The Emirates Lounge at San Francisco Airport at International Terminal A exclusively serves Emirate’s single daily flight to Dubai. The fact that Emirates operates a lounge of this caliber for a single flight underscores the carrier’s standards and desire to control the passenger experience end-to-end.
The Emirates Lounge SFO design
While the entrance to the Emirates Lounge is near gate A3, the club itself is located on the ground level, below the concourse. The lower level location means that the space doesn’t feature any noteworthy views, but natural light still flows in.
The lounge is surprisingly spacious impressive for a single flight, even though the A380 does pack quite a few premium customers. From the lobby, a staircase and elevator lead to a large open seating area and an adjacent dining room flanked by more seating. Turn around at the bottom of the stairs, and you’ll find the business center, bathrooms and showers. With so much space, the lounge never gets really busy—it does fill up prior to departure but without reaching capacity. Like at all Emirates lounges outside Dubai, there is no dedicated space for First Class passengers.
While the Emirates San Francisco lounge still features the airline’s original design, the facility is immaculate. Every element of the traditional Emirates décor is there: the Italian marble floor, the Rolex clocks, the golden hues, and not so subtle pillows. It’s a bit heavy handed, yet never excessive due to pleasant touches such as a soothing water feature, numerous indoor plants which double as privacy dividers, and gorgeous flower arrangements. The design is posh without screaming excess.
The Emirates Lounge SFO amenities
The open seating area includes a variety of seating arrangements. Chaises with ottomans by the window offer privacy and a glimpse at the tarmac. In the back is a quiet zone, albeit a rather symbolic one since it’s not physically separated from the rest of the lounge and faces the TV zone (the volume is kept very low, though.) Power outlets are widely available, however unfortunately not at every seat: look for the signs indicating a “recharge point.”
In terms of other business amenities, self-service PCs and printers are available, and there is no less than three Wi-Fi networks, although in our experience their speed was less than remarkable.
The elegant dining area features traditional dining tables as well as counter-style seating by the windows. The buffet puts any airport restaurant to shame, with an exquisite range of appetizers, entrees, and desserts, all beautifully presented. There is something for every taste, and all dishes are Halal. Drinks wise, a wide selection of soda and alcoholic beverages is available, with Veuve Clicquot Champagne, although the spirits are the middle shelf type. All food and drinks are self-serve, but servers roam the room and clear tables discreetly and efficiently. If you’re not in a mood for a full meal, you’ll find the same drink selection in the adjacent seating area.
The bathrooms are luxuriously decorated, with fresh orchids, and sport cloth towels and Babor Timeless spa lotions.
The four showers (two on the male side and two on the female side) are convenient but surprisingly basic overall. The rooms are appointed with a small shower stall, a sink and a changing area, but no toilet. Water pressure is weak, and the towel package lacks a washcloth. On the brighter side, Timeless spa bath products are provided, along with toothbrushes and shaving kits upon request. The showers are available on a first come, first serve basis without a reservation. The staff is admirable at cleaning and replenishing amenities promptly and discreetly.
Other amenities include newspapers and magazines, as well as Muslim prayer rooms. And when it’s time to board, the gate is conveniently located immediately next to the lounge.
The Emirates Lounge SFO bottom line
The Emirates Lounge at San Francisco Airport is hands down one of the best clubs at the airport. The amenities are solid, the food and beverage offerings second to none, and while the Centurion Lounge or Virgin Atlantic Lounge may boast a swankier design, or the United Polaris Lounge more impressive views, the Emirates Lounge offers a perfect mix of comfort and privacy, as well as an indulgent buffet selection.
For information on possible alternatives, other lounges at SFO and rankings, check out our Definitive Guide to the SFO Lounge Scene.
The following is a typical sample selection. Actual choices may vary. All food and drinks are complimentary.
- Caesar salad
- Pacific sea food cocktail appetizer
- Marinated tuna
- Beef Carpaccio with mustard crème fraiche
- Roasted pumpkin cream soup
- Chicken tikka masala pie
- Lamb chops
- Vegetable lasagna
- Vietnamese lemongrass noodles and chicken skewers
- Indian vegetable curry
- Potato with cheese
- Mixed vegetables
- Summer pudding with berries
- Opera cake
- Rhubarb crumble
You may have access to The Emirates Lounge as a premium customer of one of the following airlines, or as an elite member of their frequent flyer program. Check the Access rules tab for more details.
The Emirates Lounge at San Francisco, CA (SFO) welcomes:
- Emirates First class passengers (+1 guest)
- Emirates Business class passengers (no guests)
- Emirates Skywards Gold and Platinum members departing on an Emirates flight (+1 guest + paid guests)
Guests must be traveling on the same flight. Skywards Platinum and Gold tier members can purchase access for additional guests.
- 4.0Based on 12 ReviewsVijay R.2019-09-05 18:42:00The people here are super friendly and the food has good snacks before boarding the flight. This is obviously not at the caliber of what is available in...Priya K.2019-07-02 15:24:07THE BEST LOUNGE EVER!! This was my first time at the Emirates SFO lounge and I had no idea what to expect... until you are blown away the minute you walk...Christina T.2019-06-26 22:33:40Probably the best lounge I've experienced in the US thus far! The food spread is excellent, and a nice champagne and wine selection too! Everything we had...Cynthia B.2017-12-23 16:46:43The Emirates Lounge at SFO is the most beautiful at the airport. They have a full bar with everything you'd desire and restaurant with lovely bites and...Chris S.2017-01-15 13:39:46Nov 25 2016 Did not get to used the facility that long "10 mins of used" so can write much. Had some issue during check-in because my booking agency did...Art K.2015-10-25 10:28:37WORST AIRLINE!!! Bad customer service. Our flight had some technical difficulties apparently, AC stop working. All passengers were seated and ready to take...