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.
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:
…. and the First Class dining area:
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:
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):
…. and, on the other side of the room, this space (again, this is only part of it):
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.
There is also a small work area tucked away:
…. 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:
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.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (September 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 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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get two 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 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.