United Airlines today opened its second Polaris Class lounge at San Francisco International Airport. The brand for United's newly-redesigned business class, Polaris is meant to be a complete experience, both at your departure airport and onboard. A Chicago lounge is already open, but Polaris Lounges will open in Los Angeles, Newark and Houston by the end of the year (international will follow starting in 2019).
Open to eligible customers on long-haul international flights, the Polaris Lounge is distinct from the existing United Club and several steps up in terms of comfort.
The entrance to the lounge is located just past the TSA checkpoint in the G Gates of SFO's International Terminal. After checking in, you can pass through to a library, shower suites and quiet rooms on the bottom level or head up the stairs to the lounge's main floor.
The 28,120-foot space is a long stretch on the main floor, but with 440 seats (and 19 different types of seats) you should find a place to take a rest. There are also private rooms where you can get some work done or take a call.
Created by London-based Acumen Design Associates, the Polaris Class has direct aisle access for every seat. The unique design eliminates the need to squeeze past a neighbor or step over their legs when they've reclined to a lie-flat position.
United will be equipping many of its wide-body airliners with the new seats, including the Boeing 777-200 and 777-300ER and the Boeing 767. The airline says it will be adding one retrofitted aircraft every 10 days through 2020.
United has two sections of economy class on the 777. Economy Plus has three inches of additional seat pitch (the distance between a given point on a row of seats and the same point on the row ahead of it).
Each seat in the rear cabin also has a personal screen. Compared with economy on the airline's now-retired Boeing 747s, It's a welcome change from having to stare at a small screen hanging from the ceiling of the cabin and watching whatever United was showing.