Review: Art & Lounge Newark Airport

Filed Under: Airport Lounge Reviews, El Al
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Introduction: An Amazing Week In Israel With My Parents
Review: The Adelaide Hotel Toronto (Former Trump Hotel, Future St. Regis)
Review: Porter Airlines Lounge At Toronto Billy Bishop Airport
Review: Porter Airlines Economy Toronto To Newark
Review: Marriott Newark Airport
Review: Art & Lounge Newark Airport
Review: EL AL Business Class 787 Newark To Tel Aviv
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Review: Sheraton Tel Aviv
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We got to Newark Airport at 9AM for our 1:15PM flight to Tel Aviv. This was my first time flying EL AL, so I had no sense of how long security would take, etc.

Newark Airport Terminal B exterior

Terminal B was quite empty at this hour, though at the far left of the terminal I saw some activity, and figured that was EL AL’s check-in area.

Newark Airport Terminal B check-in hall

There was a separate queue for economy passengers to undergo their security questioning, and then once that was complete they’d direct passengers over to the actual check-in desk.

EL AL security questioning Newark Airport

The business class check-in counter was located at the far left of the check-in area.

EL AL business class check-in Newark Airport

While there wasn’t anyone there, there were two of the security podiums, so I figured we didn’t have to get in the main line. One of the EL AL agents saw us there, and sent over a security officer to question us. I shared my experience with the overall EL AL security process in a separate post, so if you’re interested, check out that post.

EL AL business class check-in Newark Airport

Soon enough we were issued stickers (for both our passports and carry-ons) presumably based on our security interview, as well as EL AL boarding passes and lounge invitations.

EL AL security questioning Newark Airport

EL AL security questioning Newark Airport

At Newark Airport, EL AL uses Art & Lounge as their contract lounge, which is also part of Priority Pass. The number of Priority Pass members has increased greatly the past couple of years, since now there are quite a few credit cards with lounge access. As a reminder, if you want to access Priority Pass lounges, the following are some of the popular cards that come with access, along with their guesting privileges:

Card# Of Guests Who Get Free AccessAuthorized User AccessCost To Add Authorized User
The Platinum Card® from American Express2Yes$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That (Rates & Fees)
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express 2Yes$300 Per Person (Rates & Fees)
Chase Sapphire Reserve®2Yes$75 Per Person
Citi Prestige® Credit Card2Yes$50 Per Person. ($75 Per Person for Cardmember Anniversary dates after September 1, 2019)
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card2No$0
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card2No$0

This lounge is located landside (before security), between concourses B2 & B3, near gates 50-60. The lounge is open from 9AM until 10:30PM on Sundays through Fridays, and from 1:30PM until 11:30PM on Saturdays

Newark Airport Terminal B

As you can see based on the exterior, in addition to EL AL, the lounge is also available to select passengers on La Compagnie, Norwegian LOT, etc. The lounge is less than a minute walk from EL AL check-in.

Art & Lounge exterior Newark Airport

The lounge was cuter than I was expecting. It was a decent size, with plenty of different seating areas. The below several pictures should give you a good sense of the layout of the lounge.

Art & Lounge Newark Airport seating

Art & Lounge Newark Airport seating

Art & Lounge Newark Airport seating

Art & Lounge Newark Airport seating

Art & Lounge Newark Airport seating

Art & Lounge Newark Airport seating

In one of the corners was a semi-private area with a computer and a printer.

Art & Lounge Newark Airport business center

At the far end of the lounge was the dining area, which included dining tables, a bar with high-top seating, and a buffet.

Art & Lounge Newark Airport dining area

Art & Lounge Newark Airport dining area

Art & Lounge Newark Airport bar

The lounge had a special “kosher corner” fridge, with egg salad, green salad, sandwiches, cans of soda, etc.

Art & Lounge Newark Airport snacks & drinks

Then there were several types of juice, flavored water, a coffee machine, tea, and a fridge with beer.

Art & Lounge Newark Airport water & juice

Art & Lounge Newark Airport coffee

Art & Lounge Newark Airport beer

The breakfast selection included cheese, fresh fruit, egg salad, cookies, croissants, muffins, oatmeal, and cereal.

