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Friday, November 2, 2012

Sampling oneworld Premium Services: Japan Airlines New York JFK Sakura Lounge

JAL Sakura Lounge at New York JFK Terminal 1
JAL Sakura Lounge at New York JFK Terminal 1

[Note: JAL has permanently closed the JFK lounges on October 31 2014. Eligible passengers are now invited to use the Air France lounge instead]

Even though I know Japan Airlines (JAL) does not offer much at the New York JFK lounges, I still went there early so I can check out the Sakura Lounge too. The Sakura Lounge is located on the right hand side and has quite an interesting layout. Most of the seats are facing the window overlooking the apron and it looks almost like a movie theatre or lecture hall :o As you can see form the picture above, the front row seats get a desk too. I would have definitely picked one of those seats if I had to stay on the Sakura side but luckily I have access to a slightly better First Class Lounge this time :)


JAL Sakura Lounge at New York JFK Terminal 1
JAL Sakura Lounge at New York JFK Terminal 1

Similar to the First Class side of the lounge, the Sakura Lounge has very limited snack options. There are only rice crackers, pretzels and some kind of biscuits (or was that cookies, cakes and crackers?). However they get the same drinks and tea and smaller selection of alcoholic beverages. But they get a latte machine which the First Class Lounge does not have. So eat somewhere else and don't expect the lounge food would fill you up at the JFK lounges!


Drink selection at JFK Sakura Lounge
Drink selection at JFK Sakura Lounge

Alcoholic beverages at JFK Sakura Lounge
Alcoholic beverages at JFK Sakura Lounge

Snacks at JFK Sakura Lounge
Snacks at JFK Sakura Lounge

Other than the First and Business class sides of the lounge, there are some shared facilities at JFK too. They are also located on the right hand side of the lounge area. Before you get into the Sakura Lounge, you can see the business corner with cubicles in it. I guess they is perfect for the busy business travelers at JFK. But it was under utilized while I was there. Also no phone is allowed in the Business Corner.


Business Corner at the JAL JFK Lounge
Business Corner at the JAL JFK Lounge

Business Corner at the JAL JFK Lounge
Business Corner at the JAL JFK Lounge

Business Corner at the JAL JFK Lounge
Business Corner at the JAL JFK Lounge

Next to the business corner is the cloak room which you can store your coats and luggages. Since it's summer time, not much people are traveling with coats I guess :P They don't have lockers like they do at the Tokyo lounges either.


Cloak room at JAL JFK Lounge
Cloak room at JAL JFK Lounge

Finally is the restrooms. The First Class Lounge and Sakura Lounge share the restrooms located in between them. So there could be some wait at times.


Restrooms shared by the JAL First Class Lounge and Sakura Lounge
Restrooms shared by the JAL First Class Lounge and Sakura Lounge

One thing I forgot to mention is the wi-fi connection at the lounge. Instead of having one shared passcode for everyone to use, JAL gives out one-time activation code to individual passenger. Simply pick up the card with passcode at the front desk, enter the passcode when prompted, and then you are connected.

OK that's it for the JFK lounges. Next will finally be the parts on my JAL First Class flight from New York JFK to Tokyo Narita.

PS: This trip report on JFK Sakura Lounge was written at Seattle Airport while I am waiting to board my Virgin America (VX) flight back to LAX. Yea no AA flight on this route. But I will try to write a trip report on this trip too given VX is a JAL partner too :P

To read other parts of this "Sampling oneworld Premium Services Trip Report", you can find the complete index from the Introduction post. There's also a Trip Report Index page which contains indices to all of my trip reports.


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