Updated June 23, 2020.
Exciting news! There’s a new lounge at SFO, and it’s one of the most exclusive spots in town. New United Polaris Lounges are popping up all over the United States, with one now available in San Francisco, and my husband Steve and I were fortunate enough to pass through on our layovers to and from New Zealand recently. Here’s the whole story along with all the details.
Who Can Visit Polaris Lounges?
The reason Polaris Lounges are so exclusive is that they’re reserved for long-haul Polaris (aka Business and First Class) customers only. Any Business passenger on any Star Alliance partner can use this lounge, but you cannot bring a guest, and you may not use this lounge if you’re ticketed for Economy Class regardless of status. All international Star Alliance Gold Members can still use the other United (and all Star Alliance) lounges, however!
BONUS! This is also an arrivals lounge, meaning you can also visit the Polaris Lounge if you are arriving into SFO as a ticketed United Polaris passenger! For all the specifics, check here: United Airlines Club and Lounge Access.
Why does a person go to a lounge? To lounge, of course! It’s quiet, there’s free wifi, and the comfortable seats are terribly inviting. The Polaris Lounge has more than enough cozy, comfortable seating options for everyone, and there are many power outlet options available in both traditional and USB varieties:
What to Eat at the Polaris Lounge: The Restaurant
Wow! I love that I can order off an actual menu here and it’s just included in the experience! They serve breakfast from opening until 11:00am local time, then lunch and dinner from 11:00am to closing. We were fortunate enough to enjoy the experience for dinner on the way to Auckland, then for breakfast on the way home, so we got to sample each!
What to Eat at the Polaris Lounge: The Buffet
The restaurant menu is admittedly limited, so if nothing offered really tempts your tastebuds, you will surely find something to delight you on the buffet! Options range from yogurt and granola to cold cuts and cheese, from hot Asian dishes to Italian cannoli, and items are replenished and refreshed as needed.
If you know me or have followed my blog for very long, you may have picked up on the fact that I don’t drink. Alcohol burns and tastes horrible in my humble and honest opinion, though I know much of humanity feels quite differently. However, my sweet husband got the bartender to make me a virgin Ginger Scotsman, and I think it’s now my go-to Polaris drink! If you do like to imbibe before a flight, you can enjoy the unique Polaris signature options or a classic.
As for other beverages, you’ll find espresso machines, coffee and tea, juices, and fruit-infused water. It was pineapple and orange infused when we arrived on the outbound, and that’s one of my favorite combinations! On the inbound, I made a beeline for a yummy latte.
No stalls here, ladies and gents! Each restroom is private and spacious, with not one, but two bag hooks—something I find missing from stalls more and more often these days! And you’ll find lovely British Cowshed handsoap and lotion waiting for you as well.
One of the best perks of lounge living is access to a shower after a long, dark, dehydrating flight. Upon arriving in San Francisco from Auckland (even before my latte), I high-tailed it into one of the showers. Y’all, there were two kinds of shower heads in there! And the towels from Saks 5th Avenue are thick and luxurious. There was even a sweet treat waiting for me inside. Afterward I felt like a new woman, ready to face my next 5-hour flight back to IAD!
Need to get some paperwork done? There are private business rooms with a desk, comfortable chair, and an automatic light that comes on as you enter. I could certainly see myself getting some work done on a future layover!
The Quiet Room
An extra perk of this particular Polaris Lounge is the Quiet Room with comfy lounger beds, darkness, and best of all–complete quiet. You will not be allowed to use your cell phone or even have it on the ringer. For the sleepy traveler, it’s pure bliss.
Overall, my sweet husband Steve and I approve of the new Polaris lounge in San Francisco. And while it’s true that SFO is quite possibly our least favorite airport in the country (thanks to zillions of delays, cancellations, and a very heart-breaking missed connection), we could certainly find ways to keep ourselves occupied next time we’re delayed indefinitely!
Are you ready for your Polaris Lounge experience? Check out my Air Travel Page for more about airports and exclusive lounges!
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