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Chase just debuted its LaGuardia lounge — and it’s the nicest in the entire airport


The battle of the airport lounges run by credit card issuers has a new battlefield (New York) and a new victor (Chase).

On Tuesday, Chase opened its long-awaited Sapphire Lounge by The Club at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and from the moment you step inside, it won’t take long to realize that this is the best lounge in the entire airport.

From the design to the food to the amenities, Chase’s lounge excels at nearly everything, and it even packs a surprise feature that’ll wow those with deep pockets.

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While you’ll find the detailed first-look tour below, the opening comes as Chase (and Capital One) are getting serious about taking on Amex’s Centurion Lounge network.

Both issuers are opening outposts in LaGuardia, and Chase’s latest move might even convince you to sign up for its premium card if you don’t have it yet.

Here’s why.

Chase Sapphire Lounge LaGuardia location and access

The new Chase Sapphire Lounge is located in LGA’s Terminal B in the central airside area of the arrivals and departures hall. It is open daily from 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Funny enough, the entrance is right next to the existing Amex Centurion Lounge, which sits adjacent to the pedestrian bridge to the terminal’s Eastern Concourse.

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Anyone traveling on Terminal B’s airlines (American, Air Canada, JetBlue, Southwest and United) will be able to enter this lounge without needing to reclear security.

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To actually enter the lounge, you’ll go down a long corridor to a new elevator bank that takes you down to the ground level.

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From there, you’ll walk down another hallway to a sliding frosted-glass door where a friendly welcome agent will greet you.

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Note that the access policies for the Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club remain the same as the existing outposts in Boston and Hong Kong. You’ll find all the details in TPG’s guide here.

Chase Sapphire Lounge LaGuardia layout

After entering the lounge, you might do a double take. (After all, when I entered for the first time, I thought I was transported to an airport lounge in Asia or the Middle East.)

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The lounge spans two floors and measures just over 21,000 square feet. Chase didn’t share the capacity, but I’d imagine the lounge will get very busy during peak departure banks.

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Fortunately, there are plenty of nooks to spread out and avoid the crowds.

At the center of the lounge is the 360-degree bar, which offers plenty of barstool seating. This is undoubtedly the place to relax if you want to see and be seen.

Surrounding the bar are two- and four-top tables that are great for those looking to eat. This is also where you’ll find the buffet — more on that below.

The perimeter of the main level has two separate seating areas — one that’s designed for families and another for those looking for more relaxation.

The family area features a children’s play room and a photo booth that leads to a hidden speakeasy-style retro arcade.

Open the curtains next to the photo booth, and you’ll find yourself in the arcade. I envision that kids and teenagers will really enjoy hanging out in this area.

The other room along the perimeter of the main level features more lounge-style seating options ranging from sofas to individual recliners to workstation nooks.

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There are two private first-come, first-serve phone booths in the corner of this room.

The rest of the lounge is located up the staircase. This open-air upper level features more seating, including bar-style seats that might be ideal for solo travelers.

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Personally, I’d recommend going upstairs to find a place to relax when the lounge is busy.

Upstairs is also where you’ll find the Reserve Suites, Chase’s new lounge-within-a-lounge concept, which I’ve detailed in a separate story.

If there’s one thing the lounge is missing, it’s natural light — there are no windows, but Chase did an excellent job compensating for this with a bespoke design that almost transports you to the outdoors (just given the sheer number of plants and green shrubbery you’ll find throughout the lounge).

Furthermore, I love all the mirrors and small design details, such as gold sconces and lamps throughout the space, which help give the lounge an elevated, luxurious feel.

The artwork hanging on the walls of the space helps add a pop of color and further takes your attention off of the fact that the space is missing windows into the outside world.

Chase Sapphire Lounge LaGuardia amenities

While the layout and design are gorgeous, the amenities on offer are also well above average for an airport lounge.

On the main level, you’ll find a set of restrooms (with granite- and marble-clad finishes), a nursing room and two all-gender restrooms. (There are two all-gender restrooms on the upper level as well.)

Next to the bathroom is the wellness area, which features two relaxation spaces and two facial treatment rooms.

Chase contracted with Face Haus to provide travelers with complimentary mini-facials during their lounge visits.

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You make your reservation when you arrive at the lounge by scanning a QR code, and you’ll have a choice from one of five different types of facials.

Even if there aren’t any timeslots left when you arrive, be sure to visit the wellness area to pick up a complimentary skincare travel kit.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Other special amenities include the aforementioned phone booths and arcade.

The lounge also has all the basics covered — fast and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the space, and there are power outlets and USB-A ports within an arm’s reach of nearly every seat.

Chase Sapphire Lounge LaGuardia food and drinks

Chase is once again elevating the game with its food and beverage offerings in the lounge.

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The issuer partnered with New York City’s Joseph Leonard on the food options, and based on what I tried during my tour, you might want to arrive hungry. (I especially enjoyed the lentil ragout and the muhamarra dip.)

In addition to choices on the buffet, you can also order a few signature dishes (such as the burger) from an a la carte menu.

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One thing I love about Chase’s lounges is the website portal that acts as the central hub for food orders and amenity reservations. If you’d like to order from the a la carte dining menu or reserve a facial, just scan the QR code next to any of the tables, and you’ll be transported to the webpage to make these reservations.

In terms of drinks, you’ll find a selection of eight signature cocktails and mocktails inspired by Apotheke, a popular cocktail bar in New York City. Wines and other refreshments can be ordered from the bar.

There are two drink stations in the lounge — one on each level — where you’ll find a coffee machine, three beverage taps (with cold brew, a seasonal coffee selection and spa water) and a mini-fridge stocked with cans of the soft drinks and my wife’s personal favorite, Spindrift sparkling water.

Chase partnered with Joe Coffee Company for all your caffeine needs in the lounge.

Bottom line

Chase’s new LaGuardia lounge is undoubtedly the issuer’s nicest one yet.

It spans two levels, features a gorgeous design, offers a plethora of amenities and delectable dining options, and even features a first for Chase, a lounge-within-a-lounge concept.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

With the opening, Chase just set a very high bar for an airport lounge run by a credit card issuer.

Can American Express or Capital One offer something nicer than this outpost? Only time will tell, but Chase is now in the lead, especially in New York.

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