When You Fly American Airlines To New York JFK, Many Of You Can Get A Free Meal

I’ve written several times about Bobby Van’s at New York JFK terminal 8. It’s a Priority Pass restaurant so if you have your Priority Pass card from Chase, Citibank or Capital One you get a $28 credit there ($56 for two people).

Bobby Van’s is one of the better airport restaurants in the Priority Pass program. While you’re supposed to have a same day boarding pass to enter, that still lets you eat there both on arrival in New York and on departure as well.

In my experience they don’t actually check boarding passes, just swipe your card. If I were an American Airlines crewmember based in New York I’d definitely get a credit card that offers unlimited Priority Pass visits (not from American Express, which doesn’t cover restaurant visits).

Since the American Airlines terminal is underutilized throughout much of the day, Bobby Van’s is quiet. Eventually British Airways will move in, the terminal will pick up a bit, and of course the terminal’s concessions program is turning over. But for now there’s a vast restaurant with staff just waiting for you to swipe your Priority Pass card. Everyone that was there during my most recent visit had one.

Some people do order steaks here. I’ve had the tuna burger and I’ve had the chili (which is excellent) and several other items. They may have the best airport restaurant burger you can buy in the United States. It’s actually delicious – from a nicely cooked piece of beef to excellent bun. And it’s even better when the basic burger is $25 on the menu plus tax meaning you’re really just going to pay for the tip and anything else you might add or drink.

If you have enough time to kill, it’s certainly better to have a meal at Spicy Lanka in Jamaica near the airport. But for q quick meal this is one of the great tricks in travel.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. […] The Soho Lounge JFK is brand new. American Airlines and British Airways are jointly operating three lounges at New York JFK terminal 8, now that BA has moved into the American Airlines facility. After I landed off of a recent flight I stopped in for dinner before heading to my hotel, instead of my usual stop for a free meal at Bobby Van’s Grill. […]


  1. I ate there while waiting for my QR flight. It was fairly busy and the beef medallions were delicious.

  2. I ate there a few days ago, and used the Priority Pass app to pay. They were pretty serious about also scanning my boarding pass – might have just been the server in question, or might be better to use the physical card if you’re following Gary’s suggestion.

  3. Marvelous, a whole story about one airport – wow, you must be hurting for stories. I guess if you don’t ever fly via JFK there is no need to read it.

  4. So one can go to Van’s or other Priority Pass restaurants and scan/swipe in with your (same-day) boarding pass, even if you are already at your arrival destination?

  5. Sidenote: in addition to the cards Gary listed, the Ritz Carlton card also has Priority Pass benefits that include dining benefits.

    The Ritz Carlton card has unlimited no-additional-fee authorized users. So that’s Priority Pass cards for everyone you know (and trust).

    You can no longer apply for it… but you can upgrade from one of the other Marriott cards after a year.

    However, I think one of the unique requirements is you have to have the physical P.P. card (benefits not via app).

  6. Marco I guess if you have nothing productive or positive to say it would be best to refrain from posting at all. A lot of us readers here do fly frequently to JFK as it is one of the busiest airports in the world.

  7. That restaurant is awful and I always see dirt flies there. When I’m flying AA, I only go there if I can’t get into the AA or flagship lounge, or if I don’t have enough time to go to one of the lounges at another terminal first – and then I usually just get a drink.

Comments are closed.