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After great stays at both the Intercontinental Barclay and St Regis New York, we were excited to get to Newark and lounge it up in the relatively new, United Polaris Lounge. It’s reputation is one of great food, space, showers, and most reviews I’ve read sing its praises. I figured we’d arrive a little early to enjoy it prior to our United Polaris business class flight to Tel Aviv. Check in was super easy, we sped through security, and we were quite excited to sit down, have a meal, and clink glasses prior to embarking on a bucket list trip to the Holy Land.
- When: April, 2019
- Where: Newark
- Access: United Polaris International Business Class ticket
- Connecting passengers with same day routing may use the lounge post business/first flight
- Long Haul First/Business Star Alliance passengers may use the lounge
Finding the Lounge
In case there was any question as to where the United Polaris Lounge is located…you’ll find a big sign just after security. Note…you are not looking for the United Club…you want Polaris.
Immediately upon seeing the lounge you’ll know you’re in for a treat. It looks as if you’re about to enjoy an amusement park ride.
First Impression: Wow.
It feels modern, inviting, and incredibly spacious. This is United’s flagship lounge and it doesn’t disappoint. It didn’t hurt that we were one of the last flights to depart that night and the lounge was almost empty. As you can see…it’s designed to hold a ton of people.
The United Polaris Lounge offers two different styles of dining. The first, sit down/waiter service with a menu and bar service. The second, the traditional lounge buffet. We opted to sit down and dine, but I also grabbed snaps of the buffet before they closed it up.
Sit Down Dining
The Dining room is just beyond the bar and off to the left overlooking the tarmac. For plane spotting AV geeks it’s a great view.
The was quick to be served and excellent. I especially enjoyed the Salmon and brownie sundae.
The buffet can be found just beyond the large general seating area that has just about any configuration of seat/table/stool/chaise etc you could want.
It’s quite eclectic and offers both hot and cold selections. Everything looked fresh, and they kept it out until just before our flight was scheduled to depart. I believe the closing time is 10:30pm barring any delays.
If you’re looking for a traditional dining hall setting to eat…they have it.
Showers and Quiet Area
If you have a long layover, need a quick refresh before hitting work, or just want to relax with some peace and quiet, United has created a fantastic area to do so.
The showers are modern, large, and have a new suite of amenities in case you forgot yours behind.
I could have spent longer in the lounge, when all was said and done, I think we spent roughly 2 hours at the United Polaris Lounge. It was plenty of time to have a nice meal, get excited about our flight, and poke our head around. Most airline lounges in the US aren’t worth arriving ahead of time to enjoy, but this one is different, and lives up to the hype other bloggers have professed. If you haven’t experience the best United has to offer, and especially if you’re on a late flight when the lounge is emptier, I’d recommend arriving early, having a meal, and sipping some bubbly to celebrate your business class flight like we did.
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
In Chase branch: 70k Points after $4k spend in 3 months ( make appt with banker –Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.)
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.