USO Lounge at JFK Guide for Military Members Reviews & Photos

While you may get respect in your local town for being a military service member, it can seem like a losing battle when you land at New York’s JFK. You’ll immediately note the sea of people with limited spaces to relax. With so many international flights coming through, it may seem like there’s no place to relax and collect yourself before heading home or to your next destination. That’s where the USO Lounge comes in.

If you are a service member/serving in the US military, JFK Airport in New York has a USO Lounge that you can use to relax and unwind before your flight. Having an extra hour or two to relax, grab a bite to eat, and use the free Wi-Fi can make the experience of flying much less stressful.

Although I am neither a veteran nor an active member of the military, I have heard good things about the USO Lounge at JFK Airport. During my recent visit as part of my effort to gather first-hand experiences of various airports for my articles at Airport ZZZ, I discovered its exceptional amenities and services. I found it to be a quiet and peaceful place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of JFK airport terminals. The lounge provides cozy seating, televisions, complimentary refreshments, and fast free WiFi. However, it felt smaller in comparison to other lounges at JFK.

In this post, I have shared some details about JFK’s USO Lounge, USO lounge location at JFK, a summary of traveler reviews, operating hours, amenities, and how to access it. Let’s get started.

Does JFK Airport Have a USO?

Indeed, there is a USO Lounge at JFK, which has been in operation since September 2014. This lounge was generously donated by Jetblue as a token of appreciation for the military community. Although the space was provided by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, it was designed by Gensler, and constructed by the Turner Construction Company, with the support of Jetblue.

Image showing the ribbon-cutting session when USO lounge was being opened at JFK back in 2014.
Image showing the ribbon-cutting session when the USO lounge was being opened at JFK back in 2014. Image source: USO Blog

The John F Kennedy International Airport USO Lounge is situated in the TWA Flight Center building near Terminal 5, providing service members and their families with an escape from the hectic airport environment.

The lounge provides comfort amenities like free WiFi, televisions, snacks and drinks, and comfortable seating to help you relax. While this lounge may not have the most modern or luxurious amenities compared to other airport lounges, it is still very welcoming considering that all that’s there was donated by Jetblue.

You can also check out all the lounges at JFK here.

What is the USO Lounge at JFK?

The United Service Organization (USO) is a nonprofit organization that serves members of the U.S. military, veterans, and their families. The USO currently has more than 200 locations worldwide, including this one at JFK Airport in New York. The lounge offers a comfortable place to relax before your flight and provides amenities such as free Wi-Fi, snacks and drinks, as well as TVs and charging stations.

On September 2014, the United Service Organizations (USO) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of their largest Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) center–the second biggest in America. This state-of-the-art facility offers an introduction and assistance to those eager to join our nation’s Armed Services as they go through the application process.

Read more from the USO blog here.

I also have a guide to USO Lounges here.

The USO is passionate about offering support and resources to those heroes who have valiantly served our country, however, due to limited space and funds we must prioritize providing aid for active-duty service members and their families. We are dedicated to ensuring that these incredible individuals receive all the help they need to maintain honorable service.

Under USO rules and regulations, USO Lounge at JFK opens its doors to all Active/Guard/Reserve military personnel and their families.

In 2014, Jetblue donated this lounge to the USO, so that service members and their families would have a place to relax before or after their flights. Jetblue also sponsors exclusive events throughout the year for the lounge, such as movie nights and other special activities.

This USO lounge for military persons is located next to Jetblue Lounge in JFK’s Terminal 5.

Positive Reviews of JFK USO Lounge:

  • Comfortable seating area: Many travelers have praised the USO lounge at JFK for its comfortable seating area, which makes it a great place to relax and unwind during a layover.
  • Free for Military members: As mentioned earlier, the USO lounge is free for all active-duty military members and their families. This has been greatly appreciated by many service members who have utilized the lounge during their travels.
  • Refreshments Available: The USO lounge also offers a variety of refreshments such as snacks, coffee, and soft drinks to its visitors. This allows travelers to grab a quick bite or drink before their flight without having to spend extra money at the airport.
  • Helpful Staff: The staff at USO Lounge have been praised for being friendly and helpful, making visitors feel welcome and comfortable during their stay.
  • It has a flight monitor to be able to see your flight details and updates while waiting in the lounge. This ensures that travelers are kept up-to-date with any changes or delays to their flights.
  • Charging Stations: The lounge also has charging stations available for visitors to use, which is especially useful for those who need to charge their devices during a layover.

