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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 Sep 13, 2023, 4:23 pm
  #1471  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Originally Posted by camdentown
Tipping is not British custom, only American, so at the lounge for BA customers, I think, it
should respect this?

This is, in theory, a joint lounge operated by both BA and AA for their respective customers. Many of those using it are flying domestically with AA in the US only, Many others are flying transatlantic on either airline.

i would expect in such circumstances that the staff are paid on the basis that they will not receive tips. Cash is becoming rarer and rarer and there are obviously no card facilities to top with.
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 4:47 pm
  #1472  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Originally Posted by HFHFFlyer
I understand the value of tipping, thanks. I just dont think I should need to be known as a good tipper in order to enjoy a glass of Krug when Ive paid US$12000 for a first class flight. But hey ho. Each to their own.
Tipping is not British custom, only American, so at the lounge for BA customers, I think, it
should respect this?
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 4:52 pm
  #1473  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Las Vegas
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Originally Posted by jjLDNY
Well. The secret is obviously out.

As mentioned above, they do and always have had some additional options. However, they are as mentioned available at request and are not proactively mentioned unless for regular visitors / VIPs. If you visit often, are a VIP or tip well youll likely have been offered already.

This secrecy to be clear is from management. Often they will need to call and request these bottles; it is not from the team on the floor so do not hold any grudges against them.

My view on this, having consumed a bottle or two* is that these slightly more premium than lpgs bottles wont stick around if they become common knowledge. So, personally I would advise any visitors here in our fT clan to go ahead and ask, however help the staff keep it somewhat on the down-low by not announcing at volume X or Y champagne so that they dont have to have any awkward moments as other pax (who may not have been informed kick up a fuss) as they will often tell people the special is lpgs. Again, not their fault - blame management.

If the above irritates you, definitely send in your feedback, but lets save the floor team from any awkward embarrassment where possible.
If this is really management policy then someone needs to be hauled over the coals. It beggars belief that there's a selective offering based on whether your face fits or not. Why am I supposedly not worthy of a glass of Krug simply because I am making a "once in a lifetime" trip in First whereas others are seen as being entitled to preferential treatment? Is my First ticket somehow worth less simply because I've paid for it in a sale, or using Avios, or upgraded using a GUF? It's discrimination, pure and simple. If the lounge was to determine what you were allowed to be served based on gender or the colour of one's skin then all hell would break loose, and rightly so. If you're allowed access to the lounge then you shouldn't suffer an inferior product offering simply because you're not a regular.
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 5:37 pm
  #1474  
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
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Originally Posted by jjLDNY
Cold poached shrimp and avocado roll. What can I say. Presentation aside, this was rather odd. Mashed avocado on the outside, cold small shrimp and some soft of Crme frache on the inside. Wouldn't order again. Definitely inferior to the prawn cocktail in my opinion.
This is a public service broadcast gratefully received. What an absolute travesty of a dish, from the menu I assumed this was something served in a brioche bun a la lobster roll style. I had previously thought of ordering it with a side of fries
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 5:45 pm
  #1475  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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They're apparently doing prawn cocktail (and Tequila Sunrises) as part of the 50th anniversary of Qantas, at least in the LAX lounge, should this particular item want to be tried.

A lot of lounge users probably dont know what the "guest" champagnes are. Unless you're sitting at the bar really watching what others are getting, the average person won't know if there's anything beyond Moet on offer especially if told otherwise.

If I'm sitting in the dining area and ask for champagne, there's a 99% chance of it being from a bottle of Moet from the ice bucket near where the servers stand.

Last edited by xenole; Sep 13, 2023 at 5:55 pm
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 8:24 pm
  #1476  
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Originally Posted by Vasco Pridat
I remember you could use the flagship as arrival lounge.. I will fly lhr to jfk in sep 23rd and arrive around 6pm in club. Can I use the Chelsea lounge as GGL with a guest if I book a flight to Tampa on delta later that day? No aa available
Originally Posted by Always Somewhere Else
No. You must be on AA or BA metal (Sorry hit reply too soon!) *for your connecting flight I think. The FL wasnt an arrival lounge but you could use it off a domestic inbound flight.
Originally Posted by c1223
Also arriving internationally would mean you have to clear immigration at JFK and then clear TSA in terminal 8 to visit the lounge. This would then be followed by reclearing TSA at terminal 4. Hardly seems worth it.
Originally Posted by Vasco Pridat
A good Steak and some champagne is definitely worse clearing security twice..
Arriving 5. 20 pm.. There is no later aa flight to TPA Mia or MCO that day. Omg
​​​
​​
Arriving from a qualifying international oneworld flight ( in this case BA international ) always qualified for lounge access despite if the passenger is not connecting. It's just that the traveller is responsible to clear security and AA doesn't guarantee that arriving from an international flight would allow someone to clear security. On some airports like Miami Terminal D ( or Houston, Detroit if we look at non-BA/AA hub airports ) , it's possible to clear transit security after immigration without any onward boarding pass before leaving the customs hall.

