A traveler waits for a train to take him from the rental car area to a terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, in Newark, New Jersey.
Image: Julio Cortez/Associated Press
By Jessica Plautz 2014-11-17 14:00:54 UTC
Newark Airport, like all of the New York region's major transportation hubs, could use some work. In airport rankings last year. Newark came in as the fourth worst in the country.
But things are looking up, at least from one angle: The dining experience at Terminal C is getting a complete overhaul.
United Airlines and airport eatery company OTG Management announced Monday their plan to bring more than 55 new dining venues to the terminal, creating an "unrivaled travel experience" that both the companies and local officials hope will make the airport a world-class dining destination.
United announced its selection of OTG in September for a $120-million investment into the dining options for the carrier's main terminal.
"[The] dining venues will provide travelers with an array of culinary choices, with menus at all price points emphasizing fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and highlighting regional and local dining experiences," the companies announced in a statement. The collaborating chefs include Alain Ducasse, Marc Forgione, Paul Liebrandt, Alex Guarnaschelli, Mario Carbone and many more.
In addition to the diverse culinary options, OTG is working with United to introduce a unique payment system, and it involves iPads. A lot of iPads.
At every seat in the terminal, there will be an iPad which travelers can use to order food, beverages, and even travel accessories like neck pillows.
Newark airport is getting iPads that travelers can order from at nearly every seat.
The visual menu includes all of the available items in the terminal, has 20 different languages, and lets consumers purchase items with United reward miles. It is the first system that gives travelers the option to redeem miles to make in-person purchases.
OTG and United have worked to make it as seamless a process as possible. Travelers are able to voluntarily scan their boarding pass, which links to their United account and shows how many miles they currently have.
OTG and United have announced a system that lets users pay using their reward miles after scanning their boarding pass.
Image: OTG Management
Prices for items in the menu are listed both in dollars and miles, and orders are delivered directly to the traveler's seat.
Eventually, there will be about 6,000 iPads for travelers to use in Terminal C alone.
OTG and United announced a payment system that will allow travelers to use miles to buy food and beverages in the airport.
Image: OTG Management
Travelers will also be able to access the internet for free using the devices.
"Airports across the country have been stepping up their game by offering more amenities and putting passengers first, so we applaud OTG and United for doing the same at Newark,” said Joe Sitt, chairman and founder of Global Gateway Alliance. “Our studies have shown that Newark is making progress when it comes to amenities, but only the kind of overhaul announced today will mean a true 21st Century airport experience for millions of passengers."
The first rollout will include 1,000 iPads, and more than 45 of the new venues will open over the next seven weeks. The entire transformation of the terminal is expected to take 18 months.