En route back to Toronto from Europe, my husband and I enjoyed a short one-night layover in New York City. Originally, we were to fly out of LaGuardia; however, upon learning that Newark’s new United Club Lounge had just opened at the end of May, I had our flight changed to depart out of Newark instead.
There was a lot of hype about this lounge, so I was quite excited to give it a try, and in the end, the lounge did not disappoint.
United Club Newark (Terminal C) – Access
The new United Club Lounge is located in Terminal C, close to Gate 123. Terminal C is United’s hub, so if you’re flying with WestJet or Air Canada, you will be flying out of Terminal A or B and you’ll need to find your way to Terminal C.
Luckily, the terminals are well-connected. Once you’re airside, it is relatively easy to move from one terminal to the next by shuttle bus.
I was flying out with Air Canada, and had checked in at Terminal A. Once through security, make a sharp turn to the left, near where gate A28 is located, and you’ll find a door and signage directing you down a stairwell to the shuttle bus area.
Shuttles between Terminals A and C run back and forth from 5am to 10pm, which happens to be the same hours that the lounge is open. When I got to the shuttle area, a bus was already there waiting.
The ride to the next terminal took no longer than three minutes and dropped us off close to Gate C70. From here, it took another five minute walk to Gate C123, where an escalator takes you up to the lounge.
At the entrance, there are kiosks to scan your boarding pass to get you in. If you run into issues, there are agents at the desk to help.
United Club lounges are accessible to United or Star Alliance business class passengers, as well as Star Alliance Gold members. In my case, I used my Star Alliance Gold status as a result of being an Aeroplan 50K member to access the lounge, and I was also able to bring in a guest as a Star Alliance Gold member.
Note that if you’re flying United or Star Alliance business class on a long-haul international route departing from Newark, you’ll have access to the United Polaris Lounge as well, which has superior dining, bar, and wellness options and would be a better choice to visit than this United Club.
United Club Newark (Terminal C) – Seating
When you first enter the lounge, you’ll notice that it’s well-lit, large, spread-out and, clean. It has a modern look to it, with grey walls and floors, as well as black and wooden accents for furnishings.
There are also accent walls around the lounge that feature a different colour and design, or are simply made of red brick. Splashes of colour are seen in the lounge’s various seating options and on decorative books and other items throughout.
The lounge offers over 480 seats set up in a variety of seating options and arrangements, most with outlets and USB ports nearby. The lounge is a busy one; however, because of its size, you shouldn’t have much difficult finding a space to sit.
Long tables that can seat up to 10 guests are scattered throughout the lounge, with adequate lighting. They make for great workstations or just as a spot for a large family or group to gather.
A few cubbies are also available for those who prefer a bit of privacy.
All seats are padded. I tried a few and they’re quite comfortable. You’ll find options like couches, loveseats, and various types of chairs.
Most are arranged to seat groups of two or four, but there are some areas that will seat more.
Wherever there is seating, you’ll find a USB and power port nearby. They’ll be on walls, tables, or even on the underside of chairs.
If you want a change of scenery, head over to the other side of the lounge, where you’ll find floor-to-ceiling windows offering a view of the planes, gates, and runway.
Here, there are individual seats with footrests that are perfect for just lounging alone or with a friend, separated from you by a side table.
United Club Newark (Terminal C) – Dining
As soon as you enter the lounge, there is a “hydration” centre to the left. It’s perfect for travellers who just want to grab a quick snack or drink before hurrying off to their flight.
The station has a variety of salty snack options, including Doritos, Sun Chips, Lays, pretzels, and popcorn chips.
There is also a hot beverage station, snack mix dispensary, and a few cold drink dispensers containing water with fresh lemon and lime slices or grapefruit juice.
Continuing on, you’ll walk down main hallway of the lounge where the washrooms are located. At the end of the hallway, it opens up into the main dining area.
Seating areas along the far wall has booths that can accommodate up six people. Otherwise, smaller tables are set apart to seat up to four people, with larger linear tables that can seat up to 10.
There is a long buffet station with different food options spread along it. On one end, there are sandwiches and dessert.
On the other side, there’s a soup station and charcuterie board, a salad bar, and the main hot meal stations. During our visit, this consisted of a taco station with a choice of chicken or pork and a variety of toppings.
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The buffet station and dining area are well-staffed. Staff members constantly wiping down surfaces, cleaning up after guests, and picking up garbage, keeping the area spotless.
Beverage stations are also located nearby, with hot beverage dispensers and Coke Freestyle machines.
United Club Newark (Terminal C) – Bar
On the other side of the dining area is the coffee and alcohol bar. Like the buffet station, it is long and well-staffed, with a few attendants. You can have a seat at the bar on a padded barstool or take your drink with you.
The coffee bar is at the end of the station and staffed by a couple of baristas. Around the corner is the alcohol bar, which offers a great selection of complimentary drinks, including draught beer, wines, and spirits.
Other options are available for purchase as well, like the various types of more premium liquor displayed on the shelf.
And while you’re enjoying your drink, you can catch your favourite sports game on one of the three TVs spread out along the bar.
United Club Newark (Terminal C) – Showers
The restrooms were clean, large, and spacious, which is befitting for a lounge this size. The decor matches that of the rest of the lounge, with black metal and wooden accents.
There is also an all-gender restroom, which shows that United is keeping up with the times.
There are six showers for guests to use on a first-come, first-served basis. You have to show the attendant your boarding pass to use them.
The showers are situated in their own bathrooms and, once again, were spacious and clean.
United Club Newark (Terminal C) – Other Facilities
Located centrally in the lounge is an assistance desk for guests with any issues on United-marketed flight.
Although no boarding announcements are made, there are large screens displaying flight departure information dotted throughout the lounge.
For families travelling with babies or young toddlers, there is a wellness room for nursing and diaper changes.
Finally, for those who are in the mood for a little friendly competition at the airport, there is a single foosball table for guests to enjoy.
I had a very enjoyable experience at the the all-new United Club Newark. From what I’ve been told by a United agent, it’s the best United Club you’ll find anywhere, and will serve as the standard for all future United Club lounges.
The lounge is a clean, bright, and spacious area with plenty of space to accommodate guests. It has a great bar and a decent variety of snack and food items.
The amenities are well-suited for any traveller, from business travellers to those taking a trip solo or with friends and family.
I didn’t have my kids with me this time, so I can’t get their opinion. As a family traveller, the only improvement I’d make is adding a play space or entertainment area for children. For now, the plethora of snack options should be enough to keep them occupied and happy.