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Review: the British Airways lounge at Newark Liberty Airport

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This is my review of the British Airways lounge at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey, often used for flights to New York City.

This lounge is used by Aer Lingus as well as by British Airways passengers. This is the final part of my series on a trip to experience Business Class on the new Aer Lingus single-aisle A321LR fleet.

This lounge joined Priority Pass earlier in 2022, but you can only access it from 8am until 2pm. There are no British Airways or Aer Lingus flights during this period.

Review: the British Airways lounge at Newark Liberty Airport

You will see that the lounge is very quiet in my pictures. After the 07.50 flight to Heathrow, the first British Airways evening flight is at 18.05. The daily Aer Lingus flight departs at 17.20 so there would have been no more than a handful of early birds for the 18.05 BA service when I arrived.

Security at Newark was impressively quick. I’d passed the lounge, up a lift on the first floor (2nd floor if you’re American!), on arrival four days earlier so I knew where I was going.

There is formal dining …. but it was closed

As with most British Airways lounges in the US, the lounge was set up for formal pre-flight dining. This allows you to eat and then board what is almost invariably an overnight flight and go to sleep without waiting for a dragged out meal service.

Pre-flight dining wasn’t open at 3pm, of course. I did get a photo of the Club World area:

Review: the British Airways lounge at Newark Liberty Airport

…. and the First Class dining area:

Review: the British Airways lounge at Newark Liberty Airport

As you can see, it is the typical Galleries lounge decor. It won’t set your heart ablaze but it’s certainly not as sterile as, say, a Lufthansa lounge.

Regular visitors to the UK lounges will instantly recognise this tea and coffee set-up:

Review: the British Airways lounge at Newark Liberty Airport

The lounge contains three zones. You have the dining area pictured above, plus a seating area here (my photo only shows around half of it):

Review: the British Airways lounge at Newark Liberty Airport

…. and, on the other side of the room, this space (again, this is only part of it):

Review: the British Airways lounge at Newark Liberty Airport

This side is where you’ll find the bar. Whilst there is no-one to be seen in this picture, the bar is staffed and you are not encouraged to help yourself. Unlike most US airline lounges, drinks are free and there is no obligation to pay the semi-obligatory $1 tip per drink demanded elsewhere.

Review: the British Airways lounge at Newark Liberty Airport

There is also a small work area tucked away:

Review: the British Airways lounge at Newark Liberty Airport

…. and, whilst not pictured, shower facilities.

Newark has the QR code-based food ordering system that you will find in Heathrow and Gatwick. It worked well, as usual. My daughter had the BA burger:

Review: the British Airways lounge at Newark Liberty Airport

Other options included:

  • ‘Italian Wedding’ soup (meatballs)
  • pan seared salmon
  • penne ricotta pasta
  • vegetarian burger
  • garden salad
  • spring fennel salad
  • strawberry rhubarb shortcake
  • banana pudding

The burger was delivered promptly and I had no complaints from my teenage companion.

That’s about all I can say, given that pre-flight dining wasn’t open. It is a perfectly satisfactory lounge, with well above average food offerings via the QR-code ordering system. The decor isn’t the most modern but I’ve also seen a lot worse. It is definitely better than spending time in the main terminal.

Do note that, if you visit between 8am and 2pm using a Priority Pass, you will find a different food and drink system in operation in keeping with the modest sum that Priority Pass pays to use the lounge.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (November 2022)

As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit card:

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Plaza Premium, Delta Air Lines and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.

The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer.  Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (47)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • DevonDiamond says:

    Crisps with the burger?

    • Goldflyer40 says:

      That’s what happens when you order Burger & Chips in the US. 😀

    • Alan says:

      Was the same at JFK last month, but I was willing to forgive as the quality of the food was far superior to the offerings at LHR

      • Alex B says:

        Americans serve crisps with a bunch of stuff which should be with chips. And because they say chips on the menu, and you expect chips with say a burger, you temporarily forget the language difference and get disappointed.

    • Brian78 says:

      I’ve previously made the mistake of ordering “chips” with a burger whilst in America 🫣

    • Catalan says:

      They serve crisps with the burger in Virgin Upper Class too.

    • Stian says:

      Crisps with burgers is great, crunchy goes with the soft bun! Who needs starch (chips) with starch (bun)?

  • Rich says:

    There’s no obligation to pay the obligatory tip??

    • Nick says:

      … and you can follow it with rhubard, whatever that is!
      Did someone maybe have a day off from proofreading? 😄

    • TrainDriverSparky says:

      Comments on HfP need a ‘like’ button.

  • Erico1875 says:

    My wife and daughter were here in April. They both thought the food far better than both Galleries in T5

  • GaryC says:

    I was there back in May, needed to change my travel plans and travel back same day, and the single available biz class seat on any BA flight that evening was out of Newark, rather than JFK which I would have preferred.

    Agree with the review, it’s a perfectly satisfactory lounge. The staff are attentive, food was quick (I had the burger too), and they were doing very regular sweeps to collect dirty glasses and plates, so no mess in the lounge. I still tip the bar staff with each drink, even if it’s not obligatory, it’s certainly appreciated.

  • Louise K says:

    I am staying in SoHo in December and my return flight has just been cancelled – now have the option rebooking from either EWR or JFK. I think EWR will be easier to get to but isn’t there a new lounge at JFK??

    • Rob says:

      From 1st December, yes.

      • Louise K says:

        Tks. My head is telling me to come home from EWR but my heart tells me book JFK!

        • Panda Mick says:

          I find getting to EWR much easier and nicer than JFK. The station at Jamaica is dark and not well signposted, and then there’s the horrible “I didn’t get my ticket from the what I thought should have been free airtrain” chaos in the ticket hall… and both trains (EWR and JFK) drop you at exactly the same station 🙂

  • astra19 says:

    First class dining is basically the same, but the service has always been very good. Nothing to rush to spend time in, but perfectly pleasant. Last winter there was a terrible buzzing noise and a strange smell but that thankfully seems to have been resolved!

    • Ed_fly says:

      1st class dining at Newark has different (including some better) options available than the wider in lounge offering. Possibly better drinks options, but not 100% sure of that.

  • Chaz says:

    QR ordering in T5 Galleries has finished apparently. All the codes still on the table, but no menu to be found. Staff said it’s all back to self service.

    • Nick says:

      Same in T3 Galleries when I went in late June, QR codes on tables but when scanned no food options, just options to buy stuff, food was all self service which was ok

      • Nick says:

        Galleries Club is back to self serve only; Galleries First still offers QR ordering.

    • Jack says:

      Strange seeing as the QR system was meant to be staying and the buffet going so unusual they changed it . Much prefer table service for what is in fairness a business or first lounge

  • Lady London says:

    Was the burger better over there than over here? T5 burger can be a sorry sight (this was pre-QR ordering system however) and served half-cold

    • David says:

      Loved the BA burger & fat chips 😋 before it got Covid and permanently quarantined 😢

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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