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Sticker shock: TWA Hotel has $50 per person fee, plus tax, to use that famous rooftop pool this summer

May 10, 2021
3 min read
TWA Hotel Runway Chalet at The Pool Bar_11
Sticker shock: TWA Hotel has $50 per person fee, plus tax, to use that famous rooftop pool this summer
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A night at the TWA Hotel — one of TPG's favorite spots for planespotting — getting more expensive, at least if you want to use the pool.

The JFK airport hotel will now charge guests up to $50 per person to make a reservation at its famous rooftop pool and observation deck, one of the signature attractions of the hotel.

(Photo by Phillip Reed/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The TWA Hotel tells TPG they first added a fee for paying guests to use the pool last summer, after adding a fee for non-guests the summer prior.

Reservations cost $25 per adult Mondays through Thursdays, according to a list of rates on the hotel's website, and $50 per adult Friday through Sunday. Children ages 5-12 cost $20 every day, while a reservation does not appear to be required for children 4 and under. The hotel also adds sales tax.

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And it's also on top of the so-called facility fee (plus taxes) of $17.94 per night per room.

(Screenshot courtesy TWA Hotel)

There are more taxes and fees added onto your bill for the use of the pool.

(Screenshot courtesy TWA Hotel)

A reservation gets you a window of just one hour and 45 minutes at the pool, and does not guarantee a poolside lounger, which are first-come-first-serve — that means you might end up at a table with an obstructed view of the airfield.

The reservation also does not include the price of food or drinks from the pool bar, which can get pricey quickly: cocktails start at $15, and most food options are $15 to $17. The bar also adds a 10% "COVID-19 Recovery Charge" to each bill.

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The infinity pool and roof deck at the TWA Hotel offer stunning panoramic views of runway 4L/22R at JFK making it a stunning hangout for AvGeeks and plane-spotters.

From now until May 30, reservations are required to visit the roof from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. Starting May 31, reservations will be required every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Non-guests are no longer allowed at the pool.

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That means that a family of four staying at the hotel and visiting the pool for lunch, dinner, or just an afternoon swim on the weekend would have to pay $140 — or $1.33 per minute of pool time — before even thinking about getting something to eat or drink.

Reservations are not required from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. daily, so your best bet to see the runway without paying extra on top of your room rate would be to head up early and hope there's space available.

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