Wingtips Lounge Review: JFK Airport, New York

With the holiday travel upon us, here is my review of Wingtips Lounge in Terminal 4 of New York’s JFK Airport.  I have visited twice, once at breakfast and once at lunch, and will likely return.

Wingtips is a private airport lounge located plane-side, just past security, on the second level of JFK’s Terminal 4.  Several foreign airports use Wingtips as their lounge and priority pass members receive complimentary entrance.  NOTE – if the lounge is too crowded, priority pass members’ access is cut off.  Individuals not part of priority lass can buy a one-day membership for $50 USD.

After checking in, which requires ID, plane ticket and access pass (or priority pass), the food area is immediately to your left.  If you walk past the food area, there is a separate seating area with comfortable leather chairs, a decent number of power outlets, a large TV playing CNN and several international news publications for your reading pleasure.  The seats are certainly more comfortable than those in the main terminal.  The wall of the lounge facing the runway is entirely glass and offers some excellent sightings of foreign airlines (Terminal 4 handles many of JFK’s long-haul flights).  Aviation nerds, get excited!  The restrooms are just off of this seating area.  They are clean, but there are no showers or changing rooms.

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Main seating area

As mentioned, I have visited Wingtips twice – once for breakfast and once for dinner.  Each time, Wingtips set up a decent food and drink spread in a self-serve, buffet style.  The food and drink are all complimentary and unlimited.

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Food area

For my breakfast visit, Wingtips put out two hot breakfast foods, I think eggs and potatoes, and a number of cold meats and cheeses, fruits and yogurts.  The also set up a bread bar with bagels, cereal, toast, croissants and the requisite toppings.  For my recent dinner visit, Wingtips again put out two hot plates – this time a breaded fish entree and mashed potatoes.  The mashed potatoes were good.  I couldn’t bring myself to try the fish before a transatlantic flight….  In addition, Wingtips set up a salad bar, a plate of meats and cheeses and several “salads,” such as pasta salad, tuna salad and potato salad.  The bread bar was also present, with rolls, cereal, bread, etc.

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Hot dinner food

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Salad bar

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Bread area

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Dan’s meal

The food is certainly not gourmet, but it is on par with most other fare offered at JFK.  I made a tuna salad sandwich from the tuna, rolls and cheese and had a side salad to round out the meal.  It did the trick and was no worse than a sandwich that I would have purchased at a random restaurant near my gate.  The staff replaced the food pretty frequently and quickly cleaned tables with used plates.

NOTE – if you are really into eating well before a long flight, note that JFK does actually have some legit restaurants, including a Palm steakhouse in Terminal 4 just across from Wingtips.  Wingtips makes sense if you have free access and you are just looking to grab something rather than having a culinary experience.

Now, most importantly, the drinks, which is where you can really get your money’s worth in airport lounges!  Wingtips has a pretty decent selection.  There is a fridge stocked with  some interesting beer, including Coney Island beer (the sole craft selection), Red Stripe (Jamaica), Tiger (Singapore) and a other options.  In addition to beer, Wingtips puts out red and white wine and a variety of liquors, including Bailey’s.  Mixers are readily available, including all types of juices and soft drinks.

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Beer fridge

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Coffee station

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Hard liquor spread

I enjoy Wingtips and will likely return due to its participation in Priority Pass.  I would price it out before paying to enter.  For $50, you do get access to wifi, food and unlimited alcohol, but the lounge can be crowded and you may be able to obtain free internet through another source.

PROS

The food & drinks and the views of foreign planes.

CONS

Limited seating and somewhat of an odd setup.

LOGISTICS

Wingtips Lounge – Post TSA security check point in JFK Terminal 4.  Once past security, turn right and proceed approximately 100 yards. Wingtips Lounge is located on the left.

American Express Platinum and Citi Presitge credit cards offer complimentary priority pass membership to cardholders.  To obtain yours, you have to sign up for priority pass and wait for your card to arrive in the mail.  You have to have your actual priority pass to enter the lounge.  Standard priority pass generally does not allow complimentary access for any travel companions, but they can buy a pass to the lounge for $27.00, which may be worth it if you have a couple drinks!  The Citi priority pass includes entry for one guest.

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