The OP could simply clear security at Terminal 8 ( the only problem would be the ushers checking boarding passes before lining up trying to send the OP to Terminal 4, which someone could easily ignore ), enjoy the Chelsea Lounge with his arriving boarding pass and his GGL status, then leave Terminal 8, take the AirTrain to Terminal 4, clear security and fly Delta to Tampa.

************

Also, I have visited the Chelsea Lounge during breakfast hours this week and provide my experience in the coming days here with photos.
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Old Sep 14, 2023, 6:31 am
  #1477  
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
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I will visit Chelsea for the first time this evening, arriving from LHR on BA115 at5:30 and really looking forward to it after following this thread since last December. I will try to order Krug/Dom/LPGS at the bar and will keep you guys updated. Anyone been in there today already who knows whats on offer from (the silly) secret shelf?

Last edited by SwedeT; Sep 14, 2023 at 7:31 am
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Old Sep 14, 2023, 5:39 pm
  #1478  
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
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Originally Posted by SwedeT
I will visit Chelsea for the first time this evening, arriving from LHR on BA115 at5:30 and really looking forward to it after following this thread since last December. I will try to order Krug/Dom/LPGS at the bar and will keep you guys updated. Anyone been in there today already who knows whats on offer from (the silly) secret shelf?
So, as mentioned Im a newbie in Chelsea and Ive been looking forward to this visit for some time.

I arrived on First on the BA115 from LHR and transiting to business on the AA953 to EZE. At the counter I just presented my BA First boarding card and was let in without a comment.

Since I knew from this forum I would have to ask for it I sat down at the bar and asked whether there possibly would be some Krug available. The bartender looked in the fridge and instead offered me LPGS, LP rose or Dom but also said she would have a look in the back for Krug. As Id already had several glasses of the LPGS onboard my flight I opted for the Dom (it was the fluorescent Disco Dom bottle) and it was lovely. A bit later I reminded another bartender about the Krug and sure enough, they managed to fetch a bottle of that too out back!

As he brought the Krug a few other guests around the bar asked for it as well.

and yes, I couldnt resist asking for three glasses, to do a tasting of the Krug / Dom / LPGS. For me the LPGS is a favourite, but all to their own and the Krug is definitely a premium bubbly too.


I ordered the NY Strip steak and it was very tasty. Overheard someone ask for the crab cake but theyd run out. Did spot the prawn avocado wrap and Im glad I opted out of that one!

as for the lounge, I find it cosy and despite being quite a lot of people here its not at all loud. People are speaking with soft voices and so is the staff. Of course windows over the runway would be lovely, but Ive been to other premium lounges that are just as enclosed as this one, (Most of the fancy lounges in Doha for example) and it doesnt bother me. Will pop in to Soho to see if the difference is huge.

To sum up: Krug, Dom, LPGS and LP rose available tonight!
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Old Sep 14, 2023, 5:47 pm
  #1479  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Glad you enjoyed it and they had everything you could want.

My silent protest of switching my next two trips from JFK to LHR to EWR/LHR is looking rather silly now.
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Old Sep 14, 2023, 5:49 pm
  #1480  
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
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Originally Posted by carat22
Glad you enjoyed it and they had everything you could want.

My silent protest of switching my next two trips from JFK to LHR to EWR/LHR is looking rather silly now.
What is the premium lounge at EWR like? Is it a Concorde one? Or AA FF dining?
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Old Sep 14, 2023, 5:50 pm
  #1481  
 
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i think we know who is determining those eligible for krug or not.

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Old Sep 14, 2023, 6:08 pm
  #1482  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by SwedeT
What is the premium lounge at EWR like? Is it a Concorde one? Or AA FF dining?
Galleries style with a separate dinning area and booths.

definitely not FFD or Concorde but I dont mind as its just becoming annoying at JFK with all of the inconsistency.
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Old Sep 14, 2023, 6:14 pm
  #1483  
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Originally Posted by ISTFlyer
Also, I have visited the Chelsea Lounge during breakfast hours this week and provide my experience in the coming days here with photos.
So here are some datapoints from my visit this week.

