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The food, drink, and service at this lounge was the best I have had at any airport lounge.
Pros- Tasty A La Carte Menu, Creative Cocktails, Good Champagne, and Fantastic Service
Cons- Dated Decor, Funky Seating, and Dirty Bathrooms
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Location and Check-In
Our Delta CRJ900 flight from Washington Regan National (DCA) arrived at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 4. While our flight on Singapore Airlines to Frankfurt (FRA) also departed from JFK Terminal 4. JFK Terminal 4 is known as JFK's international terminal and also houses Delta Airlines long JFK haul flights. Shortly after arriving we collected our bags and headed to the Singapore Airlines check-in desk. We arrived about four and a half hours before our fight to make sure we could soak up the entire Suites experience and enjoy the airport lounge. Singapore Airlines begin online check-in 48 hours in advance unlike the standard 24 hours in advance for U.S. airlines, however, because we were flying from the Untied States we could not access our boarding passes until 24 hours in advance. When we arrived at the check-in desk there was no one waiting in line and only one check-in area was open. Because we were early the Suites specific check-in was closed and there was no one else in line for the general check-in. The woman who served us seemed to be German and was training another check-in agent. The trainer was very matter of fact and not very friendly. The check-in experience was fast but didn't really feel very welcoming. The best part of the check-in was when we received our white and gold colored boarding passes which had Suites written on them. It felt like we just received a golden ticket.
Since we were flying in the Singapore Airlines Suites we were invited to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK which serves as Virgin Atlantic's JFK airport lounge. The lounge is located on the upper level of Terminal 4 between gates A4 and A5 next to the Air India Maharaja and Emirates lounges.
On our way to the lounge we spotted the A380 which was going to be our ride to Frankfurt then on to Singapore. We were in awe by the size and design of the aircraft which had a hump like a whale.
Access and Hours
All Virgin Atlantic lounges worldwide including the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK are temporarily closed due the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to COVID-19 this lounge was open daily 4:15-7:15 am and 2:30-10:30pm.
This lounge was accessible to a number of passengers including the following passengers:
Decor, Amenities, and Seating
My first impression of the JFK Clubhouse was not a positive one. I found the seating and decor to be dated. The majority of couches and seating in the lounge were worn and in need of refresh. Despite this poor first impression I did like the mood lighting and hip music playing in the lounge which felt very on brand for Virgin Atlantic. The JFK Clubhouse is much larger than the Washington Dulles Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse and at the center is a large bar flanked by funky seating and a pool table.
In addition to the funky seating near the bar the lounge also had strange wallpaper with tractors and apples on it. In general, I found the lounge's decor to be too funky for me.
Near the windows facing the tarmac was a dining area and additional couches. When we first entered the lounge it was fairly empty, however, as the night went on and the boarding times approached for multiple Virgin Atlantic flights the lounge filled up. Very few people were seated in the dining room and instead most people were seated on the various couches and chairs. We decided to spend our time in seated on a brown leather couch near the windows with a view of the tarmac including the Virgin Atlantic planes. Something we found really annoying was the lack of power plugs. It was hard to find plugs and they were not nearly as accessible as the Delta SkyClub DCA. This was ironic since the Delta SkyClub DCA only serves domestic passengers and this was an international business passenger lounge. This pointed to the need for a renovation. One interesting seating option was a Herman Miller chair. I had never heard of this type of chair but Christina noticed it walking around the lounge. This chair costs around $5,000 and it seemed to be occupied the vast majority of the time we were in the lounge. When I saw the chair was free for a few minutes I decided to try it out. It felt very comfortable but I still didn't think it is worth $5,000.
The lounge also had several amenities including a wellness spa which offered some complimentary treatments for Virgin Atlantic passengers along with paid treatments for all passengers. Since we were flying Singapore Airlines we didn't have access to the complimentary treatments and decided not to pay for any treatments. The lounge also had a small business area with several computers and printers. Additionally, about half of the bathrooms had showers that were stocked with Cowshed amenities. These bathrooms were dirty and needed repairs.
Food and Drinks
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK serves restaurant style a la carte meals and drinks including non-alcoholic drinks, beer, wine, champagne, and spirits. When we sat down on the sofa we were immediately greeted by a very friendly server who asked us if we wanted anything to drink. Christina asked for cocktail recommendations and the server recommended we get some tequila cocktails which were a special for Cinco de Mayo. We both took her up on her offer and we loved the creative drinks including the Pink Slipper which had Codigo 1530 Tequila, Rose Wine, agave syrup, and lemon.
The service in the lounge was fantastic and we leaned heavily on our server's recommendations with the exception of any spicy food she recommended. Next up we ordered the ribs which I must say were the best dish I have had in any airport lounge.
Without us asking our server sent over croquets and a salad. The croquets were great while the salad was okay. I thought the salad we had earlier in the day from the Delta SkyClub DCA was better.
Our server asked us if we wanted anymore food and when we said yes, she ordered us a 50/50 burger which was half beef and half chicken. This was the first time I had such a burger and I only ended up getting to try the chicken half since Christina liked the beef half so much she ate it before I could try it. The burger also came with fries on the side but the best part was the BBQ sauce which came with the fries. The sauce was sweet and we really liked it.
For dessert we ordered the pumpkin pie, Christina's favorite, and a muffin. After this we were stuffed and stopped ordering food and instead turned to champagne for the rest of our time in the lounge. The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK served Lanson Black Label champagne which was lovely. We realized that we both really appreciate good champagne and that would be our go to drink on our honeymoon.
The food and drinks at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK were very impressive featuring a wide variety of options, amazing service, and five-star restaurant quality. Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK food and drink service really impressed me and I found it to be the best offering of food and drinks I have ever had at any airport lounge.
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK had the best food, drinks, and service of any airport lounge I have ever visited. Despite its dated decor, lack of power plugs, and unimpressive seating I would hesitate to visit the lounge again. Passengers taking off in the Singapore Airlines Suites from JFK have a reason to get to the airport early. I really hope the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK access continues after COVID-19 pandemic has ended.
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