United Is Closing A Newark United Club Till Next Summer

United opened their first Polaris Lounge in Chicago last December, which looks great. They have plans to open more of these lounges at other airports, though unfortunately progress on that front has been excruciatingly slow. I understand there are major challenges associated with construction (especially at airports), especially given the space constraints and how they’re largely having to do constructions in areas that are still occupied by guests.

In the interim the travel experience is largely disrupted. For example, in San Francisco the United Club in the international terminal has been closed, and they’re directing all Star Alliance first & business class passengers to the small former Global First Lounge.

In order to speed things up, United has announced that they’ll be closing the United Club near gate C120 at Newark Airport as of November 7, 2017. This will reopen in summer 2018 as a brand new Polaris Lounge. Per an email United sent out, here’s what you need to know in the interim:

United Club pop-up location. A pop-up United Club location in Terminal C, near Gate C124 is now open. This location offers beer and wine, as well as light snack options.

One-time passes. One-time passes will no longer be accepted at United Club locations in Terminal C through Summer 2018. We will continue to accept one-time passes in our newly-renovated Terminal A United Club location.

Additional United Club locations. We will continue to operate the United Club location near Gate C74, which we recommend for customers departing from Gates C70-115. The United Club location in Terminal A will also operate normally. Showers facilities are currently not available in either location, but all other amenities will be offered. Brand-new shower suites will be available to United Polaris-eligible customers with the opening of our United Polaris lounge.

Alternative options. We anticipate that these United Club locations will to be full, particularly during afternoon and evening hours. If you are traveling through New York/Newark during these peak periods, we encourage you to visit one of the many concessions provided by our OTG partners if your schedule permits.

As you can see, there are still two open United Clubs at Newark Airport (one in Terminal A and one in Terminal C), plus a pop-up United Club.

Just a few days ago American announced that they’re closing one of their Admirals Clubs at DFW so that they can renovate it. However, in that case they’re just renovating an Admirals Club, and not building a Flagship Lounge.

In general American has been doing a much better job with Flagship Lounge construction than United, though. They opened their first lounge in May, opened their second one in September, and will have two more lounges before the end of the year.

(Tip of the hat to Alon)

Comments

  1. Lucky, IMO The Polaris club is terrible. I didn’t see it on your top ten list.
    It’s overcrowded and uncomfortable . The dining area is like eating in the middle of the concourse. A joke.

  2. @Jon

    I don’t disagree that the US carriers have piss-poor offering for lounges, in both F and J, foreign and domestic; however, Lucky’s list ranked first class lounges so Polaris wouldn’t have been in the runnings anyway since it’s technically a business class lounge.

  3. The denying of one time passes just continues to be more common. Pretty scummy when they come with your cobranded credit card and are a highly advertised perk.

  4. I’ve struggled to find a seat each time I’ve visited that lounge. I can’t imagine what the other club and the temporary one will be like, until the summer. Also, showers only being for Polaris customers is a bit of a disappointment, but United doesn’t offer showers at many clubs anyway.

  5. I generally avoid domestic lounges. They are indeed crowded and because I expect a quieter experience, I’m more irritated by cellphone yappers than when I’m in the terminal.

  6. I see no basis for your stating “In order to speed things up, ”

    I received the same announcement from a United email to United Club members, and it did not provide that as a stated reason. Do you have another source for this?

  7. “If you are flying through our second largest hub and have paid a lot of money to access our clubs, please instead buy some overpriced OTG food instead?” Ridiculous. This whole thing has me considering ditching my membership completely since practically every hub is going to be overcrowded for the next year or possibly forever.

  8. @BR Completely agree. Houston is standing room only now that the club in E is closed (and I suspect going Polaris only), ORD is just as bad, and now EWR?

    And the conversion of every free square foot at EWR and IAH to OTG is a shameless money grab. I’m no lightweight but taking out all the motorized walkways in IAH for those things is insane.

    What’s the point of paying for club access anymore?

    @Lucky, is PP a viable option to replace United Club, or is the Centurion lounge the only way to go now?

  9. I just visited both the UA lounges in SFO and EWR and found them entirely satisifactory. But I was NOT traveling at peak hours. In both locations the standard fare was redily available, and l found a quiet space to recharge myself and my phone. The Polaris flight from SFO was lovely in every regard. Hope you folks can enjoy such a fine experience.

  10. Last Sunday I had a long layover in EWR. It was raining a lot, so I stayed at the airport.

    The Clubs are in bad condition (at C gates is terrible). The pop-up at C124 is the better place to stay, since it is still undiscovered (for now), empty – but no restrooms, since is just a gate area with walls around it.

    And United might lose me because of showers. If you’re Star Alliance Gold and fly international (for instance, Brazil to China through Newark) on coach, no lounge has showers there (and unless the upgrade clears, no Polaris Lounge access, when it exists there). Get ready to change clothes in the restroom!

  11. UA should give every Polaris pax ex-EWR a $50 OTG credit while this stupid nonsense goes on

    Classified is of course UA’s way to profit from the construction joke…SMH

  12. I am outraged at the sudden breach of contract with my UnitedClub card list of items incuded in the 500 dollar a year price tage. I use the shower/conference rooms etc at Newark 10 times a year for international flights (Australia, etc). The United Lounge website is not updated, still showing lounge open. Shocking only 3 days away from closure. I called United, I called UnitedClub, I called Mileage Plus and I callled Chase. They each referred me to someone to the other. No passes to other lounges, and UnitedClub card members will no longer be allowed into the renovated lounges with showers, only for Polaris. Quite a shock to be downgraded in this way after being a loyal customer and Gold for several years.

  13. The Polaris Club in Chicago is excellent. Anyone who says it isn’t has not been there.
    Many times us international travelers need lounges because of connection problems and long layovers.
    Who needs lounges? Real travelers.

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