Have you heard of CLASSIFIED? It’s United Airlines’ secret, invite-only restaurant at Newark Liberty International Airport. Get access to it and you’ll enjoy more than the food, but also some peace and quiet.
Not Too Shabby For a Plan “B”
It was almost too good to be true. My good friend and podcast partner in crime Ed Pizzarello was flying out of EWR while I was there on a layover. He’s a MileagePlus 1K on a domestic first class ticket EWR to LAS. Meanwhile, even though only currently a lowly Gold member (my fault), I was living it up in the Polaris Lounge thanks to a GPU from him. This is my second time at this location, as I was flying UA 42 EWR-BOM for the second time in six weeks. Ironic that this route has been my only experience on “new” Polaris metal.
Ed and I were looking for a quiet place to record a podcast and to catch up. Sadly there was no way we could sweet talk him in (even for a 20 min interview). After being denied the ability to “guest” him into the Polaris Lounge, we considered the “pop up” United Club, but 🤣🤣🤣not like there’s any quiet there. Plus, he was hungry for more than “texan caviar” and tomato soup. That’s when it dawned on me: CLASSIFIED! United’s “secret” restaurant/speakeasy in EWR’s Terminal C. Here’s the question: COULD WE GET IN?!?!
What is Classified?
Opened in late Summer 2017, Classified is part of the massive food and beverage overall at Newark Liberty International (EWR). This undertaking is through a joint venture partnership with United Airlines and OTG. You’ll see some of the best food offerings available at airports today, along with a fancy iPad at each seat.
Newark now has “the best airport dining options in the United States,” according to the Hollywood Reporter, and The New York Times calls the airport “a culinary oasis.” The iPads allow customers to track their flights and order meals for delivery. MileagePlus members can even use award miles for dining at Newark Terminal C. (NEVER DO THIS!)
Classified allows United to offer select passengers with an even higher level of dining and a perk for their top customers. It’s invite-only and from all the chatter on the blogosphere, VERY selective. Being a 1K didn’t mean anything when I checked if my account was approved for access last year. I was DENIED. Mind you I’ve never seen a Global Services customer say they weren’t on the list. Oh, and even if you are on the list, you need a reservation.
It’s been a while since it’s opening so it doesn’t take long to search online for a ton of information about the menu, where it’s “hidden” and what to expect. But don’t forget, the real story being this experience was walking up with no list and no reservation while apparently doing so at the day and time of the Travel Gods showing favor!
Never Forget Your Manners
I’ll never forget a former business associate who broke out into a rage with a gate agent over a mechanical repair delay. I was mortified. We lost a client who was witness to the interaction and I wouldn’t be surprised if a note was made on my account.
If I’ve learned anything from Ed, it’s the polar opposite of that when communicating with staff. By being friendly and saying hello, asking how they are before you unload your issues and even using their name you’ll be amazed at the response.
Anyway, while we’re “not on the list”, one check of Ed’s account and BOOM – we’re in. There’s a “secret” door. It actually backs up to the Polaris Lounge and appears to share a kitchen. Smart on you, United.
The menu is run on an iPad just like every other food outlet managed by OTG at EWR. You are prompted to scan your boarding pass (reminded I’ve gone from 1K to Gold 😭) before you even get to the menu. Well, it’s not cheap. And this time, there’s no “surprise” discount.
Spill The Tea…Give Us The Deets
The food is great though, and if you’re looking to host a memorable client meeting, team outing or pow wow session or you just want to get work done with no distractions, this is your go to spot.
We ordered the fries, sliders, tuna tartar and the lobster. None of which disappointed. Plus, it was actually quiet enough to record an episode of the NowBoarding podcast. What? You haven’t checked that out? Really?
The food is some of most expensive I’ve ever found at any airport. But, the quality of the meal and the experience certainly makes it worth it (especially if you can expense it). Add plane spotting as the cherry on top. BONUS: Customers with a co-branded United credit card linked to their MileagePlus account, get 20% off at most of the Terminal C dining establishments, Classified included.
Can You Get In? 🤷🏻♂️
Who knows. Being a 1K or Global Services, I sure will be helpful, but honestly it has to do with crowds, reservations and current occupancy. While we were there, it was empty. Sure, we got a little runaround at the beginning but by being polite and respectful, it appears that now this lowly MileagePlus Gold (recovering 1K) member even has access too!
So, in this case it doesn’t hurt to ask permission, rather than forgiveness…
The post REVIEW: Classified, United’s Secret Restaurant at EWR was first published on Coworkaholic.