Review: Air France Lounge JFK @ Terminal 1

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Before I headed down to Martinique to stay at the Hotel La Pagerie (with the 4th night free!), I had to get to JFK to experience my first Norwegian flight, departing out of Terminal 1.

What lounges are there? The Air France Lounge and the KAL (Korean Air Lines) Business Class Lounge – Priority Pass gets you into both.

I’ve been to the KAL Lounge before and was underwhelmed. Plus, the Air France Lounge was literally right next to my departing gate (Gate 1). Perfect!

I got free admission for me and up to 2 guests thanks to the Priority Pass I got with Citi Prestige. But day passes are between $35 and $50, depending on time of day. I brought Jay with me, so I peg this visit for at least $70, and have updated the Citi Prestige by the Numbers page to reflect this visit.

The lounge

This lounge has been open since October 2014, so a year and change.

Even though it’s ~10,000 square feet, the entrance is very narrow, and there was a huge rush of people leaving, so it took forever to get checked in. Again, it’s right next to Gate 1.

The desk agent spent a long time with my Priority Pass card, but eventually had me sign a machine and gave us the wi-fi password. She shooed me away to a corner while she processed the card, then called me back over.

Once inside, we sat down our things and scoped the place out.

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Seating beyond the entrance at the Air France Lounge

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More seating, and looking forward the steps to the second level

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Our bright, sunny corner

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Alternate view

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Looking to the second level

The ceilings here are super high. And the walls are floor-to-ceiling glass, so it’s extremely well-lit inside.

The wi-fi was very fast. But then again, there weren’t many people there when I visited. Whatever the case, I enjoyed the fast speeds in uploading the photos I took.

There were magazines to take. And apparently there’s a Clarins “wellness area” where you can book spa treatments, but I didn’t notice it. Although I did spot a business area with a phone, computer, and fax machine in case you needed to print out or send any documents.

The place was designed to look ultra-modern and sleek, including the seating. With chairs, in particular, that often translates to uncomfortable. While they’re nice to look at, in practice, they weren’t too comfortable to sit on.

If you want more space, or can’t find an outlet, you could venture upstairs – it looked very sparse when I visited.

The food

No lounge is complete without food, and the Air France Lounge serves full hot meals.

They also have a self-serve bar (yesssss my fave!), with a decent selection of wine and liquor.

Self-serve bar

Self-serve bar

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Veggies, juices, yogurt

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Hot food area, with soups, entrees, crackers

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Beer and soft drinks, snacks, and coffee

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Coffee and snack area

The food was very good. They had lox, two types of soup, cous cous, a pasta dish, and some steamed veggies. There were also a few sweet treats and pastries. And juice, coffee, chips, soft drinks, and beer.

Because I knew the food on Norwegian wouldn’t be free, I snuck a bag of chips and a beer into my backpack to have on the flight.

Overall, they have a good selection of snacks to choose from.

My only “complaint” is the size of the glasses. They are tiny! They couldn’t have held more than 5 or 6 ounces. So I had to keep going back for refills. That sounds minor, but it’s mildly inconvenient in the moment.

Bottom line

All-in-all, a solid lounge. I would chill there again.

Oddly enough, I wish it were a little less bright in there. Along with floor-to-ceiling windows, they also have skylights. The amount of sunlight in there, I can’t believe I’m saying/typing this, is a bit much.

The seats are also not the most comfy. And getting checked took longer than expected.

Those things aside, there is ample seating spread out all over. The food selection is great. And I love the self-serve bar and the selection of beers, juices, and soft drinks.

The wi-fi was fast, and there were plenty of outlets around the perimeter of the rooms.

Apparently, you can book a spa service at check-in. I didn’t see this or notice it mentioned anywhere else, so if you have some time, be sure to ask for the menu.

For a lounge that was recently remodeled, they did a great job.

And, for peeps with a Priority Pass, between this and the KAL Lounge – pick this one. It’s much better, if only for the food and drink selection. And there’s much more seating here.

I’ll head here again if I ever fly out of T1 @ JFK.

Let me know if you’ve been to this lounge!

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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Comments

  1. I have to agree that the KAL lounge is mediocre. It was next to my departing gate, so I didn’t bother going to the AF lounge, but I should have gone there.

  2. I’ve been there several times before and after the renovation and the new look is definitely a lot better! It’s odd that there are 3 skyteam lounges in T1 (Korean, Air France, Alitalia). Having visited all three, I think KAL should simply close down and join forces with either AF and AZ, both of which have a much better lounge than KAL…. or perhaps KAL will be getting a renovation soon?

  3. I was just there last month. They initially turned me away even though I was flying J on KE. Had to use my PP to get in. The only thing KE lounge has going for them is the self pour bottle of Remy Martin XO.

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