United Airlines recently hosted a preview event for its long-awaited Polaris lounge at Newark Liberty International Airport. The airline went to great lengths to make the lounge a reality. United listened to the advice of its customer's by making numerous changes that make this lounge unique from sister lounges in Chicago (O'Hare) and San Francisco. Polaris lounges in Houston (Intercontinental) and Los Angeles are expected to open in both Summer and Fall of 2018, respectively. United's star premium product will also see lounges in Washington D.C. (Dulles), London (Heathrow), Hong Kong, and Tokyo (Narita).
United travelers in the New York City region rely heavily on the metropolitan area's second-busiest airport to travel to countless domestic and international destinations. Previously, international passengers traveling with United would visit the two United Clubs: the C120 and C74 clubs. United elected to permanently close the C120 United Club where it was then replaced by the new Polaris lounge. To compensate for the closure, United set up a pop-up lounge near C124.
United's newest Polaris lounge launched on Monday, June 4 its doors to the public; although only select travelers are eligible to enter.
The new Polaris lounge in Newark is a big step forward for United and undoubtedly the best lounge offering at Newark airport, perhaps out of all three New York City-area airports. Although Newark is the fourteenth-busiest airport in the United States, the airport is only hosting a few lounges.
Upon entering travelers are greeted with a friendly and spacious lobby with a spectacular light fixture on the ceiling—designed by Brooklyn-based artist and designer Richard Clarkson. The fixture resembles constellations and contains all 12 zodiac signs.
The Polaris lounge measures in at a whopping 27,0099 square-feet—just shy of the 28,120 square-foot Polaris lounge in San Francisco. The lounge is nothing but impressive; it boasts 455 seats, 10 quiet suites, and 10 shower suites. There are also plenty of spots to charge your devices—the lounge has 570 Power receptacles and 450 USB ports.
If you’re traveling for business and need to get some work done, there are 44 workspaces—very wide and comfortable seats with a small desk and lamp. These seats offer a fair amount of privacy as they are divided by acoustic panels.
United failed to disappoint with its in-house dining options that put 5-star restaurants to shame. The lounge offers both a buffet-style and sit-down dining in a dining area United calls “The Dining Room”. The buffet selection rotates throughout the day and includes selections of delicious hot and cold items. During our visit on the 31st, there were savory hot items such as chicken parmesan, cauliflower-coconut curry, and rice. There were also cold items such as cold meats and bread. Deserts were available too—plates of beautifully presented macrons certainly stood out. The selection rotates throughout the day to accommodate specific international departures out of Newark. The Dining Room comfortably seats 24, 2-person tables and offers a sweeping view of the tarmac.
United ensured the bar experience in their newest lounge didn't disappoint. The lounge features a bar located right behind The Dining Room that is elegantly designed to mirror the signature Polaris bar found in the Chicago and San Francisco locations. The bar offers craft beer, wines, and other liquor items. Bartenders can also make United's two signature drinks: Polaris Star and The Paper Plane.
Travelers will appreciate United's inclusion of 10 shower suites and 10 quiet suites that give guests a chance to unwind and prepare for their flights. The 10 quiet suits come equipped with daybeds and adjustable "white noise" to maximize comfort.
Polaris Lounge Eligibility
Those booked in United Polaris First or United Polaris Business cabins with same-day routing will automatically have access to the lounge. In addition, those booked in United Polaris First will be able to bring one guest into the Polaris lounge, regardless of the guest’s booked cabin. Those traveling in First or Business Class on a Star Alliance flight are also eligible to enter.
The United Polaris lounge in Newark reflects United’s ambitions to improve their premium offerings. Travelers who are eligible to enter will enjoy its wide variety of amenities before and after their flights.