The New British Airways San Francisco Lounge is Open (With Separate First Class Dining)

British Airways opened their refurbished lounge in San Francisco today after a six month closure. The lounge is in the international terminal between gates A4 and A6. You’re greeted at reception where your credentials for the lounge will be checked and then the lounge is down one level by elevator.

I couldn’t make it out to the opening but BA sent along some photos of the 7158 square foot lounge that certainly looks a lot better than it did previously. The lounge follows BA’s new design concept which has so far been rolled out at New York JFK, Rome, and Aberdeen, Scotland. The next lounge renovation will open in Johannesburg.

Floor to ceiling glass windows give great views of the apron. There’s a gorgeous looking new bar and a “deli bar” with food and drink choices. Most seats in the lounge have power.


Credit: British Airways


Credit: British Airways

There’s a substantive improvement in food service for first class passengers. There used to just be a small room with better alcohol. Now there’s a small dining room with nine tables offering meal service that should resemble this sample,

Selection from the Charcuterie Board

  • Busseto Prosciutto, Chorizo El Ray, Olli Salumeria Salame,
  • Columbus Coppa
  • Mitica Drunken Goat, Esperanza Manchego, Don Juan Mahon

Served with Marcona Almonds, Marinated Olives, Cornichons, Sourdough Toast and Fallot Grain Mustard

Soup: Garden Vegetable, Lemon Orzo Chicken

Entrees

  • Seafood Cioppino with Shrimp, Scallops, Sea Bass, Haricot Vert and Rouille
  • Rigatoni with Heirloom Cherry Tomato Sauce, Ricotta and Parmesan
  • Add Grilled Chicken, Shrimp or Scallops

Mezze Plate: Mini Vine Roasted Peppers, Grilled Local Shiitake Mushrooms, Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes, Hummus Warm Pita

Dessert: Blackberry Granola Yogurt Parfait

Cheese

  • Laura Chenel, Goat Cheese, Sonoma County CA,
  • Bellwether Farms Point Reyes Blue Cheese, San Andreas CA

Served with Fresh Pita Crisps, Fig Spread


Credit: British Airways

Clearly the small lounge doesn’t have extensive culinary facilities. The menu doesn’t strike me as impressive for first class dining. But it’s more of an attempt than was made previously.

They’ve actually put together a 360 degree tour of the lounge which is pretty cool.

If you’re taking British Airways to London, you board the jetway for either gate A4 or A6 from inside the lounge. That’s great for the mid-afternoon BA Boeing 747 departure, but not for the late evening Airbus A380.


Credit: British Airways

Remember that there’s also the Cathay Pacific Lounge which will be accessible to many customers, opening in the morning and staying open throughout the day and evening. If you fancy the noodle bar that’ll be your pick (or for the earlier flight, the one to hit first).

Access to the refurbished British Airways lounge is available to British Airways business and first class passengers, Iberia business class passengers, British Airways and oneworld mid-tier elites and above flying a oneworld airline out of International Terminal A.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Anything has to be better than the overcrowded and worn out lounge they had until recently.
    It’s a real shame they didn’t expand it.

    A lot of days BA will run an A380 and a 747 that depart 2 hours from each other from SFO-LHR.
    That is up to 86 Club World + 14 First for the 747 and 97 Club + World 14 First for the A380. Thats a lot of people trying to access a small lounge in a 2-3 hour window.

    At least it doesn’t look tired and worn out like the old lounge. The wifi can only be faster than it was as well.

  2. If I’m flying JAL F would I be able to access the BA F lounge?
    ________________________________-

    Apparently not, according to this information from a SF travel journalist who wrote his lounge description here. https://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/British-Airways-lounge-SFO-PHOTOS-14082952.php

    Writer mentioned: “Access to the Boutique Dining area is reserved only for British Airways First Class ticket holders. While the area includes 26 seats, we counted only nine tables – including a four-top. If each first class passengers wanted to visit the dining area and was doing so alone, lounge staff probably wouldn’t be able to comfortably accommodate everyone in a single seating since there are 14 first class suites on both the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 that operate the London Heathrow-San Francisco route.”

  3. So did you copy-and-paste BA’s press release, or One Mile at a Time’s copy-and-paste of BA’s press release?

  4. In my admittedly limited experience they immediately and unapologetically turn away Oneworld elites not traveling on BA.

  5. @Dom – Your comment makes no sense to me. First, my post was BEFORE One Mile at a Time’s by 50 minutes or so, how could I have copied it? Second, if it was copying a press release would I have been comparing the food in the Cathay lounge favorably to the BA lounge? :rolleyes:

  6. Let’s hope PHX has a similar revelation. I arrived at the temporary “lounge” corridor waiting room on Sunday as a full fare First passenger, to be told “We’re full. You can stand over there by the window if you want…”

  7. Thanks for the review! But for the uninitiated, _why_ is it worse for the later A380 boarding?

    “If you’re taking British Airways to London, you board the jetway for either gate A4 or A6 from inside the lounge. That’s great for the mid-afternoon BA Boeing 747 departure, but not for the late evening Airbus A380.”

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