Update: The Airspace lounge at JFK closed permanently on August 31, 2018.
JetBlue is an awesome airline and I have been flying them a lot lately. For a low-cost carrier, they have a great in-flight experience and I would choose to fly them over any of the other domestic carriers any day. However, one of the downsides to flying JetBlue is their lack of lounges. Even for Mint business class passengers or those holding Mosaic elite status, lounge access is not provided and you have to pay to use any of the contract lounges. At JFK, the contract lounge is the Airspace Lounge located in T5.
The Airspace Lounge is located airside (past security) between gates 24 and 25 and is the only airport lounge located in the terminal. Entry is complimentary for Aer Lingus business class passengers and Gold Circle Club members and American Express Platinum (business and personal) cardholders. American Express Platinum cardholders are allowed to bring their immediate family members or up to two guests free of charge. Everyone else, regardless of the airline they are flying, can pay the daily entrance fee to use the lounge. Admission is $35 but with tax/fees, the total comes out to $38.11/per person, per day. Everyone admitted receives a $10 credit towards food/cocktail purchases. The lounge is open from 4:30 AM to 11:00 PM daily.
Lounge services and amenities include complimentary soft drinks, coffees, teas and snacks, a full bar with bartender service, shower room, semi-private conference room, WiFi, complimentary scanning and printing and assistance with delays.
The lounge itself is tiny and at the time of my visit, 3:00 PM on a Sunday, was very crowded and loud. This is definitely not the place to be if you are looking for some peace and quiet or need to get some serious work done. There are two small sitting areas, a glass-enclosed TV room, bar area with bartender service and an open workspace area. Electrical outlets were plentiful and were located at every seat in the lounge.
The complimentary drinks and snacks include soft drinks, Peets coffee and teas, some oranges and a Chex mix. Everything else can be purchased at the bar. With my $10 credit, I ordered the Charcuterie plate (four types of meat, a premium hand-sliced Ficocchiona, soppressata, bresaola and country pate served with a piece of stirato bread) for $8 and a soft drink. Obviously, the portions were tiny and I didn’t even get a picture of it. Aer Lingus passengers receive complimentary food, wine, beer and spirits from the bar menu.
There are two bathrooms inside the lounge and one of them is equipped with a decent size shower. The main reason why I paid for the lounge was because I needed to shower badly. It’s a long story but the hotel where I was staying at, the DoubleTree Financial District in lower Manhattan, had a water heater problem and I wasn’t able to shower before leaving the hotel. Because I hadn’t showered in 24 hours, I wanted to do my seatmates a favor and get one in before boarding my flight back to Los Angeles.
To use the shower room, you have to notify one of the attendants and they will set it up for you. The shower service was actually nice. They prepped the shower room, put out a couple of towels and provided you with an amenity kit containing Institute Swiss branded shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste (but no toothbrush), razer and shaving cream. The unbranded, nylon zip kit is yours to keep. Communal bottles of hand soap and lotion were provided in the shower room.
I love the flight information display built into the mirror!
Service-wise, the attendants were friendly and helpful. They were constantly cleaning and kept the lounge clean and free of used dishes, glasses and other trash.
Overall, the Airspace Lounge is a nice little place but I don’t know if I could justify spending $38 bucks to use it nor would I recommend it to someone. T5 is not a bad place and you can easily use that money at any of the numerous restaurants and work at any of the open tables. The only benefit to the lounge is the shower room if you need to freshen up before or after your flight.