The essential guide to Priority Pass™ lounges at JFK

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In a Nutshell

John F. Kennedy International Airport has four lounges you can access with a Priority Pass™ membership, plus a restaurant where you can sit back and relax before your flight.

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If you’re a frequent flyer in the New York City area, having access to Priority Pass™ JFK lounges may elevate your travel experience.

The Priority Pass™ lounge network offers a VIP experience to its members, offering perks such as complimentary refreshments and drinks, showers and comfortable sitting spaces.

At JFK, in addition to offering access to four lounges (across terminals 1, 4 and 7), Priority Pass™ also allows you to use your lounge visit to eat at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, which is located in Terminal 8.

“Long lines at airport security and cramped economy seating can ramp up the anxiety levels,” says Lee Huffman, a travel blogger at BaldThoughts.com and Priority Pass™ member. “Airport lounges offer a respite from this with their benefits and relaxed atmosphere.”


Things you should know about the Priority Pass JFK lounges

If your flight departs from terminals 1, 4 or 7 (or somewhere nearby), you may be able to visit one of the four Priority Pass™ lounges at JFK.

And if you’re in or around Terminal 8, you may be able to visit Bobby Van’s Steakhouse as well.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that your Priority Pass™ membership doesn’t guarantee you’ll get in.

“With travelers signing up for premium credit cards like never before, lounges have started to get crowded,” says Huffman. “In some cases, some lounges have even been turning people away because they are too full.”

Here’s a summary of each lounge area and any conditions you may need to meet to gain entry.

Air France Lounge

Located near the Air France boarding area in Terminal 1, this lounge is open daily from 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. But you may not get in if the lounge is full.

As the Priority Pass™ cardholder, you must be at least 21 years old and have a valid boarding pass to enter, but you can bring younger guests. And you can stay for up to three hours.

Features include …

  • Refreshments
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Wi-Fi
  • TV
  • Showers
  • Fax
  • Newspapers and magazines

KAL Business Class Lounge

You’ll find the Korean Air business class lounge near Gate 3 in Terminal 1, and you can get in between 2 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. daily. You must have a boarding pass showing a departure from Terminal 1, and you’re limited to two ticketed guests. If the lounge is full, you may be denied access.

Amenities include …

  • Refreshments
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Internet
  • Wi-Fi
  • Showers
  • TV
  • Telephone and fax (interstate and international calls and faxes are subject to a fee)
  • Conference rooms
  • Newspapers and magazines

Wingtips Lounge

This lounge, located in Terminal 4 about 325 feet past security, is open 24 hours a day. You may have a difficult time getting in between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m., however, because of space constraints.

You can stay up to four hours and cardholders can bring up to six guests. The lounge has a dress code that requires shoes and shirts and bans baseball caps.

Here’s what to expect when you get in.

  • Refreshments
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Wi-Fi
  • TV
  • Fax (subject to a fee)
  • Newspapers and magazines

Alaska Lounge

The Alaska Lounge, located on the Mezzanine Level in Terminal 7 (above security), is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Don’t try to get in on Christmas Day though — it’ll be closed for the holiday.

Feel free to drop in and hang out for the three hours before your scheduled flight. Just remember that to get in, you and your guests have to bring a boarding pass along that confirms same-day travel. If you’re a cardholder, you can bring up to two guests with you, or if you have a family, you can bring your spouse and any kids under 21. Keep in mind that if you plan on drinking, each adult in your group will be limited to three drinks.

This lounge’s benefits include …

  • Refreshments
  • Alcoholic beverages (premium drinks subject to a fee)
  • Wi-Fi
  • TV
  • Newspapers and magazines

Bobby Van’s Steakhouse

Located opposite Gate 14 in Terminal 8, Bobby Van’s Steakhouse is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Depending on when you go, however, you may find it difficult to get in.

You can bring one guest with you, but both of you need to show a boarding pass confirming same-day travel. Once you get in, you and your guest will each get up to $28 off your bill. Though if your bill is less than $28 — or $56, if you have a guest — you can’t use the remaining balance to pay a tip.

