If there is an airport in the world that is in need of better terminal alignment, it is New York’s iconic JFK airport. Today, British Airways has announced a major step forward in improving the passenger experience at JFK.
British Airways is looking to move from their current home in Terminal 7 to Terminal 8 at JFK as soon as 2022. British Airways will be partnering with American Airlines to invest $344 million dollars in improving Terminal 8.
The New Terminal 8
The new terminal looks quite nice based on current renderings available for public view.
The interesting part of the new announcement is that there isn’t much passenger space being added to the terminal. The added square footage is going into creating additional wide-body gates and remote stands. Really, some of the gates are just remote stands and regional jet gates transformed for widebody usage. Most probably, passengers will have a fair bit of walking before they reach the aircraft door.
On the interior, British Airways is looking to introduce new baggage systems, lounges, a dedicated area for premium passengers to check in, and upgrades to airport concessions. That’s a lot to fit into the new 70,400 square feet being added. Less than half, about 33,000 square feet, will actually be used for public space.
Until the renovations are completed, BA will remain at Terminal 7.
British Airways Terminal 7
British Airways has been working on transforming Terminal 7. Recently, they introduced an upgraded First Lounge.
While departing from Terminal 7 in British Airways First Class does not seem like a horrendous thought, connecting from a BA arrival at Terminal 7 to an American Airlines departure from Terminal 8 sounds utterly horrendous.
The two terminals are not connected airside. This means that most passengers connecting between American Airlines and British Airways will have to clear security again. For most passengers, this is a huge inconvenience. It also means that passengers have to budget more time for connections in order to reach their destination.
After British Airways moves, JetBlue will integrate Terminal 7 into Terminal 5 and help accommodate their overseas partners like Emirates.
Oneworld Transatlantic Joint Venture
American Airlines and British Airways have a joint venture in place along with partners Finnair and Iberia. This partnership has been in place for a few years now.
Together, British Airways and American Airlines operate almost 70 flights a day between cities in the United States and London. From JFK, the two airlines operate up to 14 daily flights to London.
This makes sense for British Airways and American Airlines. BA and AA have been close partners for quite some time now. New York also remains a huge market for origin and destination travelers in addition to a major connecting airport.
Premium passengers are a huge market on the New York to London route. With British Airways set to improve the business class experience on-board, it is nice to see they’re looking to make similar improvements on the ground.
JFK has always been in major need of an overhaul. While a little late, hopefully, the experience looks as nice as the renderings depict the new terminal.
There will probably be many travelers interested in connecting between AA and BA at JFK once they operate from the same terminal. Will you be one of them? Let us know in the comments below!