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EWR Polaris lounge -- Reviews, Experiences, Q&A, ..

Old Jun 3, 2018, 2:29 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: SPN Lifer
Access to Polaris lounges (source):


update 29 Sept 2017, effective 1 Oct, 2017

Departure: The airport you are leaving on an international J/F flight* from, i.e. EWR-ORD-NRT
Connecting: The airport to or from which you have a short-haul flight to connect to a longer flight, i.e. EWR-ORD-NRT or NRT-ORD-EWR
Arrival: The airport you arrive at after your long-haul flight, i.e. EWR-ORD-NRT

Hours- 4:30a - 10:45p

*Currently it appears that any departing international flight on an *A partner qualifies (except AC operated transborder flights ), but only United flights with the premium cabin class listed as 'Polaris Business' or 'Polaris First' will qualify for entrance after arriving off a United Polaris flight.
UA premium cabin flights not marketed as Polaris, such as Domestic First or International Business (Canada, Mexico, Caribbean ... ) are not eligible for Polaris lounge access.

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EWR Polaris lounge -- Reviews, Experiences, Q&A, ..

Old Dec 17, 2023, 12:43 pm
  #766  
lmk
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: RSW & HDS (Naples, Florida & Hoedspruit, South Africa); frequently flying via JNB, EWR, IAD, ORD
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At 10:30AM they would not let us order anything off the small plates or lunch/dinner menu (despite the fact that as we were seated they were rolling out all of the lunch food for the buffet), so we each ordered a breakfast sandwich which was supposed to be bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel. As plated it was egg and a bit of bacon on a plain bagel with no cheese. We should have just made our own at the buffet and spared ourselves the lengthy wait for service and food. The menu makes clear that breakfast is served only until 11AM and not after that, but does not make clear that the small plates etc. cannot be served before 11AM. Taking into account that many diners are arriving after lengthy international flights from different time zones, it is inconvenient to offer only a breakfast menu. Disappointing experience, considering that this is the third time we have tried to eat in the Polaris dining room and the first time we were actually able to get a table.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 8:28 pm
  #767  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Programs: UA- 1K, DL-DM, AA-G, BON-T
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Why is the EWR always so crowded in the evenings? They should have designed the lounge to handle the crowd. Can people not flying J enter the Polaris lounge…like GS? If so I think it is time to end that benefit. I was just in the club a few days back at 4pm and it was crazy crowded. Long wait for dinner. No phone booths were free so I took a call in the shower area lobby (the agent laughed but said 5 other people had already done the same this evening). UA can do better and they should do better. Oh and I agree what is the deal on not letting people sit down when you have open tables in the dining area (which is already small). Hire more staff then.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 8:47 pm
  #768  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Originally Posted by CaliguyNYC
Why is the EWR always so crowded in the evenings? They should have designed the lounge to handle the crowd. Can people not flying J enter the Polaris loungelike GS? If so I think it is time to end that benefit. I was just in the club a few days back at 4pm and it was crazy crowded. Long wait for dinner. No phone booths were free so I took a call in the shower area lobby (the agent laughed but said 5 other people had already done the same this evening). UA can do better and they should do better. Oh and I agree what is the deal on not letting people sit down when you have open tables in the dining area (which is already small). Hire more staff then.
PL does not admit any pax who does not fly J, GS or not.
The overcrowding is due to too many TATL flights departing from EWR. More flights will be added next summer.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 8:49 pm
  #769  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: AVP & PEK
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Originally Posted by CaliguyNYC
Can people not flying J enter the Polaris loungelike GS?
No GS if not in Polaris J, no.
People flying *A J (if eligible) also, and *A First can enter with a guest.
​​​​
EWR is crowded because there's lots of flights with lots of J seats.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 9:40 pm
  #770  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Originally Posted by narvik
No GS if not in Polaris J, no.
People flying *A J (if eligible) also, and *A First can enter with a guest.
​​​​
EWR is crowded because there's lots of flights with lots of J seats.
Ok totally hear you. Given the lounge is fairly new and UA knows its schedule, shouldnt they have built a lounge that can accomodate the people? Also is proper staffing really that hard (month after month? In the 20 years I have flown VS upper class, never once did I have an issue at the LHR clubhouse in getting a sit down meal when I connected onward or arrived for a flight back to NYC. If VS can have a properly sized and staffed lounge in London, I think UA can have one in Newark.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 9:45 pm
  #771  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Originally Posted by CaliguyNYC
Why is the EWR always so crowded in the evenings? They should have designed the lounge to handle the crowd.
Well yeah, they designed and opened this lounge in 2018 when they had morning/mid-day flights to East Asia and evening flights to Europe and late night flights to India/TLV. Flights were relatively spaced out. Now after COVID and airspace restrictions, flights (and demand) are geared towards evening flights to Europe with added flights and added J passengers. All of which ends up crowding the lounge from 3-7PM.

