Blending a contemporary ‘lounge room’ look with an upmarket bistro and cafe vibe, United Airlines’ newly-opened United Club at the New York-adjacent Newark Liberty Airport raises the bar for its next generation of lounges.
And it’s fortuitous timing for Virgin Australia Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers, who will gain access to United Club lounges when Virgin’s partnership with United Airlines roars to life on May 24.
With the United Club perched on the upper level of Newark’s Terminal 3, travellers will be greeted by a massive space flooded in natural light – a huge step up from its dated and dark predecessor at gate C74, which was regularly overcrowded during afternoon and evening peaks.
On a clear day they’ll enjoy panoramic views stretching beyond the runway to the distant Manhattan skyline, courtesy of floor-to-ceiling windows.
And on any day they’ll be able to tuck into a variety of sandwiches, sweets and savoury snacks from the self-serve delicatessen, order a barista-pulled brew from the cafe area or sink a beer or wine from the 25-seat tended bar, dressed with a tiled mosaic channeling the signage you’d find in a New York subway.
Alongside quirky post-modern murals, exposed brickwork and commissions from local artists, it’s part of a unique design which confidently gives the United Club a ‘sense of place’, rather than be just another cookie-cutter lounge cast from the same template as all the rest.
“This design theme and commitment to creating a locally-inspired experience will set the precedent for future club openings and renovations across our network,” explains United Airlines Managing Director Hospitality and Planning, Aaron McMillan.
For now, the United Club at Newark is one of a kind – and at nearly 2,800 square metres it’s the largest in United’s network, with room for 480 people and seating options spanning from café-style tables and executive armchairs to leather sofas and black-walled individual workstations.
No seats are far from a power outlet, with AC, USB-A and USB-C ports to keep your travel tech humming.
After a long day or ahead of a long flight, passengers can freshen up in one of six shower suites stocked with Sunday Riley amenities and Saks Fifth Avenue-branded towels; or wind down in the library or by challenging a fellow traveller to a game of foosball.
Located in Terminal C3 near gate 123, the new United Club is open from 5am to 10pm daily, and complements the terminal’s Polaris Lounge which is reserved for flyers in business class (or first class with a Star Alliance partner).
This is the latest in a series of lounge upgrades from major US airlines, with Delta Air Lines cutting the ribbon on a show-stopping Sky Club at LAX and announcing its own network of Delta One business class lounges beginning with New York JFK in 2023.