We recently needed to spend a few hours at JFK Airport’s Terminal 4. I booked a positioning flight to JFK on Delta before our Virgin Atlantic flight to London in Premium Economy but wasn’t sure if we’d need to reclear security when changing terminals (we didn’t). Besides paying to enter the Delta SkyClub with my Gold Delta AMEX, I had no other access a lounge beside entering the Wingtips Lounge with my Priority Pass card. This seems to be the lounge of last resort for many travelers but was our only free option. Here’s what you can expect if you’re able to get in.
As I said, I scheduled some extra time into our connection just in case there were any problems with going from a Delta to a Virgin Atlantic flight. Thankfully there were none, so we had plenty of time to spend in the lounge. Our flight arrived around 6PM and our departing flight was leaving at 10PM, with boarding starting around 9:30PM.
Sharon and I walked to the Wingtips Lounge. The lounge is located on the upper level of Terminal 4 so we had to take an elevator from the main level with all the shops. This is the same location as the Swiss and El Al lounges.
The Wingtips lounge is the contract lounge for many of the airlines leaving from T4.
Since I’ve heard rumors that this lounge restricts access to Priority Pass members when it gets too crowded, I walked in and asked if we could enter. The agent at the desk said that it was fine so I provided my card and signed us into the club.
Here are the Priority Pass requirements for the lounge:
Maximum 4 hour stay – Limited to six guests per Cardholder – Children under 3 years are admitted free – Dress code applicable (shoes and shirts required for entry – no baseball caps allowed).
Wow, the place was packed. It was hard to find two seats together but we finally found a set of chairs right under the TV that was playing some college basketball game at full volume. (You can see me sitting under the TV to the left, working on my laptop). Looking at this picture, I have no idea where those three empty seats came from, I’m sure they were gone within seconds.
Under the table with various snack mixes (the one under the TV), there was a plug where I could charge my phone since, fortunately, we carry a 6ft cable with us when we travel. I’m sure it was a joy to everyone around us to watch me crawl under the table and plug in my adapter.
The lounge is very long but not very deep. This gives it great window views of the tarmac, which is lined with reclining chairs. Needless to say, all of these were occupied for our entire stay.
Who can blame them, with this view:
There was a food spread that didn’t look very appealing. As it turned out, our meal in Premium on Virgin Atlantic was presented in a way which was just about as visually pleasing.
The lounge also has a coffee machine, self serve liquor and a beer, wine and soda fridge. I did learn that they don’t stock cans of soda water but the water dispenser does provide sparkling water. I guess I’ll use whatever it takes to mix with Red Label.
The lounge did have its own bathrooms but no showers are available.
This was in plain view behind the food service area. You’d think they could find a better place for storage.
After about an hour of fiddling with the mediocre WiFi and eventually tethering my computer to my phone, we decided to head down to the terminal. As we left the lounge around 7:30 PM, we saw the dreaded sign placed outside the entrance.
What’d we think of the lounge? It was nice to be able to sit down and charge our phones for an hour or so before our flight. This isn’t the type of lounge you schedule a trip around and if you only have a short layover, you might be better off just staying in the terminal. There looked to be several nice places to sit and have a drink and some food in the surrounding areas.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary