I have passed through Newark Liberty Airport on many occasions, en route to other parts of the States. I have always flown with Continental Airlines which means I have always landed at Terminal C. My review, therefore will concentrate mainly on this terminal.
Newark airport is the lesser known of New York's more famous airports, namely JFK and La Guardia although it was actually the first in operation. It is located 16 miles south west of New York, in New Jersey, but is actually one of the world's busiest airports. If you are travelling into New York from the airport this is not a problem as you can choose from buses, taxis, helicopters (if money is no problem!) and trains. Trains operate 24 hours a day and three trains run every hour offering good connections into Penn Station. A free monorail service runs from all terminals to the Rail Link Station and takes approximately 10 minutes. If you feel like splashing out, you can pre-book a personal car and a car for 4, plus luggage costs approximately $125. Obviously price will vary according to your destination and number of passengers.
On landing at Terminal C you have quite a long walk from the arrival gate to the immigration hall. There are moving walkways part of the way but these are not always in operation. There are usually a fair number of immigration officers on duty but if you are unlucky enough to land at the same time as other planes it can take a while to go through the fingerprinting and photographing process that everyone has to endure. Once you have cleared immigration you proceed to baggage reclaim. This is a very large hall with several conveyor belts. If you are transferring to another flight and have purchased duty free, either at your departure airport or on the plane, please remember to put it into your luggage once you have reclaimed it. If you don't do this it will be confiscated when you go back through security which you will have to do to catch your connecting flight.
Once you have your luggage you will need to pass through customs before leaving the baggage reclaim area. Generally you are waved through but they do choose people at random to have their bags x-rayed in case they are smuggling any food etc into the country. If you have shown on your customs form that you are bringing food into the country then you will definitely have your luggage examined. After clearing customs you only have a very short walk until you are at the area where you hand your luggage back over so that it can be dispatched to your connecting flight. Unfortunately, you have to go back through security and all the searches it entails, to reach your departure gate. If you are planning a journey with a connecting flight I would leave at least 2 hours between arriving and departing to avoid a stressful connection.
There are 3 levels in Terminal C. The bottom level is for international arrivals and baggage reclaim, the middle level is for domestic ticketing and check-in and the upper level is for international ticketing and check-in. After you have gone through security there is a long corridor with 3 legs leading off it. The leg to the right contains gates C70-C99, the middle leg has gates C101-C115 and the left leg gates C120 - C139. Be aware that the legs are quite far apart and can take you longer than you may think to walk between them so leave yourself plenty of time if you are perhaps eating in one leg but departing from another. (I speak from personal experience here!) However, their are moving walkways along part of each gate so this may help, especially if you have lots of hand luggage. All the legs contain eateries, toilets and shops. There are both fast food restaurants as well as sit down, more formal restaurants. This is New York so if you choose not to go down the fast food route a restaurant it will be more expensive than you think. Two of us decided to have a leisurely lunch in Gallagher's steak house to pass some time and ended up paying £70 for 2 courses. Wouldn't have been so bad if it had been really nice but the food was decidedly average. I haven't made that mistake again and on subsequent journeys have usually opted for a Chinese meal from the food court. There are over 36 restaurants so I'm sure you will find something to suit your taste.
Other facilities available for passengers include ATMs, Travelex counters in case you are need to exchange some money, shoe shine services and a meditation room. There are also plenty of book stores and gift shops to help pass the time after if you do not wish to eat.
Newark claims that you will never pay more at Terminal C that you would at a local Newark shopping centre. If you feel you have been overcharged you can telephone or email email@example.com and they will investigate your complaint. I wish this was the case with UK airports but I don't see them introducing this anytime soon.
Newark is a bright, modern airport as far as airports go and you can easily pass a couple of hours whilst waiting on a connecting flight.
I've been through Newark Liberty International Airport three times now and while arriving is quite simple, departing is a bit confusing.
Immigration at Newark is a lot better than JFK, there seems to be more people on the desks to get you through quicker and you are not standing around for ages waiting to move through and pick up your luggage.
Departing from the airport is a bit confusing as it doesn't appear that you go to a specific desk to check in, all international departures seemed to be dealt with from one queue where a member of staff supervised the self check in booth. We then had to take our luggage to be screened and sent to wherever it goes, and then we had to queue again to make it to the departures lounge. Could have been signposted better to avoid confusion.
Once in departures it is pretty good with a big duty free, newsagents, bar, restaurant, souvenir shops for last minute presents. Toilets are well maintained and clean. I actually thought Newark departures lounge was better than JFK for duty free shopping and souvenirs.
Having recently flown from Newark airport to Bristol, I can honestly say I have nothing good to say about the airport.
With 4 hours to go till our flight, we arrived at the airport in plenty of time. I know that we were asking a lot, but we were hoping that there would be some signs as to where you need to go. Or, at least that there was a help desk to advise you on which queue you had to join. But alas no, not even someone roaming around to ask and there seemed to be a lot of other people in the same boat.
There were broken chairs pushed to the side, sections unused but not cordoned off. Due to the lack of seating, people where sitting on the floor or on their luggage. The whole place seemed to be in total chaos.
We eventually discovered that the large queue formed at the one of the check in points was for people who had booked their tickets on line (E tickets). We had paper tickets so had to go to another check in on the other side of the concourse. We found one member of staff behind the counter extremely rude for no apparent reason. We hadnt even spoken to her, we only went to her counter because she was free apparently this was wrong and we didnt have any patiences. Completely disregarding the fact that we were queuing and everyone else were trying to jump the queue.
Once checked in ourselves, we had to take our luggage to another section for security and have that checked in.
When we had sorted out our luggage, we decided to brave the security and go to the departure lounge. Having experienced one security check after another we were prepared for the search. However we didnt expect to be in the middle of an argument between the security guards. A great show of professionalism!!!
We raced through to get to the departure lounge and from there my husband decided to do a little exploring, Finding the usual large shops, for last minute shopping.
We had a fantastic time in New York, but it was just a shame that it was let down by what should have been a better airport.