The airline industry changes frequently and one way of promoting their individual brands is to adopt a new name.
For example, Delta Air Lines changed their premium business class service to Delta One and American Airlines changed their business class service to Flagship Service. United Airlines is renovating their services and re-branding their business class service to United Polaris. This project includes new all aisle access business class seats, new on-board services, and the new Polaris lounges. The 2nd Polaris lounge located at SFO was opened on Apr 30, 2018 and I was fortunate enough to be able to visit it on Apr 27 by using 2500 UA miles on United Airlines MileagePlus Exclusives website.
The United Polaris lounge is at the SFO international terminal G located at the same spot of the original
United Club. There are two levels and each level has several sections. On the lower level, after the front desk,
there are elevator and escalators to the upper level, a lounge area with several different seating, a mini snack
and beverage station, Shower Suites and Quiet Suites. The upper level contains different seating areas,
a bar, two restroom areas in each side, a dinning area for lite bites, a dinning room that serves restaurant quality cuisine, and finally, The Studio.
The seating area in the lower level was very beautiful and elegant. It almost reminded me of the Red Suite of the JAL (Japan Airlines) first class lounge at HND (Haneda Airport).
After the seating area, there was a snack/beverage area. The decoration was nice but the offering was very minimal here.
At the end of the lower level were the Shower Suites and Quiet Suites. I really liked the “Polaris ceiling lights”, they were very atmospheric which made me feel really relaxed. The shower suites were roomy and I loved them. Before the Shower Suites, there were a pair of glass doors and the Quiet Suites were behind them. It was very nice that customers have the option to be able to take a nap in between flights, especially if you have a long layover.
The upper floor is more fun since all the drinks and food are at this level. There are more different kinds of seating areas in this level as well. Again, the lounge is just beautiful.
United Airlines really upped their game when it came to the food offerings at their Polaris Lounge, especially compared to their United Clubs. Not only did they offer lite snacks, but they also have a proper dining room that you can order food from the menu which contains appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Due to the size of the dining room, sometimes customers might need to wait for a table.
The wall with marbled texture, containing the dining room title, reminded me of the Cathay Pacific Lounges a lot.
In the dining room, customers could order dishes from the menu. It was a very nice upgrade. However, United
might need to expand the dining room a little bit. Too many customers and not enough dining tables. I will mention that from my experience, they need to refine their process of taking the customers’ orders as well as processing those orders in a more timely fashion. In addition, their way of setting up the dining tables could also be improved upon since there was no uniformity amongst the table settings which made the overall look seem very unpolished. Those were just minor issues and I believe it can be rectified in a short amount of time. For my meal, I ordered three main courses. The burger and chips were great. The Cioppino although visually appealing, I found it a little bit bland for my taste. Lastly, I had the Chicken katsu which I found to be just ok. I do have to say, on a positive note, United has expanded their coffee offerings by introducing the illy brand. Overall, the dining experience was similar to but not as good as Cathay Pacific’s first class lounges in Hong Kong. I must say that I am very proud of how much improvement United has made to it’s business class lounges, Polaris lounge.
At the other side of the lounge, there was a customer service counter, quiet work room, more seating and
The customer service counter is lower with seating for more comfortable transaction experience. It’s much more elegant and customer friendly.
The working area, which contained three individual spaces. were also very nice if you did not want any temporary distractions.
Overall, I am very impressed by how beautiful this lounge is and how much United had to offer. I just hope
that United will be able to keep up this level of service. I will check back at some point and hopefully report
that they have.