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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: United Polaris Lounge SFO

Upon arriving in San Francisco I had about 5 hours to kill until boarding due to an early arrival of my flight from Los Angeles. This meant I had a lot of time to spend in the Polaris lounge at SFO. Overall this place is a good space to spend time but be aware if you are departing in the evening it can get very busy. Let's get into the full review.


Shower Suites


Since I didn't review it at LAX let's start with the shower suites at SFO. I decided to take a shower as soon as I got to the lounge around 5:30 pm since I knew it would get very busy later. There are approximately 10 shower suites at the Polaris lounge here and they are relatively nice. They are located on the ground floor all the way in the back.


The walkways are nice leading up to the shower suites with star-lit ceilings.



There was no wait for the showers at this time and I was escorted to a shower suite.


The showers are pretty standard featuring a toilet, all the amenities you need, and decent water pressure. Slippers are provided which is a nice touch.


There was Therabody soap, shampoo, and conditioner since United has this new partnership with Therabody.



Here's a picture of the toilet for those interested😅



After. freshening up I decided to head upstairs.



Keep in mind there are spots to lounge downstairs but I personally wouldn't recommend it since it's not very private and was relatively busy.


My Spot: The Studio


Going upstairs I found the Polaris lounge to be packed. I went over to ask if I could eat in the dining room and they informed me it would be a 20-minute wait. No, you don't have to wait there 20 minutes don't worry, instead you put in your name and phone number and they message you when your table is ready.


I decided to find a quiet place to relax in a busy lounge. Located on the opposite side of the dining room, all the way in the back is "the studio"



As you can see at this time there wasn't a soul around this area. Later it would get to be a little busier but still, there were seats available.



I managed to edit some photos before I got a message saying my table was ready to eat.


I walked by the bar area and the main lounging area, keep in mind this was at 6 pm and got twice as busy by 9 pm. Absolute zoo of course with Christmas travel.



Dining


I sat down at my table and was greeted by the staff with a menu. I asked for some sparkling water and a glass of Lanson Champagne and they obliged. Side note the champagne was lukewarm, not a good touch.


The menu for this evening. Dessert consisted of Panna Cotta or Skillet Cookie.




I decided to go for another Polaris Signature Burger but note that they don't have Bacon here while at LAX they do. They asked me how I wanted it cooked and I said medium, it was brought out well done after about 30 minutes of waiting and asking twice. I get it, they're super busy and it was edible but it is something to note.



I had ordered the skillet cookie originally in hopes it would speed up the process when it came to dessert. Well after they took my plate away it took 25 more minutes for it to come out, only for it to be rock solid and unable for me to cut into to eat.


I asked to have it sent back and a new one came back in about 5 minutes, this time edible and delicious.



Upon finishing dining I was stuffed to the brim so decided to re-locate back to "the studio" which still remained the quietest part of the lounge.


On the way over I noticed the Christmas tree, how gorgeous.



I brought over a glass of champagne with me.



Having about 3 hours to kill until boarding I lounged around and watched some stuff on my laptop until it hit 10 o'clock. Boarding was supposed to begin at 10:45 but was delayed due to a short flight time and the gate not being available until 6 am.


I headed over to the bar around 10 where I started talking with some fellow travellers and testing out some different drinks.

Champagne, Don Julio Blanco neat, and an Aperol Spritz




Boarding had been delayed until 11:15 but the Polaris Lounge closes strictly at 11 with the dining room last seating at 9:30 pm. I headed out at 11 sharp and made my way to the gate to board to Manila!



Overall Thoughts


The Polaris Lounge is a fantastic lounge when it's not so busy. I remember flying to Tahiti on an early afternoon flight there were limited people there and it felt more relaxed. If I didn't have the studio I don't know if I would have stayed in this zoo. I recommend signing up when you arrive for dining and showers if you are interested in either as it can be a long wait at times. But yes the Polaris Lounge ticks all the boxes with decent food, good drinks, and comfy lounging areas.




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