The United Polaris Lounge San Francisco is located right past security at Terminal 2 of the SFO terminal. For those who are familiar with SFO, the new United Polaris Lounge ant SFO encompasses the old United Club lounge along with the smaller Singapore / EVA Air lounges.
Many people confuse the United Polaris Lounge with a standard United Club lounge. It is amazing how many times we see people with a United Club pass or United Club credit card try to enter the United Polaris Lounge and act as if they are entitled to access to the lounge. Good Riddance folks. Time to pony up and get a business class ticket!
The United Polaris Lounge at SFO is extremely spacious, as it literally combined 3/4 lounges into 1. Even though it was crowded, there is finally a seat forever customer that enters the lounge (mostly because you are not allowed to bring guests into the lounge). The signage is extremely clear in the two-floor lounge. showers, beds, and quiet rooms on the bottom floor, and food services, bar and seating on the upper floor.
American Express Centurion Lounges have been getting a lot of press about their cocktail services. But, United ironically has been pioneering this years ago when they opened their lounge at London Heathrow Queens Terminal in 2015. That lounge has served as a concept for the Polaris Lounge concept that United is rolling out globally. Beverage service is superb, with signature cocktails, full, bar, eastern/western tea, and coffee service. This is a huge upgrade from the original club lounge, which only until 2 years ago, actually charged you for alcohol. Now they have a premium cocktail, wine, and beer offerings.
The Polaris Lounge has two food sections. buffet section and a private dining section. The private section, in theory, is a great concept, but United needs to work on working out some of the inefficiencies.
First off, it is way too small and the seating design is not efficient. Of course, most people with time would want a gourmet freshly cooked meal. Also, they don’t have any seating for singles. Half the people in the lounge are business travelers so most of the dining room was taken up by single guests taking up a table for 2 of 4. This made a huge queue during peak hours, which required you to stand around the front lobby for your named to be called.
In 2 trips to the Polaris lounge, we have seen Global Service members get extremely angry because they had to wait to get into the Dining Room. The problem, unfortunately, affects more than just Global Service members.
Regarding the menu, it doesn’t look like they change up the menu very frequently, as in trips 2 months apart, the menu looked exactly the same. It would be nice to have some variety.
Showers / Bathrooms
Regarding the bathrooms, they have individual, gender-neutral stalls instead of men’s and women’s bathrooms. In theory, this may seem like a great idea, but the problem becomes that of a capacity issue. for a lounge that has seating for 400+ people, there ends up only being about 20 available stalls. This becomes the lavatory situation in economy class.
Overall, the United Polaris Lounge in SFO is a HUGE upgrade from the original United Club lounge. Since it is only available for business class passengers, there is finally a seat for everyone albeit barely during peak seasons. There are just things with the bathroom situations, the seating in the dining table, and overall layout that help us remind us that elite amenities and services for United is still a work in progress. The good news is, they are getting darn close with the Polaris product.
Until Next Time,
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