Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Dec 2022: Day 6 – New York (JFK) to New York (EWR)
Well I wasn’t expecting to be travelling across New York on this trip! Stuck in New York due to (primarily) a BA IT cockup which held me up by over 4 hours, then a medical emergency which finally killed any opportunity of getting back to the UK that night.
I felt relieved having been able to book a Hilton hotel (which I would be able to get refunded by BA), where I could get warm and think about rebooking options. Having turned off the light at around 4am, I woke with a bit of a start at around 7am.
On checking in at the hotel last night, I remember hearing the hotel front desk staff talking about spending my $18 Food & Beverage (F&B) money on Starbucks, so there was obviously coffee available on site that would suit me down to the ground. I couldn’t find any official stores close by according to the Starbucks app though. I headed downstairs and found a counter without too much Starbucks branding. It looked a bit “rough & ready” but the drink the girl made for me was just the ticket!
I also popped into the Hilton restaurant for a full buffet breakfast. It wasn’t cheap at $29, so it was costing me about $11 + tax taking into account the $18 credit that the hotel gives to Diamond members. For what I actually ate, it was probably about value for money.
My trip to Newark started at 10:30am with the hotel shuttle bus back to Federal Circle. It was another bitterly cold day in New York – I could tell just by waiting inside the foyer for the shuttle bus driver. That free short trip took 30 mins after dropping off all the other passengers at the various terminals around the airport.
I had to wait a while to catch an AirTrain to Jamaica and then pay the $9 for a metro card to get me out of the AirTrain system! From there it was a short walk around the corner to spend a further $8 on a ticket to Penn Station via the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). Luckily my timing was pretty good. As soon as I reached Track 2, a train arrived.
I reached Penn Station at about 11:25am and I knew there was a New Jersey Transit train that would take me to Newark leaving at 11:37am. I managed to get a ticket from a ticket machine for $16 and jogged to Track 1. I just sneaked on behind the conductor who was signally for the doors to close. Great timing!
The New Jersey Transit took about 25 mins before arriving at Newark followed by another $8 to access the Newark AirTrain system. Finally arriving at Newark International Airport, Terminal C at around 12:30pm. It’s been a pretty straightforward trip from one airport to the other in New York.
I played a little dumb with the United Airline reps to get help in checking in, finding the TSA Pre-Check queue and finally getting access to the United Polaris Lounge. The United staff were all really friendly and happy to help.
I was settled into the lounge by 1pm and looking forward to a relaxing afternoon ahead of my flight back home. I was going to be here for 7 hours in total. Without a coat, I had no desire to spend that 7 hours doing something touristy around New York City – it was just not something I really wanted to contemplate. I was happy staying warm and dry!
The lounge was huge and well set out as you can see from a selection of photos below:
I found Terminal C to be quite an impressive terminal. There were some very attractive bars and restaurants and it looked like there were tablets at every seat, so that you could order food – I think there were over 5,000 installed around the terminal. That’s quite an investment!
The United Polaris Lounge was huge and filled up later on in the afternoon. Initially it was almost empty. It had some nice seating areas, floor to ceiling windows with a great view of the apron and a formal dining area and a nice buffet with some really good quality dishes on offer.
Whilst I was in the lounge, I started formulating my complaint email to BA and claim for compensation. I knew it would be a complex one, since BA will claim the medical emergency was the reason for the cancellation, rather than the flight planning system issues.
I was looking forward to my UA flight that would take me home!
Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Dec 2022