Airport Lounges

21 Hours In Vancouver: Cathay Pacific First Class JFK Checkin & British Airways Galleries Lounge

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My friend and I decided to do a quick trip to Vancouver at the last minute when I saw First Class seats were available on Cathay Pacific. Booking was easy, but getting from DC to JFK wasn’t. American Airlines/US Airways routing rules wouldn’t allow us to have more than a 4 hour connection at JFK, and all available flight options ran the risk of missing our connection if we even had a slight delay.

So after investigating all our options in regards to price and convenience, I wound up doing something which felt a little strange. We rented a car to drive up to JFK (about 4 hours of transit time) and then parked for 2 days at The Parking Spot JFK, optimistic that we’d be able to drive the 4 hours back after our return red eye flight got in at 6AM.

The train was too expensive and took just as long. Doing two one way rentals was much more expensive.

Keri Shawna drive to JFK

So right around 4:30 PM we arrived at The Parking Spot and began our adventure! The shuttle dropped us off at Terminal 7 and we went in search of the check in desk. The main check in area for all the airlines was crazy, but the First and Business class check in areas were off to the left and much quieter.

JFK Terminal 7 First Class Check in Cathay Pacific

Unfortunately for us, the Cathay Pacific counter didn’t open til 5:45PM, but at least there were comfortable seating areas across the way. When the counter did finally open, there was already a line and a mad rush for agents.

JFK Terminal 7 Cathay Pacific First Class Check in Line

But soon enough we had our plane tickets and lounge passes and  headed to premium security line which wasn’t open the last time I went through.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Invitation JFK

JFK Terminal 7 Premium Security Line

Funnily enough, the security line winds up being inconvenient for all but British Airways First class passengers as you emerge right in front of the Concorde Room and quite a long walk from the British Airways Galleries lounges.

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK entrance Keri

Our invitations were taken and out of habit I bore to the right to the large lounge which at 6:30 was extremely crowded and extremely hot.

We wandered around checking out the bar, the “pub area” with beers in bottles and on draft, and the available snacks of sandwiches, ramen soup, and snack mixes and grabbed seats by the cheerful fountain for a bit.

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK snack area

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK snacks

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK workstations

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK bar area

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK sandwiches soup

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK fountain

Then we decided to brave the Pre-flight Supper room which was even more tightly packed and over heated.

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK preflight supper room

The food selections were nice. There was choose your own risotto options with a chef, as well as really good green beans, beef, and a yummy eggplant dish.

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK preflight supper hot options

Cold salad options.

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK preflight supper cold options

Dessert was modest, a few common cheeses and crackers and yogurt with honey and fruit or a slice of cake.

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK preflight supper dessert

British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK preflight supper room view

At this point I realized that we were eligible for the First Class lounge (on the left when you enter the lounge area) so we headed over there to see if it was quieter and cooler. It was, and had slightly better beverage options, including Laurent-Perrier champagne.

British Airways Galleries First Class Lounge JFK

British Airways Galleries First Class Lounge JFK champagne

There were also food options, but a quick glance indicated the supper room had been better so I didn’t bother.

Too excited to wait for the boarding call, we soon headed downstairs to our gate (which had changed) and eagerly awaited boarding.

More about this trip:

Cathay Pacific First Class JFK-YVR


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