As the world starts to open up again so do airline lounges. In this case the United Club at Newark Airport is open for travelers although the much upgraded Polaris lounge remain closed.

United Club is located in Newark Airport terminal C near gate 74 and provides access to premium cabin members, Star Alliance gold status, and united club members.

On this trip I am flying United Polaris Business Class from Newark to Rome, so unfortunately can’t access the United Polaris Business lounge and made my way to the United Club.

While I don’t expect the United club to be as good as the Polaris lounge I expected a somewhat decent place to spend a few hours before boarding. And knowing Covid cases are down but still relevant, I knew I should cut the lounges some slack in the offering.

It took me a second to spot the lounge up a nondescript staircase but once I did I made by way upstairs to check in.

As soon as I saw this notice my expectations were a bit in flux. Maybe this was a good sign and United was reserving the lounge for a more exclusive experience? Or maybe it was overcrowded and this was their way of reducing the headcount.

Unfortunately it was most certainly the later.

Upon entering the lounge I had a hard time spotting even a single empty seat. I decided to make my way to the bar, where as holding a Polaris business class ticket i was granted free premium drinks as a plus.

Much like the rest of the lounge the bar was crowded with a considerable line in order to get a drink. Luckily it actually moved rather quickly, thanks to the bar staff that were really friendly and moved quick.

I took a look at the drink menu while I waited and was quite shocked. Usually my go to is a glass of red wine and United did not skimp here.

I wasted no time ordering the Sta’s Leap Artemis after a quick look on Vivino knowing it would be excellent.

I was kind of shocked United would serve such good wine in their club but I guess this is the definition of premium wine.

Wine in hand, delicious by the way, I was ready to make my way over to the food.

If you can’t already tell from the pictures, the food was underwhelming. Now I know we are still in the midst of Covid but I would’ve expected a bit more effort on lounge food. This was most definitely snacks and ones that are easily worth skipping for a better meal on board.

I parked up with the carrots, which weren’t half bad, and lasted me the hour in the lounge.

While I thought United could’ve done better here I know we’re still in the midst of reopening and the offering is playing catch up. Regardless I was excited to board my next flight and if it was anything like the food I had on Polaris from Newark to Frankfurt I was definitely in for a highlight.

I expect over the next few months the lounges will come back better than ever and with airline traveling looking to rebound we are in for a whole new travel experience in 2022 and beyond.