Submitted by gonerlover t3_z10nmh in newjersey

Hey all,

We are going to be leaving the country on Saturday for a much needed vacation. I am just wondering how is EWR nowadays? Do I need to get their plus 5 hours early for an international trip?



You must log in or register to comment.

blmzd t1_ix8eeub wrote

Everyone loves to hate on EWR (they keep ranking it as “worst large airport” or whatever) but it’s honestly not that bad. Personally, I’ve never had major issues flying in or out of EWR. Some of my worst experiences returning to the country have actually been flying into MIA & JFK.

EWR is busy but I think arriving 5 hours early is excessive, even considering that you’ll be traveling around thanksgiving. You’ll be fine arriving 3 hours early, but if you wanted to hit up any airline lounges then I’d say arrive 5 hours early. Wait times have been really poor lately with long lines and strict capacity limits.

Depending on your departure time EWR isn’t the worst airport to wait around in. There’s even a nice new terminal - I hope your flight departs from that one!


jsuispeach t1_ix99cjp wrote

Agreed. Lots of shit talk but I've not a problem in years. Even with the occasional long lines at security I've walked onto my (domestic) flights within 45 minutes of arriving to the airport. Flown at least a dozen times this year.


breakplans t1_ix9diwu wrote

I don’t fly that often but agreed, Newark is a busy airport and therefore it’s better than many others! I think because it’s so busy, TSA has their shit together and they move the line quickly and efficiently. It’s smaller airports like Tampa where I’ve had issues, or even tinier ones like Trenton or AC, while speedy, are disorganized and the staff can be rude. EWR ain’t nobody got time for that.


WhichSpirit t1_ixcim9n wrote

Same. Even when I have had a problem the staff are always like "I got this" and sort it out. If you're not a dick to them, the EWR staff are the coolest airport staff I've encountered. But if you are a dick to them, they'll make you suffer.


KneeDeepInTheDead t1_ixdqriq wrote

Ive been going to EWR almost every year for the past 20 years, the only issue i had was maybe 2 years ago with an asshole agent at the customs border when I was returning from a trip abroad.


AggressiveSoup01 t1_ix9sshe wrote

I took it as Op being sarcastic with 5 hours. I would arrive 2.5 hours MAX for international. Who wants to spend the day in the airport.


soneg t1_ixbag1d wrote

Unless you're flying United Polaris. I have gone to the airport with a planned 3 hr stay in the Polaris lounge. It's quite nice.


Mysticpoisen t1_ixbzpia wrote

>they keep ranking it as “worst large airport”

And said rankings are always opinion polling. EWR has one of the most efficient TSA lines in the country. Nobody clears more passengers faster than EWR. The one valid piece of criticism is simply that there are too many flights for too few runways, which means delays are a little more common at EWR than at comparably sized airports.


EWR-RampRat11-29 t1_ix997i4 wrote

We were told that as of now the new terminal A will not open for flights until Dec 8.

Subject to change, again.


blmzd t1_ix9gbbl wrote

Ooo I wonder which flight will be the first flight out!


soneg t1_ixbaba2 wrote

Totally agree. I always fly out of EWR if I can. I've never had a problem but I also have global entry, tsa pre check and clear. Make it thru security in about 3 min. Last time around, one of my friends went thru the full line in 10 min for a 7 am Saturday morning fligjtm


blmzd t1_ixbclxa wrote

I also have Global Entry/Pre Check! I’ve been considering Clear. How do you like it? How does it compare to GE?


soneg t1_ixbe813 wrote

I love it! You go to the machine, an agent stands with you as you scan your eyes. It finds you, they walk you to the tsa agent and you get right I to the scanning line. It's so fast. The security screening is the same as tsa pre check but you don't wait in that line to see the agent. I've spent $100 and gotten a lot less than the value of this.


betcher73 t1_ix8c2ss wrote

I’m genuinely surprised by these comments cause I fly 2 times per year on average (United) and I think Newark is very efficient. I’ve never had a holdup but of course you will need to budget extra time for holidays


