After spending a few days in New York, where I stayed at the Marriott Marquis Times Square, I was ready to head on over to London. I took a taxi (because the Uber I had requested cancelled on me last minute). After a long, rush hour cab ride to Newark Liberty airport, I was ready to check in at the British Airways (BA) counter.
BA has six counters at EWR. Three for World Traveler, Two for Club World and World Traveler Plus, and one for First. The First Class agent asked me if I was connecting onward after landing at LHR. I told her no, that I was spending a few days in London and then taking a flight to Brussels. She kindly handed me my boarding pass, and told me that I could use the fast track security line. She also said that as soon as I passed security, to the right I would find the entrance to the Galleries Lounge. One of her assistants escorted me to the security line and thanked me for flying British Airways. I was not expecting that here at EWR, since it is not a major hub and they seemed short on staff on the World Traveler check in counters. As a result, I felt a bit guilty that I was being escorted.
After going through a very quick security line, I headed off to the BA Galleries Lounge. When I entered, I presented my boarding pass to the agent, and he very kindly welcomed me to the lounge and asked if it was my first time visiting the lounge. When I told him yes, he enthusiastically gave me a tour of the otherwise small-ish lounge. It is used by OpenSkies passengers, and by BA’s two 777 flights. At the time I was there, it was very crowded, as I could not see many open seats in the lounging area or the Business Class Buffet area. After telling me the wifi password, he pointed out at the First Class Dining Area, where he presented me to Rosa Maria. He told me that she would be taking care of me at the dining area and that if I needed anything to ask her.
Let me take a moment now to say how nice Ms. Rosa Maria was. As soon as the agent handed me off to her, she introduced herself and asked me how to address me. Since I don’t like too much formality, and usually prefer people call me by my name, I told her to call me Conrad. She asked if I needed anything and asked when I wanted to eat. I told her that I would eat about 75 minutes before boarding.
She then proactively brought me a glass of ice water. When I called my parents, she asked me where I was from, since I was speaking Spanish to them. She told me she was from Peru, and asked where my accent was from. I told her I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and that I now lived in Houston. We continued to talk for about 10 minutes. At that point another First Class passenger arrived, and she had to go attend him.
Exactly 75 minutes prior to boarding, Ms. Rosa Maria came over with the menu and with a smile asked me if I wanted to eat. She brought me a bread basket after about 5 minutes looking at the menu, and she took my order. Since I really wanted to try the food on the flight, I decided to order a simple soup only. At that point, in a typical Latino-fashion, Ms. Rosa Maria told me in the sweetest, grandmotherly way, that she would not let me leave without trying the chef’s special and the molten chocolate cake. I acquiesced and I did not regret it one bit. The Potato and Leek soup was rather underwhelming.
The beef fillet was perfectly done to my taste: well cooked but still juicy and tender. It had what I suspect to be a Merlot sauce, and it was delicious. Finally, the much anticipated molten chocolate cake was good, but not great. The highlight of the meal was definitely the beef fillet.
After taking pictures of the rest of the lounge (which had great views of the tarmac, except that it had shaded glass and did not let you see clearly the view), I thanked Ms. Rosa Maria and proceeded to the gate, very excited after a very pleasant stay at the EWR Galleries Lounge.
The lounge is cozy, if not small, for the amount of people who use it. I would have had a hard time finding power outlets and seats. This does not happen in the First Class Dining Area. The food was excellent as far as lounge food goes, much better than any AA Flagship Lounge I have visited. The one thing that blew me away was the genuine and caring service provided by Ms. Rosa Maria. As a result, she made the time at the lounge a memorable experience. I cannot rave enough about the excellent service she provided, as well as the attention to detail. If I ever find myself at Newark’s airport again (which I doubt since I usually fly in and out of LGA or Kennedy) I will go and say hello to Ms. Rosa Maria.