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If you’ve got a flight from New York-John F. Kennedy airport, spending your downtime there at a lounge can make your travel experience more enjoyable. While you could access an airport lounge at JFK by purchasing an expensive business class ticket or having top-tier status in an airline alliance, there's a more affordable way.
It's called Priority Pass, and it's worth checking out before your next flight. Here's what you need to know, including the six airport lounges where Priority Pass members can enjoy a drink or snack at JFK.
Note: Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, some lounge benefits and/or hours of operation may be temporarily altered. Always check directly with the lounge or Priority Pass website for the most updated details on availability and closures.
What is Priority Pass?
Priority Pass is a lounge membership service you can buy directly that gives you access to lounges around the world. Memberships start at $99 a year, plus a $32 fee every time you visit a participating lounge. A $429 per year membership includes unlimited complimentary visits, but your guests pay $32 each time to accompany you.
A better way to access 1,300 airport lounges is through a free Priority Pass Select membership that comes with some high-end credit cards. Priority Pass Select lets you access participating lounges for free. With some credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Citi Prestige® Card, you can bring two guests traveling with you free of charge.
» Learn more: Best credit cards for Priority Pass lounge access
Air France Lounge
Next to the Air France boarding area by Gate 1.
Open 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily, maximum three-hour stay.
Must present a boarding pass to enter.
Cardholders must be 21 or older; accompanied children under 2 admitted free.
The Air France Lounge at JFK has showers, refreshments and alcohol for passengers 21 and older.
KAL Business Class Lounge
Across from Gate 3, on the right after security.
Open to Priority Pass members from 8 a.m. to noon daily.
Must present a boarding pass from Terminal 1 to enter.
Each cardholder is limited to two guests and may pay a per-person charge. Children under 2 are admitted free.
The lounge has conference facilities, showers, refreshments and alcohol. International calls and fax facilities are available for a fee.
Next to Gates 8 and 9 after security. International flights only.
Open 5:30 a.m. to midnight Monday, Thursday and Sunday; 9 a.m. to midnight Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Maximum four-hour stay, and access may be restricted due to capacity constraints. The lounge may reserve seating.
Children under 7 are admitted free.
The lounge has computer workstations, printers, refreshments and showers. Guests are limited to two complimentary drinks, and premium alcohol is subject to payment. Passes are also available for $59.
» Learn more: The top Priority Pass lounges in the U.S.
Air India Maharaja Lounge
Near Gate 5.
Open 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.
Maximum four-hour stay, and the lounge may be restricted due to capacity constraints.
Children under 7 are admitted free.
The Air India Maharaja Lounge offers assorted refreshments, Wi-Fi and TV.
Turn right after security, walk down, and the lounge will be on your left.
Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Maximum four-hour stay, and up to six guests per cardholder.
Children under 3 are admitted free.
Dress code: Shoes and shirt required, no baseball caps allowed.
The JFK Wingtips Lounge offers a complimentary buffet with a rotating menu throughout the day, plus spirits, wine and beer for guests over 21.
Located on the Mezzanine Level above security.
Open 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Friday and 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Dec. 25.
Lounge access is permitted up to three hours before departure.
Members must present their Priority Pass card and a valid same-day boarding pass.
Cardholders may bring two guests or immediate family. Children under 2 are admitted free.
Maximum three alcoholic drinks per adult. Premium drinks are subject to payment.
Access may be restricted due to capacity constraints. Priority Pass holders may be added to a waitlist.
The Alaska Lounge has food, Wi-Fi, TV and other standard lounge amenities. Alcoholic drinks are available to guests over 21.
Bobby Van’s Steakhouse
Located opposite Gate 14. After security, turn right.
Open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The restaurant has limited seating and may not have availability at popular times.
Cardholders must present a valid Priority Pass card and boarding pass with confirmed same-day travel.
Bobby Van’s isn't a typical JFK Priority Pass lounge. It’s a restaurant where members receive up to $28 off their purchase of any meal and/or drinks. Cardholders may also register one guest to receive an additional $28 deduction. Any additional guests won't receive the $28 benefit, and the cardholder is responsible for any charges that exceed the credit.
The credit can't be used for gratuities, and cardholders won't receive a cash substitute if the bill is less than $28. If you have additional funds to use, grab something to go for the plane.
» Learn more: How to maximize your Priority Pass Select membership
The bottom line
The Priority Pass membership can pay for itself after several uses, or you can get a free membership as a perk of certain credit cards. At JFK, Priority Pass membership is your ticket to fewer crowds, plus a meal and a drink before your flight.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card