Lounge Review: Emirates Lounge San Francisco Airport (SFO)

This next trip from the depths of my photo archives occurred in February 2015. I had a wedding to go to in Jakarta, so I decided to make a pit stop in Singapore–one of my favorite food cities in the world–on the way there. To get to Singapore, I flew Emirates first class, booked with 100k Alaska miles (this award would now be 180k miles).

When you fly Emirates in business class or first class cabin, you get a complimentary chauffeur service to the airport–that is, if you’re booked through Emirates or Qantas ticket stock. It was just a couple of weeks before my flight that Emirates announced that tickets issued through partners would not be eligible for the complimentary chauffeur service, but I was lucky in that my pre-booked chauffeur service was not retroactively canceled on me. This was what I had waiting outside of my office for me on the day of departure.

Chauffeur drive pick up

Chauffeur drive pick up

It was a relatively quick drive to the airport, and then I was off to the Emirates Lounge at SFO. The lounge is located a level down from the main concourse in Terminal A, and first and business class passengers share this lounge.

Entrance to the lounge

Entrance to the lounge

I was honestly very pleasantly surprised by this lounge, and I think it’s the best lounge I’ve been to at SFO (other lounges I’ve visited at SFO: the Cathay Pacific lounge, Amex Centurion lounge, United Club, and American Admirals Club). It’s perhaps not as stylish as the Amex Centurion lounge, but it’s much less crowded and has more extensive food options.

Upon entering the lounge, I was happy to see large windows overlooking the apron and lots of seating. There’s a business center and showers to the left of the entrance, but most of the seating and the food is to the right.

View of the apron

View of the apron

Business center

Business center

Shower

Accessible shower

Shower room

Shower room

View of the lounge

View of the lounge

Seating

Seating

Seating

Seating

Magazines

Magazines

This sounds silly, but one thing I was impressed by was all of the plants everywhere. There were just so many plants scattered throughout the lounge. And given that Emirates only has one flight a day (granted, it’s an A380, but it’s still only one flight), it’s even more impressive (excessive?) that they have such a nice lounge with all of these plants.

There are a variety of self-serve drinks on offer, including Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Tea

Tea

Liquor and snacks

Liquor and snacks

Wines

Wines

Beverages

Beverages

The food options in this lounge are also extremely extensive. When I visited, here’s a sample of the foods on offer: green pea panna cotta, chocolate creme brulee, grilled tuna, king prawns and squid, strawberry tarts, Arabic mezze, cheeses, palak paneer, Indian curry, penne pasta, potato gruyere gratin, chicken in tomato sauce, grilled beef filets, poached pacific salmon, lobster and potato cakes, green beans, and zucchini soup. The food isn’t award-winning, but I was more than happy to eat it. I also appreciated the variety of vegetarian options (assuming you like Indian food), and the creme brulee was delicious.

Buffet

Buffet

Buffet

Buffet

Soup

Soup

Buffet

Buffet

Dining room

Dining room

Buffet

Buffet

Buffet

Buffet

Buffet

Buffet

My minor quibbles with the lounge were the relatively slow wifi (I was only getting 1 Mbps down), and there didn’t seem to be enough power outlets. But as I said before, I think this is my favorite lounge at SFO. The lounge never got too crowded, it’s a pleasant space to relax in, and the food options are both good and extensive. Overall, I was extremely impressed with this lounge.

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