- I had no issues entering after showing my AA Flagship Business boarding pass + Physical GGL card but before showing the GGL card, the lounge agent was trying to send me to Greenwich based on Business. It's common that AA boarding passes would show or encode GGL.
- Arrived at the lounge at 5am and proactively the staff asked if I would like something to eat or drink as I arrived at the lounge.
- I just rested at the back for about an hour where I was the only person for the entire duration of my rest; the echo is so bad over there as it's possible to hear phone calls and footsteps at the recliner chairs. An earphone would solve the issue though.
- Once I went to the main area, I was proactively offered the menu and tried the granola and aai bowl + the carpaccio pictured below. The rest of the menu could be seen below as well which hasn't changed since the lounge opened.
- Once the bar did open, quietly asked for a glass of Krug, which was promptly served including refills. I realized that no one else did ask for champagne at the time of my visit so can't comment if it was hidden throughout the visit since the bartender removed the bottle and put it back into the refrigerator rather than displaying next to the Moet champagnes at the back. The bartender was not the usual lady who was is present at the mornings but another gentleman which I recognized previously from the FFD, cannot comment if this impacted on me getting Krug or not but it looks like everyone here is getting the premium champagnes upon request.
- The staff was attentive as usual but the lounge got extremely crowded at 6:30-7am where passengers from the BA morning departures and a couple of AA premium transcontinental A321T flight passengers arrived. ( The previous day, there was a weather incident so I assume that many passengers were booked on the date I was flying ) but I have never seen Chelsea with 30-40 people during morning hours.

Once it became crowded, I went to Soho and enjoyed my Krug over there and the buffet over there was also decent but realized that the yoghurt bar now has fewer options and fewer toppings compared to the past. Other than that it was a pleasant experience over there as Soho only had 10 people around 8am that day after the BA flight to London has boarded.

So in overall, the service was pleasant but was slow during the times when it became crowded; albeit the food did arrive at reasonable timings. However, I do miss the steak & eggs which was present at the Flagship First Dining before as well as the freshly squeezed blueberry and mango juices over there as they were unique and was present especially during the alcoholic beverage curfew in NY state. However, there is freshly squeezed orange juice at Chelsea which is much better than the Nothing Wasted Orange Juice in Heathrow lounges. Otherwise, the breakfast menu is decent for a First Class Lounge but not as Qatar Airways Al Safwa quality, however, pretty good for US standards and better than the LHR T5 Concorde Room breakfast menu IMO. Other than the echo in the lounge when it went crowded ( I could hear the orders of the passengers sitting 20-25 meters away ) the ambiance is perfectly fine.

I would also present my opinions once I visit the lounge later this month when visiting afternoon during regular menu hours.




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Old Sep 14, 2023, 6:21 pm
  #1484  
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
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Originally Posted by carat22
Galleries style with a separate dinning area and booths.

definitely not FFD or Concorde but I dont mind as its just becoming annoying at JFK with all of the inconsistency.
since you are a way more frequent flyer than I am (I can only treat myself to First ever so often and though I strive to defend my BA Gold I will never reach GGL and Im another 20 or so years away from GFL) I understand your fatigue with the inconsistencies I read about on here. Especially if you just want to know exactly what youre getting and not having to keep your fingers crossed for anything.

But for me as a newbie but at the same well informed thanks to all of you guys on here and also not shy to ask for what I want I have truly enjoyed Chelsea this evening. Nalini in the bar is doing a great job juggling quite a few of us around here.

I did pop in to Soho just now and I understand what you guys say about having views of the tarmac. But at the same time, the atmosphere in there is much more like a Galleries lounge. Big, loud, rows and rows of seats and a huge buffet with lots of choices, but if I would have the opportunity I would definitely opt for Chelsea as the feeling is much more premium and exclusive in here. Posting this for all the other infrequent visitors to know, as I do very much respect all the regulars flying way more often than I do!
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Old Sep 14, 2023, 6:32 pm
  #1485  
 
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Originally Posted by SQjunkie

Sorry should have focused more on the bottle but you can see it in the background at 1 oclock
SHOCKING (in a good way, for once)
good I have another 4 transcons in F this month!
they will hear me!
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