How to get Priority Pass lounge access

Priority Pass™ has three membership plans from which you can choose. The plan you choose determines how much you pay when you visit lounges in the network.

  • Standard: $99 annual fee; $27 per visit for you and each guest
  • Standard plus: $249 annual fee; 10 free visits for you (then $27 per visit), plus $27 per visit for each guest
  • Prestige: $399 annual fee; free visits for you, $27 per visit for each guest

If you want to skip the membership fees, you can also get access to Priority Pass™ lounges at JFK and other airports with some travel credit cards. (If you have one of these cards, remember you’ll usually need to call your credit card issuer to activate your membership and get a Priority Pass™ membership card.)

A few credit cards that include complimentary Priority Pass Select membership

Best For Credit Card
Overall rewards Chase Sapphire Reserve®
More lounge networks Platinum Card® from American Express
Long hotel stays Citi Prestige® Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

From our partner

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

From cardholders in the last year

See Details, Rates & Fees

Premium credit cards offer premium perks, but not every card will offer you premium rewards as well. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® — which includes Priority Pass™ Select membership after a one-time enrollment — offers 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You’ll also earn three points per dollar spent on dining worldwide, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere.

While those may sound impressive on their own, the kicker is that your points are worth 50% more when you use them to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You can also transfer your points at a 1:1 value to Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners. And there are other great perks.

  • $300 annual travel credit (as reimbursement for travel purchases each account anniversary year)
  • Up to a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Special rental car privileges (when booked with your card) with National Car Rental, Avis and Silvercar
  • Visa Infinite Concierge

The card charges an annual fee of $450.

Platinum Card® from American Express

From our partner

Platinum Card® from American Express

From cardholders in the last year

See Details, Rates & Fees

If you’re worried about not getting access to Priority Pass™ JFK lounges because of overcrowding, consider a card that offers more lounges as well as perks.

The Platinum Card® from American Express gives you access to the following lounge networks:

  • The Centurion® Lounge
  • The International American Express Lounges
  • Airspace Lounge
  • Delta Sky Club® (when flying Delta)
  • Escape Lounge
  • Priority Pass™ Select (once enrolled)

You’ll also get the following perks:

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in the first 3 months
  • Five Membership Rewards® points per dollar when booking flights directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, and on eligible hotels booked through amextravel.com (one point per dollar on eligible purchases everywhere else)
  • Up to $200 worth of Uber credits each year (for basic card members)
  • Up to $200 per calendar year in statement credits for incidental fees at one qualifying airline
  • Up to a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Gold status with Starwood Preferred Guest® and Hilton Honors™ programs
  • Complimentary membership in premium car rental programs
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi hotspot access with Boingo (after you set up an account)

You’ll pay a $550 annual fee for the card.

Citi Prestige® Card

In addition to offering Priority Pass™ lounge access with Priority Pass™ Select, the Citi Prestige® Card also offers a big perk for frequent travelers — you’ll get a complimentary fourth night every time you book a hotel stay of four or more consecutive nights through ThankYou.com or the Citi Prestige® Concierge.

Here are some other highlights to note.

  • Earn three ThankYou® Points per dollar on purchases at airlines, hotels and travel agencies; two points on purchases at qualifying restaurants and on select entertainment; and one point on all other purchases
  • Up to $250 statement credit each year for qualifying air travel expenses
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

The card charges an annual fee of $450.


Bottom line

A visit to a Priority Pass™ airport lounge will likely provide you with a much better experience than sitting around a terminal and waiting.

“Make sure you download the Priority Pass™ app to keep up to date with all of the lounge features and locations,” suggests Huffman

Additionally, consider a premium travel credit card that offers complimentary access to the lounges, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket for the membership fee. While these cards can also charge annual fees, they come with a flurry of other credit card perks that may make the cost worthwhile for you.