I was thrilled to visit the United Polaris lounge SFO at the end of my recent Australia trip. I’d been to the United Polaris lounge in Houston, in Chicago, and at Newark but had never had the opportunity to visit their San Francisco lounge before.
I came off of United’s Sydney – San Francisco flight and faced a mess to drop my bags back off after clearing customs. The employee accepting bags decided to go on break and everyone had to take their luggage upstairs to departures. The lines for bag dropoff there were seemingly endless – except for Polaris business class passengers, where there was no line and also no employees. I waited and finally was helped after a ten minute wait.
United Bag Dropoff
We took the airtrain over to the airport Grand Hyatt where I’d reserved a room either for a nap and a shower before connecting home to Austin, or an overnight and a separate award ticket home on Alaska the next day. I wasn’t sure what to expect from my three year old daughter, but she did wonderfully on the trip and we decided to make the connection home.
United Polaris Lounge SFO
After a brief visit to the Grand Hyatt we took the airtrain back over to the international terminal, because – as luck would have it – that’s where our San Francisco – Austin flight would be departing from. That meant it would be convenient to use the Polaris lounge, with access available based on our arriving Sydney boarding pass.
- The United Polaris lounge SFO is open to United’s business class passengers flying same day long haul (on departure or arrival or as a connecting passenger). It’s also open to Star Alliance business and first class passengers departing long haul from San Francisco that day.
The United Polaris lounge SFO is just to the right past security in the international terminal at the G concourse.
Ground Floor Entrance
The lounge is 28,000 square feet across two levels, mostly on the second floor. (Showers and nap rooms are downstairs, as well as some seating and snacks.)
The lounge has a variety of seating areas.
Here’s the United Polaris Lounge SFO Bar:
The lounge features both a buffet (which underwhelmed) and sit down dining (which I’ve much enjoyed on past visits). Here’s the sit down dining menu:
And a look at the buffet:
Some lounges are dark. This one is especially bright with great views of airport operations.
The truth is there’s really just one reason I wanted to write about the United Polaris Lounge SFO, after such a brief stay. If you’re willing to sit far away from the food, you may find a lot more personal space. It gets very crowded at the center of the lounge and the closer you are to the buffet and dining room, but at the other end of the lounge we didn’t find a single other guest.
United’s Polaris lounges remain excellent, a real highlight to the airline, and sadly a contrast to their onboard business class product which has declined markedly since its introduction (even before the pandemic).
United First Class, San Francisco – Austin
Our flight was operating on time and out of the closest gate to the Polaris lounge. It was standard domestic fare in every way. There was a choice of food. Everyone else in the cabin had pre-ordered but the website wouldn’t allow me to do so in conjunction with out international flight. Food was tasty enough, seat was fine and service unremarkable.
I was too tired at this point to get much work done so I watched a television show on my laptop in order to stay up – I didn’t want to nap until bedtime in order to re-adjust to my home local time. I went to bed a bit early, woke up at normal time, and was largely readjusted by the end of the next day.