VaMoInNj t1_ix8ylj5 wrote

I fly a few times a year and the last time I flew, I went to JFK to avoid terminal A at Newark. It’s the worst designed terminal of any airport I have ever been in. Terminal B is sightly better, but not far behind. Until the new terminal A opens next month, C is the ONLY terminal at EWR that actually feels like a modern airport terminal.


betcher73 t1_ix92eyt wrote

I only fly United so my experience is almost exclusively with Terminal C


FoodnEDM t1_ixbo8ea wrote

United is the way to go. 6 more flights to 1K.


betcher73 t1_ixcf4vt wrote

I fucking hate United but goddamn are they efficient and convenient


VaMoInNj t1_ixa2m1l wrote

Fly any other airline out of Newark, and you’ll see why it ranks as the worst airport in the country (B and A) as well as the best foodie airport in the world (C).


Gogh619 t1_ix93ou7 wrote

Terminal 1, and they’re demolishing A and B once terminal 1 is up and running.


VaMoInNj t1_ix9fydu wrote

They changed the name of the new terminal to "New Terminal A" about a year ago. Terminal 1 is no longer a thing.

Also, B is not being demolished, only the old terminal A is. Once that is done, the Port Authority wants to replace the current Terminal B on the foot print of what is now Terminal A. If they do that, they should rename the airport to Elizabeth Liberty Intl since the new A and the new B would be be fully in Elizabeth. Right now Terminal C is the only terminal located fully within Newark.

If and after they do replace B, there was a question about re-doing C on B's footprint, or building a 4th terminal on B's current footprint. PA isn't sure yet.


Gogh619 t1_ixbxve9 wrote

Eh, when I worked there right before Covid, they planned on demolishing both. Thanks for the update!


toadofsteel t1_ix9czpr wrote

So it's going to be Terminal 1 and Terminal C?


pleiop t1_ix97d17 wrote

Same here. I always assume most of the complaints are from very frequent flyers. I go maybe once or twice a year and never have issues.


pheliam t1_ix8gw3o wrote

I traveled 3 times this year and EWR's fine.

Then again, I'm only speaking for TSA Pre-Check vs the normal TSA lines.

People love to complain and if you're not used to Newark or Elizabeth or NYC flavors of employees, I guess it's off-putting. gif


stnapgna t1_ix8a1pt wrote

I had a flight last Friday at 940 pm with Spirit and I got there around 8 and there was 1 family in front of us for TSA, literally got into the airport and sat down to wait at the gate in around 15 minutes. I never have an issue but maybe my flight times help a bunch and thanksgiving is a heavy time so leave much earlier. better to be safe than sorry


Ozznato t1_ix8qf0s wrote

The key questions:

  1. What Airline
  2. What Terminal
  3. What time is your flight
  4. Do you have PreCheck (or any other equivalent)

davep18 t1_ix8w2ol wrote

This. OP needs to give more info. I fly at least once a month out of EWR. There are times when I see the TSA Pre lines with large backups. There are times when co-workers who don't have TSA Pre & Clear breeze through in a matter of minutes.

I'd also add:

  1. I assume you are checking bags?

  2. Do you have status with United?


Ozznato t1_ix94yvo wrote

Without this information, I’m a TSA Pre flyer who does not check a bag and who flys either American or United. I usually have a car rental that I’m returning, and so my plan is usually to arrive at the rental car return 2 hours out. Gives me time to drop off the car, take the AirTrain, go through security, and get to my gate. That’s always been sufficient.

I flew United international on an early Sunday morning in October with checked bags and had no issues, at all.

Airport is a nightmare in the afternoons and evenings, as is the traffic. Early flight, you have no issue.


Fameless t1_ix8fy3t wrote

i just left EWR yesterday lines were busier because of thanksgiving crowds but not too insane. i'd say 2-3 hours


Starbucks__Lovers t1_ix8r8r3 wrote

Newark Airport's website has security wait times. If you're checking in bags you go to a kiosk and do it yourself, so the wait is very short. 5 hours early is a hell no unless you're going to be chilling in a nice lounge and getting drunk at the open bar.


ThatsRobToYou t1_ix89kgk wrote

It's not great, and I would expect it to be even worse with airline issues and holidays.

I've flown five times within the last few months, one international. Literally each one has crazy lines. Thank God for pre screen and Clear.


