The plot thickens at JFK. After last year’s $13 billion dollar announcement to refresh New York’s primary international gateway, American Airlines and British Airways have announced plans of their own.
JFK Terminal 8 Welcomes British Airways
The biggest news from today’s announcement is that British Airways will be moving in with its Oneworld transatlantic joint business venture partner, American. The $344 million dollar investment from both airlines will include new premium lounges, baggage systems, check-in space, and upgraded concessions.
Additionally, a total of five new wide-body gates will be added to Terminal 8 as well as an additional four remote stands. New York Governor Cuomo expects 500 new jobs to be created from this project.
The full build-out of Terminal 8 has been a long time coming. As a frequent American traveler out of the New York City area, Terminal 8 has been eerily empty for most of the day outside of the peak evening departure time. Besides the excellent American Flagship Lounge, the terminal also has an “unfinished” look to it.
What Does This Mean For Customers?
Right now, not much. British Airways expects to continue to operate from Terminal 7 through at least 2020 and will transition into Terminal 8 by 2022. However, once fully at capacity, there will be a whopping 14 daily flights to London from the same terminal.
It will also be more convenient for passengers connecting from American Airlines to British Airways without the terminal transfer. Then again, in recent years, American has pulled back from JFK as its primary Northeast hub, opting for nearby Philadelphia, so there aren’t that many connections to begin with.
This news comes hot on the heels of Oneworld’s 20th anniversary last week. It was announced that the alliance would better align its partner airlines with joint lounges and an overall improved customer experience. This move between BA and AA looks to fall right in line with that announcement.
Keep in mind that both American and British Airways have invested into new lounges in their current spaces already. British Airways in particular has poured millions into its check-in facilities and concourse over at Terminal 7. However, with JFK’s refurbishment plans from late last year, it was clear that Terminal 7 and Terminal 8 simply couldn’t co-exist.
No word yet on the terminal situation at London Heathrow where AA and BA operate in separate terminals.