Lounge: Virgin Atlantic’s business-class lounge is the most glamorous, but you can’t gain access to it unless you’re an “Upper Class” Virgin passenger. You can, however, buy a $25 day pass to Delta’s Crown Room Club in Terminal 3.
Shopping: Vino Volo, in American’s terminal, is a great place to pick up a last-minute gift (and it’s post-security, so you can carry your wine purchases onboard with you). If you forgot your bathing suit, there’s an American Apparel in Delta’s Terminal 3.
Working: You can get free Wi-Fi anywhere in JetBlue’s terminal; don’t expect reliable service at Delta until its upgrades are completed next year.
Spa: At Oasis Day Spa at JetBlue, you can get a pedicure, wax, haircut, or massage while the staff keeps an eye on departure screens.
Kids: Delta’s newly renovated Terminal 2 offers a slide and jungle gym; JetBlue plans to build out a 150-foot play zone over the next few months.
Lounge: Virgin has the best lounge at Newark too, but you can’t get into this one either. Instead, pay $45 for a day pass to the Continental Presidents Club, where there’s a decent selection of wines.
Pharmacy: If you don’t have time to pick up a prescription before your trip, have your doctor call it in to Harmony Pharmacy (973-273-9510). Located at Gate 91, the druggist dispenses pills until 6:30 p.m.
Working: There are charging stations along Terminals A and C, but no reliable Wi-Fi signals except in the business-class lounges.
Lounge: United’s pre-security Red Carpet Club has the most luxurious amenity: a feed from one-way cameras scanning the security checkpoints, so you can see when the lines are short. (A day pass is $50.)
Shopping: If you need travel-size toiletries or an extra tie, there’s a Body Shop in the central terminal’s shopping concourse (pre-security) and a Brooks Brothers in the Delta terminal (post-security).
Working: The best place to work is the Marine Air Terminal, where there’s a comfortable row of Macs and charging stations, with Wi-Fi access.
Kids: Check out Continental’s video arcade room in the Central Terminal.