MIAMI — JetBlue Airways welcomes summer with the opening of the T5 Rooftop at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York City. Unlike other outdoor decks in the US, the new JetBlue space isn’t just for customers using an airline premium lounge, but is a space accessible to all customers who clear security at the airline’s home terminal.
A Rooftop at the Airport
Designed by Gensler and built by Arup and Turner Construction Company, the T5 Rooftop is the latest enhancement to JetBlue’s terminal, complementing the overall design which emphasizes light and well-being.
The airline claims that this outdoor park offers customers not only top vantage views of the Manhattan skyline, but also from the iconic Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight Center –one of Eero Saarinen’s architectural masterpices. However, aviation enthusiasts may find disappointing the fact that this new open space does not provide an unobstructed view of JFK’s air operations.
The T5 Rooftop features a 4,046 square foot park with landscaped green spaces, seating for 50 people, a 400 square foot kid friendly space and a dedicated 400 square foot dog walk area –a first at JFK, complemented with New York-themed food and beverage carts and kiosks.
“As New York’s Hometown Airline, T5 was designed to show off the pride we have for our city. We brought many elements of New York into T5, including the new T5 Rooftop,” said Jamie Perry, vice president, brand and product development, JetBlue. “The latticed cable work in T5 holding up the digital ring in the Marketplace is a nod to the same elements on the Brooklyn Bridge and our grandstands were designed to mirror New York City landmarks known for people watching. As rooftop bars, sunbathing and summer enjoyment are such a big part of living in New York City, we wanted to bring this unique aspect to customers traveling through T5.”
The opening of the T5 Rooftop was celebrated with a Live From T5 concert, featuring Brooklyin-based indie band Mainland. JetBlue will host an ongoing Summer Friday series with DJ sets, acoustic performances, food and beverage samplings and further entertainment offerings for those customers visiting the space and traveling through T5 this summer.
Back to the Future
Prior to heightened security back, especially before 9/11 outdoor observation decks were a staple at many airports in the US and around the world. Notable ones still open include Amsterdam Schiphol, Singapore Changi, Tokyo Haneda, though famous ones like London Gatwick and Miami International which had an outdoor pool have now closed. Two years ago, Delta Air Lines began opening decks outside its Sky Clubs at JFK and Atlanta with LAX due to come online soon. The new TBIT Terminal at LAX also boasts 2 outdoor decks as well but only for premium customers. The Delta and JetBlue decks though are unique with less emphasis on plane spotting and more on customer experience as a place more evocative of a hotel rooftop with decidedly more upscale amenities.