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Which airline lounge at SFO to buy a day pass for?

Which airline lounge at SFO to buy a day pass for?

Old Sep 3, 11, 6:29 pm
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Which airline lounge at SFO to buy a day pass for?

My husband and I have a 6 hour layover at SFO on Oct. 24. We arrive from ICN, OZ 214, an 11 hour flight, at 11:15 am in business class. We continue on to Kansas City on UA 5418 in econ at 5:00pm. I'd like to be able to take a shower, have some decent snacks and beverages, surf the net with free wifi, and hang out in a more comfortable atmosphere than the terminal. I don't really want to go into the city as we will be exhausted from having spent 16 days in China and will have hand luggage with us.

I know if I buy airline lounge day passes in advance they are cheaper than on the spot. Which airline lounge would you suggest? We have plenty of time to change terminals to go to a better one than UA's if necessary. I do have 2 passes for the CO Presidents Club, but they expired April 30. I might not be able to talk my way in on them and may have to buy passes. if it would matter, I am lifetime gold with AA. I have no other airline status.

This long long layover resulted from a massive schedule change to my carefully planned original award flights. I'm not a happy camper. it is taking us 26 hours 25 minutes of travel to get home from China.
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Old Sep 3, 11, 6:38 pm
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There is no more CO PC. Check to see (depending on how you are in Business class - you'll need to check the rules) if you can use the UA Arrivals Lounge - it is airside between the int'l arrivals and the UA domestic terminal. The UA RCC (there are two of them, one in the int'l terminal and one in the domestic UA terminal) may let you in with a same day business arrival. I believe your only shower option is the UA Arrivals lounge. There is a pay-per-use shower service in the int'l terminal (by an independent vendor).

The airport has free wi-fi. If you completely strike out (i.e., no Arrivals access, and RCC denial), you might want to simply pay for the shower service, and then hang out in the G-gate portion of the international terminal. Decent dining options and a lovely public space. It is within the same airside security as UA domestic.

OOPS - I didn't see the originating airline - I assumed UA. you can't use the Arrivals lounge. But you might get RCC access re: star alliance reciprocity.
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Old Sep 3, 11, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
There is no more CO PC. Check to see (depending on how you are in Business class - you'll need to check the rules) if you can use the UA Arrivals Lounge - it is airside between the int'l arrivals and the UA domestic terminal. The UA RCC (there are two of them, one in the int'l terminal and one in the domestic UA terminal) may let you in with a same day business arrival. I believe your only shower option is the UA Arrivals lounge. There is a pay-per-use shower service in the int'l terminal (by an independent vendor).

The airport has free wi-fi. If you completely strike out (i.e., no Arrivals access, and RCC denial), you might want to simply pay for the shower service, and then hang out in the G-gate portion of the international terminal. Decent dining options and a lovely public space. It is within the same airside security as UA domestic.
If I was to use the UA RCC in international arrivals terminal, how does that work with going through customs and immigration, then rechecking the bags for the onward domestic flight to MCI? I can't do this 4 hours after arriving. It's only open until 12:30 anyways. Once I leave the international terminal I can't get back in, can I? besides, we arrive on Asiana not United. We go on with UAL. Tickets were actually issued by ANA. I don't think Asiana has any arrangements with UA to use their arrivals lounge.
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Old Sep 3, 11, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
If I was to use the UA RCC in international arrivals terminal, how does that work with going through customs and immigration, then rechecking the bags for the onward domestic flight to MCI? I can't do this 4 hours after arriving. It's only open until 12:30 anyways. Once I leave the international terminal I can't get back in, can I? besides, we arrive on Asiana not United. We go on with UAL. Tickets were actually issued by ANA. I don't think Asiana has any arrangements with UA to use their arrivals lounge.
Sorry - notice my edits which I made before your reply posted. The UA RCC is in the int'l departures area (and you can walk between the domestic and int'l sides airside). The arrivals lounge is landside.
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Old Sep 3, 11, 6:49 pm
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
If I was to use the UA RCC in international arrivals terminal, how does that work with going through customs and immigration, then rechecking the bags for the onward domestic flight to MCI? I can't do this 4 hours after arriving. It's only open until 12:30 anyways. Once I leave the international terminal I can't get back in, can I? besides, we arrive on Asiana not United. We go on with UAL.
The A pier of the International terminal (UA/*A) and T-3 (UA) are connected airside post-security, so you can walk between the two.
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Old Sep 3, 11, 6:51 pm
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
The A pier of the International terminal (UA/*A) and T-3 (UA) are connected post-security, so you can walk between the two.
The G pier. The A pier is on the other side and is not connected.
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Old Sep 3, 11, 6:58 pm
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So is the domestic RCC at SFO worth $39 each? We'd be there over lunch time. I think I have some stray UA/CO miles I could use to cover one of them.

Does SFO have an Admirals Club? What other airline lounges are at SFO?
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Old Sep 3, 11, 7:13 pm
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
So is the domestic RCC at SFO worth $39 each? We'd be there over lunch time. I think I have some stray UA/CO miles I could use to cover one of them.

Does SFO have an Admirals Club? What other airline lounges are at SFO?
There are two Delta lounges--one post-security in the A international terminal, and one pre-security above the Delta ticketing counters (it's pretty well-hidden, but there are some signs). I don't know what the going rate on discounted passes is right now. In those you'll find cookies, some veggies, crackers, cheese, and fruit, along with drinks. No showers in either one.
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Old Sep 3, 11, 7:39 pm
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
So is the domestic RCC at SFO worth $39 each?
No, you could enjoy a really nice lunch at one of the better airport restaurants for that.
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Old Sep 3, 11, 7:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
No, you could enjoy a really nice lunch at one of the better airport restaurants for that.
I'm sure I can. But I was hoping to find a quiet corner in a lounge and stretch out and take a nap.

I see the Delta pass is $50. No discount for advance purchase. Which is the better lounge-Delta or United? Maybe someone on coupon connection will donate passes to the cause if I ask.
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Old Sep 3, 11, 8:10 pm
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
Does SFO have an Admirals Club? What other airline lounges are at SFO?
There is a beautiful new Admirals' Club in T2. It is air side, though, so you probably will not be able to access it without a boarding pass for a flight departing from that terminal.
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Old Sep 3, 11, 9:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
The G pier. The A pier is on the other side and is not connected.
Oops, my bad. The north pier (G).
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Old Sep 3, 11, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
I'm sure I can. But I was hoping to find a quiet corner in a lounge and stretch out and take a nap.
I see the Delta pass is $50. No discount for advance purchase. Which is the better lounge-Delta or United? Maybe someone on coupon connection will donate passes to the cause if I ask.
The DL SC is landside in T1. No redeeming features, basically a dump. The RCC is better. If you are going to leave T3, the new AC is T2 is spectacular, but as TWA884 noted, not sure you can access it without a AA or VX BP.

Last edited by SFO777; Sep 3, 11 at 9:24 pm
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Old Sep 3, 11, 9:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
No, you could enjoy a really nice lunch at one of the better airport restaurants for that.
Yankee Pier in T3 is very good.
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Old Sep 3, 11, 10:29 pm
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
There is a beautiful new Admirals' Club in T2. It is air side, though, so you probably will not be able to access it without a boarding pass for a flight departing from that terminal.
I've never tried it at terminal 2, but at both terminals 1 and A, I've been able to get through without a BP for an airline in that terminal by explaining I'm going to a lounge. The document checkers have told me I'm at the wrong terminal, but I've mentioned that I'm going to a lounge and they let me right on through with no problem.
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