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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
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.

More: FAA cracks down on abusive, maskless flyers with fines up to $32,750

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.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

    Earn 60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

There’s a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It’s been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you’re hitting the skies soon, you’ll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there’s no reason that the foodie shouldn’t add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits.
  • Few travel perks and protections.