American Airlines and British Airways meet at JFK Terminal 8

American Airlines and British Airways planes at JFK Terminal 8.

American Airlines and British Airways are set to become “roommates,” as their chief executives have called it, moving into the same terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport for the first time, starting Thursday.

The two carriers are among the closest partners in the transatlantic market, with passengers often connecting with each other on multi-leg international journeys. Taken together, AA and BA operate an almost hourly service between JFK and London most days.

Executives and elected officials say the move, part of a larger overhaul at JFK, will make things easier for customers of both airlines and also for many of their partners.

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American Airlines and British Airways branding at JFK's Terminal 8.

American Airlines and British Airways jointly invested $400 million to expand JFK’s Terminal 8 and make this colocation possible. According to US CEO Robert Isom, the changes are about improving the customer experience.

Both airlines want to “make sure we can provide seamless service for customers who want to transit through JFK to anywhere in the world,” he said during a ribbon-cutting event for the revamped terminal on Tuesday. Bringing the airlines under one roof, he said, will result in “reduced connection times, faster security checks and an improved, personalized and seamless travel experience overall”.

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