San Francisco United Airlines

Review: United Club San Francisco SFO F Gates Rotunda

Review of United Club San Francisco SFO F Gates Rotunda features a grand lobby with ceiling fresco.

Updated April 18, 2024, with a lot more pictures and description of food offerings and menu items.

Since I often have to change flights at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) for both my domestic and international itineraries, I have become a frequent visitor to the United Club there. Although there are two other UCs in the terminal – at the E gates and the G gates – the one at the Rotunda is definitely the largest and the best and is my favorite. This is a summary review of this United Club at the Rotunda at SFO airport based on my various visits at different times.

Table of Contents


Front entrance to the United Club with the automatic glass doors opened.

This United Club is located in terminal 3 of San Francisco International Airport and is in the F concourse near gate F11. The entrance is located at the rotunda across from the food court. If you are coming from the security checkpoint, the entrance is just feet away from the end of the moving walkway on your right.

First Impression

A long corridor with marble floor leads to the main reception desk.

The moment you enter the club through the automatic doors you’ll walk down a long corridor with marble floors and nostalgic paintings hanging on the wall. I don’t know whether the long corridor is by design or by necessity, but it certainly adds to the grandeur of the experience while we are all so used to walking through the doors and seeing the reception desk just feet in front of us.

Once you’ve had your credentials checked by the agent, you’ll walk into a large and majestic-looking lobby with marble floorings and a nautical-themed décor. Right above you are a classical four-faced clock hanging in the midst of a glorious ceiling fresco. Of all the United Clubs (and airport lounges for that matter) that I have been to, this is certainly one of the most elegant and impressive entrances that I have experienced.

Ticketing Agents

Located right at the elegant lobby is also a service counter staffed by the most experienced and knowledgeable ticketing agents. Just the availability of these agents alone is almost already worth the club membership itself. Not only is the wait much shorter – especially during times of massive irregular operations or weather delays – these top-notch agents will handle your issues efficiently. I have used them many times on different occasions and always find them some of the best ever.


Although passengers on United’s Polaris Class (business class on most transatlantic and transpacific flights) have access to this UC, they also qualify for the more opulent Polaris Lounge with much better food, service, and amenities. Therefore, few, if any, of them will be here. In a nutshell, access to this lounge is given to passengers who are:

  • United Club members.
  • Flying on Business Class on UA’s premium transcontinental flights (SFO – EWR).
  • UA Mileage Plus Gold or Star Alliance Gold members traveling on a Star Alliance international flight.
  • Non-UA Star Alliance Gold members traveling on a UA domestic flight.
  • In possession of a Mileage Plus Explorer Card one-time pass.
  • Able to purchase a one-time pass.

The access rules and policies are numerous and complex. Please refer to the airline’s website here for detailed information.

Seating and Work Areas

Lounge chairs with passengers line the floor to ceiling windows with tarmac view.

The main seating area of this United Club in San Francisco (SFO) has plenty of comfortable lounge chairs lined up against a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular tarmac and runway views. Plenty of these comfy chairs are also located in various areas throughout the club. For the aviation enthusiasts, the windows are facing runways 10L/28R and 10R/28L.

A round dining table is accompanied by two chairs facing each other.

About a dozen or two round dining tables – most of which comfortably seat two people – are scattered around various areas inside the lounge. These are perfect for eating a light meal or working with a laptop. However, most of them don’t have electrical outlets for charging your devices, except for maybe a few that are against the wall near the bar area.

A long work bench with chairs is placed against the wall. Plenty of power sockets are on the bench.

The work area is located at the far end of the club. To get there, walk pass the bar and keep going and you will see a separate room with a long work bench, some lounge chairs, and several workstations.

I actually like this long work bench a lot. First of all, it is seldom used unless the club is completely packed. Most of the time I find this to be a very spacious place for me to eat a snack, enjoy a drink, and do some work on my laptop. There are plenty of power outlets there as well. I also like those ergonomic office chairs which are very comfortable. The only downside is there they don’t have wheels, but it’s not a big deal to me.

On the far end of the room against the wall are five cubicle like workstations. The workstations are not fancy, but adequate, with a small workspace and power outlets. They offer plenty of personal space as well as a reasonable degree of privacy. This is actually a quiet area of the club and unless the lounge is packed, few people sit there most of the time. I am almost always able to get some work done here.


