Take a peek into the United Polaris San Francisco at the international terminal. Winner of the Skytrax best business class lounge in the world at the 2019 World Airline Awards this 600 seater lounge features luxe fittings and some surprising food options! Think a delicious beef burger with the lot and a warm, freshly baked skillet cookie!
Please note that this story was written before the start of the COVID pandemic but the lounge featured is still in operation.
We are flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles with United Airlines and are all excited to see the United Polaris San Francisco lounge having heard a lot about it. I see a man in one of the pods. He’s splayed out and looks so relaxed as if he is melting into the chair. I want to be that relaxed in an airline lounge.
The United Polaris lounge spans two floors taking over the former Singapore airlines and Aer Lingus lounge spaces. One of the biggest drawcards of the lounge is the Dining Room. With other airlines a la carte dining is usually reserved for first class passenger lounges but at United Airline's Polaris business class lounge it is one of the most popular features. This means that it can be sometimes difficult to get a table. The Dining Room doesn't take reservations - if the restaurant is full customers can put their name down and staff will notify them when there is space available.
Breakfast finished at 11am (sadly we missed out on the crab eggs benedict) but there’s plenty on the lunch and dinner menu to choose from. You can order as many items as you want and each dish comes with wine pairings. The lounge stocks Piper Heidsieck champagne.
With every United Polaris lounge there are local specialties. There is also a signature cocktail and burger that is available at all lounges.
Polaris Burger and Fries
Let’s start with the burger shall we? The Polaris burger is a full size number. Not just full size but perhaps oversized in the way that Americans do so naturally. There’s a medium cooked beef patty, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickled onion and aioli on a brioche bun with seasoned fries on the side. When you bite into it the egg yolk oozes gloriously. It’s a fabulous burger.
Blue crab cobb salad
Next is the blue crab and cobb salad. There doesn’t appear to me much dressing on this salad but there’s enough going on from the bacon, avocado and boiled egg and crisp lettuce so you don’t necessarily need it.
Soy tamarind wings
For something small and snacky the soy tamarind chicken wings are very tasty. They come with cucumber pickles on the side.
The only dish that I didn’t enjoy was the sourdough caprese bruschetta which was quite dry. Mozzarella or bocconcini would have suited this better rather than just parmesan just to give it a less dry mouthfeel.
Another favourite is the creamy cheese tortellini with cremona mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, peas, asparagus and artichokes.
You can also order the yakisoba with chicken or salmon. I choose the salmon. While it’s quite nice, it’s not a classic yakisoba.
One tip: make sure that you leave time for their skillet cookie. It is a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie served in a skillet with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce, butterscotch sauce and a piece of chocolate. It’s rich, sweet and tasty and I’m willing to bet most people finish these in their entirety.
If you are in a hurry there is also a well stocked buffet available. There is also the second floor studio where AV Geeks can watch the planes on the runway and nibble on some sweet snacks or get drinks and fruit from the hydration station.
Or if you need a quick sleep you can avail yourself of one of the 5 sleep pods. The butler will take your flight details and will also wake you up after a 45 minute sleep on the Saks Fifth Avenue bedding.
To freshen up there are 8 showers (one with wheelchair access) stocked with Sunday Riley products and Ghirardelli chocolates. United are the first US airline to offer non binary gender options when booking flights and the bathrooms are also non gender specific.
And lastly, if you have time staff can also wash and press your clothes for you (this requires a minimum of 45 minutes)!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have a favourite lounge? What would you do first? Drink, eat or shower?
NQN tried the United SFO lounge as a guest of United Airlines but all opinions remain her own.