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Chase’s interesting new JFK lounge is now open


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Chase is on a roll.

Just a week ago, the issuer opened the doors of its newest crown jewel, a stunning two-story Sapphire Lounge by The Club at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA).

And now, Chase is back (on the other side of Queens) with more welcome news for New Yorkers and travelers passing through one of the busiest airports nationwide, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

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On Tuesday, the Sapphire Lounge at JFK officially opened its doors to travelers, breathing new life into the former Etihad Lounge that was vacant for much of the pandemic. And while Chase’s JFK lounge might not be as iconic as the space in LaGuardia, there’s still lots to love.

Here are the details.

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Chase Sapphire Lounge JFK location

You’ll find the new Sapphire Lounge by The Club in JFK’s Terminal 4, which is home to Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and a slew of other international carriers.

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After passing through security, stay on the upper level of the terminal and turn left. Perhaps ironically, the new Chase Lounge is located right next to the American Express Centurion Lounge at JFK.

The space is nearly impossible to miss — make sure you don’t take the escalator down to the departures level after clearing security.

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The new Chase lounge at JFK is open daily from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Chase Sapphire Lounge JFK access

Chase’s new JFK lounge is unlike any other in the portfolio.

To date, the issuer has designed and built Sapphire Lounges from scratch, but this one occupies the space of the former Etihad Lounge at JFK. (Etihad’s lounge has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, so this marks the outpost’s first reopening since then.)

Chase and Etihad Airways are jointly operating this “new” lounge, and as part of that, the access rules are a bit more generous than those of the other Sapphire Lounge by The Club locations.

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As with all other Chase lounges, primary and authorized cardmembers with the Chase Sapphire Reserve can enter the lounge for free, and they can bring up to two guests. Note that you’ll need to have the (complimentary) Priority Pass associated with the card to enter the lounge. Additional guests beyond the initial allotment will be charged at $27 per person.

The same access policy applies to those with the J.P. Morgan Reserve card or the Ritz-Carlton Credit Card (no longer available to new applicants), though the latter card includes unlimited guest access.

Even if you don’t have one of these cards, you might still be able to enter the Sapphire Lounge. Travelers with only a Priority Pass membership (from any other premium credit card) can visit one Chase Sapphire Lounge per calendar year and purchase additional entries for themselves and guests for $75 per person.

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In addition to the aforementioned cards, select Etihad travelers can also visit the lounge before their flight to Abu Dhabi. This includes those flying in business or first class on Etihad-operated flights, as well as the airline’s Gold and Platinum elite members.

The information for the J.P. Morgan Reserve Card and Ritz-Carlton Credit Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase Sapphire Lounge JFK layout

Chase’s JFK lounge might not be as opulent as the outpost in LaGuardia, but it still packs a mighty punch.

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After entering the lounge, you’ll quickly realize you’ve stepped into a Sapphire Lounge. From the color palette to the trees lining the hallways, Chase’s design motifs are clearly on display. (And that’s a good thing.)

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The reception desk gives way to the main lounge area — there’s a bar at the center of the lounge with seating areas spread all around it. You’ll find a variety of dining tables, couches and individual recliners right next to the bar.

To the right of the bar (as you face the runways), you’ll find another smaller seating area partitioned off with some trees and room dividers.

And just opposite the bar, there’s a narrow hallway that’s been turned into another seating space. There are a handful of two-top tables and recliners here. Given the lack of natural light, these might be the least popular seats, so if the lounge is crowded, this is likely where I’d go first to look for a seat.

The rest of the lounge is comprised of a dining area with a variety of table- and booth-style seats, as well as another relaxation area with some individual recliners and sofas in the corner of the space.

Here, you’ll even find two open-style workstations. It’s just too bad Chase couldn’t find a way to enclose them with some glass for additional privacy.

While the JFK outpost might look like the other Sapphire Lounges, this one is definitely on the smaller side. It measures 7,600 square feet, and while the issuer didn’t share maximum occupancy numbers, I can already envision this space getting very crowded.

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After all, not only do Chase’s top cardmembers get access, but so do premium passengers flying on Etihad.

With the upcoming resumption of Airbus A380 service to JFK, there will be roughly 100 eligible Etihad flyers passing through the lounge each day. Combine that with all the Sapphire Reserve cardholders flying through one of JFK’s busiest terminals, and this space might operate on a waitlist throughout the day.

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That said, something is certainly better than nothing, and as the credit card lounge wars heat up, it’s great to see Chase getting creative in opening a space as soon as possible in one of the nation’s busiest airports.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

(If the Chase lounge is too crowded, don’t forget there’s always the two-story Amex Centurion Lounge next door.)

Chase Sapphire Lounge JFK amenities

A key component of every Sapphire Lounge is a long list of amenities, such as a facial bar and massage chairs.

This outpost is lighter on the amenities, but it still checks the boxes for everything you’d expect for a top-tier airport lounge.

There are two reflection rooms near the back of the lounge. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and they double as prayer rooms.

The lounge also has three shower suites — one is designated as all-gender, and then there is one for men and one for women. The latter two are located in the restroom area.

Speaking of the restrooms, they feature snazzy vanity areas (just like before the renovation), and they’re stocked with Apotheke amenities.

Other amenities include fast and free Wi-Fi, power outlets, USB-A and USB-C ports at nearly every seat, and incredible airside views for the aviation enthusiasts in the room.

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The lounge overlooks the apron area between the A and B piers of gates and runways 4L and 4R in the distance. On a clear day, you’ll likely be able to see for miles.

Chase Sapphire Lounge JFK food and drinks

One area where the Sapphire Lounge excels is with the food and beverage offerings.

There’s a buffet area right next to the dining tables, and it features an assortment of hot and cold plates. I tried the curry cauliflower, hummus and warm focaccia and thought everything could’ve passed for restaurant-quality food in Manhattan. I especially enjoyed the apricot glaze on the cauliflower; it was a nice contrast to the curry seasoning in this dish.

Note that many of the dishes are halal, and kosher food choices are available on request.

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Aside from the buffet, you can order several signature dishes, such as the Sapphire burger or lamb meatballs, via an online a la carte menu. Each table has a QR code to scan to open the lounge hub, where you can order food and drinks and even reserve a shower suite.

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In terms of drinks, the bartender will be happy to whip up your classic favorite or craft a cocktail from the signature menu. The gin-based Concrete Jungle was refreshing and hit the spot.

For those looking to nibble, there is a large refreshment station separating the main lounge area from the dining room.

This is where you’ll find the coffee machines pouring Joe Coffee and an assortment of canned soft drinks, including Olipop and Spindrift. Don’t pass up the salted chocolate chip cookies or the biscotti in this area — I promise they’re well worth the calories.

Bottom line

In just a week, Chase went from having zero to two Sapphire Lounges in the nation’s biggest city.

With the opening of the JFK outpost, Chase’s lounge network continues to blossom, giving prospective and existing cardmembers more reason to sign up for or keep the Reserve card.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

The JFK outpost is unique because it occupies an existing space and is jointly operated with Etihad. Don’t necessarily expect the complete Sapphire Lounge amenity experience, but the lounge still checks all the boxes.

It’s a welcome new option for cardmembers passing through JFK and a harbinger of good things to come for the Sapphire Lounge network, which is getting bigger and better than ever before.

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