In travelling home to Beijing because that Chinese brand-new Year, it to be time to check off another long-awaited an initial Class experience, having booked myself a 14-hour journey onboard the Boeing 747 in Korean Air very first Class from brand-new York JFK come Seoul.

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As is the norm once travelling in the an elaborate seats, I want to ensure that I had actually as lot time top top the ground before my trip to sample the very first Class ground experience. Therefore, also though my trip wouldn’t be departing from JFK till 12:50am, ns booked my positioning trip from Montreal to arrive at LaGuardia in ~ 8:30pm, giving me ample time because that the crosstown Uber ride and also then to relax in the an initial Class lounge.

Korean Air uses the “C” check-in counters in ~ JFK’s Terminal 1, and also I came down on the airport simply as the check-in workdesks were opening three hours prior come departure.

The first Class queue is adorned through a red carpet, and I to be promptly assisted and also given my boarding passes for tonight’s trip to Seoul and then the onward organization class trip to Beijing.


JFK Terminal 1 is a far cry from gift the most glamorous place on earth, and if i’m being honest, my hopes weren’t also high around how the oriental Air first Class Lounge right here would turn out. In fact, i was rather surprised that the airline had actually a first Class lounge here in brand-new York in the first place, due to the fact that many airlines I’ve flown prior to only offered first Class lounges at their hub airports, quite than at outstations in international countries.

Upon verifying mine documents, the gentleman at the front workdesk invited me to my left to enter the first Class Lounge; meanwhile, organization class passengers would manipulate the an are on the right-hand side, and I’d go over and scope the out later on as well.

The main part of the lounge basically consists of one large, curved an are consisting mainly of animal leather chairs, with the buffet spread located in the back.

Alas, contrasted to other very first Class lounges around the civilization (and even compared to some of the better business course lounges the end there), this one was pretty disappointing in state of first impressions. The lounge’s decor and also ambience feeling cheap and also outdated, and the entire an are looked prefer it could use a major facelift.

In terms of seating, yes enough space here for about 40 to 50 people. It’s rare that there would be this numerous eligible passenger in the lounge at any kind of given moment, so I obtained the feeling that the diversity of seating was much more to enable passengers to spread out and have some space to themselves.

The fact that there was only one type of seat available throughout the lounge – a traditional leather chair – boggles the mind. It would be so straightforward for korean Air come spruce points up by presenting some private seating booths, dining tables, or probably some high-top seats follow me the windows for those who gain planespotting. Instead, it’s simply the very same black chairs everywhere, which provides the lounge feel rather boring and also sterile.

There no too numerous unique features in the lounge come speak of. A magazine and newspaper rack rectal the room near the entrance, while a model korean Air Airbus A380 is perched on peak of the refrigerator in ~ the buffet.

Going under the short hallway in the back, there’s a little television city hall room with added seating because that 10 people, as well as the lounge’s bathrooms.

With not lot else to execute in the lounge, I determined to hit the buffet spread. I was the only passenger here, and also would remain on my own for another hour or so before someone else confirmed up, so ns made myself comfortable and spread out across several seat at the very back the the lounge.

The buffet can be described as meagre in ~ best. Three warm items to be on sell tonight: beef bulgogi, Buffalo chicken wings, and vegetable fried rice. In fairness, all 3 items were pretty delicious, top top par with what you will do be served at a good Korean restaurant, and also were retained nice and warm in the buffet’s heated food display screen as well.

That’s around where the delicious stuff ends, though. The rest of the buffet items appeared to belong more in a trader Joe’s than a first Class lounge: instant noodles, stale pastries, and packaged snacks.

Korean Air first Class Lounge brand-new York JFK – prompt noodles

Korean Air an initial Class Lounge new York JFK – Pastries

Korean Air an initial Class Lounge brand-new York JFK – Packaged snacks

Seriously, go anything rather scream deluxe quite choose saran-wrapped ramekins of blended nuts and also crackers?

Oh, i know…mini-sandwiches organized together by a toothpick, maintained in a fridge alongside packaged cheese sticks, that course.

The drink selection was about what you will do expect, with coffee, tea, juices, soft drinks, and also a variety of self-serve liquor, but nothing yes, really stood the end in particular.

I assisted myself to a couple of glasses of Clos du Bois red wine after polishing off mine dinner that bulgogi, chicken wings, and instant noodles.

My thoughts on the food an option echo those ~ above the all at once lounge itself – the is to say, over there is significant room for improvement. Because that example, would it be so an overwhelming to offer a menu of made-to-order noodle bowl that have the right to be prepared in the kitchen, or something prefer that?

After dinner, I chose to take benefit of the peace and also quiet in the lounge to obtain some work done on my laptop. Around an hour later, once some other passengers finally showed up in the lounge, I decided to head over to the organization class lounge across the hallway to inspect it out.

There no too much to report, though, due to the fact that the food spread was basically the exact same in every way, if the seating ar was likewise uniform, back at least there were two different species of chairs – yellow ones and black people – and some glass partitions to divide the big rectangular room into smaller spaces.

Korean Air organization Class Lounge brand-new York JFK – Seating area

Korean Air service Class Lounge new York JFK – Seating area

Korean Air service Class Lounge brand-new York JFK – Food spread

The business class lounge felt an ext like your average Priority happen location, instead of a lounge that’s operated through a well-regarded worldwide carrier. And also when ns looked it up, the oriental Air company class lounge is indeed part of Priority Pass, meaning that you can also visit this lounge simply with a Priority happen membership, regardless of what airline and class of organization you’re travelling in.

Anyway, in spite of the lounge’s evident mediocrity, I chose to take it a shower before hopping on my 14-hour flight, more out that curiosity than an actual should shower. The gentleman at the front desk advised me come wait in the an initial Class Lounge, and also that the come gain me when the shower head room to be ready.

About 20 minute later, ns was invited to use the shower head room, which is actually located earlier in the business class lounge and also shared between very first Class and business course passengers.

It’s fine for the functions of taking a shower, but as with the remainder of the lounge, failed to live as much as the billing compared to few of the more extravagant first Class shower rooms out there.

I take it a shower rather hurriedly, since boarding time was approaching, and I want to be the very first passenger to board the cabin and take a look about the sleep of the Boeing 747. For this reason after grabbing mine belongings and also waving thank you and also goodbye come the staff, i headed earlier downstairs in the direction that the boarding gate, praying the the yes, really onboard endure would it is in a much better showing from korean Air.


To placed it bluntly, the korean Air first Class Lounge in new York JFK is the weakest first Class lounge I’ve checked out so far, failing to fulfill the typical of also some of the ideal Priority pass contract lounges in the world.

The physical an are is well past its prime and could certainly use an update with newer decor and a more comprehensive range that features, while the food and drink selection was also disappointingly limited, through the mildly appetizing hot items failing to make up for the lack of high quality and variety elsewhere.

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If you departing new York JFK in oriental Air’s premium cabins or v a Priority pass membership in hand, it’s same to say that you have to come in v modest expectations, and that unequal other first Class lounges about the world, there’s really no require to collection aside any type of meaningful time come visit this lounge in advance.

Tagged: China & Middle eastern 2020, oriental Air, Lounge Reviews, new York
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