Time Travel at the TWA Lounge in Manhattan — 86 Floors Up

Sep 30, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

When you think of the golden age of air travel, one of the first things that comes to mind is TWA. Trans World Airlines, once headed up by the visionary magnate Howard Hughes, was one of the classic airlines that made flying something to aspire to. And the TWA Flight Center at JFK designed by Eero Saarinen was something to marvel at. The Points Guy toured the Flight Center in an episode of TPGTV last year and was wowed.

After being closed in 2001, it was announced in 2015 that the TWA terminal would be renovated and that a 505-room hotel would be built on site, simply named the TWA Hotel. The Hotel will feature a 50,000-square feet conference center, 6 to 8 restaurants and a massive 10,000-square foot observation deck that will have views of JFK’s runways.

On Thursday the development company behind the construction unveiled its TWA lounge in Manhattan, meant to promote the hotel that’s slated to open by the end of 2018. Located on the 86th floor of the Freedom Tower, also known as One World Trade Center — the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere — the lounge resembles Saarinen’s iconic building and is full of fun throwbacks to TWA’s golden years.

The CEO of MCR Development and the brains behind the hotel’s construction, Tyler Morse, spoke at the inauguration, saying that MCR is “bringing the ethos of 1962 back to this building [the hotel].” He later added that “a lot of AvGeeks are going to get married there.” That’s probably right.

The lounge is a small space, and will be used for events. Which unfortunately means that it’s not open to the general public — but a spokeswoman for the lounge told us it “will be hosting special opportunities to visit the space, so stay tuned.” If you’re interested in seeing the space, you can try and schedule an appointment by sending an email to 1WTC@TWAHotel.com. Once the hotel is complete, the lounge will be turned into an office for the hotel’s sales team.

Once you get up to the 86th floor of World Trade Center One, you’ll walk down a hall and approach large sliding glass doors. When they open you’re in the lounge, and a large reception desk will appear, modeled after actual TWA ticket counters.

Right past the desk you’ll walk up a few steps to find the “sunken lounge” area that sports a working Solari split-flap departure board, complete with the signature clicks and clacks.

The red carpet of the lounge is actually colored the same Chili Pepper Red that Saarinen created for the TWA Flight Center.

TWA Hotel

Here’s a shot of the renovated terminal at JFK.

Photo by Max Touhey.
Photo by Max Touhey

Off to the side there’s have a room with retro furniture and gadgets — and an incredible view of New York City.

There’s also a small room that’s basically a tiny museum with all types of relics from TWA. Once the hotel is complete all the items will be moved to an onsite museum at the property.

TWA Lounge

Old books, magazines and newspapers that focused on the terminal and airline are available to peruse.

TWA Lounge

Here’s the incredible view from the left side of the lounge. MCR Development chose this location because you can actually see aircraft taking off from the Bay Runway at JFK, although unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a shot of any. According to Morse, the TWA Lounge is “12 miles as the crow flies” to the airport.

86 floors above sea level.

A post shared by Brendan Dorsey (@brendandorsey1) on

TWA crew uniforms throughout the ages, from the early 1960s to more recent years. Some were designed by Balmain, Valentino and Ralph Lauren.

TWA Hotel

MCR Development was able to get a hold of some very rare artifacts. These uniforms are completely made of paper and from TWA’s 1968 Foreign Accents campaign. The four sets of paper clothes were hilariously dubbed French Cocktail, Rum and Toga, British Wench and Manhattan Penthouse Pajamas — names from an era when language was a little different from today’s.

Food and drinks at the event were served by “pilots” and “flight attendants”.


Here’s Tyler Morse speaking about the progress MCR has made building the property.

TWA Lounge

They unveiled a couple of new pictures showing the terminal restored to its former glory.

Max Touhey - TWA 7

The sunken lounge strikes quite the contrast against the white concrete.

Max Touhey - TWA 5

The TWA Flight Center has two levels with walkways that snake throughout the space.

Max Touhey - TWA 6

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.