Polaris Lounge Front

Polaris Lounge Review (SFO)

United Polaris Lounge is one of the biggest versions of the Polaris lounge to date.

It spans over 28,000 square feet and can accommodate over 400 guests at a time.

The lounge was designed so that even though it reaches the limit for guests that it can take, there will still be ample room for each customer, even in the busiest of days.

This is the first time I’ll be setting foot inside the Polaris Lounge. I can’t wait to see what will happen to this 2-hour stay.


Getting access to the Polaris lounge can be a bit complicated.

Access policies vary between airlines. Many passengers flying with a Star Alliance member don’t necessarily give you access to the lounge.

To be more specific, access to the lounge is reserved for long-haul business class passengers on United or any Star Alliance partner.

Global Services and Star Alliance Gold members that are traveling in economy do not have access here.

There aren’t any credit cards that have access to it either.

Note: If you’re not sure if your flight is eligible for lounge access, you can always inquire with United!

The Lounge

The Polaris Lounge is near Gate 93 of SFO. Multiple signs point to it and once nearby, you’ll immediately see the front of the lounge.

Polaris Lounge Front

After the reception desk, you’ll find a large escalator. The lounge has two levels. Since most of the place is on the second floor, the staircase is somewhat of an icon for this lounge.

Lounge Escalator

Before we take a look at the bulk of the lounge, Let’s talk about what can be found on the first floor.

Polaris Lounge First Floor

The 1st floor of the lounge has a small seating area that has a few bookshelves. There was barely anyone in here when I arrived, so it felt a lot more private when compared to the rest of the lounge.

Polaris Lounge First Floor

In the middle are seats that have dividers. Sitting on one makes it feel like you’re in a small private suite. I like this design because it shows how United values privacy and the personal space of their customers.

There are also window-side seats that have an amazing view of the runway.

Also, some leather seats were located just by the wall looked modern and comfy.

Polaris Lounge First Floor

There’s one set of gender-neutral restrooms on the second floor.


The second floor houses most of the lounge, from the main buffet to the restaurant. It also has more seats, both in number and in variety.

Polaris Lounge Second Floor Seating Area

I’m not much of a fan of the orange seats arranged in a circle formation, they looked out of place in this lounge that exudes finesse. But that’s just my opinion.

Polaris Lounge Second Floor Seating Area

I spent the majority of my time in these cubicle-esque seats that offer both a comfortable seat and the means to write or work if I so chose to.


These seats, which seem like cubicles, are still everywhere as they want people to find a place where they can both work and relax when needed.

The seats all seemed nice and clean. Most of the ones I tried were big and comfortable. The seats didn’t have any kind of markings on them.

There were a few people in the lounge, but it was still very spacious. It didn’t feel crowded at all, especially since the first floor was virtually empty.

The bar is located just before the buffet. They had a good selection of liquor and unique neon lights as a centerpiece.

Polaris Lounge Bar

I liked how the blue light reflected on the collection of bottles and glass by the wall. It gave a fancier feel to it.

Polaris Lounge Bar

Most of the people can be found near the buffet. This was the most crowded area of the lounge—most probably because of the buffet near it.

Polaris Lounge Second Floor

The buffet table can be found at the end of the hall, right before the Dining Room. 

There’s a table for coffee and other drinks in the middle.

Polaris Lounge Second Buffet Area

The whole buffet was on a curved table.

Polaris Lounge Buffet Area

Pastries and desserts were on a separate table just outside of the dining room.

Polaris Lounge Buffet Area

Unfortunately, the Dining Room was closed by the time I got there, so I wasn’t able to try their best meals. The buffet was enough to satiate my hunger though, and I knew that flying EVA Air already ensures that I’ll have a fine meal.

The Dining Room

On the opposite side of the lounge, there was more seating, and instead of a large buffet area, there’s just a table with drinks and snacks.

Second Floor Snack Table

Other than that, there wasn’t anything else that stood out to me.

The Polaris Lounge in SFO is a fine lounge. It’s large and spacious.

One thing that can’t be seen in the pictures is the ambiance of the lounge. I didn’t see any televisions, nor did I find monitors indicating boarding times.

The lounge itself was relatively quiet, with only subtle background music that’s barely heard.

I liked that touch a lot.

I think that lounges are meant for rest and relaxation, not as a place to actively wait for the next announcement for your flight.

Overall Impression

I enjoyed my time in the Polaris Lounge. I highly value my privacy, and I got that with just their normal seats.

They had a plethora of seats to choose from; all were comfortable, though some didn’t look good.

The large lounge was meant to accommodate 400+ people. That makes it extremely spacious when there’s barely anyone in it. That just adds to the experience of being in such an exclusive lounge.

There were shower rooms and nap rooms, too, but I wasn’t able to take a look at them. The lounge had all the necessary things to keep a customer happy. They didn’t go overboard with amenities, and I completely understand their decision to do that.

I liked their buffet. With a mix of light and heavy food, customers were spoiled for choice. That said, I was disappointed that The Dining Room was closed during the evening. I was looking forward to trying out their ala-carte menu.

United has done a good job in making sure that the Polaris lounge is up to standards.

It’s saddening that I wasn’t able to try the Dining Room, but the service, the ambiance, and the privacy of the Polaris Lounge is enough to make me consider going back.

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