Having traveled a bit during the pandemic, the highly touted United Polaris Lounge has not been available in Chicago, Europe, or SFO. But now, post pandemic, the Polaris Lounges are open for business. I plan to use the one at SFO, though I am flying on Turkish Airlines.
From James Dozer at Travel Codex: THE UNITED POLARIS LOUNGE IS THE BEST BUSINESS CLASS LOUNGE IN THE ENTIRE STAR ALLIANCE NETWORK. My favorite lounge used to be the Star Alliance Lounge at LAX but this Polaris Lounge blows everything else out of the water. The lounge is spacious, beautifully decorated and offers passengers a host of wonderful pre-flight amenities.
The United Polaris Lounge San Francisco is located in the G concourse of the international terminal (closest to gate G92) and is only open to Star Alliance premium cabin passengers. Additionally, passengers must be traveling on a long-haul international flight. Flights to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean do not qualify for access. Star Alliance Gold members traveling in economy class will also be denied access. Those who do not qualify for access will be directed to the United Club nearby.
The two-story, United Polaris Lounge San Francisco is massive, 28,210 square feet to be exact, with great spaces for passengers to rest, relax and recharge before flight. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, the first floor of the lounge was designed for you. Here, you’ll find a spacious seating area with a variety of seating options from plush leather armchairs to these sleek new Polaris Signature Lounge seats.
The day rooms feature a semi-private space with a lounge chair, bedding provided by Saks Fifth Avenue and other amenities such as eye masks, slippers and sound machines to drown out the ambient noise. The best part of this service is the warm blanket. When you are checked-in for your day room, the attendant will escort you to your room and present you with a warm blanket, which will feel really nice as the room is kept a little on the cool side.
If you need to freshen up, you can reserve a shower room from the attendant. The shower suites are clean and modern with rainfall showerheads and feature Cowshed bath and beauty products, Saks Fifth Avenue towels and a clothes-pressing service.
Then there’s another seating and dining area, followed by the self-serve buffet bar. Here, you’ll find a variety of hot and cold items such as chicken, pasta, salads and desserts; and to celebrate their San Francisco heritage, a make-your-own noodle bar.
But why eat from a buffet when there’s a private dining room with waiter service and an a la carte menu? If you have a little bit of time, I would definitely recommend eating here. The menu is limited but everything served was delicious. Trust me, I tried almost everything (for research, of course).
The United Polaris Lounge San Francisco is an incredible lounge. With its massive footprint, thoughtfully designed spaces, wonderful amenities and a fantastic a la carte menu, the United Polaris Lounge will set a high bar for others to compete with. I was completely blown away by this lounge and I can’t wait for my next visit. Good job, United!
Until now, the best biz lounge I have previously encountered was in Hong Kong at the Singapore Airlines lounge. We had the place to ourselves most of the day. We dined on fresh sushi, noodles, and several hot items. I showered and shaved and could have ordered a massage. The drinks were free, including alcohol. And it was so quiet, I took several naps.
Most lounges, such as United, Hawaiian, American, Alaska and Delta are quite sterile and simple. Why is it the lounges in foreign countries are so much better? My JAL lounge in Tokyo had a beer tap at my seat, along with a sushi chef nearby, and a noodle bar. The Air New Zealand bar had a complete hot meal, with cherries jubilee for dessert.
Regardless of how you travel, I would strongly suggest having access to a lounge, when you have either a long layover, or just need a quiet space to recharge. It certainly helps me.