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On the heels of opening their latest Centurion Lounge in Philadelphia, American Express has just announced a new addition to its lounge network – John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

The card issuer will be building an airside location on the 4th floor of JFK’s Terminal 4.  This will be the second Centurion lounge serving the New York City area, after the space at LaGuardia airport’s Terminal B.  As the United States’ most populated city, it should come as no surprise that New York has plenty of people flying through its airports – according to AmEx, JFK is one of the most traveled airports by Platinum Card Members.  Seems like a good call on their part!

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As much as we’re looking forward to stopping by the lounge when it opens, we have about a year to wait; American Express is targeting early 2019 to open the doors.  This will be American Express’s 10th Centurion lounge (9 in the states, and one at Hong Kong International).

Terminal 4 currently serves a number of carriers and is JFK’s main international arrivals area.  In addition to plenty of airlines I’ve never flown (and some I’ve never even heard of) you’ll find Copa Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and WestJet.  Delta’s operations at JFK arguably qualify as a hub, and T4 houses plenty of Delta’s international departures for all of you SkyMiles collectors.

What’s in it for me?

If you’ve got lounge access at JFK International, you better hope it’s in the same terminal as your flight.  Transfers aren’t an appealing option at JFK – none of the terminals are connected airside except for 2 and 4.  In order to get around, you’ll have to exit your terminal, hop on the bus or the AirTrain to your next stop, and go through security again.  (This is where PreCheck/Global Entry from your Platinum card comes in handy.)   You’ll also have to convince the TSA agent to let you through with a boarding pass for a different terminal (YMMV on that one)

Personally, I would have much rather seen the Centurion lounge in Terminal 5, so I could take advantage of the lounge while waiting for my short hop back to Boston on JetBlue.  Yes, I know American Express would much rather cater to their international travelers than the Boston commuters, but I can dream…

Rendering of the new Centurion Lounge, as seen from Terminal 4. Image courtesy of American Express.

The new Centurion Lounge is expected to encompass more than 15,000 square feet across two levels.  JFK will get the Centurion amenities we know and love – complimentary food and beverage, showers, and a good mix of work and lounge spaces.  American Express will be adding to an already impressive list of lounges in Terminal 4.  In addition to a few Priority Pass options, you’ll find lounges from Delta, Etihad, Swiss, El Al Airlines, and a few others.  The Delta lounge takes up a good chunk of space between gates B30 and B32, and is accessible to Platinum cardholders only while flying Delta.  Over at the Centurion, you’ll be able to get into the Centurion Lounge regardless of the airline on your boarding pass.  With your Platinum card, you’ll be able to stop by and bring along two of your travel companions.  Although the Delta Sky Club access is great, it only comes in handy for some fliers, some of the time.

With Companion Pass in hand, I flew out of Boston’s Terminal A regularly…but never on Delta.  As a result, I never got access to their Sky Club, despite the shiny new metal Platinum AmEx card I had in my wallet.  I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about.  And listen, ORD…we hear you.  You’ll definitely get your Centurion before I ever get mine at BOS!

Until then, I’ll have to take my showers at home, and stop by the Dunkin’ Donuts on the way to my next Southwest flight.  Don’t worry, I’ll save you a a seat

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