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

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

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Old Jan 21, 19, 1:06 am   -   Wikipost
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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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Consolidated "Polaris Lounge Access Questions" Thread

Status of new permanent EWR United Clubs?
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Old Jul 12, 18, 2:30 pm
  #106  
 
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
I can envision someone pushing down on the table to assist themselves getting out of the chair, and *snap*....
Probably the same people seated in the coach aisle seat behind you who insist on pulling on top of your seat to get up (and sit down).

Saw couple knocking on arrivals lounge door (-9pm) at LHR 🙂

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Jul 12, 18 at 2:45 pm
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Old Jul 13, 18, 10:15 pm
  #107  
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Visited recently inbound from FRA - original layover time was two hours buy connecting flight was delayed due to weather so ended up being there for nearly six hours. So I was really, really glad I was able to access the Polaris lounge this trip.

Showers were great.

As noted above several of the workstation tables at EWR are broken. Bad design - they aren't going to last.

Tried the sleep cubicles. Mostly nice but lights are motion sensitive, perhaps overly so. When someone walks by the light inside your pod may come on and all the hallway lights come on. You need the supplied blindfold. The sleeping lounge chair is flush to the wall - I have broad shoulders and I found this a little constraining, so I moved it out. Chair itself could have been a little more padded but it was OK for a quick nap.

Polaris Table dining. I've visited Polaris lounges 3 times now and found the table service at all of them to be consistently on the slow side and EWR was no exception- about 30 minutes to get my food. Food is tasty and well prepared, staff is friendly and polite but if you are in a hurry I would stick to the buffet which is very good.

Overall I think Polaris lounges are a huge improvement for United and a very good experience overall. There are a just a few minor things they could work on.
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Old Jul 30, 18, 2:28 pm
  #108  
 
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I had my second visit of a Polaris lounge yesterday in EWR, after being in ORD with the family last month. For the previous trip, we just hung out for a few hours, had some snacks from the buffet and drinks due to the time of our TATL flight and dinner service. We didnt "test" much but things seemed to be working fine.

Yesterday, though, I was at the EWR Polaris lounge after flying inbound on a TATL flight that landed around 1pm, and my connecting flight home got pushed back to about 5:30pm, and I was hungry. I intended to use the dining room service before having to take the shuttle to a different terminal (A). I hung out at the lounge for about an hour near the dining room space and was watching it fill up and how things were moving. It was starting to get busy, so around 3:20, I got in line for a few minutes for a table and was seated by someone who seemed to be a hostess (not a waiter - she was dressed in blue not grey) around 3:25. She said my waiter would by shortly. [The whole place, including the dining room area was pretty busy, as I had been watching the whole time for how long it was taking for people to get food - seemed like about 15 minutes which wasn't bad.]

My problem was I couldn't get anyone to take my order! After 10 minutes, I asked the hostess in blue and she said she would get someone, and asked if she could get me a drink in the meantime, which she brought about 5 minutes later (and noticed the menus still sitting on my table and that she would nudge the server again). When it became 20 minutes since being seated, I got her attention again and she walked across the room to a server and then motioned to my table and I made eye contact with that person. But I never saw that server again. When I noticed a group get seated two tables away from me have a (different) server walk up to them after a few minutes to take their food order, I packed up and walked out.

It had been almost 30 minutes and I was done waiting. I wasn't too upset or offended, just starting to get worried about making my way back across C to the shuttle, getting to my gate on time, etc. I figured at the rate things were going I might miss my shuttle, or flight while waiting for or eating my food.

I happened to see the same very polite hostess dressed in blue as I was walking out (she had two more drinks in her hand) and she gave me a funny look and I just said "they never came" and walked out the door.

I was regretting not just making a reservation at Classified, even though it would have cost me money.

I guess this just adds a data point on issues with how they're managing the dining space. Its like they cant figure out if its a lounge or a restaurant. They should figure it out quickly. Most of the day they can probably be laid back about it, but at peak they need a better plan.
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Old Jul 30, 18, 3:36 pm
  #109  
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Originally Posted by hscottm View Post
I guess this just adds a data point on issues with how they're managing the dining space. Its like they cant figure out if its a lounge or a restaurant. They should figure it out quickly. Most of the day they can probably be laid back about it, but at peak they need a better plan.
Total lack of management. How hard is it to assign servers to specific tables?
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Old Jul 30, 18, 4:00 pm
  #110  
 
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Originally Posted by hscottm View Post
I had my second visit of a Polaris lounge yesterday in EWR, after being in ORD with the family last month. For the previous trip, we just hung out for a few hours, had some snacks from the buffet and drinks due to the time of our TATL flight and dinner service. We didnt "test" much but things seemed to be working fine.

Yesterday, though, I was at the EWR Polaris lounge after flying inbound on a TATL flight that landed around 1pm, and my connecting flight home got pushed back to about 5:30pm, and I was hungry. I intended to use the dining room service before having to take the shuttle to a different terminal (A). I hung out at the lounge for about an hour near the dining room space and was watching it fill up and how things were moving. It was starting to get busy, so around 3:20, I got in line for a few minutes for a table and was seated by someone who seemed to be a hostess (not a waiter - she was dressed in blue not grey) around 3:25. She said my waiter would by shortly. [The whole place, including the dining room area was pretty busy, as I had been watching the whole time for how long it was taking for people to get food - seemed like about 15 minutes which wasn't bad.]

