Elite flyers at San Francisco International are in for a few new treats this month.
On Wednesday morning, United opens a new dedicated United Global Services/Global First check in lounge and Premier Check in area in near Door 5 at Terminal 3. (Other such Global Services lounges are located at Chicago O’Hare and Newark Liberty)
At the same time, American Express is preparing for an early November reveal of its much anticipated Centurion Lounge, located on the mezzanine level at the far west end of Terminal 3 near the International Terminal. (Currently there are Centurion lounges in Dallas, Las Vegas and New York La Guardia airports.)
I took a stroll through Terminal 3 this week and here’s what I saw and heard.
First, starting Wednesday, all United Premier flyers will enter security through a new dedicated check in and security area located near Door 3 at the EASTERN end of Terminal 3. This is also the new PreCheck line. The Premier check in area at the west end of Terminal 3 is now for non-Premier passengers.
Here’s a photo of the new Premier check in area:
Now here’s a photo of the new Premier security entry point– note the frosted glass door where Global Services/Global First passengers enter from the corridor and exit into security.
Now, let’s take a 360 degree look at the new United Global Services check in lounge in the video below. This is where Global Services and Global First passengers will enter the security screening area via two sets of frosted glass doors.
First, they enter the lounge where there are five check in podiums flanked my a huge photo of downtown San Francisco, a twinkly chandelier, four mod chairs and a coffee table. They walk in the door, flash their ID and boarding pass, the continue on through another frosted glass door into the front of the line of the security screening area located adjacent to the lounge.
The door is positioned so these passengers will be able to break into the front of either the PreCheck and regular security lines. Now that’s exclusive!
Just behind the Global Services lounge (airside) is a dedicated passageway to the ramp below the terminal where United’s fleet of two brand new 2015 silver Mercedes GL 350 BlueTec SUVs can whisk passengers who are late for their flights. (The new 2015 models in go into service this week.)
Now let’s move on to the new American Express Centurion Lounge, which has been shrouded in secrecy, but a few details are emerging (most of which have not been confirmed by American Express).
>The lounge is located on the mezzanine level above the (now old) Premier Check security lines on the western end of Terminal 3.
>It is expected to open the first week of November.
>Access to the lounge will be airside only, which means that it only makes sense for those departing United’s Terminal 3 or the adjacent Boarding Area G of the International Terminal.
>The lounge is open to American Express Platinum and Centurion card holders. American Express cardholders who do not have Platinum or Centurion cards can get in by paying a $50 fee, and admittance is subject to lounge capacity.
>Access to the lounge will be via a glass elevator across from gates 74 and 75.
>The design of the SFO lounge will be similar to the lounge at Las Vegas, with a large “living wall,” rich wood paneling and modern furnishings. There will be a bar as well as different areas for working, socializing, and tranquility. There are restrooms and a shower room.
>Windows on either side of the lounge will look out into Terminal 3, not out onto the tarmac.
>The lounge will provide a hot buffet created by Christopher Kostow, the chef at Michelin Three Starred The Restaurant at Meadowood.
That’s it for now! Are you one of the lucky ones who will get to enjoy these new perks, or perhaps has enjoyed them at other airports? Please leave your comments below.
Like what you just read? Then say so! Scroll back up to the top and LIKE the post on Facebook, post it on Linked In and/or tweet it!
Would you rather get TravelSkills Weekly instead of Daily? No probs! click here to sign up for TravelSkills Weekly.