I have planned this trip a long time ago to meet some family members who were visiting MEX and at the time I opted for the convenience of a nonstop flight. I chose UA for two main reasons. a) I wanted to accumulate miles on a *A carrier and b) I was intrigued about the new catering improvement that UA has announced in their premium cabins.
The day of departure I parked my car at SFO Park and upon arriving at the Intl. terminal, I already saw a line at the check-in kiosks. Unwilling to wait to use a kiosk, I went straight to T3 at the domestic side and accessed one right away. I printed my boarding pass and I noticed that it had a TSA Pre-check logo printed on top. I was puzzled because I don't have status with UA. However, I purchased the ticket using my UA Explorer card which gave me priority boarding, but it never included priority screening through security. Perhaps a new benefit?
The crowded international terminal.
The domestic side had a long line through security and according to the sign, it was about 25-30 minutes to go through security. Since I had TSA pre-check, it was only 3 min. for me. Here was another surprise when I passed through security - I no longer had to take my shoes or belt off. In addition, I had my laptop in my carry on and was never required to take it out either. Just after I passed through security, there was an announcement to stop the screening process and the whole area was shut for a few minutes. Needless to say, I let out a big sigh of relief and proceeded to go to the AMEX Centurion lounge.
Originally I wanted to go to the UA Club, but found out that the new catering at the SFO Club will not be in effect until May 25. The interesting thing is that all the other clubs at major hubs like ORD, EWR, IAD, IAH and DEN already had the updated menus, so why is SFO being treated like a stepchild? After all, isn't SFO a major hub also to some of the most profitable routes in the system?
Anyways, thankfully there is the Centurion lounge now. The food featured today was created by Cédric Vongerichten, but there is some slight discrepancy between what is posted on the website and what is served at the lounge. While on the breakfast menu it was advertised that there will be Eggs Benedict and pancakes, I never saw those items at the breakfast display. Furthermore, I was expecting fried chicken in honey lemongrass for lunch, and what I got instead was roasted chicken with garlic and lemon. Having said that, the food was much better than what other legacy lounges offer so I can't complain.
AMEX Centurion lounge.
I started with a glass of Pinot Noir & Chardonnay Mumm Napa Sparkling Wine and a glass of orange juice. The wines at this SFO lounge are all from Napa Valley, even the sparkling wines. A nice feature is the self service dispensers. I took a few shots of the white wines selection.
Later on lunch was served.
I had something light.
After having breakfast and lunch, I made my way to the gate. There was an interesting exhibition at T3.
Some plane spotting.
A swan surrounded by ducks?
Two swans surrounded by ducks.
AF has arrived.
The purser offered newspapers to the Y+ cabin after he passed through the F cabin, which was a nice gesture.
Crew was efficient and robotic. I noticed that the quality of the Spanish announcements was a bit rough on the edges. I purchased a hot sandwich that seemed that it had more bread than chicken. As always, I think the cheese plate provided by UA is much better than the one by AA.
A few bumpy moments and then we arrived in MEX with a slight delay. The flight departed at 1334 and arrived at 1919.
It's AF next to KL again.
AMEX Centurion Lounge
San Francisco - SFO
Mexico City - MEX
This was an average flight with UA with a crew that did their job and nothing more.
It was disappointing that the new catering at the UA SFO clubs were not updated along with the rest of the hubs. The AMEX Centurion lounge is a nice alternative, not to mention the free liquor for those who like to drink. But beware, as I mentioned above, it seems that all the wines are Californian.
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