In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!
Introduction: Journey To Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, And Kuwait
Review: Air France Lounge San Francisco Airport
Review: Korean Air Business Class 747-8 San Francisco To Seoul
Review: Korean Air Business Class 777 Seoul To Kathmandu
Review: Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
Review: Kathmandu Airport Lounge
Review: Drukair Business Class A319 Kathmandu To Paro
Review: Le Meridien Thimphu
Review: Le Meridien Paro
Hiking To The Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan
How We Spent Our Time In Bhutan
Review: Drukair Economy ATR42 Paro To Dhaka
Review: Presidential Suite At The Le Meridien Dhaka
Review: Dhaka Airport Lounge
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class A330 Dhaka To Kuwait
Review: Sheraton Kuwait
Review: Kuwait Airways Lounge Kuwait Airport
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class 777 Kuwait To Shannon
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class 777 Shannon To New York
Our flight from San Francisco to Seoul Incheon was departing at 11:30AM, and we arrived at the airport plenty early, at around 8AM. Korean Air departs from International Terminal A at SFO, and they use check-in Zone 9. Their check-in only opened at 8:10AM, so they were just setting up as we arrived.
The check-in process was friendly and quick, and we were soon handed boarding passes all the way to Kathmandu, and invitations to the British Airways Lounge, which Korean Air uses for their premium passengers at SFO.
Often security at SFO’s international terminals is horrible, though fortunately we arrived ahead of the big rush, and we were through security in a matter of minutes. While SFO’s Terminal 2 and International Terminal G are quite nice, I find that the shopping and food options are fairly limited in International Terminal A.
As mentioned above, Korean Air uses the British Airways lounge at SFO, which I’ve reviewed before. Therefore we decided not to visit that lounge, and instead went to the Air France/KLM Lounge, which can be accessed by Priority Pass members. As a reminder, there are lots of great premium credit cards that come with Priority Pass lounge access, including the following:
|Card||# Of Guests Who Get Free Access||Authorized User Access||Cost To Add Authorized User|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||2||Yes||$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That|
|The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN||2||Yes||$300 Per Person|
|Citi Prestige® Card||2 Guests Or Immediate Family Members||Yes||$50 Per Person|
|The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card||Unlimited Guests||Yes||$0|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card||Unlimited Guests||Yes||$75 Per Person|
Once past security, just turn left immediately and you’ll see the entryway to most of the lounges.
The Air France/KLM Lounge is located on the first level, and is just inside the entrance and to the right.
Once inside the lounge we were greeted by a guy who swiped our Priority Pass cards and welcomed us in. While the Air France Lounge is open from 8:15AM until 11:30PM (except Tuesdays, when the lounge closes at 10PM), it’s worth noting that the lounge has restricted hours for Priority Pass members. Priority Pass members can’t use the lounge between 11AM and 1:30PM, and then again between 7PM and 10PM. That coincides with the timing of the Air France and KLM departures.
The lounge was a good size, at least this early in the morning, when it was still empty. Just inside the entrance was an area with circular dining tables and chairs, as well as a counter along the window with more chairs.
Past that was a bigger room, which had a few rows of seats either facing the windows or facing the interior of the lounge.
Then to the interior of the lounge was a more elegantly furnished room. I’m not sure if this used to be a smoking lounge, or if it’s reserved at certain hours for VIPs, but it certainly had a different feel than the rest of the lounge.
Inside that small room were brownies, pretzels, and two kinds of wine.
Back in the main room was a counter with coffee, tea, soft drinks, and snacks.
There was a coffee machine with all kinds of options, packets of Stash tea, and soda.
Then there were pretzels, pound cake, and brownies.
In the very back of the lounge was the biggest room of all, which featured a couple of rows of traditional lounge seating, and then some dining tables.
The food and drink selection was along the far left wall, and was actually really impressive, at least for a Priority Pass lounge.
There was a selection of self serve liquor, wine, and beer.
Then there were pretzels, dried fruit, etc.
There was pound cake, focaccia sandwiches, fresh fruit, and instant noodles.
Then there were a few hot dishes, including sausage, rice, waffles, and breakfast potatoes.
There were also two types of soup — clam chowder and chicken noodle soup (which was actually labeled as vegetable soup).
Then there was a make-your-own-salad bar.
The bathroom was decent enough. However, there were no showers in the lounge, best I could tell.
The views from the lounge were also great. The lounge looked directly at the tarmac, and in the distance you could see all four runways.
Eventually a China Eastern 777 pulled into the gate right below the lounge. My gosh, the plane looked shiny on the outside (though I’m sure it didn’t smell great on the inside).
Shortly after 9AM our gorgeous Korean Air 747-8 landed and taxied to the gate. What a beauty!
The wifi in the lounge was fast, and towards the end of our stay the lounge started to fill up more with China Eastern passengers, since they also use this lounge.
Boarding for our flight was scheduled for 11:10AM. It’s bizarre to me that Korean Air starts boarding only 20 minutes before departure. I get that non-US airlines are more efficient than US airlines when it comes to boarding. However, boarding a big plane in 20 minutes is no easy task.
So we headed to our departure gate, A9, at around 10:50AM, so we could be sure we were among the first aboard. This gate was located at the very end of the concourse, on the left.
Sure enough, boarding was called at 11:10AM sharp.
Air France/KLM Lounge San Francisco bottom line
I was pleasantly surprised by the Air France Lounge SFO. While it’s not a world class lounge, I found it to be significantly better than the British Airways Lounge SFO, and also one of the better Priority Pass lounges in the US. The decor was reasonably nice, and the food and drink selection was impressive, in my opinion.