Have you ever dreamt of an airport with an attractive, yet functional design? An airport with beautiful and innovative food outlets, great shopping? Or what about an occasional live concert? And on top of it all speedy and efficient operations? Dream no longer, this airport actually does exist: It’s called Terminal 5, the dedicated JetBlue terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (IATA: JFK, LD hub page).
Alright, we admit it, not everything is perfect – you still have to queue when dropping off your bag at check-in, but hey, you can’t blame them for that, as this is mainly due to Federal Aviation Administration issues. The agency still doesn’t allow passengers to check-in themselves (already a common practice in a number of countries i.e. Australia on domestic Qantas routes). But, once the FAA is ready for this, JetBlue can simply convert the existing area; and fear not, even if you have to wait a bit, the terminal offers free WiFi, so surely you’ll find heaps to do on your phone while you queue.
Once through security you will be greeted with a large open area, the centre of the 635,000 square feet (60,000 square meters) terminal that opened in 2008. This is also the area where you will see promotional events and if you are really really lucky, you’ll see a pop star performing live. JetBlue’s event series “Live from T5” has previously featured amazing talent such as James Blunt, Robyn or Taylor Swift.
From that central area, affectionately called ‘marketplace’ lead three wide concourses to the various gates. Along those concourses you will find the usual shopping and dining outlets. Hang on a minute, did we say usual? Scrap that – rewind! If you know JetBlue then you know that they don’t do ordinary. Period. What you actually find along these corridors are carefully selected shops, a food corner that provides a trillion options for every appetite and a chef-driven dining program. Dining program? Yes, you read right, at T5 you will find a number of restaurants that you would normally expect to find in a swanky Manhattan area!
Featured local chefs include: Mark Ladner (Aeronuova), Roberto Santibanez (Revolucion), Alex Raij (Piquillo), Lee Hanson & Riad Nasr (La Vie) and Michael Schulson (Deep Blue). Year-after-year, the T5 dining program, which is managed byOTG, are recognized with Customer Care Awards by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for their outstanding contribution to customer service.
What else? Well, there’s plenty more to discover – here a few of our favourites:
- Check out the old, iconic TWA Flight Center building right next to T5 – best views are from the check-in area or the bridge to/from the Air Train.
- After security, walk to gates 14/15 and lounge in one of the Italian designer chairs while watching planes take off and land, talk about luxury!
- Get your kids tired at the playground near gate 12
- Try to find gate 13 (send us a photo proof once you found it!)
- Love your quiet spot in the morning? Walk to gate 2 and have breakfast at the Horizon Bakery Cafe
- If you’re short for time or simply want to hang around your gate area, you can order food to eat in or take away from one of the many “revive” stations – you should get it within 10 minutes
- Hungry and have a little more time? Pick one of the great restaurants, you won’t be disappointed!
Hopefully we got you excited for experiencing T5 yourself. The only draw back of the terminal is that in order to experience it all, you will need an actual JetBlue ticket. So when you fly through JFK the next time, make sure you choose the right airline!