American and British Airways are joining forces at New York's biggest airport to streamline their partnership — see inside the new Terminal 8

British Airways and American Airlines aircraft at JFK.
Taylor Rains/Insider
  • American Airlines and British Airways will become "roommates" at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

  • Starting Thursday, both carriers will operate out of a renovated Terminal 8 to allow for easier connections.

  • The Oneworld partners have invested $400 million into the facility to build a new check-in area, gates, and lounges.

American Airlines and British Airways are moving in together.

A British Airways and American Airlines aircraft at JFK.
Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

The new "roommates," as American CEO Robert Isom put it at a press conference on Tuesday, will take over Terminal 8 at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport in a joint effort to better streamline their Oneworld partnership.

Departures curb for American and British Airways at JFK Terminal 8.
Departures curb for American and British Airways at JFK Terminal 8.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

The new terminal is a joint $400 million privately funded investment, which was announced in early 2019, and will add new lounges, gates, and facilities.

(L-R): Iberia CEO Javier Sánchez-Prieto, British Airways CEO Sean Doyle, American Airlines CEO Robert Isom, Port Authority Executive Director Richard Cotton, Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Queen Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. cut the ribbon to the new Terminal 8 at JFK on Tuesday, November 29.
(L-R): Iberia CEO Javier Sánchez-Prieto, British Airways CEO Sean Doyle, American Airlines CEO Robert Isom, Port Authority Executive Director Richard Cotton, Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Queen Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. cut the ribbon to the new Terminal 8 at JFK on Tuesday, November 29.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

The pair will set up shop starting on Thursday, meaning American customers connecting to a British Airways flight will no longer have to change terminals between legs.

The new gate space at Terminal 8 JFK.
The new gate space at Terminal 8 JFK.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

According to Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton, the co-location will allow for "superb hourly services between JFK and London," essentially creating a regular shuttle between the two international gateways.

The new gate space at Terminal 8.
The new gate space at Terminal 8.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

To allow for easy transit, the airlines have created two co-branded check-in areas for American and British Airways' premium passengers at the Terminal 8 departures lobby.

American and British Airways’ cobranded check-in area.
Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

The first check-in area is a private room that features desks, marble ascents, and couches. The exclusive space is hidden away behind glass doors.

Private First Class check in space.
American Airlines

American Flagship First, Flagship Business Plus, Conciergekey, and American Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro flyers can use the exclusive space.

Private First Class check in space.
American Airlines

Meanwhile, British Airways first and gold members can also check in here, according to American.

British Airways planes at Heathrow airport.
British Airways planes at Heathrow airport.Jonathan Brady/Getty Images

The second premium check-in area is an open-air space next door, which includes a dozen kiosks…

Co-branded check-in area for American and British Airways premium passengers.
The kiosks in the co-branded check-in space.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

…and several priority lanes for bag drop.

Co-branded check-in area for American and British Airways premium passengers.
Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

American Flagship Business and AAdvantage Platinum members can use this space, as well as British Airways Club World and silver members.

Co-branded check-in area for American and British Airways premium passengers.
Taylor Rains/Insider

Travelers can enter the TSA checkpoint directly from both premium spaces.

Co-branded check-in area for American and British Airways premium passengers.
Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

Check-in areas for other passengers will be separate…

Check in area for all other American Airlines passengers.
Check-in area for other American Airlines passengers.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

…and British Airways and American will have different counters.

Check in area for all other British Airways passengers.
Check-in area for other British Airways passengers.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

Other Oneworld alliance members like Royal Jordanian and Qatar Airways also currently fly out of Terminal 8, with Iberia moving in on Thursday and Japan Airlines joining in May 2023, according to Isom.

Qatar Airways check-in area in Terminal 8.
Qatar Airways check-in area in Terminal 8.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

Airside, the renovated terminal adds five new widebody gates and four new widebody parking areas…

One of the new American gates.
One of the new American gates.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

…as well as an improved baggage handling system and 130,000 square feet of extra space.

One of the new gates.
One of the new gates.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

Over the next 18 months, the concessions at Terminal 8 will be revamped, hosting more than 115 women and minority-owned businesses worth over $161 million in contracts. Local businesses were also awarded about $33 million in contracts.

American Airlines logos through the years are displayed in Terminal 8.
American Airlines logos through the years are displayed in Terminal 8.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Also past security, premium passengers traversing the new terminal will have access to three new elegant lounges: Chelsea, Soho, and Greenwich.

Inside the Soho lounge.
Inside the Soho lounge.Taylor Rains/Insider

Greenwich will be the rebranded American Flagship Lounge, which opened in 2017. The reimagined space will "feature a premium wine table, expansive seating, and chef-inspired meals."

