The new United Polaris lounge at San Francisco Airport (SFO) is one of the world’s largest lounges. On 28,120 square feet (2,612 square meters) you will find not just an a la carte restaurant, a buffet and a bar, but also quiet rooms, enough workspace as well as a great shower area.
I had a long layover and spent 7 hours in the lounge. At that time, I never had the feeling that it was way too busy, and I did not experience a seating problem at all since it spreads out pretty good on two floors.
Get all the details about this exclusive airport lounge in our SFO United Polaris lounge review.
If you’ve booked a long-haul first class or business class flight with Star Alliance, you can relax at the lounge before departure. Also, all passengers traveling in the United Polaris business class have access to the exclusive lounge. If you have a connection flight with United arriving in SFO, you will be able to get in as well.
Unfortunately, if you’re landing in SFO on another Star Alliance carrier, you won’t be allowed to access the United Polaris lounge before your connection.
Also, note that you won’t have access if you’re traveling between the United States and Central America or Mexico as well as between the United States and Canada or the Caribbean.
The lounge in SFO has two floors. You will check-in at the front desk on the first floor, which is smaller than what you will find upstairs.
Besides some nice leather chairs along the window side as well as comfortable and quiet semi-private lounge chairs, you will also find five nap rooms with day-beds on the first floor. The nap rooms are great not just for laying down but also for some privacy if you feel like stretching, or prefer to do yoga before boarding a long-haul flight.
Among that, there are eight private shower rooms for your convenience. There was no wait for me to get a shower room, and if you need anything additional, such as toothbrush, deodorant, etc. they will have it there for you, simply ask the receptionist.
The towels from Saks Fifth Avenue and the slippers were very soft. Overall the shower suite was well equipped and perfectly clean.
If you’re just looking for some snacks and soft drinks, the first floor has all of that. But it would be best if you did not miss out on the main area upstairs.
Take the escalator up to the second floor of the United Polaris lounge in San Francisco and walk straight ahead into the primary lounge area with the bar, a lot of seating options and dining tables, a big buffet with self serve soft drinks, tea and coffee.
On this floor you will also find the a la carte restaurant at the very back on the second floor, after the buffet area. The dining room at the restaurant has excellent views, especially if you get a table next to the windows. I was eating in the restaurant during lunchtime, and luckily it wasn’t busy at all while I was there.
I chose the "Spring-forward salad" as a starter, with baby arugula, medjool dates, manchego cheese, Granny Smith apples and champagne vinaigrette.
The "Cedar plank salmon" with english pea puree and sundried tomato relish as an entree was so flavourful.
My choice for dessert was the "Apricot tarte tatin" with vanilla ice cream, and mmmh, it was a great choice.
Here you can take a look at the full menu that was available at the time when I was visiting the SFO United Polaris Lounge. Breakfast at the dining room is served until 11:00 am.
Honestly, I had the feeling of eating in a top restaurant. The food was delicious, and the service exceptional.
Later the day, I had some snacks from the huge buffet and a delicious whiskey sour from the bar.
The many chairs and tables throughout are a great plus and give everyone enough room for enjoying the food and drinks or getting some work done .
On the other side of the escalator, you will find another quiet area with not just some beautiful views but also more of these comfortable semi-private lounge chairs. Additionally, there are dining tables, booth seating areas, comfy sofas, private/business rooms, and some more of the stylish leather chairs.
Here you will also find a small buffet at the end of the room with snacks and soft drinks, similar to the one downstairs, but with great views of the airport.
In my opinion, this Polaris lounge offers excellent service and quality. On top of that, I appreciate the lounge size among countless seating areas, nap and shower rooms, and the reassuring background music.
If you are traveling and enjoying the comfort of staying at exclusive airport lounges before departure or during waiting times, definitely consider the United Polaris lounge at SFO, you won’t regret it.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any credit cards yet, which will give you access to the Polaris lounge.
No, the Polaris Lounge is not open to any elite members such as Star Alliance Gold members or Global Services members.
The United SFO Polaris Lounge is located close to the security checkpoint in the international terminal G, near gate number G93.
Covering all Star Alliance nonstop flights out of SFO, the United Polaris lounge at San Francisco Airport is open from 6:30 in the morning until 1 AM every day.
Besides San Francisco SFO, you will find a United Polaris lounge in Los Angeles LAX, in Chicago O’Hare ORD, in Newark EWR, and Houston Intercontinental IAH. United is planning on future locations in Washington D.C. IAD, in London LHR, in Hong Kong HKG, and Tokyo NRT.