Travel: How the glamorous TWA Hotel has turned into a 'refuge' for delayed passengers: Guest slams management at the $300-a-night JFK Airport 'time capsule' for letting stranded travelers sleep in the lobby without paying - PressFrom - US
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TravelHow the glamorous TWA Hotel has turned into a 'refuge' for delayed passengers: Guest slams management at the $300-a-night JFK Airport 'time capsule' for letting stranded travelers sleep in the lobby without paying

23:25  16 may  2019
23:25  16 may  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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The lobby of the brand new TWA Hotel at John F Kennedy International Airport has been flooded with delayed passengers desperate for a more comfortable place to sleep than the concourse.

The landmark Trans World Airlines Flight Center opened its doors for the first time in 20 years on Wednesday after being transformed into the JFK's only on-site lodging.

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Travel blogger Max Prosperi was among the first guests to check in to the hotel and told DailyMail.com that he was far from impressed by the state of the accommodations, which were hardly camera-ready thanks to exposed wires, construction and out-of-order elevators.

Prosperi, of St Louis, Missouri, said the 'cherry on top' of his disappointing stay was the people sleeping in the lobby area modeled after TWA's original lounge dubbed the Ambassador's Club.

He photographed several of the passengers he claimed TWA management has been allowing to sneak through the airport tube connecting JFK to the lobby and set up camp on the benches and booths.

'The Ambassadors Club area is unmonitored and quiet making it the perfect space,' Prosperi said.

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'It is currently serving as a place of refuge for around a dozen stranded passengers.'

TWA Hotel has not returned DailyMail.com's multiple requests for comment.

Prosperi said he  booked a night at the hotel as a gift for his 58-year-old mother, who worked as a TWA flight attendant for 19 years.

'This hotel should not be open tonight for paying guests,' he said. 'They don't have ice machines, and there are holes in the ceiling because light fixtures are missing.'

Prosperi also had issues checking in, first being told to wait until 4pm and then suffering through a 40 minute ordeal with staff who he said seemed rude and unwilling to help.

But that wasn't the worst of his experience, as the travel blogger had been told a week ago that he'd be able to walk in and get a table at The Paris Cafe by chef Jean-Georges, but that didn't work out for him and his parents.

'I didn't make reservations for any of the restaurants at first, which was my mistake, but I emailed the hotel a week ago and was told I'd be allowed to walk in as a hotel guest at any restaurant on site,' Prosperi said.

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'My father came too, and when we all showed up to the French restaurant the hostess said they're not accepting any walk-ins whatsoever.

'When I told her I had an email that said otherwise, I asked her if the hotel had lied to me, and she said: "I guess they did, they told you incorrect information."'

Prosperi said they ended up having meat and cheese plates with some mixed nuts for dinner.

'We may do Postmates for a burger or something,' he said. 'This was really unfortunate because I really wanted to bring my mom to this really great French restaurant.

'It's unfortunate because TWA means so much to my family, to me and my mom, but this is not a good representation of the company for us.'

Travel industry analyst Jamie Larounis also shared his experience at the property with DailyMail.com.

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'They should never have opened the property today and that was their mistake,' Larounis said. 'I've never really been to an opening night where it was in such shambles, this is a unique instance for me.'

The frequent flyer was part of a group of about 20 friends and acquaintances who had reserved a stay for the first possible night at the iconic and historically decorated hotel.

He said he was told the opening was supposed to be two weeks from now over Memorial Day weekend, but it was moved up due to an unnamed celebrity booking for Wednesday's launch, which ultimately fell through.

'The rooms were already booked, so the hotel was stuck opening this weekend,' he said.

But by 7pm Eastern on Wednesday, Larounis said about half of the rooms for the people in his group were still not ready, though he was able to check in right away.

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'Check in started at 3pm and rooms are still not ready,' Larounis said, nothing that his door had boxes in front of it.

He added: 'To make matters worse, no elevators are working. People are needing to walk up.'

In a reply to a social media post, one person told Larounis, 'Sadly this opening day sure turned into a "soft opening" without telling any of us staying here until we found out ourselves.

'What a mess. Def asking for a refund for tonight's stay. Very disappointed. But on a positive note I enjoy the historic atmosphere, just feels like this was opened way too soon.'

