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Inside the SAS Business Class Lounge at Newark Airport

Where: Newark International Airport [map], Newark, NJ, United States
June 2, 2010 at 12:30 PM | by | ()

It feels like just yesterday that we were lifting off of the runway onboard the First Flight of Lufthansa's New A380, even if it was a couple weeks ago. Still, before we flew from Hamburg down to Frankfurt on the A380, we had to get to Germany in the first place, and we managed to peek in at the SAS Business Lounge at Newark-Liberty International Airport, which Lufthansa shares, before a direct to Deutschland.

Although the SAS Lounge is of a nice size, you will find every seat filled (and some people standing) before the first evening flights leave, due to the fact that this lounge can be accessed by Business and elite members flying on SAS, Lufthansa, Air India, Continental, United, and all other Star Alliance airlines. For example, passengers of LOT Polish Airlines will mingle with those setting out on Swiss, and it does get noisy.

What you need to know about the SAS Lounge: Before you can strut in, waving your Biz Class boarding pass or elite card, there are a few basics you should know. For instance the lounge the located in Terminal B's satellite area near gate 60, after security. It only opens a few hours before the first flight from that area, and that usually means an opening time of 2pm. Don't come here expecting a sit-down dinner as there's only a small, self-serve nibbles buffet and bar, but at least you can pass the time with free WiFi, whose access code you can get from reception.

The good stuff: The lounge has a bright color scheme and varied seating choices, including a small work area and long bar tables nearer the buffet. The self-serve bar includes several types of red and white wines, a passable selection of harder liquor, and all of the mixings you'd need for a standard cocktail. The free WiFi has a strong signal and the lounge is safe enough to leave your laptop where it is while you go back to the buffet for seconds.

The bad stuff: The Scandinavian design of the lounge combined with its wear and tear gives you the feeling of chilling in an IKEA. The seats fill up fast, so you're stuck in whichever one you pick, and finding an outlet anywhere but next to the blue chairs is difficult.

There are also only two bathrooms, so expect lines before the flights depart, and when we were there, the lounge's announcement system didn't work. Staff had to yell over the lounge when flights were boarding. And although the lounge features two walls of windows, they look out to the walkway for passengers departing planes. This means that every 25 minutes or so, about two hundred people pass right by and gawk inside, obstructing any nice views of the tarmac.

Perhaps the biggest redeeming feature of the lounge is its location after security, so that you can fully relax and head to the gate in the last minutes, if you so desire. Just be prepared to fight your way through the economy crowd towards the Business and First Class boarding lanes, since this gate area is badly designed and does not encourage order of any sort.

Disclosure: We traveled to Germany thanks to Lufthansa, but all views are completely our own.

Related Stories:
· Inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London's Heathrow Airport [Jaunted]
· Inside the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at New York's JFK Airport [Jaunted]
· Airport Lounges [Jaunted]

[All photos: Jaunted]

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