Negative Reviews of USO Lounge at JFK:

  • Limited Hours: Some travelers have expressed disappointment that the lounge is only open from 9 am to 10 pm. This means that those with early morning or late night flights may not be able to utilize the lounge.
  • Limited snacks: I found the snack selections to be quite limited and not as healthy. This may not be a big issue for some, but for those with dietary restrictions or preferences, the options may not be suitable.
  • No sleep facilities: While sleep pods are in this terminal, there are no appropriate sleep facilities to nap or sleep if you have a long layover.
  • No shower facilities
  • No drinks – alcohol or spirits. For smokers, you should also note that this is a non-smoking lounge. Find smoking areas at JFK here.
  • Crowded during peak hours: While I didn’t visit here during peak hours, some travelers have complained that it can be quite crowded during peak travel hours.

JFK USO Lounge Hours:

According to USO’s website, the JFK lounge opens at 9 am and closes at 5 pm Eastern Time. While the front desk closes at 5 pm, you can still access this lounge until 10 pm when they close for the night.

Make sure to plan your flight accordingly if you’re planning to use the lounge. You’ll notice that websites such as Loungebuddy.com have listed 5 am to 11 pm as official hours of operation but you should note that the register closes at 5 pm, but can still access it until 10 pm.

Unfortunately, the lounge is only open for a limited time during the day. This may not be suitable for travelers who have early morning or late-night flights and want to utilize the lounge facilities.

USO Lounge Contact Info:

I found the following contact information posted on its website:

USO Lounge Photos:

Where is USO Lounge located at JFK?

The USO Lounge at JFK Airport is located in Terminal 5 Landside. This is the Google Maps address. Sitting conveniently outside of the security checkpoint at Terminal 5, the USO Center is located on the arrivals level for your ease and convenience.

Sleepinginairports.net website has listed hours of USO lounge operation at JFK as 6 am to 10 pm.

The exact address: John F Kennedy International Airport, Terminal 5 – Landside, Jamaica, NY 11430.

It is free to access USO Lounge at JFK for Active Military Members.

The USO Lounge offers an inviting atmosphere for all active members of the U.S. military and their loved ones at no expense! Make sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity and enjoy every moment spent with family and friends in a special place just for you.

What amenities are offered at JFK USO Lounge?

 USO lounge in JFK
  • JFK USO Lounge offers an array of delectable beverages, from freshly brewed coffee to refreshing iced teas! Plus, their snack bar is the perfect place to grab something delicious and satisfying. They also have delightful snacks available for your convenience.
  • Their comprehensive suite of services is designed to keep you connected, with CAC Readers, Charging Stations, Computers & Laptops, Phones, Printers and Tablets all fueled by our reliable Wi-Fi network.
  • Unlock the world of interactive entertainment with multimedia and gaming! Whether you’re a fan of playing cards, PS4 games, or just chilling in front of the television streaming your favorite shows – they’ve got it all. With cable access to hundreds of channels and platforms, let’s get this party started!
  • Make yourself at home with our array of comfort amenities, including air conditioning, a children’s play area, library and lounge – all stocked with complimentary toiletries.
  • At the helpdesk, you can also get info and tickets. USO offers a range of services and information, including event tickets, sports tickets, flight time boards, hotel reservations and other helpful information.

Below is a snapshot of the amenities you can expect at USO Lounge in JFK that I got from USO’s website.

LOungebuddy.com has listed the following 9 amenities available at USO lounge at JFK;

  1. Snacks
  2. Wi-Fi
  3. Flight Monitors
  4. Newspapers & Magazines
  5. TVs
  6. Internet Terminals
  7. Printers & Copiers
  8. Telephones
  9. Non-Smoking

Who can access the USO Lounge at JFK?

All Active/Guard/Reserve military personnel and their dependents may enter the center with a valid military I.D., while unaccompanied minors aged 16 or above, having proper identification and an itinerary/boarding pass along with them, can also utilize this facility. Moreover, authorized users are allowed to sign in up to three guests with permission from the Volunteer on duty; however, they have discretion when permitting more than that for special occasions such as Gold Star Survivors’ visits too.

From USO’s guide, the following can access the lounge;

  • Retirees and Dependents
  • Veterans with VA Card denoting “Service Connected Disability” or “Purple Heart”
  • Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets
  • Military Academy Cadets
  • Officer Candidate School Candidates
  • Recruits (with I.D. and orders) g. JROTC/Civil Air Patrol/ Sea Cadets
  • Foreign Military
  • Department of Defense Civilians on travel orders
  • Those designated “Friends” of the USO by the Manager or Executive Director (First Responders, or those possessing business cards with notes or emails stating such)
Image of Nathan Kip Rotich

Nathan helps travelers find the most comfortable sleep setups during layovers, from cozy airport hotels to futuristic sleep pods. His insights aim to transform layovers into rejuvenating sleepcations, offering travelers an alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable benches.