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What To Do On A Long EWR Layover

Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:29 am

Hello all,

a friend of mine asked me to book her a ticket from Europe to Denver. I complied, and put her on a UA flight through EWR, and in accordance with her preferences elected the longest possible lay over on the same day (it's her first TATL travel and she's afraid of delays, TSA, re-checking baggage, finding the gate etc.). She will land into EWR at 11.45am and continue on to DEN at 8pm, local times, leaving her with a comfortable 8hrs15min cushion between her two flights.

I told her it's ridiculous but she insisted. Now I'm trying to gather ideas to mitigate the inevitable regret that is bound to ensue.

Are these 5-6 superfluous hours enough for a quick visit to Manhattan? How do you call a taxi at the Jersey Garden mall, to bring you back to the airport? What is there to do at the airport, if she prefers to just stay there? Also, is there any realistic chance that UA would put her on one of the earlier (2.15pm, 5.25pm) flights, if she asked (and there are open seats)?

Thanks for every idea in advance  

P.S. I know this question has been asked before, but all the suggestions proffered have so far been nothing but vague ideas (''Go to Manhattan''). I need a little more detail than that, where to go, how to get there, how long it will take, how much it will cost etc. I literally know NOTHING about Joisey.
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RE: What To Do On A Long EWR Layover

Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:56 pm

She can take the airTrain to NJ Transit for train to Manhattan. Should cost no more than $30 RT. It takes about 25 minutes (not including wait time for the train). NJ Transit arrives at 34th Street/Penn Station in Midtown. From there she is a short walk to Times Square, Herald Square, and can connect to the NYC subway.

While 5-6 hours is plenty, if she's all that nervous it might not feel like a fun time.

At EWR there's not much to do outside of watching UA (CO) planes come and go.
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RE: What To Do On A Long EWR Layover

Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:44 pm

Quoting something (Thread starter):
Are these 5-6 superfluous hours enough for a quick visit to Manhattan?

I did it on the 9/11 10th Anniversary this year. I happened to be transiting EWR and went into Manhattan for 4 hours, including to the WTC Site.

From leaving my aircraft at EWR to arriving into New York Penn Station took me about 55 mins. On my return trip I took PATH from WTC station to Newark Penn then NJT to Newark Airport.

So yes 5-6hrs should be more than enough.  
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RE: What To Do On A Long EWR Layover

Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:55 pm

As Planeguy said above, she could take the Airtrain (the monorail that runs between terminals at EWR and the NJ Transit Newark Airport train station where trains run into Manhattan), but if she's as nervous a traveller as you imply, hanging around EWR (be prepared to be bored!) and attempting a standby on an earlier flight will be about as good as it gets for her.

For standby on United there will be a fee of $75 most likely (unless she's on a fully refundable ticket or has some higher status on UA). The process is explained here:

The Airtran web site:

NJ Transit trains leave and return to Newark Airport Station up to four times per hour and cost $12.50 each way.
Schedules can be found here:

Good luck to her!


edit: It costs nothing to sign up to be a General Member on Mileage Plus. This membership may help her if she elects to standby on an earlier flight, plus she will earn miles on her itinerary.

[Edited 2011-12-26 07:01:53]

[Edited 2011-12-26 07:03:40]
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RE: What To Do On A Long EWR Layover

Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:37 am

I had a similar situation. Arrived with Southwest from Baltimore at 9 am and continued with CO to IAH at 5pm...
After landing in EWR I went to CO to check in my bags already very early, which was no problem. This helps! Furthermore, the machine offered me to rebook free of charge to an earlier flight. I had a very cheap ticket and I don't know why it offered it to me (maybe because I'm Star Gold with LH?) but it would have been possible. I preferred the old flight, since it was a 777. And it was empty, so this was not offered because of overbooking.

Well, we Germans are a lot into shopping. She will probably have the time to do this later, too, but I took the Airtrain (free of charge) to the Hotel Shuttle busses station, where every 30-60 minutes there is a bus running to Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth, which is a 10 minutes ride. It costs around 8 USD return, you can check on the website of the mall. International passport holders get a voucher booklet at the concierge Desk. I found quite cheap stuff there, got a meal at the food court but hardly missed my shuttle (and therefore my flight) because of too much shopping.
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RE: What To Do On A Long EWR Layover

Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:28 pm

As the above posters mentioned, this is enough time to see at least a few sites in New York City. Although New Jersey has some beautiful rural areas, they are not near EWR. And if you have not been to NYC, it is certainly worth the effort to take the NJ Transit and see at least Times Square. From Times Square, it is a short walk to Rockefeller Center where you can see more famous landmarks and even the Christmas Tree if your friend's trip will be soon. At Rockefeller Center, you can visit Top of the Rock for a sweeping view of NYC. The waiting time is much much faster than the Empire State Building, and the view is just as spectacular if the weather is cooperative.

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