A basket of bagels is placed on a countertop with a pair of tongs.

Hot breakfast items are usually sausage and egg muffins and breakfast burritos. Sometimes these breakfast items are also served throughout the day. A selection of muffins, bagels, pastries, and toasts are also offered. Other goodies include a fresh yogurt bar with fresh fruits, cereals, and oatmeal.

Updated June 21, 2023, to reflect the latest breakfast menu.

The Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches and pre-wrapped burritos are now replaced by a breakfast station with chafing dishes of scrambled eggs and sausage patties. They are accompanied by small flour tortillas, pico de gallo, cheese, black beans, guacamole, and sour cream. If you like, you can also grab a muffin from the pastries counter and make your own “McMuffin”. The quality of the sausage patties is good. They are tasty, not greasy, and not overly salty – which is perfect for my palate.

Lunch and All-Day Snacks

All day snacks are typically sub sandwiches and wraps. The latest renditions feature turkey and cheddar sandwiches and vegetarian wraps in green spinach flour tortillas.

A cheese plate with crackers is usually served all day along with a salad bar, fresh fruits, chocolate chip cookies, and selected dessert items.

A pot of vegetarian Minestrone soup with a soup ladle halfway into the pot.

There is always hot soup available after 11am. For the longest time it was always New England clam chowder. But the last couple of times I was there I was surprised to see a vegetarian minestrone soup. I am glad to see some kind of rotations.

A bowl of creamy red soup sits on a serving plate.

The latest soup rotation (June 2023) is roasted red peppers and smoked gouda bisque. It is rich and creamy and full of tomato flavor.

Updated June 21, 2023, to include the Asian noodle bar and Korean BBQ sliders.

A relatively new addition is the Asian noodle bar which offers thin rice noodles served in vegetable broth. A variety of toppings which include chicken, tofu, parsley, green onions, cabbage, shredded carrots, among other veggies are available.

A large bowl of BBQ chicken meat is placed alongside a basket of rolls and vegetable toppings.

Another new and welcome addition is the Korean BBQ bar where you can assemble a slider with Korean chicken, tofu, kimchi, jalapenos, pickles, scallions, cabbage, and cilantro.


A lone customer with long blonde hair sits at a high-top table in the bar area with a full bar and many bar tables,

There is a full-service bar staffed with one or two bartenders, depending on how busy they are. There are several bar stools at the bar, and most of the time this is a busy area. In the bar area there are high top tables with highchairs which are quite comfortable. Although these are bar tables, I often find them versatile to work on my laptop while having a drink.

House beers on tap are complimentary. They are usually Michelob or Coors Light or something similar. Premium beers like Stella Artois will set you back five bucks. House wines are also complimentary, but premium wine by the glass cost anywhere from $8 – 15 the last time I checked. Well liquors are free. Call drinks or premium brands run from $7 – 12 or more.

Beverage Service

There are plenty of soft drink options available scattered in various areas throughout the place. One soft drink station has a canister of citrus infused iced water, hot water for hot chocolate and tea, as well as a selection of fresh fruits. A self-served soda machine with over a dozen sections is also available. There are two espresso machines which make great lattes and are easy to use.


This is one of the largest United Clubs domestically, probably only smaller than the brand-new lounge in EWR or the one in LAX. It is very spacious, and I always have no problem finding a pair of seats with my wife. Sometimes we also manage to grab one of those high-top tables in the bar area which I like. However, it can get very crowded at times, depending on flight schedules. Sometimes as packed as it might be, but after several large, crowded hub-to-hub flights have taken off, seats will open up again.

While this is a great place for one to have a drink and relax before a flight, grab some snacks, or get some work done, it is certainly not the place to go if you are expecting a full and halfway fancy meal. Food is usually United’s weakest link when compared to other similar airline clubs or airport lounges.

However, the current spread at the United Club in San Francisco International Airport  (SFO) has improved significantly in the past several months. I am seeing much more appetizing and tasty breakfast offerings. The addition of an Asian noodle bar and Korean BBQ slider station are certainly giant steps in the right direction.

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