United Polaris Lounge San Francisco Near Opening

Update: Opening day is April 30.


United failed to open a single Polaris business class lounge in 2017. As American opened four of its own business lounges between June and December, United was left only with its first Chicago outpost.


United Polaris Lounge Chicago


United Polaris Lounge Chicago

However the airline has said they expect the San Francisco, Newark, Houston and Los Angeles lounges to open this year — with the first three this summer.

And they’ve apparently learned their lesson with the Polaris debacle of overpromising and underdelivering seats and lounges, because it looks like they’re going to beat the summer opening projection for San Francisco.

In fact the lounge is close enough to finished that they’ve scheduled a media preview for the lounge in two weeks. Unfortunately it’s the day before the Freddie Awards and I won’t be able to go, but I’ll certainly be trying to pay a visit soon.

Nonetheless if they’re running a preview of the lounge with nearly a week to go in April we should see a formal open either just before the end of the month or right at the start of May.

I’ve got an international premium cabin flight out of Houston next month and since I booked it many months had hoped that lounge would be open. It appears that I’ll be relegated to the United Club or American Express Centurion lounge there instead.

However for folks with San Francisco departures pending there’s great news!

Departing United and Star Alliance long haul first and business class passengers can use the lounge. First class passengers can bring in a guest. United customers can use the lounges on departure and on arrival, while Star Alliance passengers can use it on departure only.

Crowing issues aside the Chicago lounge is really special and I’m looking forward to seeing what United has done in San Francisco.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. You leave out the part of it appears that if you are not in Business/First on a long-haul, you are SOW. You have to walk over to Terminal 3…..and there does not appear to be a regular Club on the International side, unless they transition to current Global/First lounge to a regular Club. AND if you are on international business/first but the first leg is domestic….. too bad for you. Especially irritating when the only routing is through another hub…such as going to S. America.

  2. I walked by it last night. The marble exterior is in place but aside from that you’d be hard pressed to tell that it is opening soon.

  3. Will Oscar Munoz be at the grand opening so he can deliver his famous “de nada” line and then sneak back to Florida?

  4. May I ask where exactly that is coming from ?
    ” United customers can use the lounges on departure and on arrival”

    I do have a UA flight from ZRH to SFO in July and would sure love to make use of the Polaris Lounge upon arrival, but the current rules for the Club is that the lounge closes at noon which it makes quite hard to hit when flying in from Europe.
    Is that going to be open and accessible daylong ?

  5. Sebastian is referring to the Arrivals lounge.

    The Polaris lounge would be available to you only if you have an onward connection at SFO once you arrive at ZRH as there would be no way to access the Polaris lounge after clearing immigration without an onward boarding pass.

  6. Thanks Mark. This doesn’t make it an arrival lounge, does it ?

    Or are you saying you could be visit the Polaris lounge if you have a ticketed connection regardless of your connecting company and class of service (which I clearly doubt).
    If you need your connection to be on United and in First this makes it a departure lounge.

    I do have a connection on that day, but it’s neither on United nor in Business or First Class.

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