Review Of Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge: Newark Airport

NOTE: Shortly after my last visit to the Air Canada lounge, they left the Priority Pass lounge network. 

Newark Airport – the place that stayed retro until it was cool again. Parts of Newark Airport look like you’re walking back into the late 1960s. I give them credit that they’re trying to refurbish the airport but most of the money has been spent by United to upgrade their base at Terminal C. The other two terminals have been left as a memorial to what airports used to look like.

Home to what must be the worst layout for a TSA checkpoint, terminal A is split into three bays, each consisting of several gates in a circular layout located at the end of a long hallway connecting the spokes to the main terminal. Each spoke has its own TSA checkpoint and there’s no way to go between spokes without leaving the secure area and going through screening again. So basically once you’re at your gate area, you’re stuck.

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Those flying from gates A10-18, home to Air Canada, JetBlue and Southwest, have few options once clearing security. You can sit at the gate or get food from Currito Cantina (Note from Sharon: I checked and nope, it’s not Burrito Cantina, with a B. It’s Currito, with a C. WTH is a currito?), grab a Boars Head sandwich or Ben & Jerry’s. The gate area is not the most relaxing of places to spend time, since it’s usually crowded, and that’s when there aren’t any delayed flights. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having to spend time around a bunch of people from Jersey when their plane is delayed. The phone conversations you’ll hear sound like outtakes from The Sopranos. (Remember, I grew up there so I can say that) 🙂

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However, there’s one more option of where to wait for your flight – the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge.

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Are You Allowed Into The Airport Lounge? Know Before You Go

The work area of the Air Canada lounge at Newark Airport is located right behind the check in desk. In the hour or so that I was sitting there waiting for my flight, I heard more people get denied entry to the lounge than were admitted. Why weren’t they allowed in? Because they didn’t know the rules of entry. The person working the desk wasn’t all that sure of the rules either and I heard him give incorrect information to at least one couple. It didn’t affect them getting admission to the lounge, I waited until later to let them know the correct policy.

I’m not surprised people are confused by the rules. Lounge admission policies are unnecessarily complicated. Who gets access with which ticket and when they’re allowed in can change from day to day and even hour to hour.

Luckily, you don’t need to know the rules for every lounge and every program. You just need to know the rules for the programs you’re in and for the lounges you want to enter. Just doing a little bit of homework can go a far way and keep you from getting shut out from entry.

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J.D. Power 2018 Report Is In: The Best Airlines In North America

The responses of the annual J.D. Power 2018 North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM have been tabulated and analyzed and the top U.S. airlines have been announced. Alaska Airlines won first place for traditional carriers for, hello, the 11th consecutive year (!!!), and Southwest was named best of all the low-cost airlines for the 2nd year in a row (it upsurped the title from JetBlue in 2016). Here are the rankings:

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Where Can We Go With United Miles When We Won’t Fly On United?

We’ve made a choice to avoid flying on United Airlines. For our normal travels it doesn’t cause much of a hardship as we don’t live at a United hub airport. We’ve been able to find flights to where we want without using them and they’ve never been the cheapest or best option anyway. The problem is that we still have a stash of United miles that we earned from the United MileagePlus Explorer card sign up bonus. I don’t plan on renewing the card this year but those miles are still ours and I need to figure out a use for them.

Thank goodness for airline alliances. United Airlines is part of the Star Alliance, which means we should be able to use those miles for flights on Star Alliance member airlines. You may also hear this being called “using miles on partner airlines.” So where can we fly from our home airport, or nearby, using our United miles?

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