The Singapore Airlines check-in procedure provides a better experience than their San Francisco lounge does. Walking up to the first class check-in counter, a Singapore Airlines agent approached me to walk me the rest of the way to the counter. Unnecessary, but certainly first class service.
It’s the only touch of first class on the ground that’s offered, as you’re sent off on your way to the lounge which is upstairs and down a long barren corridor.
It’s not a tiny lounge but it really isn’t big enough to host Star Alliance elites and premium cabin passengers headed to Singapore, there are just too many eligible passengers for the size of the lounge and the place gets busy. There’s seating, but it’s not spacious or peaceful. I imagine it’s really packed when San Francisco – Hong Kong is operated by an A380 rather than a 777.
There’s food. There aren’t that many choices, and it isn’t that high quality, but it’s more than one usually expects in a domestic lounge in the US.
The lounge has two bathrooms. One of those also has a shower. When I was there there was a line to use restrooms — they are single person use, rather than larger restrooms with stalls — so they serve no more than two passengers at a time.
One of the bathrooms offers a shower, which is a nice feature but it takes one of the two bathrooms out of service for longer periods of time. And the lounge staff doesn’t necessarily clean up after use, if you want to use the bathroom you may climb over used towels from a previous occupant.
Singapore Airlines only has two flights from San Francisco – Hong Kong and Seoul – so it’s nice that they have their own lounge. This one follows the model that Singapore Airlines is great in the air but not at all special on the ground. I find that Cathay Pacific’s San Francisco lounge (also two daily flights) though also crowded is a nicer space and with better food, and Cathay isn’t known for its ground product either.