ThrowinSm0ke t1_ix8il35 wrote

To be fair, crazy long lines aren’t necessarily indicative of time you spend on line.


ThatsRobToYou t1_ix8itp6 wrote

That's true...infer what you want, but it's not really like TSA is known for their hustle either.


ThrowinSm0ke t1_ix8lb72 wrote

Lol. They are not. There’s a few times I’ve gotten stuck in those long lines and thought it’d take 2 hours…..45 minutes later I’m putting my shoes back on.


HereTheyBePandas t1_ix8a6i3 wrote

It's not great but I've been to worse. I thought it was bad until I returned leaving out of Dublin and Newark seemed a dream compared to it. Give yourself time but 5 hours seems a little excessive lol


aWormhatForVermhat t1_ix8ac52 wrote

If you’re flying internationally and on thanksgiving weekend I’d get there about 4-5hrs early and buy passes to a lounge if you don’t have access to one already. It’s free food/booze and space to hang out and plug in your devices to charge. About $50 per person.


Fun-Baby-9509 t1_ix8hxmk wrote

Give yourself 3 hours. 2.5 if you have tsa/global precheck. Given it's a holiday weekend, it's going to be insanely busy.


thesturdygerman t1_ix8u19q wrote

I don't find the airport to be inherently bad in terms of moving you through in an orderly manner. TSA is an annoying process but they're very quick. Never had to wait long in passport control or customs.

I hate United Airlines and everyone who works there so so much. I am a very chill person. I never freak out, I never even get more annoyed than an eye roll but the people there have brought me to red faced rage on multiple occasions.

I once saw an obviously foreign teen girl crying by herself and I was like, "Are you okay? Do you need help?". She was an exchange student trying to fly home but the airline said she couldn't fly unaccompanied. (She was 17) She didn't know what to do and they literally TURNED HER AWAY. Like no offer to help, no advice, no looking out for her so some trafficker doesn't grab her, NOTHING. She was trying to call her mom but her phone didn't work here. So I was like, okay you're travelling with me then.

THAT was when someone from United came over to chastise me. I was like, "She's trying to go home and you're not letting her. I'm on this flight anyway, if you won't take care of her I will." Then they acted like a was a kidnapper. JFC.


sleepyguy22 t1_ix89i39 wrote

It got ranked as the worst of the 20 largest airports in the US, just behind JFK. Reliability was the worst performing indicator by far.

You're flying on thanksgiving weekend. Usually I'd say 5 hours is a bit extra, even for newark, but all bets are off on thanksgiving or christmas periods. So maybe 5 hours isn't outlandish at all.


BedroomAlarmed977 t1_ix8bb9k wrote

The last couple time I flew out of Newark recently I got super lucky and they opened a new line right as I was entering tsa. Take that for what it’s worth. There were still a lot of people.


Jimmytowne t1_ix8gom6 wrote

If you’re flying out of terminal A, get there early and enjoy the new terminal. It’s huge!


yennybear888 t1_ix93cii wrote

Newark is pretty good these days..I mainly fly domestic and get there an hour before boarding and have had too much time every single time


ShortMonth9031 t1_ix942dx wrote

Ewr is my home airport and I fly out of it several times per year. It really depends on the day/time/holiday but tge vast majority of the time I get from my uber to the gate in less than 45 minutes (more like 15 with precheck). International flights I usually make sure Ive got an hour and a half to two hours and it's often too much time.


Atuk-77 t1_ix8sn3o wrote

2 hours in advance should be enough due to heavy traffic for the holidays, EWR has become very efficient and well staffed.


[deleted] t1_ix8tjgk wrote

i have flown out of EWR 4 times in the last few months. 3 of those were for international. no issues at all. if youre that worried, get TSA pre-check (and Global Entry for the way back) and pay for Clear. with all of those things i spend maybe 5-10 minutes in line tops. usually very fast. ... also consider time of day. morning flights always least likely to get delayed, but lines will be longer bc everyone opts to travel in the early AM


[deleted] t1_ix8xco1 wrote



Answer_Atac t1_ix9ikdv wrote

TermC is in good shape. Term A got that new Reno which I haven't seen yet but TermB is the neglected stepchild at EWR. Precheck isnt what it used to be. even Clear is becoming insanely popular.

