Terminal 4 at JFK: Delta’s New Home – Virtual Tour and Review

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ENTER DELTA

Delta Sky Priority check-in area

Delta Sky Priority check-in area

Delta Air Lines had long struggled with the JFK terminals it inherited from Pan Am, whose transatlantic routes it took over in 1991 after Pan Am ceased operations.  At the turn of the century, Delta was saddled with two of the oldest terminals at the airport, terminals 2 and 3, and largely stood by while competitors such as American Airlines were erecting new, modern structures.

In 2000, with an eye towards increasing its flights out of JFK from 57 to 175, Delta announced plans to demolish T3,the Worldport, build 10 new gates at the far end of Terminal 2, and add 26 gates to T4 (which was at the time under construction).  This project stalled.  A decade later, Delta unveiled a new plan.  It would demolish T3, which had deteriorated to the point that a Delta executive remarked that it evoked a “Third World country,” and move its T3 operations to expanded facilities at T4.

Delta aircraft at T4's new gates

Delta aircraft at T4’s new gates

What Delta did was similar to what had been undertaken while building T4 when the original International Arrivals Building continued operations.  Bulldozers and backhoes had to share space with wide-body jets and T4 stayed open while a 346,000-square-foot (32,144-square-meter) extension was added on.

As of its opening last month, the expanded T4 offered nine new, as well as seven renovated, international gates, a renovated check-in area including a dedicated Sky Priority check-in, and perhaps most importantly, new centralized security checkpoint facilities.  New dining and retail outlets, as well as an in-line baggage system, and improved Customs and Border Protection, were also added.

The Delta T4 expansion hadn’t even been completed when Delta, along with JFK International Air Terminal, the company that manages Terminal 4, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, announced the second phase of Delta’s expansion at the terminal.  This project, with a cost of $145 million, will add 11 gates and 45,000 square feet (4,180 square meters) to Terminal 4’s Concourse B.  The gates, at the end of Concourse B, will cater to regional jets and completely replace the airline’s current regional jet facility at Terminal 2.

Once the expansion is complete, Terminal 4’s Concourse B will host 27 Delta gates. Each new gate will include a dedicated boarding counter, seating area, and jet bridge.

DELTA SKY CLUB AND SKY DECK

Delta Sky Club check-in

Delta Sky Club check-in

Perhaps the most attractive part of Terminal 4 is one which the majority of passengers will likely never experience: the 24,000-square-foot (2,229-square-meter) Delta Sky Club.  One doesn’t simply walk in to the Sky Club, one ascends via a fairly dramatic escalator.  At the top, a greeter welcomes the traveler and directs him to one of the check-in counters.

This is a very big space where visitors can avail themselves of a variety of seating options, ranging from sofas to workstations to patio furniture.  Over 400 seats, 50 workstations, and private shower suites await the traveler.  A beautifully decorated Cîroc room, a full-service restaurant and a quiet room round out the facilities.

Delta's Sky Deck

Delta’s Sky Deck

While the snacks served in the Terminal 4 Sky Club are the same as in other Sky Clubs, the dining room option is unique within the Delta system.   The menu, which is presented on an iPad, offers choices ranging from snacks (rosemary, truffle, and parmesan popcorn or steamed edamame with sea salt, and crispy seaweed are two options), entrées (cold poached shrimp, charcuterie, or perhaps sushi), plus salads, sandwiches, and desserts.  A kosher menu is also available.

Placing orders via the tablets may be done from almost anywhere within the Sky Club, as the iPads indicate their location to the staff, ensuring prompt and accurate meal delivery.  The bar serves complimentary beverages and the waiter offered a glass of white wine to accompany the sushi platter I ordered in the dining room.

An impressive feature of the terminal is the Delta Sky Deck, a 2,000-square-foot (185-square-meter) terrace that was a first for Delta, although another was recently opened in Atlanta.

Delta partnered with Architectural Digest and designer Thom Filicia to create the Sky Deck. The result wouldn’t look out of place at a five-star hotel and is a most pleasant and relaxing space to spend some time awaiting a flight.

Click here to continue to Page 3Other Parts of T4 and Airline Lounges

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