American Airlines' Flagship Lounge at JFK Terminal 8.
American Airlines' Flagship Lounge at JFK Terminal 8.American Airlines

Source: American Airlines

American customers flying Flagship Business or with AAdvantage Platinum status on "qualifying Flagship itineraries" can access Greenwich. For British Airways, those with Club lounge access can enter.

American Airlines' Flagship Lounge at JFK Terminal 8.
American Airlines' Flagship Lounge at JFK Terminal 8.American Airlines

Source: American Airlines

Chelsea and Soho are the crown jewels of the terminal, acting as brand-new co-branded lounges that can be accessed by both American and British Airways passengers.

Inside the dining area of the Chelsea lounge.
Inside the dining area of the Chelsea lounge.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

Chelsea features a circular champagne bar, plenty of seating, a dining area with on-demand meals, and large bathrooms with showers.

The circular champagne bar inside Chelsea.
The circular champagne bar inside Chelsea.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

British Airways first class passengers, American customers who purchased Flagship First or Flagship Business Plus, and American Conciergekey travelers on Flagship itineraries can access Chelsea.

The new Chelsea lounge.
British Airways passengers with access to the Concord Room can also enter.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

Next door is Soho, which is a larger lounge with a wine bar made of petrified wood, floor-to-ceiling windows, showers, food, and a view of the ramp.

Inside the Soho lounge.
Inside the Soho lounge.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

A British Airways Boeing 777 aircraft that just landed from London Heathrow was in full view from the lounge during our visit.

The British Airways aircraft outside the lounge.
Taylor Rains/Insider

Those with British Airways Executive Club Gold, AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum Pro, or Conciergekey status can enter Soho.

Inside the Soho lounge.
British Airways passengers with access to the First lounge can also enter.Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: American Airlines

Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY 5th District) called the new JFK terminal a "gamechanger" at Tuesday's press conference, saying the new facility can "compete will any terminal around the world."

American Airlines and British Airways in Terminal 8 at JFK.
Taylor Rains/Insider

Before the move, British Airways lived next door at Terminal 7 for 51 years. Company CEO Sean Doyle told media on Tuesday that the airline flew its first-ever Boeing 747 into the facility…

British Airways Boeing 747-400.
A British Airways Boeing 747-400.Nicolas Economou/Getty Images

A retired British Airways Boeing 747 was bought for $1.35 by an English airport and converted into a flightless 'party plane' event space — see inside the renovated Queen of the Skies

…as well as operated the supersonic Concorde jet there for 26 years.

British Airways Concorde.
aviation-images.com/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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With the move, Terminal 7 will be demolished to make space for the new Terminal 6, which is expected to be complete by 2027 and expand JetBlue Airways' stronghold at JFK.

Rendering of JetBlue's new T6 at JFK.
Rendering of JetBlue's new T6 at JFK.Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

JetBlue is getting an all-new $3.9 billion terminal in its 'hometown' of NYC as the airline continues to expand in the US and abroad — see what it will look like

The carrier currently flies out of Terminal 5, but the $4 billion redevelopment plan for Terminal 6 will add 1.2 million square feet of space and connect the two facilities. The Lufthansa Group will also move into the new terminal.

JetBlue terminal 5 at JFK.
JetBlue terminal 5 at JFK.Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock

However, despite the addition, JetBlue's powerful Northeast Alliance with American still won't have truly seamless connectivity at JFK.

American Airlines and JetBlue Airways
American Airlines and JetBlue AirwaysChris O'Meara/AP

American and JetBlue are expanding their Northeast Alliance despite a looming DoJ lawsuit that could unravel it all

JetBlue passengers connecting to an overseas American flight in Terminal 8 will need to take the shuttle bus that connects the two terminals airside.

Sign at the American Airlines check-in at Terminal 8 telling passengers that some AA flights are operated by JetBlue out of Terminal 5.
Taylor Rains/Insider

Source: JFK Airport

Isom told Insider that the airline wants to make sure those passengers have an easy connection, noting the airport's "great bus service" that he believes is "superior to some of the walking distances encountered at other terminal-to-terminal transports."

Robert Isom speaking at Tuesday's press conference at JFK's Terminal 8.
Robert Isom speaking at Tuesday's press conference at JFK's Terminal 8.Taylor Rains/Insider

Terminal 8 marks the first phase of JFK's overhaul, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In addition to the Terminal 8 and Terminal 6 projects, the airport has also broken ground on the New Terminal One.

JFK breaks ground.
Governor Kathy Hochul, joined by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Rick Cotton, breaks ground on the New Terminal One (NTO) at John F. Kennedy International Airport Thursday morning September 8, 2022.Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

Source: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The $9.5 billion renovation will include a new departures hall, arrivals hall, customs hall, restaurants, shops, and lounges.

Rendering of New Terminal One's arrivals hall.
Rendering of New Terminal One's arrivals hall.Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Construction on JFK's new $9.5 billion international terminal just broke ground — see what the new facility will look like

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