Thursday, September 07, 2006

President's Club at Newark

Ever wondered what goes on beyond the gilded doors of Continental Airline's President's Club at Newark Airport? Sure, we all do. Thanks to my Continental Airlines Mastercard and it's 2 free passes per year, I was able to find out last week. The entrance is almost unobtrusively hidden down a long hallway and is guarded by two workers at a counter. You present your qualifications and are allowed to enter.

Upon entry there is another counter staffed by two workers. I'm assuming this is some sort of concierge type service but I'm not positive. The President's Club itself is quite large and contains many (maybe 25?) small cubicle type rooms with outlets and a desk for business, showers, children's playroom, and a TV room with a few huge flat screens. Bathrooms are decent.

The main lounge room has a two counters with coffee machines and crackers and small glass doored fridge with individual sized wrapped cheeses- cheddar and jack. There is a large bar with bowls of snacks on it- lays chips, fritos, oat n honey granola bars (crunchy type), some biscotti cookie biscuit thing, and mini pretzels. The bar is a free open bar serving bottom shelf liquor (no Jack Daniels, no vanilla vodkas, etc). The beer selection is minimal and the red wine tastes cheap. Of course since it's a free open bar, by the third drink who really cares!

As you can see, there are flat screens above the bar and the decor of the entire lounge area is quite modern. There are huge wide comfy leather armchairs everywhere, grouped in fours around coffee tables. Plenty of room to kick back and chill before your flight. The atmosphere is very relaxed, a calm oasis compared to the cattle call in the airport outside.
The best part of Continental Airline's President's Club is it's members. People with money have no taste at all. Never before have I seen so many boat shoes in one place. The ratio of people with the stupid bluetooth phone earpiece in their ears to normal earth people was phenomenal. A true scientific anomaly. It was as if every rich person stereotype had come to life..tanned white guys in boat shoes with huge pinkie rings and a combover, black guys with bling everywhere, even on the cellphone, older ladies drooping yet pinned back faces with almost no nose left to hold up their oversized sunglasses from too much plastic surgery, investment banker looking guys in suits and flip flops trying to pick up the one single woman in the place at the bar. I saw multiple sweaters tied around the front of the neck, tennis style.

Overall the Continental President's Club Newark experience is pretty awesome. They serve the rich up crappy drinks and cheap snacks and they lap it up like catnip. For the regular average Joe, it's good people watching enhanced by the free drinks and comfy seats. And there's some long lasting mints available by the door on your way out to mask any $6 bottle of whisky smell on the breath. Highly recommended.

category: mile wide club