Japan Air Lines JAL Sakura Lounge at San Francisco Airport

JAL’s Sakura lounge in Terminal 1 of San Fransisco’s International Airport is open to those travelling on a JAL flight in First, Business, Premium Economy and those with a booking class of “Y”. You can see JAL’s table of access requirements here.

The Lounge

We were greeted by a very friendly receptionist who scanned our boarding passes and gave us details for the free wifi.

The wifi is pretty slow, you could post a letter and your message would get here faster than sending an email (ok, exaggeration but it is pretty slow). An Ookla Speedtest put the download at under 1Mbps so don’t rely on the lounge wifi if you have big files to move before your flight.

The lounge is fairly small and relatively basic compared to other business class lounges but that’s understandable considering the low volume of flights JAL operates from SFO.

the JAL sakura Lounge at San Francisco International Airport

It’s very (VERY) quiet in here. Even when filled with people the thing I noted was that only the Americans and Australians were chatting. The Japanese travellers kept themselves to themselves and worked on laptops or iPads. Which also means there are loads of power points, from what I saw at every seating position which made a nice change from having to bag a seat with power early or ask to use the one that the printer is connected to (yes British Airways London City Airport, I’m looking at you).

Food & Drinks (and cheese)

There is a basic fridge for soft drinks and some beers and I was pleased to see the lounge stocked the locally brewed Anchor Steam Beer from San Francisco. A very tasty IPA.

There were also spirits and mixers available but I couldn’t find any lemon or lime wedges, plenty of ice though.

drinks fridge with soft drinks and beer
free pouring spirits in the JAL lounge

Food options were limited with just a few snacks and nibbles. The vegetarian sushi was really nice though, and if you just want a shrink wrapped square of Monterey Jack cheese then you won’t be left wanting.

vegetarian sushi rolls

 

japanese sweets and ritz crackers, crunchy
cheese squares in plastic, not what you want before a flight

Our flight from San Francisco to Tokyo departed at 1.35am so the lounge only opened at around 10.45pm on the night we were here. Check-in for the flight opened at around the same time, but if you do check-in early for any reason be careful because the Sakura lounge may not be open early for your flight.

Summary

The lounge is basic as I said, but it’s nice and quiet and the staff were excellent. As a place to wind down, check a few emails, and grab a snack before the flight to Tokyo it does the job.

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