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Priority Pass Membership and Amex Lounge JFK

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kezzie

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Two questions really. We have a couple of fairly long haul flights this christmas - Syd-Lax-JFK-LHR plus HLS-LHR-O'Hare-SFO then Tokyo-Perth-Syd and are considering whether it's worth joining qantas club. We can join at a discount but it's still fairly pricey and there are no lounges at Helsinki, Tokyo, O'Hare so it's questionable about whether we'd get value for money.
Looked at Priority Pass and wondered if anyone here was a member. ALso heard that at JFK ( not sure where else) you can access a lounge with an Amex card? is that correct.
Thanks all.
 

NM

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Be aware that JFK has about 9 different terminals. If the lounge that permits access based on Amex membership is not in the terminal you are using, you won't have access.

If flying with AA out of Chicago (ORD) a Qantas Club member has access to the AA Admirals Club lounge.

Helsinki (HEL) only have AY lounges which are not accessible by Qantas Club members.

Depending on your routing, it may be worthwhile signing up for the AA Platinum Challenge. That way you will earn OneWorld Sapphire status and have access to OneWorld lounges when flying with OneWorld airlines. That will provide access to AY lounges in HEL, as well as AA/BA lounges in LHR (depending on which airline you use for LHR-ORD), AA lounges in ORD, SFO providing on a same-day international flight with OneWorld airline). It will probably permit access to the QF partner lounge at NRT (JAL lounge) but might need to check on that one since its really a partner lounge). And certainly access to the Qantas Club lounges in Australia.

Assuming you are booked on QF107 SYD-JFK (transit in LAX, but as a single flight number all the way to JFK), you will have travelled 9950 miles. Depending on the booking class (and assuming economy travel) you will earn either 4975, 9950 or 1,495 Elite Qualifying Points towards the AA Platinum Challenge. You need 10,000 points to make it to Platinum.

So you need to find out the booking code for the flights (H, K, W, M, V, L, and R all earn 1 point per mile; G, S and O only earn at 0.5 points per mile; B and Y earn at 1.5 points per mile).

So if booked in H, K, W, M, V, L or R, its probably worth adding a domestic flight in Australia first (say SYD-CBR, SYD-NTL or similar) to earn 500 or 1000 points before you leave. Then you also earn the 100% mileage bonus for the SYD-JFK flight, which is a great bonus. And from then on you have lounge access based on AA Platinum/OneWorld Sapphire status.
 

kezzie

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Feb 4, 2006
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Sorry should have said that it is a reward flight so no points earned therefore AA platinum is out.

We are flying Qantas ( yes 107) via LAX to JFK then have a 3 hr stopover before a BA flight to London - arrive depart Terminal 7.

2nd long flight is Finnair Helsinki to London, BA to Chicago ( Change terminals) and AA to SFO.
We also have an AA from LAX to Tokyo.
Then it's Qantas Tokyo to Sydney via Perth.

Doesn't really bother us being in the main terminal areas but would be nice to be able to access showers at JFK, Chicago and even in Perth as it will be at least 3 hrs home from arrival time in Sydney.

I'd be happy to just pay to use the showers - that's what we did when coming home from China via Osaka ( 6hr layover) - but it seems there isn't anything like that at either Chicago or JFK.
 

NM

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In that case Qantas Club membership is probably better for you. Besides lounge access, you get QF business class check-in, extra baggage allowance on QF flights, and priority seat allocations on QF flights.
 

tuapekastar

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kezzie said:
I don't think you do unless you are flying bus or 1st/
kezzie, rest assured you do get what NM says you get with QC membership, even if flying economy class. But only applicable on QF operated and marketed flights, though I've seen QC members checkin at QC/Business checkin counters on QF operated flights with an AA flight number. Refer here for details of benefits.
 

kezzie

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Even so, it's not worth it as the only Qantas legs are Syd-JFK then we are on a BA flight and Tokyo - Syd. It's at JFK prior to a BA flight, LHR prior to a BA flight and or Chicago prior to an AA flight that we would really benefit from access to the lounge facilities.

It's the Priority Pass membership I am more interested in as it's a damn sight cheaper and can be used anywhere apparently.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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NM said:
Be aware that JFK has about 9 different terminals. If the lounge that permits access based on Amex membership is not in the terminal you are using, you won't have access.
Not necessarily - but will be inconvenient if different terminal from your departing flight. Most (all?) lounges at JFK are landside. But a hassle if you needed to check in, then take the airtrain to whatever terminal the amex lounge is, enjoy the lounge and leave there early enough to take the airtrain back again plus security etc to make your flight.
 

kezzie

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Feb 4, 2006
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I'm beginning to think the amex lounge is a myth. Haven't been able to find anything on line.
 

Dave Noble

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kezzie said:
Even so, it's not worth it as the only Qantas legs are Syd-JFK then we are on a BA flight and Tokyo - Syd. It's at JFK prior to a BA flight, LHR prior to a BA flight and or Chicago prior to an AA flight that we would really benefit from access to the lounge facilities.

It's the Priority Pass membership I am more interested in as it's a damn sight cheaper and can be used anywhere apparently.
You would need to check where there are Priority pass lounges are which a call to PP might be best for verifying

Do be aware that if the PP lounges in the USA are in another terminal ( i.e is not the AA lounge) from your flight, then you would not have access to it anyway ) . Also, if the PP lounge at LHR is not in the same terminal as your BA flight, then you again would not have access, so do check this carefully

If you did go the Qantas Clun way, then you would have access to the QF lounge before QF flight, the AA Admirals Club lounge before the AA flights and the BA lounge before the BA flights

Dave
 

NM

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kezzie said:
Even so, it's not worth it as the only Qantas legs are Syd-JFK then we are on a BA flight and Tokyo - Syd. It's at JFK prior to a BA flight, LHR prior to a BA flight and or Chicago prior to an AA flight that we would really benefit from access to the lounge facilities.