WSJ just had an article about best/worst hubs in USA, Newark ranked last or near last. funny, ORD and Dulles always were the worst by far overall.


rokrishnan t1_ix905ja wrote

It's really not too bad. I never check bags and I have TSA Pre, but even the regular line seems to move at a decent rate. I also fly United 99% of the time, which means I'm almost always going out of Terminal C. I've flown three times this year (once internationally to London) and have zipped through security (10 mins from entering the airport to getting to the gates). Five hours early is definitely overkill.

The big issue I have with EWR is food service. If you're planning to eat at the airport, even if it's a food court meal, leave yourself plenty of time as their operations are horrible. Like 45 mins for a food court pizza horrible. It's also overpriced as hell, more so than other international airports its size — so bear that in mind.


Shocksquad23 t1_ix9a9h0 wrote

Worst part about EWR is getting your bags after you land. Shit takes forever.


bjb13 t1_ix8fh6m wrote

What airline? A lot of them won’t let you checkin that early. Especially international carriers that only have one or two flights a day. For example Icelandair only opens their checkin counter 3 hours before their one flight a day and British only opens theirs 3 hours before their first flight in the evening.

Even if they are open, some won’t let you checkin that early. I flew from JFK to Madrid on Friday on Iberia and they weren’t going to let me checkin for their second flight until the previous one was done with checkin. Fortunately I have very good OneWorld status and only had carry on so the lady at the desk did it.


Herr_Poopypants t1_ix8jv6f wrote

5 hours may be a bit excessive, 3 or so should be fine. Terminal B where a lot of international flights leave from is trash with super limited food and stuff to do, so getting there too early will leave with nothing to do


snarkuzoid t1_ix8n9t0 wrote

5 hours seems like a lot, I generally do 3. I tend to arrive early as a stress relief thing. It's easy to kill time in an airport, and if I wasn't there I'd be sitting at home fretting over whether I should have left already.


Dbssist t1_ix8niwn wrote

3 hours has been fine for me thus far, and I've flown in/out of EWR 6 times this year from/to the UK. Never got 'squeaky bum time' for any of them, and this was getting in at around 6pm for a 9pm flight on Friday or Saturday each time. The way the lines snake around makes it seem like they're longer than they actually are.


Groady_Wang t1_ix8qess wrote

Just got back from Costa Rica last week. It was fine with United. Did the standard 3 hrs prior for international with no issues.


Ennamon77 t1_ix8qql8 wrote

American/Jet Blue terminal is awful due to the construction. United is hit or miss (TSA line).


hongdawg t1_ix8rpwx wrote

I went there at 4am to catch a 6am flight and it was a breeze.


No_Resident1784 t1_ix8wrr5 wrote

Honestly, not that bad. I've flown internationally twice recently, on red-eyes (not sure what time your flight is) and it was beyond smooth sailing. Both flights were direct with United FWIW. Given that it is one of the largest travel holidays, I would def recommend some extra time, but shouldn't need more than 2-3 hours prior to departure.


new_tanker t1_ix913u4 wrote

For travel with the USA (this includes going to Alaska and Hawaii) you should arrive at the airport at least two hours before your scheduled departure time.

For international travel (including Puerto Rico, even though it is a US territory) you should arrive at the airport at least three hours before your scheduled departure time.

Those are recommendations all travelers should abide to, whether they travel out of an airport with only three or four scheduled flights a day or a hub like EWR. During the holidays and any other busier travel time (like now) I would add at least another hour on top of that.

This part will generate controversy... make sure when you arrive two or three hours before your scheduled departure time that we are talking about the moment you walk into the terminal, not the moment you drive up onto airport property and then spend 5-10 minutes looking for a place to park (and then there's also the shuttle to the terminal, if needed). You need to give yourself enough time if you need to check any bags, go through security, etc.


Linenoise77 t1_ix91jxv wrote

Depends on the terminal.

C is great, B depends what time of day you are flying at.

A is a shitshow as it always is, but the new A opens up in like 2 weeks, and addresses all of the big issues with the existing A. I'd expect there to be kinks as it comes online like everything else, especially during the holidays (I really don't know why they didn't wait until the new year to switch).

