On a recent trip to New Zealand I had the “pleasure” of visiting the incredibly packed United Global First Lounge at San Francisco’s Intl Terminal. The flight to Auckland left at an incredibly late hour when there were no other lounges available in the vicinity. Though the lounge originally only served Global First customers, ever since the launch of Polaris, it has been serving an increasing number of flights out of SFO’s T3. Thankfully United will be replacing this lounge with the Polaris lounge officially on April 30, 2018. Keep your fingers crossed for that and hope that things go smoothly. Good riddance! Here is a sign indicating the current lounge situation:
This visit was right before Christmas so the lounge was decked out in holiday cheer. Just like every one of my recent visits to the lounge, it was absolutely packed.
You take an elevator a level down to the actual lounge after checking in. I have no clue why they’ve always had those two chairs at the end of the hallway.
There is an unprotected luggage storage area in the lounge. I still have no clue why anyone would use these given the lack of security. Hopefully some airline will figure out that there are better ways to use space like this or perhaps even provide a way to lock the area.
There is not much to say about this lounge other than it appeared to be incredibly crowded and had a pretty good salad station. Drinks available are step above what’s on offer at a United Club as far as I could tell. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen Imperial Champagne (~$50/bottle) available in a United Club, but I could be wrong. We arrived a bit early so I was able to get these pictures, but just right after that the lounge was brimming with people. There were even people on the floor of the lounge. If I were them, I would’ve just found myself a spot in the Terminal. After all, SFO’s intl terminal is actually rather good.
Do note: If you are a United Global Services Member, you have a reserved area for yourself. This was probably the only area of the lounge that had any space and was completely cordoned off.
The Lounge does have a few showers available, though they are nothing worth mentioning. It was also absolutely impossible to get one later on so maybe I should’ve requested it as soon as I arrived.
Anyway the Global First Lounge or “temporary intl lounge” as United calls it, is hardly a lounge worth talking about. The only redeeming factor might have been that the Wi-Fi was actually fairly fast. Arriving before 8 pm allowed us to find a spot, but after that it was absolutely packed. Power ports weren’t exactly easy to find either by the seating so you might want to grab those seats at the high table near the entrance. Staff were helpful as far as I could tell.
Looking forward to checking out one of the Polaris Lounges hopefully very soon……