United Airlines operates a few First Class lounges throughout the world, mainly in San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C., etc. The United Global First Lounges are accessible to any passenger travelling on any Star Alliance carrier in First Class. United Global Services members have special access permissions to the lounge and so do Lufthansa Miles and More HON Circle Members (depending on itinerary).
To sum it up, it is hard to associate United Airlines and “First Class”, since it is virtually nonexistent in terms of the quality of service they provide. This is their First Class lounge and it hardly is comparable to any other First Class lounge in the world. Nevertheless, the staff is very friendly and the food and drink options are decent (and what you normally would find in a Business Class lounge of non-U.S. airlines).
The United Global First Lounge San Francisco is located inside of SFO’s International Terminal G. United flights and most Star Alliance carriers depart from this international terminal and therefore the lounge is conveniently located and geared towards international First Class passengers. The International Terminal G also provides other lounge options to passengers such as the United Club, Singapore Airlines Lounge, and EVA Air Lounge.
While the entrance to the Global First lounge is located on the upper level, the actual lounge is located on the lower level. The lounge provides a few amenities including baggage storage, a business centre, a quiet environment, fresh food selection, and complimentary alcoholic drinks. The lounge was virtually empty at the time I was there, but can get a bit crowded during peak times. The only two United agents were located on the upper level by the entrance.
The lounge definitely doesn’t feel like an average lounge, but more like a room in your house. There are various seating areas ranging from “restaurant-style” dining to comfortable lounge chairs. Plenty of seating areas are located throughout the lounge.
A small business centre is located off to the side and features private areas for work, printers, a fax machine, etc. A quiet/relaxing area with more comfortable seating is also available.
The food and drink area is located in the back of the lounge along with “restaurant-style” seating and more comfortable seating areas. The whole lounge really feel like a giant room inside of your house and therefore you feel more “at home” than at an airport.
The drinks consist of premium alcohol, spirits, wine, champagne, soft drinks, tea, coffee, water, milk, and juice. Additional drinks may also be available.
The snacks feature crackers (how very United), nuts, chips, cookies, etc. More substantial food is also available and consists of sandwiches, salads, fruit, vegetables, bread, and granola. To be honest, the food selection isn’t the best and you definitely wouldn’t find something like this in a First Class lounge of a non-U.S. airline.
Bathrooms are super clean and feature premium amenities – they’re located past the food area, in the very back of the lounge.
Because the lounge is located on the lower level, the views of aircraft are just fascinating. Who wouldn’t want to sit next to the nose of a 747?!
In conclusion, the United Global First Lounge in San Francisco provides a nice, comfortable, and quiet atmosphere to relax or work. While the lounge may not have the most premium food or drinks, the quality of the snacks is still nice… although definitely not something you would find in other First Class lounges. Shower suites are also available.
I like the overall theme and design of the lounge, and I like that it feels more like a room in the house rather than an airport lounge. The staff are very friendly and can help with reservation changes and etc. This Global First lounge is still much better than the Chicago Global First Lounge or the Washington D.C. lounge (review up next). While the lounge needs some upgrades, it still looks ok for United’s standards as of now.