New York’s JFK is about to embark on a years-long transformation project with plans calling for new terminals to be knocked down (and new ones to be erected) as part of a massive $13 billion investment. However, one of the terminals that will purportedly stay fully in tact is Terminal 4, a bustling space home to a diverse array of 33 airlines.
At Terminal 4, passenger facilities upgrades are humming along. For instance, there is the highly-anticipated and soon-to-open American Express Centurion Lounge, one of five new Amex lounges expected to be unveiled this year in the U.S.
Then, there is the new SWISS lounge. Located right past Terminal 4 security checkpoints, the lounge has been closed for refurbishment for the better part of a year. However, the lounge is set to reopen in early March (exact date TBD). Here is a first look at the SWISS lounge at JFK, including unique spaces for both First Class and Business class passengers.
Who Can Access The New Swiss Lounges At JFK?
The newly updated Swiss Air Lines lounge at JFK is essentially one large space split between a First Class and HON Circle section, and a Business Class and Senator section.
The First Class lounge is open, obviously, to first class passengers on SWISS’s 2x daily flights to Zurich and the 1x daily flight to Geneva as well as any Star Alliance first class customers. HON Circle members also have access.
Over on the Business Class side, SWISS business class and Senator passengers have access in addition to Star Alliance Gold Members and business class passengers on other Lufthansa Group airlines.
Besides SWISS, the other Star Alliance carriers that operate out of Terminal 4 are Air India, Asiana, Avianca, Copa, EgyptAir, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways.
Notably absent are the other Lufthansa Group airlines that fly from JFK Terminal 1 where Lufthansa has a lounge.
Lufthansa Group Airlines at JFK
- Austrian Airlines – Terminal 1
- Brussels Airlines – Terminal 1
- Lufthansa – Terminal 1
- SWISS – Terminal 4
SWISS First Class Lounge JFK
While both first and business class have the same check-in area, those with access to the first class section turn left to a relatively intimate 1,033 square foot space that offers just 26 seats. With a new airy design and the use of light parquet flooring and modern furniture, the lounge gets top marks for a bright space that has prime views of planes in the distance.
Once you walk in, the majority of the first class lounge is within view. An a la carte, sit-down bistro is probably the most noticeable, along with partioned “living room” spaces. At the far end of the first class lounge is a silent relaxation room with a cozy-looking lounge chair. A wine cabinet, individual restrooms, and a shower round out the list of amenities.
It’s definitely a small lounge, and with up to 24 first class passengers per evening (3x daily flights to Switzerland) AND any additional HON Circle members, the lounge has the potential to get very crowded.
SWISS Business Class Lounge JFK
Over on the business class side, the bright and classically-Swiss design aesthetic carries over from the first class lounge (and in fact, from other existing SWISS lounges around the world). The entire business class lounge is more than triple the size of the first class section at 3,574 square feet with space for up to 142 guests.
Once you turn right into the lounge, you’ll be greeted by the buffet area. Unlike over on the first class side where a la carte bistro dining is the food situation, business class is entirely a buffet affair. Unfortunately, for this press event, there was nothing to sample from the actual menu.
A representative from Sodexo, the company managing lounge catering for SWISS at JFK, promised a wide selection of healthy and indulgent options that showcased a taste of Switzerland. (Once we get hands on a menu, we’ll be sure to update this post.)
Across from the buffet, there are several rows of high top tables.
As one goes further into the lounge past the buffet and the high tops, you’ll find the gender-separated restrooms and shower rooms to the right.
Oddly, there are only two restrooms labeled for women but three restrooms labeled for men, even though they are all private facilities. On the plus side, the restrooms looked great and the two shower rooms were spacious. I could see long lines forming for the toilet though.
Across from the restrooms and showers, and past the buffet, is more seating with tables. Similar tarmac and runway views from the first class lounge can be found here, too. In fact, because the business class side is so wide and runs along the windows, views are arguably even better here.
While this might look like any old telescope (I wish it was so I could get a closer look at some planes!), the two “telescopes” in the lounge are actually virtual reality sets that house Zurich and mountain landscape scenes.
There’s even more partitioned “living room” style seating at the rear of the lounge, including some high top stools against the window and rows of more traditional lounge chairs. The alcoves were a nice touch to create even more separation within the lounge.
Thankfully, outlets were thoughtfully placed everywhere and had a wide array of functionality for all types of plugs. Unfortunately, WiFi couldn’t be tested as it wasn’t operational just yet.
With a new layout and design, the new SWISS lounge at JFK is a noteworthy improvement over its predecessor. I loved the modern finishes, great planespotting possibilities, and the very Swiss “feel” of the entire lounge.
While crowding may become an issue once the lounge opens to eligible passengers come early March, the newly renovated lounge feels premium and right in line with SWISS’s lounge and onboard standards.
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