Few US cities need their airports renovated more desperately than New York does. Its three primary airports have terminal facilities that may have been world-class decades ago, but are congested messes today. Fortunately the powers that be got the memo and are using this decade to get JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia back into shape. The LaGuardia work is well underway, with large parts of a shiny new terminal B already open. And recently, a project at JFK hit a major milestone.
A consortium of airlines, funding partners, project management companies, and other partners are breaking ground this month on JFK’s New Terminal One (NTO). It will cover the footprint of the current terminal one (a smattering of mostly international airlines), Delta’s terminal two, and the footprint of the demolished terminal three. For an overview of the overall planned terminal changes at JFK this CrankyFlier story from our friend Brett does a great job.
The press release lists AirFrance/KLM, LOT, and Etihad as anchor airlines for the new terminal. We’d have thought JFK’s major redevelopment could allow alliance partners to colocate. But AF/KLM’s major US partner is Delta over in terminal four, Etihad has a smattering of codeshare partners all over the place, and LOT is in the Star Alliance. So NTO may work like the current terminal one, as a grab-bag of miscellaneous airlines.
As for the terminal design, it will have a large headhouse and two piers with a total of 23 gates. Presumably most gates will be designed for long-haul aircraft. From the renderings it looks fresh, spacious, and *really* into letting you know that you’re in NYC.
The project will break ground this summer, with the first phase planned to open in 2026 and completion slated for 2030. So yes, you’ll have a while to wait before you can walk through the New Terminal One yourself. And there will probably be plenty of construction-related hassles for passengers passing through terminals one and two between now and then. For now, here’s some cool renderings of the final product.
I’ve always loved the plane spotting at New York’s JFK International Airport. A lot of America’s other biggest airports are dominated by hub operations from individual airlines, like Delta @ Atlanta, American @ DFW, United at nearby Newark. But JFK feels more like the United Nations of airports, with a variety of airlines from tons of countries. Here’s a quick video of a loop between some of the terminals at JFK.
It’s been almost twenty years since TWA folded, but some of its employees still stay in touch. Every year, the Silver Wings organization of former TWA flight attendants hosts a get-together where they celebrate their shared history. The meetings usually rotate between U.S. cities, and this year there was only one logical choice: New York, thanks to the awesome new TWA Hotel that opened in May. If you’re one of the few AvGeeks out there who haven’t heard about it, the hotel is built around Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA terminal at JFK and features historical displays, a rooftop pool with tarmac views, and more.
We got to join in for the Silver Wings meetup, and it was as awesome as we were hoping it would be. The turnout was incredible, and attendees were having a blast touring their old stomping grounds and seeing the old TWA terminal brought back to life.
Read on for a recap of the weekend and an insider look at the TWA Hotel, which — spoiler alert — is everything an AvGeek would want it to be.
So far, United has opened four of its flagship Polaris lounges: Chicago (ORD), San Francisco (SFO), New York / Newark (EWR), and Houston (IAH). We visited the Chicago lounge last year before it opened, and more recently we dropped by the one at SFO. Both were seriously impressive, with amenities like restaurant-style high-quality dining, showers, and nap rooms, with a dash of local inspiration. In short, everything we’ve seen from the Polaris lounges goes above and beyond. And we’re out to review the whole set.
Our next stop was the Newark lounge, which opened earlier this summer. Newark is United’s primary east coast hub and handles huge amounts of traffic, so a Polaris lounge here was a long time coming. We swung by on a Sunday morning and put the place through its paces. And between a delicious eggs Benedict and some relaxation with views of the ramp, we had a great time. Read on for tons of photos and an in-depth review — plus our analysis of how the place fits into United’s broader lounge landscape.
Somehow understated, but an amazing and easy to find mark in any airport – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
I seem to live in airport lounges these days. I’ve noticed a theme, especially within the United States. The concept of luxury, decadence, and modernity have been eschewed by small packs of American cheese, rubbery cookies, and buy-your-own ill-textured food provided by Sysco. On top of that, the lounges are usually dirty. The showers feel more “grandmother’s basement” than luxury. In the case of one overseas lounge, it cannot pass a health inspection to save its life!
Etihad Airways has had great lounges in the past, but now again succeeds with the introduction of Facets of Abu Dhabi brand. Etihad knew they had to not just lead, but cement that lead, as best in all classes. To be fair though, the older-style Etihad lounges are starting to merely be the best, not years beyond the competition.
That said, according to Calum Laming, Etihad’s Vice President of Guest Experience, what they came up with is really not a mere lounge.
The bar is the central fixture of the new Etihad JFK lounge. It’s truly beautiful. – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
He is right.
Imagine if you could, with the help of an airport facility design firm called Gensler (they do shopping malls as well), create something inside an airport that felt nothing like it, save for the spectacular ramp view?
Well, they did it. I knew, previously, that Etihad takes its design cues from Fairmont hotels. Except when you step into the lobby of this lounge, it feels as if you have left JFK; teleported to Vancouver, and walked into the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel.