United Airlines will open its new Polaris business class airport lounge at San Francisco on Monday April 30, with travellers set to enjoy a sprawling split-level space with its own dining room and tended bar.
The Polaris lounge incorporates the old United Club as well as the former Singapore Airlines and EVA Air lounges in a massive 2,600m² footprint with room for 440 travellers.
(Note that in accordance with United's new lounge access policy, the Polaris lounge will be exclusive to business class and first class flyers on Star Alliance airlines – Star Alliance Gold members will need to hoof it further down the terminal to United's old first class lounge, which will be designated as a United Club.)
Alexander Dorow, United's Director of Premium Services, tells SFgate travel reporter Chris McGinnis that the bar, dining room and self-serve 'bistro' buffet are the centrepiece of the upper floor. The dining room will have 16 tables and 38 seats, a full à la carte menu including the popular Polaris burger, which made its debut at the original Chicago Polaris lounge.
The 'eating and drinking' zone is flanked by dedicated space where travellers can get some work done in bespoke booths created by UK design agency PriestmanGoode with coat and bag storage, a pull-out table with integrated tablet holder, and AC/USB charging points.
Of course, you can fire up your laptop or tablet anywhere in the lounge and keep those batteries topped up with the handy AC and USB outlets found near almost every seat and sofa.
The lounge's downstairs space has been cast as a retreat with a library, eight showers suites and five nap rooms with day beds (shown below).
This areas is also where a valet can give your clothes a quick press before your flight.
While there's no outdoor deck the upper floor will offer sweeping views across the airfield, assisted by binoculars mounted on stands so you can zoom into a point (or plane) of interest.
The opening of the San Francisco lounge comes as United struggles to play catch-up on its delayed Polaris rollout roadmap.
This is only the second Polaris lounge to date, following the first lounge at Chicago which had its ribbon-cutting in December 2016.
United now says that new lounges will open at Newark and Houston around the middle of this year, with LAX planned for year's end. Polaris lounges for London, Hong Kong and Tokyo are now looking like a 2019-2020 proposition.