Art & Lounge Newark Airport breakfast selection

Art & Lounge Newark Airport cookies

Art & Lounge Newark Airport snacks

Art & Lounge Newark Airport breakfast selection

Art & Lounge Newark Airport breakfast selection

Art & Lounge Newark Airport breakfast selection

Then there were waffles, omelets, and another type of egg dish.

Art & Lounge Newark Airport breakfast selection

Art & Lounge Newark Airport breakfast selection

Art & Lounge Newark Airport breakfast selection

For a contract lounge I’d consider this to be a pretty good breakfast offering. I had an omelet, which was quite good.

Art & Lounge Newark Airport breakfast

Back near the entrance was some reading material, as well as a couple of model EL AL airplanes.

Art & Lounge Newark Airport magazines & newspapers

This is also where the bathrooms were located; this lounge doesn’t have showers.

Art & Lounge Newark Airport bathroom

I spent the time in the lounge working, and fortunately the wifi was fast. It’s a bit annoying that the lounge is before security, though I guess it makes sense at Newark Airport, given how small each of the airside concourses is. The good news is that security lines never get too crazy, since there are at most a few flights leaving from each of the concourses at any given point.

Boarding was scheduled for 12:45PM, though we headed towards security at around noon.

Walking to gate Newark Airport

The security process took about 15 minutes, and by 12:20PM boarding started at gate 62. After answering just one more security question it was time to board. I was oddly excited for our flight on EL AL!

Art & Lounge Newark Airport bottom line

As far as US airport contract lounges go, this is one of the better ones out there. While the fact that it’s landside isn’t ideal, it’s understandable due to the layout of the airport. I also didn’t love the lack of natural light, given that the lounge has no windows. Other than that, though, I was pretty impressed by the lounge. The decor was sort of cute and quirky, and the food selection was better than you’ll find at most lounges in the US.

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).

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  1. Wow looks like you had the best possible experience with this lounge at an especially quiet hour. I’m at this lounge about once a month, always between 5p and 8p and the lounge is a disaster at that hour. It is swamped with people, there are no seats or outlets available, and the “dinner” spread is abysmal. Always the same super greasy pasta, and maybe frozen pizza if you get lucky. The kosher cooler is always empty too – therefore I think the lounge must step their game up for the el al fights, but reverts to being no good later in the day.

  2. Ben – You really are lucky, no pun. The last time I was there they had cookies and machine coffee. That was it. And the employees that worked (haahahaha) or should I say sat around there didn’t seem to worry about it. I would be really peeved if I had paid the $27 for that.

  3. I bought access to this place on Loungebuddy one day when on a long layover in EWR between status lapsing and new one kicking in.

    You got lucky…Lucky.

    When I was in there the place was damn near full. Most seats were occupied, there’s plugs around but none of them were terribly convenient. There was no hot food as I recall, mid-day, the snacks were ok, but nothing to write home about. There was a really small bar (I can’t tell by your picture) that was tended by 2-3 staff.

    That Kosher Korner thing was there pre-El Al, however it wasn’t Kosher, it was just a big open fridge with some cold snacks and drinks in it.

    Overall the lounge is fine, but it’s quite small, the ceilings are also low so it has a bit of a bunker feel to it. The varied seats are nice, but look odd I feel. There was also a large projector screen IIRC that was showing CNN or something equivalent. Worth the paid entry for 3-4 hours just because EWR is intolerable.

  4. Yeah, I was here in the evening a month back and it was nowhere near this nice. The dinner spread was far more sparse, the lounge was filthy (every table was sticky and hadn’t been cleaned up) , and there was food/crumbs over the floor everywhere.

  5. This is the old Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at EWR…. doesn’t look like they’ve changed anything (except the name).

  6. @Chris – I think that article should have been renamed “Delta tied to Screw Emirates Yet Again and Failed”.

  7. I agree with Michael – afternoons the lounge is overcrowded and the food spread is abysmal.

    Are you sure it is a contract lounge? I have this weird feeling it is affiliated with El Al, and takes on Priority Pass to make more money. But I haven’t checked.

  8. Hey Ben, thank you for all of your reviews.

    I think I must have sounded a little abrupt when I commented on your post regarding the former Trump Hotel in Toronto.

    I actually find the information you provide incredibly useful and insightful. Even if I’m a few days late, I make a point of reading all of your daily e-mails.

    You provide a fantastic service, please know that you are appreciated by many of us.

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