First Look: The New United Polaris Lounge Newark

United has been gaining momentum with their Polaris Lounge concept lately. United opened their first Polaris Lounge in Chicago in December 2016, and then for nearly 18 months didn’t open another lounge, which left a lot of customers disappointed.

However, there has been lots of great news lately when it comes to Polaris Lounges — United opened their Polaris Lounge San Francisco on April 30, 2018, and United will open their Polaris Lounge Newark on June 4, 2018, in just a few days. Next up, United plans to open their Polaris Lounge Houston this summer, and their Polaris Lounge Los Angeles this fall.

Since the airline had a media event today, they’ve also shared a press release with some pictures of the new lounge. The United Polaris Lounge Newark will be located in Terminal C behind security, between Gates C102 and C120. The lounge will be open daily from 4:30AM until 10:30PM. United says that more passengers originate their travel at Newark than any other United hub, so this is an especially important lounge for them.

Here are the facts and highlights of the new Polaris Lounge, as United describes them:

  • More than 27,000 square feet
  • 455 seats
  • 15 different types of seating
  • 570 power outlets and 450 USB ports
  • 4 private phone rooms
  • 10 private daybeds outfitted with Saks Fifth Avenue bedding
  • 10 luxurious shower suites, featuring rainfall showers and Soho House & Co’s Cowshed Spa products
  • Personal valet services, including steaming garments
  • A private dining area with table service for up to 48 guests featuring a menu that blends global trends with familiar comfort foods, developed by New York Chef John Glowacki. Menu items include: potato latkes, polenta fries, wild mushroom risotto with a balsamic reduction, and the “Brookie,” a playful combination of a brownie and cookie served with milk.
  • A bistro-like buffet that includes a do-it-yourself bagel bar plus sandwiches and wraps such as a curried salmon salad with cucumber raita and baby spinach on a pumpernickel roll as well as a charcuterie board and chicken parmesan.
  • A cocktail menu with signature drinks such as the Fernet About It, a unique version of the Cuba Libre containing the Italian libation, and the United Polaris Star, featuring house-made anise-infused vodka. Other house-made items include oolong-steeped bourbon, lavender syrup, vodkas and vermouth.

Here are the pictures United has provided of the new Polaris Lounge EWR:

The new Polaris Lounge looks beautiful, and I can’t wait to check it out myself. Keep in mind that this lounge won’t just be for United longhaul international business class passengers, but can also be used by other Star Alliance first and business class passengers. However, keep in mind that most Star Alliance partners depart out of different concourses at Newark. That means you can choose to either go through security twice, or can take the airside bus that’s near gate 71, which connects you to Austrian, Lufthansa, SAS, Swiss, and more.

This lounge can’t be accessed on account of status or on domestic flights (even if traveling on a premium transcontinental route).

I’m also happy to see that this lounge will be a good size. At 27,000 square feet, this will be a very large lounge, just slightly smaller than the 28,000 square foot lounge in San Francisco. This is significantly larger than United’s Polaris Lounge Chicago, which is about 16,000 square feet, and it’s roughly comparable in size to American’s Flagship Lounge Miami.

Lastly there’s just one thing I can’t help but point out, which several people also mentioned when United released pictures of their Polaris Lounge San Francisco. Can United please stop putting models in their Polaris Lounge pictures? If they are going to use models, can they at least not make them the focal point, and/or use more realistic models? This is not what most people in United Polaris Lounges look like!

What’s your initial impression of United’s Polaris Lounge Newark?

Comments

  1. Given StarAlliance partners aren’t airside, this lounge is really only for United passengers traveling in J internationally? Seems to be a lot of space just for those customers (though I am admittedly not familiar with UA’s J/F capacity out of Newark).

    I would think they would open it up to J customers on their transcons to SFO and LAX to compete with AA.

  2. Is lounge access available for international arrivals travelling in United J? Or is it only for departures?

  3. The models in these photos are always better looking and better dressed than the actual passengers and employees.

  4. Are those devious Air Canada-flyin Canadians to Toronto banned from accessing this one too?

  5. @ keitherson — Yep, it’s only for longhaul Star Alliance passengers, so an Air Canada flight wouldn’t qualify for access.

  6. @ Mike — You can use it if arriving in United longhaul Polaris and connecting onto a domestic flight same day.

  7. @ Anthony — United does have a lot of longhaul flights out of Newark. I imagine this lounge will get quite crowded in the evenings before the bank of flights to Europe, but otherwise it doesn’t seem to me like it should get too full.

  8. Now we are talking lucky. For a few days the blog had lost its direction and become another news feed.

    Remember why people come to your blog and what your strengths are.

  9. If I’m flying J to South America but connecting via Houston, would l be allowed access?

  10. I’m still a little annoyed at not having Polaris access on AC J. I’d like someone to explain to me how the 5.5 hour flight from SFO to YUL does not constitute a comparable length compared to, say, EWR > DUB at ~6 hours.

  11. Thanks for the details! Really looking forward to trying this out at the end of the month, flying OS to VIE/HKG and taking airside bus afterwards.

  12. Looks gorgeous. I am flying out of EWR to CDG in a couple of weeks and will be sure to check it out..

  13. Airside access is available to departing *A flights (except AC) via bus from Gate 71, including LH, LX, OS, SK, etc…

  14. “However, keep in mind that most Star Alliance partners depart out of different concourses at Newark …. Austrian, Lufthansa, SAS, Swiss, and more.”