My problem was I couldn't get anyone to take my order! After 10 minutes, I asked the hostess in blue and she said she would get someone, and asked if she could get me a drink in the meantime, which she brought about 5 minutes later (and noticed the menus still sitting on my table and that she would nudge the server again). When it became 20 minutes since being seated, I got her attention again and she walked across the room to a server and then motioned to my table and I made eye contact with that person. But I never saw that server again. When I noticed a group get seated two tables away from me have a (different) server walk up to them after a few minutes to take their food order, I packed up and walked out.

It had been almost 30 minutes and I was done waiting. I wasn't too upset or offended, just starting to get worried about making my way back across C to the shuttle, getting to my gate on time, etc. I figured at the rate things were going I might miss my shuttle, or flight while waiting for or eating my food.

I happened to see the same very polite hostess dressed in blue as I was walking out (she had two more drinks in her hand) and she gave me a funny look and I just said "they never came" and walked out the door.

I was regretting not just making a reservation at Classified, even though it would have cost me money.

I guess this just adds a data point on issues with how they're managing the dining space. Its like they cant figure out if its a lounge or a restaurant. They should figure it out quickly. Most of the day they can probably be laid back about it, but at peak they need a better plan.
The same thing happened to me in SFO last week. After walking out (after a 25-minute wait with no service) I asked to speak with the lounge manager. He works for Sodexo, not United. He was apologetic, but not surprised. For whatever reason, they don't seem to get it: We are passengers on a schedule, not out for a leisurely night on the town.
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Old Jul 30, 18, 4:22 pm
  #111  
 
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Let me first start off by saying I can certainly understand the appeal of cooked to order dining at lounges versus the usual buffet style seen at most lounges. At the same time buffets have their appeal as well, you've got certainty you'll be able to grab a bite on a limited time frame which is helpful on those domestic flights in Y where you won't have a meal.

Perhaps UA should consider allowing Polaris lounge food orders to be placed using the mobile app (or on the UA site) before you even arrive at the lounge. That way they could be prepared prior to your arrival (or as you check in to the lounge). Alternatively they could have an iPad at the table like the restaurants at EWR where you can order what you want. They could even have a suggested delivery time (i.e. if you order the burger it'll take 15 minutes) to help you better plan your time at the lounge. This line of thinking could spread to the kitchen level with chefs preparing orders based on the connection time of the pax (i.e. if you've got an hour layover you'll have higher priority than a lounge hoarder who is there for 7 hours).

Another model I have seen used effectively by Asian carriers, in particular NH, is the place your order up at the noodle/sushi bar and take a buzzer with you which will signal when your food is ready. Of course the Japanese are also efficient with food prep so there was never much of a wait to get my ramen soup (maybe 10-15 minutes).

In any event, how UA is handling this important aspect of the ground experience isn't ideal. Clearly if you're forking out $2,500+ for a roundtrip Polaris flight you're expecting something more than a nicer UC with showers.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Jul 30, 18, 6:17 pm
  #112  
 
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Alternatively they could have an iPad at the table like the restaurants at EWR where you can order what you want.
Please....oh, ever so please with a cherry on top: NO!!!!
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Old Jul 30, 18, 8:17 pm
  #113  
 
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Please....oh, ever so please with a cherry on top: NO!!!!
+1 to this...the iPads help in an airport restaurant setting because you most likely care about getting your food stat. In an international business lounge...well, if you're there early, you're most likely trying to enjoy yourself (or you're an AvGeek ).
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Old Jul 30, 18, 8:57 pm
  #114  
 
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I am not a fan of iPads either, but if it meant I would actually be able to eat instead of walking out after 25 mins (my note above) and buying something in the airport, i’d Take it.

i am not looking for five star dining. Take my order, bring my food, can leave me alone.

Last edited by hscottm; Jul 30, 18 at 9:41 pm
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Old Jul 31, 18, 1:37 am
  #115  
 
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Originally Posted by hscottm View Post
I am not a fan of iPads either, but if it meant I would actually be able to eat instead of walking out after 25 mins (my note above) and buying something in the airport, i’d Take it.

i am not looking for five star dining. Take my order, bring my food, can leave me alone.
The problem I have is that NO meal would taste good if it involved staring at an iPad whilst consuming it.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 10:23 am
  #116  
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
I just published my full review here with over 100 photos (disclaimer - link to my blog).

This is a beautiful lounge with great food and drink. I am so impressed, considering how pathetically crowded and run-down this space was before as a United Club.
Thanks for the link - great report!
Overall very impressive, food selection seems to be outstanding!

Originally Posted by Flying Machine View Post
Actually I'm still here… I really don't think the PS crowd should be admitted, it's a nice haven for business class. And PS can be utilized with an RPU and will dilute the experience. The cod over the puréed cauliflower it's quite nice
+1! This would definitely end up in overcrowding. That cod on the menu looks very tasty.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 4:03 pm
  #117  
 
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If I'm flying J on AC EWR-YVR, does that qualify as "International long haul business on *A" to give me access?
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Old Aug 13, 18, 4:18 pm
  #118  
 
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Originally Posted by saaveraward View Post
If I'm flying J on AC EWR-YVR, does that qualify as "International long haul business on *A" to give me access?
Sadly, no. Used to be that people were abusing that privilege by flying Chicago to Toronto in business class. You now must be flying between continents to in J to qualify.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Aug 13, 18, 5:46 pm
  #119  
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
..You now must be flying between continents to in J to qualify. ...
As do UA passengers, it is just making the access equitable

(And as far as flying to South America, it a bit more nuanced.)
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Old Aug 14, 18, 7:04 pm
  #120  
 
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Ewr shuttle?



I am departing from EWR terminal 2 on Swiss but want to go to the Polaris lounge in terminal C. Anyone have experience using the airside shuttle between the terminals? Is there a schedule anywhere?
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