How the glamorous TWA Hotel has turned into a 'refuge' for delayed passengers: Guest slams management at the $300-a-night JFK Airport 'time capsule' for letting stranded travelers sleep in the lobby without paying© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Despite the mess around parts of the hotel, many of its unique amenities were operational, like the cocktail bar inside a plane How the glamorous TWA Hotel has turned into a 'refuge' for delayed passengers: Guest slams management at the $300-a-night JFK Airport 'time capsule' for letting stranded travelers sleep in the lobby without paying© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Larounis said the Managing Director of the TWA Hotel told him during a tour that the hotel was approximately 75 percent open, and that everything open was booked. A woman is shown pouring cocktails inside the bar in the airplane

Despite the mess around some of the hotel, many of its unique features were operational, like the cocktail bar inside an airplane.

Larounis said the Managing Director of the TWA Hotel told him during a tour that the hotel was approximately 75 percent open, and that everything open was booked.

He had arrived on site at about 9.30am for a ribbon cutting ceremony where models greeted guests in aviation-inspired uniforms, and was given free reign of the hotel with others from about 12.30pm to 2pm.

During that that time, Larounis said he saw 'wet paint, carts with tools on them, men in hard hats, drilling, loose wires hanging and other electrical issues.'

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He added: 'There were doors to rooms missing because they still needed to be installed. It wasn't until around 2pm that access became limited to the areas under construction.'

Those areas included the pool where Larounis saw 'tons of construction equipment' and witnessed a confrontation between a security guard and a reporter, who Larounis said was trying to capture the scene.

Larounis described the public spaces of the hotel as not exactly becoming of a place fetching a nightly rate of $269, as his room cost.

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'The floors aren't mopped and you can see tools under the bar,' he said. 'There is no way this place can command a $250 rate as it stands now with the construction.'

Later, Larounis shared photos of his own room, praising the aspects of the hotel that were actually finished.

'In fairness, the TWA Hotel really does have some gorgeous rooms,' Larounis tweeted after speaking with DailyMail.com.

'The public spaces are not well at all — but the rooms are really quite terrific, and remind me very much like a swanky Kimpton hotel.'

How the glamorous TWA Hotel has turned into a 'refuge' for delayed passengers: Guest slams management at the $300-a-night JFK Airport 'time capsule' for letting stranded travelers sleep in the lobby without paying© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 'In fairness, the TWA Hotel really does have some gorgeous rooms,' Larounis tweeted after speaking with DailyMail.com How the glamorous TWA Hotel has turned into a 'refuge' for delayed passengers: Guest slams management at the $300-a-night JFK Airport 'time capsule' for letting stranded travelers sleep in the lobby without paying© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 'This hotel should not be open tonight for paying guests,' travel blogger Max Prosperi said. 'They don't have ice machines, and there are holes in the ceiling because light fixtures are missing' How the glamorous TWA Hotel has turned into a 'refuge' for delayed passengers: Guest slams management at the $300-a-night JFK Airport 'time capsule' for letting stranded travelers sleep in the lobby without paying© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited In 2014, developer Tyler Morse came up with the plan to reinvent the defunct terminal into a modern hotel but still preserving period pieces from the building's heyday (shown)

TWA went out of business in 2001, which is when the Flight Center closed its doors.

In 2014, developer Tyler Morse came up with the plan to reinvent the defunct terminal into a modern hotel while still preserving period pieces from its heyday, CBS reported.

The hotel prominently features the old flight board, with red plush furniture in its lounges and inside its more than 500 guest rooms, along with historic flight attendant uniforms on display.

In another nod to the company's 1960s beginnings, there are rotary phones throughout the property.

Once its properly up and running, guests will have access to dozens of meetings rooms and a rooftop infinity pool.

Until then, patrons should watch their step for dirt and dust, Larounis said.


Active shooter scare at Honolulu airport delays flights.
HONOLULU (AP) — Flights were being delayed and hundreds of people were waiting to go through security screening at Honolulu's airport on Tuesday after an active shooter scare. (Leslie Ryan via AP) HONOLULU (AP) — Flights were being delayed and hundreds of people were waiting to go through security screening at Honolulu's airport on Tuesday Passengers who had already passed through screening and were boarding flights at Terminal 2 were told to go through security checkpoint again, which was holding up flights.

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