It's the Priority Pass membership I am more interested in as it's a damn sight cheaper and can be used anywhere apparently.
If your SYD-JFK-LHR itinerary is all connecting flights, then you should be able to check-in for all while at SYD. But even if QF cannot provide the boarding pass, you could collect that at the BA lounge at JFK if you have lounge access.

So having Qantas Club membership gets you priority check-in at SYD, Qantas Club lounge access in SYD and LAX, and then BA lounge access at JFK. Either way you will not have to visit the land-side checkin desks at JFK if you are on a connecting flight. You collect your BA boarding pass at the BA lounge or at the air-side transfer desk.

Qantas Club membership gets you into BA lounge at JFK when flying outbound with BA. Note that you won't get access to the pre-flight dining room as that is only for BA Business and First Class passengers. But you do get into the BA Terraces (Business Class) Lounge. If two people travelling, only 1 membership is required as you can take a guest into all the lounges.

Bags should be checked all the way to LHR, but will be collected at LAX as required by US regulations for customs processing. Then re-screened and loaded onto QF107 for the LAX-JFK leg. Since the bags do not go to a BA Check-in desk at LAX (there is a connecting flights re-screening location just outside T4 arrivals), they are not re-weighed or re-counted. So your additional Qantas Club baggage allowance is going to be good all the way to LHR.

Qantas Club does not get you into a lounge at HEL. It will get you into the AA or BA lounge at LHR (depending which airline you are flying) before the LHR-ORD leg. It will also get you into the AA lounge at ORD before your flight ORD-SFO, and into the AA lounge at SFO before you flight SFO-NRT. And should also get you into the QF partner lounge (JAL) at NRT prior to flight to PER.

Its not going to help with priority checkin or extra baggage on the HEL-LHR-ORD-SFO-NRT-PER segments (unless NRT is a stopover and not just a transit).
 

kezzie

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Thanks for that, I must have misunderstood other advice.
OK let's see:
There are 3 of us so we will need two memberships but of course you do get a reduction on partner membership. We can join for $870 total and can salary sacrifice as well which effectively brings it down to around $450 so it's a pretty good price.

Our route is:
1st Leg:
Syd-LAX-JFK-LHR Qantas to JFK then BA booked through.
Will be able to access BA lounge at JFK and get priority check in at Syd, and slightly quicker at JFK.
2nd Leg
LHR-HLS with BA
Can use the BA lounge but not priority check in.
3rd Leg
HLS-LHR(finnair)- ORD (BA) - SFO (AA)
Nothing in HLS but can use the BA lounge in LHR no priority check in. Can use the AA lounge Chicago. ( This leg is domestic - does that make a difference?)
4th Leg
LAX-NRT with AA
Use the AA lounge in LAX (no priority check-in)
5th Leg
NRT-Perth-Syd Qantas
Access to JAL Lounge Tokyo and Qantas Lounge in Perth with Priority check in.
Have I got that right?

Re the extra baggage allowance that's only going to apply on some legs?
 

NM

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kezzie said:
Our route is:
1st Leg:
Syd-LAX-JFK-LHR Qantas to JFK then BA booked through.
Will be able to access BA lounge at JFK and get priority check in at Syd, and slightly quicker at JFK.
You can also use the joint QF/AA lounge at LAX. It has showers etc which can be nice after the long flight SYD-LAX, but depending on how long it takes to get through immigration and customs at LAX, you may not have a lot of time.
kezzie said:
2nd Leg
LHR-HLS with BA
Can use the BA lounge but not priority check in.
I assume you mean Helsinki, in which case the IATA code for the airport is HEL (its always fun to tell people you are going to HEL and back on this trip). Yes you can use the BA lounge since you are on a BA flight.
kezzie said:
3rd Leg
HLS-LHR(finnair)- ORD (BA) - SFO (AA)
Nothing in HLS but can use the BA lounge in LHR no priority check in. Can use the AA lounge Chicago. ( This leg is domestic - does that make a difference?)
Checkin will be at HEL and they should issue you boarding passes for the BA flight to ORD through possibly not for AA flight to SFO. They should check the bags to SFO but again you have to collect at point of entry to the USA which is ORD, where you also clear immigration and customs.

Yes, even though ORD-SFO is AA domestic, Qantas Club members get access to the AA lounge and should also be provided at least one free drink voucher per member of the party. AA will permit access to all members of the same family when travelling together, while QF and BA limit you to one guest per member.
kezzie said:
4th Leg
LAX-NRT with AA
Use the AA lounge in LAX (no priority check-in)
Correct
kezzie said:
5th Leg
NRT-Perth-Syd Qantas
Access to JAL Lounge Tokyo and Qantas Lounge in Perth with Priority check in.
Have I got that right?
Yes, since you are on a QF flight number you can check-in at the QF business class counter as a Qantas Club member.
kezzie said:
Re the extra baggage allowance that's only going to apply on some legs?
Yes, it will only apply to legs where you check-in with QF. But QF will check the bags to the final destination for that part of the trip and even collecting at an interim customs inspection point (such as LAX on the SYD-JFK sector) should not affect the checked baggage amount. The TSA agents doing the re-screening at LAX are not going to be checking your baggage allowance entitlement - they are just x-raying etc and passing it through the handlers to be loaded onto the next flight (the same aircraft you just arrived on in the case of QF107 SYD-lax-JFK. And then you bags get transferred to the BA aircraft in JFK with no contact from you.
 
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