Introduction: A Hop to the Maldives
Review: Park Hyatt New York
Review: Emirates Lounge JFK
Review: Emirates First Class A380 JFK-DXB
Review: Park Hyatt Dubai
Review: Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Review: Emirates First Class 777 DXB-MLE
Getting to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa
Review: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
Review: Etihad Business A330 MLE-AUH
Review: Etihad First Class Lounge
Review: Etihad First Class A380 AUH-JFK
Review: American Business A321T JFK-LAX
After a snail’s pace crawl through traffic to JFK, we arrived at Terminal 4 ready for our flight to Dubai. I was giddy as a kid, and also nervous. I obviously had all my flight credentials and itinerary information confirmed and printed, but none of this trip felt quite real just yet. What if it didn’t work out? What if they didn’t let us on the plane?
We entered the terminal and looked for the Emirates check-in area, where we found two check-in lines, one for Economy, and one for Business. We looked around, and soon enough found a separate dedicated check-in location for First Class Passengers.
Check-in was painless, and our 60+ pound bags were no problem at all (on First Class tickets we were entitled to 70 pounds per bag), and we were directed to TSA security lines, and then invited to visit the Emirates lounge. It’s important to note that there were no Pre-Check lines available, so even though we had special access through a “premium” lane, we still waited in line for a good 20 minutes to get through security.
Once through, we headed toward the Emirates Lounge, located on the second floor above the boarding gates.
This lounge serves all Emirates premium customers. At JFK, there is no special First Class lounge, like we would later enjoy in Dubai. As such, this was not a particularly fancy or luxurious place to hang. Don’t get me wrong, it was more than sufficient, with good food and drink, comfy chairs, great views of the tarmac, and electric plugs to boot, but within days we would come to experience a standard for luxury lounges above and beyond this by leaps and bounds.
The lounge is fairly large, and filled wall to wall with beige leather chairs, all comfortable enough, and all showing signs of age. The nicest part of the lounge is that you can board your plane directly from inside, no need to leave the lounge prior to departure and head to the gate with the masses; no, Emirates has a dedicated premium gate within the lounge.
We took seats close to the windows so that we could get a good view of the tarmac at JFK, and all the many large planes from different international carriers lined up waiting to hit the skies. I was like a kid in a candy store.
First and most visible was our plane, the Emirates Airbus A380 that we would be making home for 12 hours on our way to Dubai. To its left was a nice friends circle of other large birds, including a Singapore Air A380 (which would fly to Frankfurt and then on to Singapore), an El Al 747 and a Virgin Atlantic A330.
We took a spin around the lounge to check out options for keeping us hydrated and satiated during our hour or so wait until boarding. The food was fine enough – mostly Arabic mezze options like hummus, babaganush and the like. There were cheeses and olives and nuts, and a full spread of drinks to choose from.
True to form, we picked some nuts and poured two glasses of champagne. I stuck with one glass, because I was eager to save room for the Dom Perignon on board! A little over an hour later, boarding was called for our flight, and I gleefully skipped my way down the jet bridge.
The Emirates Lounge JFK is a find lounge, and great place to relax before your flight to Dubai. It’s nothing special, and I would not go out of my way to get access to it, or arrive extra early just to enjoy its amenities, but it is perfectly suitable for a drink and a breath before entering a metal tube for 12 hours.
Coming up: Is Emirates all that Jennifer Anniston makes it out to be? (Preview: Yes!)