Introduction: A Weekend In Mongolia
Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Los Angeles Airport
Review: United Global First Lounge San Francisco Airport
Review: Air China First Class 747-8 San Francisco To Beijing
Review: Hilton Beijing Airport
Review: Air China First Class Lounge Beijing Airport
Review: Air China Business Class 737 Beijing To Ulaanbaatar
Review: Holiday Inn Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Review: Ulaanbaatar Airport Lounge
Review: MIAT Mongolian Business Class 767 Ulaanbaatar To Frankfurt
Review: United Business Class 777-200 Frankfurt To Houston
Review: United Club Houston Airport
Review: United First Class 737 Houston To Los Angeles
My flight from Los Angeles arrived at Terminal 3 at around 10AM, so upon arrival I walked over to International Terminal G, where Star Alliance international flights depart from.
One of the things I love about walking from Terminal 3 to International Terminal G is the line-up of heavy aircraft you have a great view of. In this case there was also an Air Canada A321 in the new livery, which looks stunning in person — it’s like the plane is wearing sunglasses.
A view of the Singapore A350 flying nonstop to Singapore doesn’t suck either!
I walked towards the end of the concourse to the United Global First Lounge, which I had access to on account of my Air China first class ticket. The Global First Lounge is located between gates 98 and 100.
A couple of months ago I reviewed the United Club San Francisco Airport, prior to my United 777-300ER Polaris flight to Hong Kong. The lounge is presently under construction and is pretty terrible, so I was happy to have access to a better lounge this time around.
Keep in mind that United will eventually close the Global First Lounge. That’s not just because they’re eliminating Global First as of next year, but also because they’re hopefully opening the Polaris Lounge early next year, which should feature a la carte dining.
The associate informed me that my Air China flight was delayed, and that they don’t make boarding announcements in the lounge. I already knew it would be delayed before I left LAX, given that the flight departed Beijing several hours late.
The main part of the Global First Lounge is located one level below the concourse, and can be accessed either by elevator or stairs. At the bottom of the stairs and to the left is a desk where agents are available if you need any help rebooking.
Past that is the lounge itself, which is reasonably nice. The decor sort of reminds me of what you’d expect in the lobby of a solid four star hotel in Florida, but I guess that’s not really an insult for an airline lounge. 😉
Inside the entrance is one large room with a pretty traditional design.
To the side of that is a smaller private section with about a dozen chairs, which feels a bit like a cave.
And then past the main room is another room with the buffet and some dining tables.
There are dining tables near the TV, and then also along a bench near the buffet.
Along the windows on that side are a few more seats, as well as a selection of magazines and newspapers.
The lounge has views of the nearby gates, though there are blinds throughout the lounge that make it tough to actually look outside.
In terms of drinks, there was an extensive selection of self serve liquor.
Then there were two “towers” with United’s signature nuts (which are pretty tasty), along with Moet & Chandon, which is a solid champagne for a lounge.
There was also a selection of wine, as well as plenty of soft drinks.
Then there was an Illy coffe machine.
When I first arrived breakfast was still being served, which included whole fruit, sliced fruit, oatmeal, toast, cake, cold cuts, cheese, cereal, cookies, and breakfast sandwiches.
On top of that there were a few hot options, including scrambled eggs, chicken teriyaki, potato hash, etc.
At 10:30AM the breakfast selection got swapped out for lunch.
Lunch consisted of cheese, a few hors d’oeuvre, sushi, chicken sliders, salad, fresh fruit, soup, etc.
Then in the other section were a few hot options, including egg rolls, stir fry, chicken teriyaki, etc.
I spent several hours working in the lounge, and eventually requested a shower room, which was immediately available. The lounge has a few shower rooms, and they’re fairly basic. The shower room itself was nice enough, though it didn’t have a toilet, which I found a bit annoying.
The biggest issue is that the water in the shower never really got hot, which was super annoying.
The lounge had Cowshed toiletries as well as slippers, which are at least pretty decent.
Due to the delay my flight was scheduled to depart at 4PM, with boarding scheduled for 3:25PM. So I decided to head down to gate G99 at around 3PM. Enroute I saw a United 787 pushing back from the gate.
Gate G99 is at the far end of the concourse, and the Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt was departing at around the same time from the gate right next door.
The one downside to gate G99 is that there’s no view of the actual plane, which is a real shame given how beautiful the 747-8 is.
The crew arrived just moments after I did, though they weren’t allowed to board until 3:20PM. Finally at 3:45PM boarding began, starting with first and business class. I couldn’t wait to try Air China first class, and to check the last 747-8 off my list!
United Global First Lounge San Francisco bottom line
Overall the United Global First Lounge was a significant improvement over the United Club, which is a mess at the moment. However, this really isn’t competitive as far as international first class lounges go. When United opens their Polaris Lounge in San Francisco I suspect it will be better than the Global First Lounge, and all longhaul business class passengers will have access to that.