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An Inside Look at American Airlines Admirals Club at San Francisco

The atmosphere inside the Admirals Club at SFO really feels like the city. I especially love the trees.

The atmosphere inside the Admirals Club at SFO really feels like the city. I especially love the trees.

American Airlines (AA) has many clubs around the world and it takes something special for one to stand out and the new Admirals Club at San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO) new Terminal 2 does just that.

When walking in, you can tell this club is different.  Straight in from the door is a sitting area with (fake) trees that feels like you are sitting at a cafe at some square in San Francisco. The colors, the furniture and even the fire place “captures the spirit and culture of the city,” Nancy Knipp, President of American’s Admirals Club explained to me while we sat under the trees. The club is designed to let passengers know that they are in San Francisco.

There is everything you would come to expect from a high-end lounge: luscious seating, free Wi-Fi, business center, bar, showers and free snacks. Having your flight delayed or being early is no big deal when you can hang out in this lounge.

The seating was very comfy and welcoming. No problem finding an outlet, they are everywhere.

The seating was very comfy and welcoming. No problem finding an outlet, they are everywhere.

The new club is a huge improvement from their old one at SFO — literally. The new club is about 95,000 sq feet and can now seat 165 people versus the 90 of the previous club.

If you do not have elite status with American Airlines, you can still get a day pass for the club for only $50. Not a bad deal if you have some time to burn in at the airport. The nice part of AA’s day pass is you have access to all their Admirals Clubs for the day, no matter their location. This is very handy if you have a stop or two during your trip.

SEE ALL SEVEN PHOTOS OF THE AA ADMIRALS CLUB AT SFO

Inside Look at San Francisco Airport’s New Terminal

Outside view of the new Terminal 2 at SFO

Outside view of the new Terminal 2 at SFO

Yesterday, Virgin America and American Airlines showed off their new Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Aiport (SFO) to select guests. It was a preview for what passengers should expect when the terminal opens to all passengers starting on April 14th.

The $388 million 640,000 square foot terminal makes a wonderful new home for both airlines and is energy efficient to boot. At the time of opening, the terminal will be LEED Gold-certified and will be the only gold-certified terminal in the US. LEED, which stands for “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design,” is an official green building certification program spearheaded by the US Green Building Council. Locations are given 0-100 points and can either earn, certified, silver, gold or platinum status depending on environmentally friendly they become.

So what makes Terminal 2 so green?
* Use of natural light, which is always good
* Modern ventilation using 20% less energy
* Reclaimed water reuse program
* Water stations to fill your own water bottles
* Serving of local and organic food
* Recycled 90% of construction and demolition materials from the new terminal project
* Preferred parking is given to hybrid cars
* Use of green materials when building

One half of the terminal houses Virgin American with seven gates and on the other half is American Airlines that also houses seven. Then there is also a common gate in between. Of course, the gates are not the best part of the terminal. In the center is a large seating area with unique clear chairs, with table bases that have old images of the airport, which are pretty slick.

Some very comfy seating in the new terminal.

Some very comfy seating in the new terminal.

On the Virgin America side, they have living-room themed, high-end seating. For those who have laptops, you will find roomy counter space with plenty of outlets. Add that SFO has free Wi-Fi, there is no worry if you arrive to the airport too early. “We’re proud to unveil a new home that similarly reinvents the travel experience for the modern flier – and that also reflects the innovative, forward-looking spirit of our San Francisco home,”said David Cush, President and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin America.

American Airlines has a wonderful San Fransisco-theme Admirals club, which I will be covering in more detail in a future blog.

The only down side to the terminal, is I kind of like Virgin America being housed in the international terminal, because when I fly them, I get to see all the big birds from around the world. However, for the majority of people that fly, they probably are not going to care too much about that. The city, the airport and both airlines are very proud of this new terminal — and rightfully so. Next time you are going to be at SFO, give yourself a little extra time and check out the new Terminal 2.

CHECK OUT ALL 16 PHOTOS OF THE SFO TERMINAL