Later next year once the new rental car facility is up and running, it should eliminate a bunch of other big complaints about EWR.

B & C need some upgrades to deal with lyft\uber pickups, its a pain in the ass right now when getting one, but not all of that is EWR's fault. I usually just spring for a car service on my return trip, its usually just a tiny bit more, you know the price for sure ahead of time, and so much better than rolling your dice with random ewr uber guy.

Edit: also i was in one of the new LGA terminals 2 weeks ago, and HOLY SHIT, did they knock that place out of the park. I honestly couldn't find something to complain about. Had I not just stepped off a plane that landed there, you wouldn't have been able to convince me it was laguardia.


robinmichelle570 t1_ix92kav wrote

I flew to Europe twice this year and both flights ran smoothly. Waited no longer than 15 minutes in the security line. I still get there 3 hours before just in case.


-no-one-important- t1_ix96ix0 wrote

I’ve flown out of Newark 4 times this year, terminals a, c and b twice. Never been on line at security for more than 45 minutes. With all that being said if you’re at EWR 3 hours early for an international flight you’ll be sitting for awhile. 1.5 you could be cutting it close if it’s a heavy travel day or you’re at the airport at peak times. I’d arrive sometime between the 1.5 to 3 hours early depending on what time your flight takes off. If it’s an early morning flight though you can arrive an hour before and you’ll be fine.


rhinestonecowboy92 t1_ix981km wrote

I went through Newark last year around Christmas time. I would recommend five hours for a domestic flight. I missed my flight twice. I was two hours early the first time and three hours early the second. I just BARELY made the third one and I was four and a half hours early.


The-Protomolecule t1_ix98j6i wrote

Check the line estimates before you go. 2 hours domestic, 3 hours international and you’re usually golden, I’ve almost never had a bad experience at Newark if I had a little bit of buffer.


ik_ben_groot t1_ix9aw0p wrote

5 hours early? That's insane tbh. Even during the holiday.


1wikdmom t1_ix9bdsb wrote

Are you traveling Thanksgiving weekend???


erection_specialist t1_ix9nkph wrote

The biggest problems at Newark generally happened because of weather, even somewhere else, because it is a major hub. My flight to Vegas in June ended up being canceled, rescheduled, delayed, and eventually took off 19 hours late because of thunderstorms.


angusshangus t1_ix9o0zq wrote

I travel for work and am literally in terminal c writing this comment. I’m on dozens of flights a year and i park in a more expensive lot that’s close by (work pays) and have TSA Pre… my point is your results may vary without some of the conveniences I have. That being said Newark is no problem. For a busy airport I’d say it runs pretty well. The best thing about Newark is I can get a direct flight pretty much anywhere and coming home there are often multiple flight options so I often am able to get on a earlier flight standby. Looking forward to the new terminal A. Food options are ok but not great. Terminal B I think has the best and the terminal A that’s open now is the worst fit everything but it’s getting replaced in a few weeks I understand


FitSwimmer3 t1_ix9o4ib wrote

Busiest Travel day of the year. Good luck


theirishcannoli t1_ix9q1n9 wrote

Go like 3 hours early, Newark Airport is fine not bad at all


Flimsy-Ask-7531 t1_ix9q91k wrote

I’ve traveled a lot in the past 2 years internationally out of ewr it’s fine you won’t need more then 2 hours if that


dehlilah42 t1_ix9rix5 wrote

Just took international flight Thursday. Unbelievably organized. United giving them a 5. Happy.


Barbourwhat t1_ix9rjal wrote

Came through Terminal B yesterday and it was fine. It can be improved but nothing was horrible. Honestly, get there 3 hours early. You will probably be sitting at the gate longer than needed but 5 hours is extreme.


ser_pez t1_ix9tkgc wrote

I’d say it all depends on which terminal you’re flying out of. Terminal C is just fine, even more so if you have pre-check or Clear. I’ve made it from the curb to the beginning of the post-security terminal in under 20 minutes almost every time in the last couple of years, and the only time in recent memory it exceeded that was no more than half an hour.


qrysdonnell t1_ix9ufkw wrote

I've only done domestic flights recently but of all three trips I've done this year have been problem free. I always show up 2 hours before my flight (well, I schedule the ride service 2:30 before my flight as it's about 20 minutes away).

