- Introduction, Positioning Flight to New York, and the Hilton JFK
- British Airways First Class Lounge, New York JFK
- Cathay Pacific First Class, New York JFK – Hong Kong
- The Pier First Class Lounge and Cathay Pacific Business Class, Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh City
- Park Hyatt Saigon
- Lunch at Pho Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City
- Vietnam Airlines Business Class, Ho Chi Minh City – Danang
- Hyatt Regency Danang Resort & Spa
- Vietnam Airlines Economy, Danang – Siem Reap
- Park Hyatt Siem Reap
- Angkor Wat and Other Temples
- Dragonair Business Class, Siem Reap – Hong Kong
- Turbojet, Hong Kong Airport – Macau and the Sheraton Macao Hotel
- The Venetian, Fernando’s, and the Ferry to Hong Kong
- Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Harbor View Suite
- Bo Innovation, Hong Kong
- Amber Restaurant, Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class Lounge, Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – New York JFK
After dropping my checked bags bag off after walking through customers, I walked outside to the Airtrain. At terminal 7 you have to cross the road to get to the Airtrain station.
The train that takes you between terminals also has a stop for hotel shuttles. Hotel shuttles don’t pick you up at each terminal, you have to go to a single collection spot. That’s never fun with checked bags, to take them upstairs to a train in order to catch a van. But that’s JFK.
The wait for the train headed in my direction wasn’t long, and shortly we were leaving the terminal 7 station and enroute for the quick trip over to terminal 8 where American Airlines is housed.
The American Airlines Terminal 8 is connected indoors to the Airtrain, a nice plus in early February with snow on the ground.
Once inside the terminal I walked up to a kiosk to reprint my boarding pass. Cathay Pacific had printed a boarding pass for me, but it wasn’t marked for PreCheck. Getting an American Airlines-issued pass would get me through the PreCheck queue rather than the longer premium security line (and I wouldn’t be asked to go through the nude-o-scope).
Connecting back to the U.S. always is so much more of an ordeal than in most of the rest of the world — immigration, customs, and security instead of just transit security (Singapore is the best, doing security only at each individual gate – you get off the plane and you’re free to roam the terminal). And JFK compounds the issue with its badly-connected terminals.
I normally use the American Airlines Flagship Lounge at JFK based on my British Airways Gold status (which I’ll be losing shortly). This time I was entitled to use the lounge as an Executive Platinum coming off of an international flight.
The JFK Flagship Lounge really isn’t much, and at peak times it can get quite crowded, but there’s an open bar and there’s a modest buffet so it’s a bit better than the standard Admiral’s Club. I figured it would be a better place to shower after a long flight as well.
The shower room was fine, but not like what I often see in first class lounges.
Here’s a hook dangling off the wall. I used it anyway, and hoped it wouldn’t break.
The shower stall could have been cleaned a little better.
And — true first world problem to be sure – the towels were thin and rough.
The lounge itself is one large room broken up into a variety of ‘areas’.
There are dining tables off of the buffet area.
Here’s what they were serving, click to enlarge:
I’m usually happy with the lounge just because there are bottles of water to take from the fridge.
I sat down by a window and caught up on email. I didn’t have that much, the nice thing about flying over a Saturday evening into Sunday morning.
The whole lounge overlooks the tarmac, which is nice.
I worked for 45 minutes or so and it was then time to head across to the very other end of the terminal — including an underground walk — to the American Eagle pier at the far end. (There’s actually a club lounge closer to those gates.)
We settled into our first class regional jet seats for the short 40 minute flight home.
On arrival in DC one of the nice features at baggage claim is that American is very good about getting priority bags out first — and even has an employee pulling priority tagged bags immediately as they come onto the carousel. I was home shortly, and needed to stay up only a few hours until my normal bedtime.