Nostalgic: A Look Inside the TWA Lounge at One World Trade Center in NYC

Reception desk modeled after TWA counters (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Hemal Gosai)

MCR Development is the company behind the construction of the TWA Hotel at the Trans World Flight Center, also known as the TWA Terminal, at New York’s JFK Airport and corresponding lounge on the 86th floor of One World Trade Center. AirlineGeeks was graciously invited to tour the lounge and learn about the plans for the hotel and inspiration behind it.

The lounge at One World Trade serves as a teaser for the TWA Hotel that is slated to open in the first quarter of 2019. It features many similar themes that will be seen in the hotel. Upon first walking in passed the glass sliding doors, we were greeted by a large reception desk which is based off of actual former TWA ticket counters.

Assorted TWA service items (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Hemal Gosai)

This is followed by a stunning sunken lounge design that will be found at the TWA Hotel. The lounge area features a stunning view of Manhattan with an aptly placed telescope in the corner providing close up views of JFK departures 12 miles away. A telescope with a view of LaGuardia Airport can be found in one of the side rooms as well. On a clear day as we had, the view seems to be endless.

TWA Lounge with views on Manhattan (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Hemal Gosai)

However, the main attraction here is not the lounge itself, but the functioning Solari split-flap departure board that updates every few minutes. The creators of the lounge have done their best to maintain authenticity with the board as best as possible by using real flight numbers. As we were told, some TWA historians and former employees helped contribute by providing information about former flight schedules and numbers.

Solari split-flap departure board (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Hemal Gosai)

This lounge features many original TWA memorabilia either salvaged from the terminal or donated by former TWA employees. Even flight attendants donated old uniforms to ensure their legacy would live on. Every piece of memorabilia from toiletries to pocket calculators was emblazoned with the TWA name and logo.

(Photos: AirlineGeeks | Hemal Gosai)

Our guide for the tour of the lounge was very knowledgeable about every item in the lounge, showing the level of dedication put into the lounge by the company. Every item had a fascinating story behind it that ignited our nostalgia for a time that we longed to have experienced. The amount of effort put into designing this lounge is amazing and the same level of effort and dedication is expected to be transferred to the building of the hotel.

Scale model of the terminal (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Hemal Gosai)

The hotel will feature over 500 rooms along with an underground convention space and numerous restaurants and bars. It will be the only hotel directly connected to a terminal at JFK, in this case, terminal 5 which is primarily operated by JetBlue Airlines but also several other airlines such as TAP Portugal, Hawaiian Airlines and Aer Lingus. JetBlue is also a minority shareholder in the hotel.

Another feature that aviation enthusiasts will be sure to enjoy is the planned rooftop infinity pool. The pool will overlook the airport, allowing guests and aviation enthusiasts alike to gaze in awe as countless aircraft depart and land at JFK Airport while swimming in the pool.

There is no doubt that the TWA Hotel will be a great success. It fills the void at JFK by being a hotel at the airport and also will embody the nostalgia of flying TWA and during the Golden Age of Aviation.

Hemal Gosai

Hemal Gosai

Hemal took his first flight at four years old and has been an avgeek since then. When he isn't working as an analyst he's frequently found outside watching planes fly overhead or flying in them. His favorite plane is the 747-8i which Lufthansa thankfully flies to EWR allowing for some great spotting. He firmly believes that the best way to fly between JFK and BOS is via DFW and is always willing to go for that extra elite qualifying mile.
Hemal Gosai