The swanky new United Club in Newark Terminal A is an odd one. There’s much to like and yet there were some missed opportunities.
United Club Newark Terminal A Review (EWR)
Hours + Access + Location
The Terminal A United Club is located on the upper level near gate A27. It is open daily from 5:00 am to 9:15 pm.
Access is reserved for United Club members, Chase United Club Visa holders, Star Alliance Gold travelers, business class travelers flying to Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO) on United’s premium transcontinental service, and international business or first class passengers traveling on any Star Alliance flight. Global Services members also enjoy access.
Furthermore, one-time passes from Chase are accepted or can be purchased for $59. Note that if you hold a Star Alliance Gold card from United Airlines (Premier Gold or higher), you can only access the lounge when traveling in conjunction with an international itinerary. Those who have a Star Gold card from other programs can use the lounge when traveling on any Star Alliance flight in any class of service. Also note that United does not give premium cabin passengers access on domestic flights, with the exception of the premium transcontinental route noted above.
The odd thing about this lounge is that in a beautiful new terminal, there is no escalator up to the lounge. Instead, there are stairs or an elevator. I tend to take the stairs anyway when available, so it was on problem for me, but I simply do not understand why an escalator was not added.
Like all new United lounges, there is an automatic gate in which you can bypass an agent and gain access to the lounge simply by scanning your boarding pass. If you do need help or are using a one-time pass, an agent is available.
There are also automatic gates when you leave the lounge (likely to prevent people from slipping in through the exit).
An eye-catching contemporary portrait greets you as you enter the lounge.
The lounge is somewhat V-shaped, with seating for up to 350 guests (the lounge is 15,000 square feet). As you enter, turn left for a number of seating options including my favorite individual booths.
Further into the lounge is seating, a dining area, a bar, and restrooms. There are seats along the windows that look down to the terminal below and tarmac outside.
Electrical outlets are plentiful though in some places there are USB-A plus USB-C outlets while in others there are only USB-A outlets.
Here’s another quirk of this lounge, which may foreshadow a problem with the new terminal: it was warm. United needs to find a way to get the air flowing better in there. The air was not stale or stinky, but it was much warmer than I would have liked (on a warm day).
This lounge has no showers, which is a missed opportunity. I think all new United Clubs should offer showers…but the C123 lounge does have those facilities if you need a shower while in Newark.
The bathrooms are clean and there were both gender-assigned restrooms and unisex private restrooms available.
Food + Drink
I was in the lounge during breakfast time and thought the spread was quite nice. I had taken an earlier morning flight up to Newark and only had coffee to drink, so I broke my fast a bit early to try to the breakfast spread.
A buffet included a wide selection of breakfast items including breakfast burritos, a ricotta toast bar, scrambled eggs (egg whites or with yolk), sausage (pork or turkey), potatoes, cereal, overnight oats, yogurt, overnight oats, and fresh fruit.
I had a breakfast burrito, some eggs whites with sausage, and a bowl of berries. The berries were lovely and what I appreciated the most…they were ripe and sweet.
There was also a snack station with ramekins from which you could take snacks like wasabi peas or saltwater toffee.
In terms of beverages, there is no barista at this lounge, but there are self-serve coffee and soft drinks machines as well as a full-service bar.
There’s another beverage station with water, coffee, and tea on the other side of the lounge.
While agents are available at the entrance to help, if you need to make flight changes or have other ticketing issues you are invited to use an automatic kiosk that, when appropriate, can connect you via video to an agent.
This is a solid lounge and a tremendous improvement over the old lounge in Terminal A. Even so, there are some misses here like the lack of escalators and warm temperatures. I am not sure if either issue can be remedied, but kudos to United for the overall nice lounge space with a great selection of breakfast food.