Same goes for IAD and ORD Polaris lounges. And SFO gets crowded due to all the added Oceania and Asia flights.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 9:50 pm
  #772  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
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Originally Posted by CaliguyNYC
.... In the 20 years I have flown VS upper class, never once did I have an issue at the LHR clubhouse in getting a sit down meal when I connected onward or arrived for a flight back to NYC. If VS can have a properly sized and staffed lounge in London, I think UA can have one in Newark.
The size of the UA and partner long haul EWR operations are significant larger / number of passengers (UA does not have Intl F, just Business) and there is limited amount of space at most UA hubs. It has taken UA years to increase the size of the UCs which were far more crowded.

It has been speculated that people are spending far longer time in the PL than anticipated.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 17, 2023 at 10:21 pm Reason: UA does not have Intl F, just Business
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 10:03 pm
  #773  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
It has been speculated that people are spending fare longer time in the PL than anticipated.
Ah, interesting; never even considered that, but that makes perfect sense.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 2:06 pm
  #774  
 
Join Date: May 2022
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12/20, here now. Entered at 15.10hrs with the college age daughter. Not too busy. We even managed to get two spots by the window, it's our thing since she was little , watching planes take off from the Ikea restaurant by the airport. She had the piri piri chicken from the buffet and it was good. I sampled the brussels sprouts with butternut squash, delicious. Barman mixed me a perfect gin martini. Shirley temple for the kid. Restaurant busy but not crazy. We decided to eat on the plane. My only gripe is being too far from the bar with my foot in a cast....
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Old Dec 21, 2023, 6:55 am
  #775  
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Tuesday evening (late departure), lounge was rather empty. Buffet was kind of sad, but I have seen worse.

Their new cheap champagne was terrible - yuck. Luckily they still had Prisoner, so at least a decent red to drink
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Old Dec 21, 2023, 7:33 am
  #776  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Originally Posted by cfischer
Luckily they still had Prisoner, so at least a decent red to drink
Costco sells it for $40+ per bottle. This is more than a decent wine for my tasting skill.😀
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Old Dec 21, 2023, 7:57 am
  #777  
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Originally Posted by Kmxu
Costco sells it for $40+ per bottle. This is more than a decent wine for my tasting skill.😀
Definitely. $52 from the winery and I think high $30s is the best I have seen. Very drinkable.

They didn't have it in their line up of bottles, but they had it when I asked
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Old Dec 21, 2023, 4:05 pm
  #778  
 
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Originally Posted by cfischer
Tuesday evening (late departure), lounge was rather empty. Buffet was kind of sad, but I have seen worse.

Their new cheap champagne was terrible - yuck. Luckily they still had Prisoner, so at least a decent red to drink
What was the new champagne?
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Old Dec 21, 2023, 7:14 pm
  #779  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
It has been speculated that people are spending far longer time in the PL than anticipated.
I think one reason for this is that folks know that the food and drinks on the planes are, ahem, subpar, so they are trying to make up for it in the lounge.
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Old Dec 21, 2023, 7:38 pm
  #780  
 
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The EWR United Club buffets are better than Polaris Lounge at this point.
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