Lounge Review: United Club (International Terminal) at San Francisco International

Lounge Review: United Club (International Terminal) at San Francisco International

Contributed by Hirofumi Suda
Contributed by Hirofumi Suda
Hirofumi is an aviation enthusiast based in Zama, Japan. He fell in love with commercial aviation when he was eight, and ever since then has flown on more than 600 flights with more than 70 airlines. If you happen to read Japanese, also make sure to check his personal blog here.

Before my Turkish Airlines flight from San Francisco to Istanbul, I had a chance to visit two lounges thanks to my Star Alliance Gold status.

First, I visited EVA Air’s Evergreen Lounge. And then, I went to one of United’s United Club lounges. The one inside SFO’s international terminal.

Before continuing, I have to say that this was the least impressive lounge that I visited on this trip.

Also, similar to EVA Air’s and Singapore Airlines’ lounges, the United Club is currently closed. And, passengers that would otherwise be eligible to access the lounge seem to be directed to United’s Global First lounge instead.

Anyways, let’s take a look inside the United Club.

Lounge Overview

The lounge was accessed by an escalator located right past its reception.

My first impression of the lounge was quite good – the check-in agent was friendly and the reception area and the corridor leading to the escalators looked nice.

United Club San Francisco International Terminal Reception

United Club SFO international terminal reception.

Escalators leading up to the lounge.
Downstairs Lounge Area

Downstairs seating area.

However, once I entered the lounge itself, I got a bit disappointed. The lounge was crowded. But, that was not the main problem, as I could still find a seat for myself. What disappointed me was that most tables had used plates and glasses on them.

And, unlike the reception staff, the staff in the lounge was not particularly friendly – unlike the staff I interacted with in the Los Angeles and Phoenix United Clubs.

Upstairs, there was seating in a variety of configurations. There were typical rows of sofa chairs, as well as some dining tables.

Upstairs Reception Area

Upstairs seating area.
Dining Area

Dining area.
United Club San Francisco International Terminal Seating

Seating area with sofas.

And, there was a bar.

United Club San Francisco International Terminal Bar


The one thing I liked about the United Club were the views it offered. Besides the international terminal, terminal 3 was visible out of the lounge as well.

Turkish Airlines 777 at San Francisco Airport

The aircraft that later took me to Istanbul.
View from United Club San Francisco International Terminal

View out of the lounge.

Food and Drinks Selection

Considering that the lounge is used by passengers on international flights, the food selection was quite depressing.

There were just salads, cold cuts, breads, cookies, cheese cubes, and nuts.

For comparison, the Los Angeles lounge had tasty soup and the Phoenix one had tasty yogurt and fresh orange juice.

And here? I just decided to have some salad (if you can call the green leaves that) to eat and water for drink.


Nuts mix.

Cheese and Bread

Cheese and bread.
Cold Cuts

Cold cuts and cookies.

Coffee and tea.
My Meal

My “meal.”

United Club San Francisco International Terminal Summary

As for the positives, the lounge had decent interior and offered great views of the tarmac.

Unfortunately, the food and drinks selection was subpar. Not only compared to other international lounges, but even some of the domestic ones that I visited.

Luckily, it seems that the lounge is currently closed down for reconstruction with the passengers being allowed to use United’s Global First lounge in the meantime instead.

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