I'm always flying for vacation and tend to end up with early morning flights as a result, but we've always had time to eat a sit-down breakfast and have a little time to get any snacks or whatever for our flights.


nervous4future t1_ix9z6zm wrote

Nah get there 3 hours early to be safe if you’re worried and you’ll be fine. The more annoying thing about EWR is picking people up there.


Halal_Cart t1_ixa1muq wrote

Just a heads up it is the Holidays so it can get very hectic. EWR is solid imo, I fly out out twice monthly domestically


No-Pirate5254 t1_ixa52u5 wrote

Do you have clear, tsa pre check? It’s a game changer normally but not sure during thanksgiving


rachel-angelina t1_ixa78c7 wrote

It’s not even that bad. I’ve flown out and into EWR multiple times and never had an issue. The most stressful part can be the pickup areas during peak hours and holidays.


DrinkUpGorgeous t1_ixadcni wrote

I flew twice this year and had one minor delay of 45 min. Terminal B is really spacious and nice with restaurants and stores. Terminal C is cramped with one tiny little stand that sells literal garbage. I bought combos for my daughter for lack of any other better/ real food and they were expired.

I flew jet blue international both times and got there 3 hours early it was plenty.


jEsTsBaCk t1_ixaemu9 wrote

I was there yesterday coming in from Sarasota. It was ok. I heard they’re making a new terminal


stackered t1_ixajuyc wrote

Its a nightmare, don't let em downplay it. What airline are you flying?


mardouufoxx t1_ixak5z3 wrote

I fly through EWR frequently. It’s a very good compared to a lot of airports i’ve been. Definitely ranks higher than JFK for me. But also factor in which airline you’re flying


whyunoleave t1_ixak9mc wrote

Depends on the airline and the terminal/gate. Can be painless, can be awful. Better than LGA worse than jfk in my opinion. Especially for international flights. Long term parking is still a mess. Other than that, everything is great at ewr.


Zaiik t1_ixan063 wrote

imo. ewr is better than lga or jfk.


HauntingAd4612 t1_ixat3ho wrote

flew out of ewr with my wife and 2 kids (5 and 7) to cancun for a recent trip to tulum. was through and at out gate in 20 mins. 1020 am flight on a weds.


waited 20-30mis for our luggage at cancun, walked right out to our private prebooked shuttle to our resort.


MattyBeatz t1_ixb1lza wrote

I travel out of Newark a few times a year and honestly never really had much of an issue, it was actually a damned delight during COVID because the crowds were small. I will add that I usually fly during the week on business hours and it really is a different flying crowd full of more frequent fliers who just want to get there. The few times it was a pain in the ass was when I'd leave on the weekends. You tend to get more family travelers/lesser experienced travelers who can indeed hold you up when it comes to things like checking in or security.


FoodnEDM t1_ixbnzp3 wrote

EWR is nowhere close to the other international airports but still a good airport. As someone who flies approx 3 times a month, look for lounges thru priority pass or free access if u have certain status or if u r flying business class or buy a club pass. If you r flying international then you ll probably board from Terminal B. Research your lounges accordingly. 3hrs prior to your flight time is enough. Since u r going on a vacation after a long time, ignore the distractions and enjoy the experience. Load up on movies/shows on iPads. Enjoy the family time.


ashleedix t1_ixcy5n9 wrote

This past Monday I had an early domestic flight - the traffic leading up to the drop-off at terminal C was insane - took 20+ minutes to get to the drop-off area. Pick-up at the same terminal on Friday was just as bad.

Otherwise, security was completely fine and my flight was on time. Just give yourself a lot of time to actually get there if you're not driving yourself there or taking public transport, imo.


Kashsters t1_ixemwe3 wrote

We just flew out of there/back in over the last few weeks. Had a great experience. Everything was easy-breezy on the way out and our time from getting off the plane, going through customs, getting our bags and onto our airport parking bus was 45 mins! It was all so fast and efficient!


blumpkin_donuts t1_ix8ak4l wrote

It just received the "Worst Airport in the USA" award so let that be some indication of what it's like these days.