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KLM/Air France Lounge San Francisco Review
The KLM/Air France Lounge San Francisco review is part of the weekend wedding in London trip report. In case you haven’t been following this trip report it was a super fun, yet hectic, trip to London. I left on a Thursday to fly to SFO, stayed overnight at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, flew on Friday night through Dusseldorf on Air Berlin, and finally made it to London on Saturday night. The wedding was the following day and then on Monday morning we routed through Dublin so that we could nab a great business class deal and fly on American’s 777-200. All in all, it was awesome!!! While in San Fran I made use of my time at the airport to lounge shop: I made it to the Cathay Pacific Business/First lounge, the Amex Centurion Lounge, and then finally the KLM/Air France Business Class lounge.
- When: July 2016
- Where: SFO, San Francisco International Terminal A
- Who can get in:
- Sky Team business/first class passengers
- Sky Team elite with international tickets
- Flying Blue Platinum and Gold
- Priority Pass members
- Air Berlin business class passengers
The interesting thing about this lounge is that Air Berlin is shuttling their passengers to a SkyTeam lounge. When I checked in for for my flight they told me that I could access this lounge and I asked about the One World lounges and the desk agent kind of mumbled something like give it a try. They’ve obviously struck a deal with KLM/AirFrance, but it’s kind of annoying that One World business, First, Sapphires, and Emeralds can’t access the BA lounge or the Japan Airlines lounge. I walked to both so that I could check them out and do a review, and was REJECTED hard by both.
The lounge has a really cool view of some wide bodies just hanging out. That was probably the best aspect of this lounge. In fact I think if you squinted hard enough you could even see the Hyatt Regency I stayed in the night before.
Initial impressions – DANG THIS SPOT IS PACKED
I think that in the short term this arrangement is going to have to suffice, but it’s really crowded. If I were flying on KLM/Air France I’d be a little annoyed that SOOOOOO many people were in this lounge. As I walked through the lounge there was one table to sit at in the back area of the second room – which happens to be the main food room.
The second room was where the bulk of the snacks and food were located
As you can see, this room is crazy crowded as well. What I really love is that there is a monkey taking pics alllllll over this lounge and you can’t even find a single person looking up at what’s going on. HAHA – usually I get farrrrr more looks from people.
The staff was nice, but they just couldn’t keep up with the volume of people that were kickin’ it inside. Things were dirty, dishes were laying here and there, and the food needed to be refilled. I don’t so much blame the staff as the fact that there just weren’t enough people working. Everyone was working hard, but from what I could tell there just weren’t enough of them. It would be interesting to see what the lounge is like when there isn’t an Air Berlin flight shuttling people to it as well. I would think that, due to it’s size, it would still be crowded with SkyTeam Elites, Flying Blue elites, and Priority Pass holders all wedging themselves in the space. This is when it’s so nice to know that there are other options available…like the Cathay Pacific lounge right upstairs that was so empty I was sure a tumbleweed blew by.
There were treats available and some extra cheese finally made it’s way out, but this is a snacking spread…not an eating spread. Which is fine, but it’s good to know that before coming in here. If you want to have some beer, wine, a little this, a little that, then you’ll be happy. If you’re looking to fill your belly…you will end up a crankfest. Yes…I was a crankfest. Can’t ya tell?
Cold snacks and drinks
If you are looking for a place to sit down, kick it for a bit, have a beer or glass of wine, some cheese and crackers, a cup of fruit, some coffee, free wifi, no shower, a little snackypoo, and write a sentence with more commas than should be grammatically allowed…this is your lounge. If you’re looking for much more than that, wellllll, you’ll probably be disappointed. For me, it was nice to check out another spot. I sat down, had a juice, some brie, and watched some big birds cruise by. I had a nice time and went back to the Cathay Lounge.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
Super solid welcome offer.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.