The new American Airlines Admirals Club at San Francisco's Harvey Milk Terminal 1 was completed in October 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, and has been on my to-visit list since then.
In January 2022, I finally got the chance to visit the lounge for my trip to New York. Here's my experience!
Location & Hours
The lounge is located after security in SFO's Harvey Milk Terminal 1, near Gate B13.
Hours are 4:30am - 11:30pm Daily.
For more info on location and hours, see official site.
The lounge is open to Admirals Club members, qualifying first and business passengers, as well as OneWorld and AAdvantage elite members. You may also get access through purchasing a day-pass, or if you are active military traveling on qualifying itinerary.
For today's flight, I was able to gain access through my transcontinental SFO-JFK Flagship First Ticket. Check out my full flight review here.
For more info on access, see official site.
I visited the SFO Admirals Club as part of my flight from San Francisco to New York. In case you missed it, check out my AA Flagship First review and also the SFO Virgin Atlantic Lounge I stopped by briefly before getting on my flight.
Here's a short video recapping my trip. Skip to 0:21 to see some footage of SFO's new AA Admirals Club!
The process was quick and simple. I was welcomed in after scanning my boarding pass and ID.
The lounge is actually located one level above the terminal area. Once you are checked-in, head upstairs via elevator or stairs.
Upon proceeding upstairs, you will be greeted by an expansive central lobby with lots of natural lighting, expansive apron views and a second AA concierge help desk.
The signature synthetic bonsai tree from the old SFO Admirals Club survived the move too!
Unfortunately with the pandemic still ongoing, the International Terminal across the tarmac looked very empty.
Love the expansive floor-to-ceiling windows!
Seatings & Lounge Environment
This new Admirals Club spans over 12,000 sqft, which is 20% bigger than the old location and has the capacity for over 200 people.
The lounge is largely divided into two sections. Looking out towards the tarmac, the left is mostly lounge seating with some business facilities and day beds. The right comprise of the dining facilities, including tables more suitable for eating. I'll cover this in the next section.
There's various types of seating, from ones designed for solo travelers to areas with larger groups and families. All seats have easy access to power outlets.
There is also a small snack and drinks section in case you don't want to walk all the way to the dining facilities.
There are also nice views of the tarmac across the entire span of the lounge. Unfortunately traffic was incredibly light and I did not get to see many planes.
Food & Drinks
The dining section on the right side of the lounge comprise of a buffet spread, bar, and lots of seating areas. Additionally, you will also find the shower and bathrooms past this lounge.
Admirals Clubs aren't known for their food (especially the free options), but should be enough to ensure you won't starve during your flight.
When I visited, the buffet comprised of items like fruits, yogurt, bread, hard-coiled eggs, bagels, soup, coffee, juice, and other non-alcoholic options. There's also a sign showing additional food items available for purchase, as well as drinks for-purchase at the bar.
If you come in the morning, you may also catch AA's signature Avocado Toast station, which is available 7 - 10am daily.
Overall, I really love their dining area - great natural lighting and feels very spacious! Definitely much more of a relaxing place to "lounge" compared to the SFO Amex Centurion Lounge and get to watch planes below while enjoying breakfast.
Quiet Room (Day Beds)
Now...onto my favorite area of this lounge - the Quiet Room! Even though this is technically not a room, and you don't get as much privacy and separation compared to the SFO United Polaris Lounge, I really liked having this area and wish more lounges can include it in the future!
After I ate breakfast, I grabbed a cappuccino and spent most of my remaining time lounging on the day bed.
It's nice they at least have privacy curtains so you don't have to see your adjacent neighbor!
There's also tons of outlets to connect all your electronics!
There is also a Business Center with individual desks, print/fax facilities, and even two phone booths for taking calls.
I noticed there is also an additional "VIP/Flex Room", but didn't try going in haha.
Bathrooms & Showers
The bathrooms and showers are located at the end of the lounge, past the dining area.
The bathroom was clean, spacious, and modern. Unfortunately I didn't have time to try the showers.
Overall, I really enjoyed the new SFO Admirals Club, and found this spacious location to be one of the most relaxing places to be before flying at SFO. The entire space is flooded with natural lighting, the expansive floor-to-ceiling windows allow unimpeded views for aviation enthusiasts, and the variety of seating options definitely make it a very comfortable place for business and leisure travelers alike.
That being said, the selective eligibility requirements to gain access into the lounge in addition to the limited free food options make it unlikely I'll be visiting again any time soon. In the meantime, I'm more than happy to hop over to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in the adjacent terminal for some on-demand dining thanks to my Amex Platinum card, even when I'm flying economy on any airline!
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