Best Lounge at EWR Airport, Newark, NJ - Service, Comfort, Luxury, Bar/Food, Showers
Apologies if this doesn't belong here, but I was unsure where else to post this topic. It certainly doesn't fit in the New York City destination forum. I figured those travelers within the Luxury Hotels category would be of most help.
I will be arriving via layover in Newark, NJ following a tedious 8-hour long flight from SFO. I will be with my girlfriend and we will both be exhausted from a full day of traveling. We arrive on Satuday, August 11th at 7:43 pm and depart again for TLV at 10:50 pm. We're flying United for both legs.
That is roughly a 3hr + layover in Newark.
I am a member of numerous airline loyalty programs, and it's my understanding that quite a few (AA, Delta, BA, etc) offer member's lounge access in the Newark airport. I've never been to EWR before, let alone any of the airline lounges and would greatly appreciate the advice of members on this forum.
I would like to register in advance for any airline program that I'm not currently a member of, which would offer access to the most preferred lounge area in the airport. I would love to be able to take a leisurely shower being the end of the day (and prior to another 13-15 hour long flight), have a decent meal, a few cocktails, perhaps lay down and relax in comfort with my girlfriend before departing again on the next leg of our trip.
Could anyone here recommend the best flight lounge in EWR for these luxuries and conveniences? We will have roughly 3hrs and are arriving at Terminal C, if that makes any difference; I doubt it should.
Is there anywhere to shower and lounge comfortably within the Newark airport? Is there a private flight lounge that offers good drinks and decent food/snacks (as compared to the usual airport fare) and most importantly, a comfortable and luxurious space to stretch out and unwind while awaiting our next trip?
Thanks so much for any advice or suggestions; it's much appreciated!!
Maybe I am being cynical here, but it is hard for me to imagine a "luxury-level" lounge anywhere in or near EWR. Also, for those lounges that are airside (most), you can't commonly get to them just because you're a member, you need an appropriate boarding pass too.
I also disagree with the OP as to the placement for this thread. I think it it best belongs in the NYC forum so I am going to move it there, although for just three hours, I'd say the OP should just go to the United Club or IFL (if travelling first class) and leave it at that.
RichardInSF, moderator, luxury hotels
P.S. It's hard to imagine a nonstop from SFO-EWR taking 8 hours as the OP states.
Programs: UA MileagePlus Premier Silver; Hilton HHonors Gold; Avis First
IIRC, EWR doesn't have an IFL in terminal C - remember that EWR is a pre-merger Continental hub, and Continental hasn't had an international "First" service since the very early 90s. IFLs are generally found at pre-merger United hubs like SFO or ORD.
If the OP is flying an all-UA itinerary, I'm afraid they're out of luck in a number of departments:
1) You're going to be limited to the United Club locations in Terminal C. There are LH & SK lounges in Terminal B departures, but because EWR is not fully-interconnected post-security, you won't have access to those lounges.
2) Only UA, US, *G or a GlobalFirst/BusinessFirst ticket will get you into the United Club for free. (I think there might still be a level of PriorityPass that will work as well - I think it has to be a paid membership, and not one provided as a benefit.)
3) Don't expect anything approaching luxury in the United Club, although there are showers available in at least one of the clubs in C. (You can find more detail on this in the UA forum.)
BTW - SFO-EWR should only take about 5.5-6 hours, tops. Remember to account for the time difference between Pacific (GMT -8) and Eastern time (GMT -5).
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
OP... the United Club in terminal C should be adequate for your needs. However, don't expect luxury. It's perfectly fine for a shower, some snacks and drinks. BUT, you will not get a meal there. There are several restaurants in the terminal for a decent meal that's not fast food.
Please consider that you only have 3 hours between flights. And you will have to go through quite heavy screening before you can board the TLV flight. You will not have enough time to do all you say. I believe UA asks you arrive earlier than most other flights because of that additional screening.
As others have said, if you're flying in BF on UA, your access to the lounge will be free.
Life is too short to spend it being angry
To the OP: just to be clear, merely having membership in a frequent flyer program will not gain you access to the lounges, you must be in business or first class (international) or have at least gold status with them. What class of service are you flying?
So you may have to buy a one time, one use membership, which as a previous poster stated, will cost $100.00 for the two of you for the United Club.
If you enter the club in the morning the food will consist of cereal, bagels, mini muffins and bananas.
Later in the day, they will have crackers and cheese, cookies, pretzels and apples. So not enough for a meal.
Also free beer, wine and cocktails.
As far as doing anything in advance, United no longer offers to option to purchase a one time pass online, you would have to do it at the door. You might want to consider checking out ebay, where people frequently sell United Club passes.
There are LH & SK lounges in Terminal B departures, but because EWR is not fully-interconnected post-security, you won't have access to those lounges.
Even if the OP did have access to that lounge it isn't really worth it. Slightly more food choices but also quite hot and crowded. Self-pour booze but the stuff at the United Club is basically the same quality.