    2 minor things –

    (1) ALL partners depart in another terminal at EWR. Term C is 100% exclusive UA usage, and even then there are spillovers to Concourse A2 (mostly RJs) and a couple of B1 gates leased (?) from Delta. Even JV buddy LH couldn’t be co-located like the way they (and AA/oneworld) do at ORD

    (2) not just different concourses, but completely different terminals, and the jitney service is no fun at all compared to the smooth rail transfers at DTW McNamara or DFW. I hardly fly DL or AA but proper credit is definitely due here for their terminal setups.

    And for the chest thumping of AA loyalists claiming they’re all “O&D focused” at NYC, even they can’t make the claim to that diamond diadem anymore in the backdrop of what Kaplan said in the press release (which itself is shrewedly worded because she’s probably lumping UA pax to LGA into that loaded statement

  15. @Lucky, Note that not ALL South America travel will qualify. UA has specifically (and recently) called out that Northern South America no longer qualifies for Polaris Lounge access. (UA updated this change on their page a few weeks back). Destinations such as Bogota, Colombia fall within this set of rules despite requiring a Global Premier Upgrade.

  16. Please keep in mind that the bus shuttle between terminals is AWFUL. It’s worse than LHR. Crowded, surly minders and drivers, and for the most part you must schlep your bags up and down the steps. It’s no fun, but typical of the mess and embarrassment that is EWR.

  17. probably a really rookie question but can the United credit card one time club passes be used on Polaris lounges in SFO, ORD, EWR ?? or only any other regular united lounge..? thanks in advance!

  18. I was going to make the smart ass comment on the Models myself. Enough of the youthful 80’s era Miami vice appearance. Most lounge rats are not dressed like these models, and most males wear socks. Since I am a tight ass scots/irish I don’t think I will buy a ticket worthy of this experience. But thank you for the look see.

  19. So would the new direct flight from EWR-SIN on SQ be able to use this lounge, without taking the airside bus?

  20. The lounge looks great and as someone who lives in ATL and is a Delta fan ,though I love Skuclubs for domestic hops, I wish delta would open up a specific lounge for premium international customers. Maybe call it ClubOne or SkyOne or something like that and either replace the current lounges for expanple in concoarse F in Atlanta or build a new lounge for example at JFK

    But EWR…… why can’t United actually co-locate with at one of thier partners, at least one… please, please. In my opinion they should rebuild Terminal B and make the space kind of like a Terminal C expansion for United and its partners. Allowing Star Alliance to consolidate all of their operations into 2 continuous terminals rather than the mess know as EWR currently. This also allows the opened up space at Terminal A to be used for more non Star Alliance carriers.

    Anyways, great lounge

    Hope I can visit soon!!

  21. @SP, we don’t yet know which terminal the SQ flight will depart from but it’ll likely be terminal B since terminal C is currently 100% United. So the answer to your question would be no. But in terminal B you have the LH and SK lounges available for use.

  22. Can someone please give me some more detail on the airside bus from C to B? I’d love to try the new lounge out (flying late June on LH J to DUS). How often does it run? Does it always stop at B? How long does it take? I can’t seem to find any of this online so would appreciate any help!

  23. More to the photos, aren’t some of those the exact same photos used for the SFO Polaris Lounge launch? I guess they’re really nailing the consistent brand experience across airports 😉

  24. No AC, your paper one time United Club passes will not gain you access to any Polaris lounge. They are both United but considered different entities. Furthermore even fully paid United Club members or elite status fliers cannot gain entry, only premium class fliers on United and Star Alliance partners can use Polaris lounges.

  25. I get the model comments but come on, what do you want them to use? All companies (perhaps Dove being a mild exception) use models. Models as a whole are idealized versions of the general population. They would claim it to be aspirational. I have no
    problem with it. I think we all understand that reality and advertising are two different things.

  26. I’ll wait for a real life review. All the bloggers raved about SFO before they opened, but of the two real life reviews I’ve read, one was good the other terrible. And everyone is complaining about the toilet situation and seating to eat.

  27. I have never flown United. If the lounge guests looked like the guy in the picture I’d be tempted!

  28. Looking forward to using the lounge on a return flight from BRU in two weeks. I left today but via IAD and a day too early anyhow.

    I used to scoot to terminal B in the past to use Lufthansa or SAS lounge but the staff have stopped me since 2016. They check boarding passes and if they don’t read both B and the gate range for international flights (not the domestics that also use B) then they deny access even if you say you’re using the lounge.

  29. I was lucky to visit the EWR Polaris Lounge on opening day, June 4, 2018. It was fantastic!!!! At 3:30 pm it was already crowded but there were plenty of seating areas available. The restaurant had availability and was not at all crowded (I wondered if people even knew it was there). Food was wonderful…..and service was also good. The buffet was extremely plentiful also.
    With a full service restaurants, Polaris lounges are on par with LH First Class lounges.
    Thank you United and I know you will do a great job with United Club lounges also. I visited your Heathrow Queens Terminal one and it was incredible.

  30. Now that this lounge is open, will the other United Club lounges in Term C start accepting one-time passes again?

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