Dark cabin all the way. We are not children gaping out the window on our first airplane trip, and children have no place in a premium cabin anyway.
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
IMO, one's desire to look out the window isn't paramount to everyone else's comfort.
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Old Dec 14, 2022, 6:46 am
  #284  
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Originally Posted by RGMD11
Just arrived on BA 113 in JFK and apart from a pleasant chat with Paul McCartney and great service on board in the new F hard product, the rest pretty average, no suitcase and cannot tell me where it is, will file a PIR in GRU (connecting flight), Chelsea lounge is average at best, had a Prawn Cocktail, oh my goodness, simply bland at best, no premium Champagne just regular MoŽt , asked for fish n chips, and run out.., as mentioned by others, far too bright , Jared and Nalini are very staff though, they are from the old T7 Concorde room
This is actually a newly reported low: they've run out of fish and chips and zero premium champagnes.
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Old Dec 14, 2022, 7:05 am
  #285  
 
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Meanwhile in a parallel universe this is how Google is reporting the London CCR menu (menu tab, scroll down)

BA CCR menu according to Google

Was it ever that good???

* for those not familiar with the current London CCR menu is it nowhere near this level of quality. No idea where Google gets this fantasy land stuff from. For real menu information check out the Flyertalk CCR menu thread

Last edited by Ned1968; Dec 14, 2022 at 7:16 am
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