Newark’s stunning new A building has just opened, but with serious first day hiccups

Hours of delays, power outages, and a security breach weren’t what passengers expected from the brand-new Terminal A in Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) On Thursday, January 12th.

After all, this stunning $2.7 billion facility was first unveiled in November, and The opening was delayed by more than a month For further testing and tweaking.

However, Avery Hoffman, owner of New Jersey-based Lion18 Renovations, left the new building on opening day incredibly unimpressed.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

“It was awful,” Hoffman said of his morning in the new building. His JetBlue flight, at 7:15 a.m. to Fort Lauderdale, was one of the first departures from the new facility, and his experience was fraught with problems.

hiccups on opening day

The power outage at the TSA security checkpoint halted all checks for approximately 20 minutes and halted half of the checkpoint lanes for approximately two hours.

Once all of the machines were reconnected to the main power supply two hours later, a security breach was identified, which prompted an investigation by the Transportation Security Administration, further complicating the examination process.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

While Accelerated lane clearing was open, TSA pre-screening Not so, sending scores of frustrated frequent flyers into hour-long lines to clear standard security.

Hoffman eventually ran through security after more than an hour, only to get to gate A3 for a flight delay because the ground staff could not figure out how to operate the new jet bridge system.

Suffice it to say that Hoffman, his family, and many other disappointed travelers couldn’t wait to fly their way out of New Jersey on Thursday — and it wasn’t just because it was a dreary, wet winter morning.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

By early afternoon, security lines are beginning to thin out, and TSA Precheck lanes begin to open around 1 p.m. local time.

However, throughout the day the situation got so bad that United sent out an alert to all departing passengers in Newark, saying, “We expect longer than normal lines for security checks at Terminal A of Newark Liberty International Airport, and we encourage you to arrive early to avoid No disturbances in your travels.”

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

Despite the hiccups on opening day, the The new Terminal A represents a major upgrade to the airportwhich some travelers have historically avoided at all costs.

Grand opening celebration

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the local government agency that oversees and operates the region’s largest airports, invited a handful of media to its grand opening party Thursday.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

“It’s day one at the new Terminal A and it’s been a long time in the making. We are excited to welcome customers to the new facility,” said Huntley Lawrence, chief operating officer of the Port Authority.

“There have been a number of test runs in the past few days, and sometimes you don’t find all the bugs. There were a few challenges this morning that we’re working through.”

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

Some of the issues Lawrence identified before opening have already been addressed, such as requiring Uber and Lyft to update their maps and route finding to direct drivers and passengers to the new facility.

Others, like the security breach and power outage, were unforeseen and had passengers waiting over an hour to clear security more than eight hours after the facility opened.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

Following the remarks, the media was taken to the airspace to officially inaugurate the facility with the traditional water cannon salute of United’s Boeing 737-700, registration N38727, which landed at 10:10 a.m. local time from West Palm Beach.

For passengers disembarking from the plane, entering the new Terminal A for the first time seemed to be a big surprise – many lined up along the windows to take photos of the plane and gate areas.

Actually, it is Absolutely stunning new facility from a physical point of view It might be enough to change Newark’s reputation.

Inside the new Terminal A in Newark

The new facility is perhaps the largest passenger-facing upgrade yet for Newark, a massive improvement over the outdated Terminal A, which officially closed in conjunction with Thursday’s opening.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

The improvements start the moment you get off – a new four-lane road leads directly to the new, expanded facility. The extra lanes should help alleviate traffic jams that plagued the old station.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

Once inside, it only takes seconds to realize how much the new check-in hall has upgraded. From the soaring ceilings to the abundance of natural light to the eye-catching artwork, the new A-block is simply stunning.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

There are a variety of check-in experiences, including kiosks, counters, and even new dedicated premium areas.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

JetBlue and United both operate special check-in lobbies for premium passengers, including those with mosaic And Prestige of the privileged eliterespectively, as well as those who travel Mint Business Class And United Premium Cabinrespectively.

While security was the big hurdle on Thursday, it is expected to become significantly more efficient in the coming days.

The new terminal features 16 TSA checkpoint lanes all accessible from the central check-in area. Once you clear security (or after landing), you can access any gate without having to scan again.

This is a huge improvement over the old A building, which had individual security checkpoints at each of the gate berths. This made communications more difficult and caused backups to run through the busiest Departure Banks.

Just note that security lanes feature newer CT scanners, or scanners, which always seem to take longer than the old ones.

Once you clear security, you’ll be on the top floor of the central court area, with expansive views of the departure hall.

Initially, 21 of the 33 gates are working. The second phase of construction is expected to be completed this summer, which will include opening the remaining 12 gates, along with some food and beverage outlets and shops.

Right now, local NJ franchisees like Jersey Mike’s, Office Tavern and Grill, and New Jersey Monthly are available throughout the terminal, and there’s more seating for occupants throughout the space.

While the physical facility is a day and night improvement over the existing Terminal A, perhaps the biggest upgrade is the amount of natural light that makes the space more inviting.

This, along with the spacious bathrooms, variety of seating options, locally inspired artwork and trees and gardens scattered throughout the building, made it a hit with departing travelers who seemed to be enjoying the new facility.

What airlines operate from Terminal A?

Initially, Air Canada, American Airlines, JetBlue and United Airlines (select flights only) used the new Terminal A. Delta Air Lines will move into the new facility later this year when the 12-gate expansion opens.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

Among the airlines mentioned above, United is Only one who calls Newark a hub. While the majority of the airline’s flights will continue to operate from Obsolete Terminal CSelect flights will depart and arrive at Terminal A.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

United has indicated that it will strategically operate flights from Terminal A that have the lowest number of connecting passengers. Although there is a shuttle past security between Terminals A, B, and C, landing at the new facility and then calling home to United Terminal C is not particularly convenient.

At the moment there are no lounges in Terminal A, although that is about to change in the coming months. Post-security, the Central Plaza will be home to three airline lounges located on the mezzanine level above the concessions.

The south side of the lounge area will be home to Admirals Club of America And Delta Sky Clubwhile the northern side of this space will be allocated to New United Club This would also welcome eligible Air Canada flyers and other Star Alliance flyers.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

The station will also be home to a American Express Centurion Lounge Featuring views of Newark Harbor, New York Harbor, Newark Harbor and the Manhattan skyline, a piano lounge, a jazz-themed bar and a cocktail lounge with a relaxed feel. Amex also plans sanitary rooms, workstations and multiple food buffets.

The Amex lounge will be located in the north concourse, which will open in the summer as part of the second phase of construction.


Newark’s new Terminal A has been in operation since 2018, ushering in a new era for an airport that was historically seen as one of the worst in the country. At $2.7 billion, the new facility represents the largest single investment in New Jersey by the Port Authority in the agency’s 101-year history.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

While the facility hit some snags on opening day, it’s well on its way to improving Newark’s reputation. Soaring ceilings, modern amenities, central security, and spacious gate areas are just some of the upgrades you’ll find at this world-class terminal.

In fact, the next time you fly out of Terminal A, you might not believe you’ve actually arrived in Newark.

The good news is that more improvements are coming to the airport, including the opening of the second phase of construction in Terminal A, as well as a larger redevelopment project that will modernize the entire airport.

Zack Greif/The Points Guy

Until then, just cross your fingers addressing the security bottlenecks, and you’ll be all set for a great experience passing through Newark.

For more information about Newark Airport, be sure to check out:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *