One of the stranger parts to me about flying into an American airport is that you are dumped straight into the terminal and can wander around freely. I know it’s not unusual, but I don’t often do it on the European flights that I take. It also means one can access the lounge on arrival, so when I landed from LAX I headed to the Flagship lounge for a shower. As I have been travelling in first class on the transcontinental route, I was granted access to Flagship First Dining again. I went in and had a coffee but decided I would not eat as I had intended to have brunch in Manhattan.
I planned to leave a bag in the left luggage in Terminal 8 but was disappointed to find that it had closed a couple of months prior. One of the staff members directed me to turn off, or where I would find another facility, I thought about it And eventually decided to go round. This was a big mistake. I had to get the air train which took around 10 minutes, and then find the place at the far end of the terminal.
They don’t have a scanner, and everything has to be checked by hand, which took ages. It was poorly organised, and I waited for about 20 minutes. In the end, I decided to leave as it was taking too long, and I was worried that the collection would also be a shambles. I got back on the AirTrain to Jamaica and took the subway to Manhattan with my bag. I love wandering the streets, even if I had to wheel my trusty little suitcase alongside on this occasion.
American Express had an offer on the Platinum card, which gave me £150 dining credit in several restaurants.
I had chosen the American Bar in Greenwich Village as somewhere open for brunch on Sunday. Annoyingly they wouldn’t let me book for one person, so I booked for two and told them the other person had cancelled. It seemed a bit of a poor policy as they weren’t packed, although it did get busier.
I sat outside and had a salmon salad and an espresso martini.
Seeing as Amex were paying, and the service was good, I left a big tip, but it was still expensive, and I probably wouldn’t have eaten there on my own dime.
The restaurant was near the High Line, one of my favourite places to visit in the city. I went for a wander and met up with a friend for a beer in one of the pop-up bars.
The views of the cityscape are so different from a little higher up, and the regeneration it has brought to the former meatpacking district over the last ten or so years is impressive.
We wandered back to Penn Station and the stunning new Moynihan Train Hall, where I went to Jamaica on the Long Island Rail Road and took the AirTrain to the airport. It’s the first time I’ve taken it, having used the subway and buses in the past, and I would recommend it as it is reasonably priced and more comfortable than the subway. I was soon back into the warm familiarity of British Airways Terminal 7, which I first visited in 2014, probably for the last time.