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American Airlines, British Airways Move to JFK Terminal 8

The oneworld alliance partners have moved into the newly renovated terminal which features two brand-new luxury lounges

by Lauren Smith

December 1, 2022

Photo: Courtesy of Iberia

American Airlines and British Airways have relocated to a shared space in Terminal 8 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), making them the first airlines to move into the freshly renovated and expanded building.

Starting today, passengers from both carriers will arrive and depart from the new terminal, which has been in the works since early 2019. The shared space, priced at $400 million, will streamline connections for passengers flying with the oneworld alliance partners.

“We were neighbors before. Now we’re kind of roommates!” American Airlines CEO Robert Isom joked to BA CEO Sean Doyle at the terminal opening.

The new roommates’ space features a new co-branded premium check-in area, with personalized, concierge-style service and fixtures designed by leading architecture and design firm Gensler.

Chelsea Lounge, Terminal 8. Photo: Courtesy of American Airlines

Premium passengers and loyalty members from both carriers can now enter two brand-new, dedicated lounges named after New York and London neighborhoods: Chelsea and Soho. In addition, the Greenwich lounge, formerly known as the American Airlines Flagship lounge, has been revamped and is also open for business.

For BA and AA First Class passengers, the Chelsea Lounge features a fireside lounge, luxury showers, a la carte dining, and a circular champagne bar serving 17 different champagnes, including the luxury Krug.

The Soho Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows for BA Gold and oneworld Emerald customers, offering stunning airside views. Lastly, the Greenwich lounge offers business class passengers, BA silver, and oneworld Sapphire members a premium wine bar and chef-inspired meals.

On the operational side, the revamped terminal has five new gates for wide-body planes, four new parking spaces for these twin-aisle aircraft, and an expanded and upgraded baggage handling system to support additional transatlantic flights.

The new terminal will also consolidate operations for all oneworld airlines at JFK. Previously, the partner airlines were divided between three terminals at JFK: Japan Airlines and Royal Air Maroc in Terminal 1, British Airways and Iberia in Terminal 7, and American Airlines in Terminal 8.

Soho Lounge, Terminal 8. Photo: Courtesy of American Airlines

“We are thrilled to welcome our long-standing joint business partner, British Airways, as it joins American and other oneworld partners at Terminal 8,” said Robert Isom. “As part of our investment to transform JFK into a leading global airport, we are excited to offer customers expanded terminal space, new check-in areas, and elegant lounges.”

Within a few years, all five carriers are expected to operate under one roof in Terminal 8. Iberia will move in alongside AA and BA today, while Japan Airlines will transfer its operations there in May 2023, facilitating connections for customers transiting to and from international flights and reducing operational inefficiencies.

The newly renovated terminal has 130,000 square feet of additional and refurbished space to accommodate around 10 million passengers annually. 

“We announced our joint investment early in 2019, so it is an honor to reach this significant milestone with our business partner, American Airlines,” added Sean Doyle. “From December 1, our customers and colleagues will be able to enjoy all the benefits that Terminal 8 has to offer.”

The airlines noted that their $400 million co-investment in the terminal included $150 million worth of contracts awarded to 115 minority and women-owned businesses. The airlines also worked with other local companies from Queens, New York.

With this move, American Airlines and British Airways have inaugurated the new Terminal 8—the first phase of the ambitious JFK Vision plan for the airport. The master plan, developed by previous New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s Airport Advisory Panel, intends to transform JFK into a leading hub for aviation in the 21st century and a gateway to the United States.