UPDATE: Swiss has moved to Terminal 1 at JFK. This lounge is now the new Wingtips Lounge and no longer a SWISS – Star Alliance Lounge.
SWISS has done a marvelous job remodeling its Terminal 4 lounge at New York (JFK). It felt like I was stepping into Switzerland and the food and drink selection as well as the service makes it one of the best Star Alliance Gold lounges in the USA.
SWISS Lounge New York (JFK) Review
I visited this lounge before a recent trip to Los Angeles. What a difference between this and the next door Wingtips Lounge…
Location + Hours + Access
The lounge has two sides, a business class and first class side. My focus in this review will be on the business class side, though currently there is no difference in services offered. Eventually, a la carte dining will return to the first class side.
Access to the first class side requires a same-day onward boarding pass in SWISS or Lufthansa First Class or HON Circle status in the Miles & More program.
Meanwhile, access to the business class sides requires an onward business class ticket on any Star Alliance flight or Star Alliance Gold status plus an onward ticket on any Star Alliance carrier in any class of service. Miles & More Frequent Travelers (silver status) are also granted access.
Note: while United Airlines MileagePlus elites cannot use their status or class of service to access United Clubs on most domestic itineraries, that limit does not apply to this lounge (and other non-United Star Alliance Gold lounges in the USA).
So say you were a United Premier Gold traveling from New York to San Francisco in economy class. You’d have access to this lounge before your flight.
It is located in Terminal 4 just past the security checkpoint. After clearing security, immediately turn right and you will hit the lounge.
Current hours of operation are:
- Wednesday – Monday, 5:00PM – 9:00PM
- Closed Tuesday
I arrived just as the lounge was opening at 5:00PM.
As I mentioned, this lounge really feels like you are at a SWISS lounge in Zurich…and that is a good thing. The natural wood, red and black accents, and dark leather work so well to make the lounge feel functional yet cozy yet elegant. There’s a combination of chairs, tables, and couches including a large dining area, which underscores a main function of this lounge: eat before your flight to maximize sleep onboard.
You’ll find great tarmac views, including a pair of telescopes to plane spot:
The lounge has done a great job of offering plenty of power outlets and sources to charge your devices, including many wireless charging stations. Rather than offer universal outlets, there is a bevy of outlet-types from around the world.
Food + Drink
I wasn’t expecting to eat dinner in the lounge prior to my flight…but ended up staying for dinner. Just beyond the reception is the food and beverage area, which included a self-serve buffet with a high-quality and delicious selection of:
- Minestrone soup
- Cesar salad
- Green salad
- Roasted root vegetables
- Meatballs with jasmine rice and sautéed vegetables in a coconut sauce
- Potato chips
- Whole fruit
- Fruit salad
Drink selection included:
- Wine (including sparkling wine)
- Soft drinks
I loved the plates and dishes as well and made myself a tasty little feast:
My only complaint: plastic utensils. It really cheapened the entire experience.
Restrooms + Showers
Restrooms are gender segregated, but private rooms rather than a shared facility.
Showers are available. Check in with lounge staff if you wish to use one.
The staff and the chef, who carefully watched over the buffet, were great. Very kind and attentive…friendly too. The lady who checked me in could not understand why I had come all the way over from Terminal 7, but was happy to welcome me to the lounge.
If you’re looking for a nice environment to relax before your flight or eat and drink something, this is a great lounge. The nearby American Express Centurion Lounge does have a better food and drink selection, but this beats the Air India lounge in T4 by miles and miles and is one of my favorite Star Alliance Gold lounges in the country.
Guten Tag Herr Klint
Guten Tag to you as well.
How did you access this? I thought JFK only lets you go through security for the terminal you are flying out of?
TSA doesn’t mind. I made very clear I was visiting the lounge.
Opening at 17:00 seems a bit late for Lufthansa flights. If Lufthansa has their own lounge, does Swiss need a separate one when Swiss seems to run later flights?
Don’t they operate out of different terminals? Lufthansa flies out of Terminal 1.
Correct. LH operates out of T1.
Key features of a good airport lounge:
-plenty of ice cream
-places to discreetly fart
I love the poorly educated!!!
Very very nice for a U.S. lounge. I’m impressed. Love the telescopes!
Aside from SWISS in T4 you could fly Air India, Asiana, Copa, Egyptair, Singapore and South African. But for United flyers it’s not great given the early schedules for the last UA flights and they’re in T7.
The symbols and font for the restroom placards even looked like they belonged in a European airport! Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.
One note: of the four daily UA domestic departures, only the evening JFK-LAX flight would have access given the current operating hours of the lounge. (Unless the staff allow entry on flight arrival.)
I wonder what’s going to happen to the lounge when Swiss moves to Terminal 1 next year.
This lounge is no longer there 🙁
Yes indeed, sadly. I’ve noted it at the top of the review and also linked to the Wingtips lounge which has now taken over the space: