My trip to Tokyo started with a quick positioning flight on Southwest from SNA-SJC. I had to take a bus to a different terminal after landing, but it was the middle of the week so the airport was pretty empty and the ride was quick. I walked straight to The Club Lounge after security, and it happened to be right in front of my departure gate.
- Introduction: Tokyo and Two 787s
- The Club Lounge at SJC
- ANA 787 Business Class SJC-NRT
- Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Tokyo
- Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Tokyo
- Activities in Tokyo
- United 787 Business Class NRT-DEN
I was asked for my ticket upon entering the lounge. I was traveling with a friend who decided to fly Economy, so I specifically asked at the check-in counter if I would be allowed to bring a guest in the lounge with me and I was told I could. When I got to the lounge, however, the receptionist said I needed to be either Star Alliance Gold or a Priority Pass Select member to bring in a friend. Thankfully I was both (I’m Star Alliance Gold from flying and a Priority Pass Select member from the Amex Platinum card), so there was no problem getting both of us in.
There were only a few people in the lounge since I was there pretty early. There were three separate sitting areas plus a bar, along with a shower room (only one from what I could tell), and a food/drink station. One of the areas had two large TVs and a small “business center” that consisted of two computers and a printer/fax machine. The bar was also equipped with two TVs on the wall.
The food selection wasn’t that great, but it was far better than most US Airline lounges that serve just some snacks and fruits. The hot food selection was minimal and included scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, and bacon. Other items available were yogurt, cold sandwiches (turkey, veggie, roast beef, and ham), chips, muffins, Cup Noodles, salad, and sliced fruit. There was a full bar and a soda fountain machine available for soft drinks as well.
There was also food that could be purchased, both hot and cold. Price were around $10-$11, but if you’re flying Business Class you might as well just wait until you’re served on the plane.
One side of the lounge had a great view of the runway, so I chose to sit there to watch planes take off and land. I just so happened to be taking a picture right when my ANA 787 was landing and took a few more as it pulled up to the gate.
An interesting quirk of this lounge was that much of the artwork on the wall was available for purchase. I didn’t exactly walk around looking for prices, but the cheapest I saw was around $5K and the most expensive I saw was around $8K. I’m not exactly sure where you’d put the artwork if you decided to buy one since you’re usually about to get on a plane.
The lounge never really got that full, and I think that was mostly a result of the flight being only around 75% capacity. There were several people working in the lounge, and one was constantly walking around to pick up empty plates or any trash that was left. The internet connection was free and had good speed, and if you wanted to take a shower before your flight you could book the shower room at the front desk. I didn’t take any pictures of the shower room so you’ll have to use your imagination. There was also a selection of newspapers available.
The bathroom seemed very small given the size of the lounge as it had two stalls and a urinal. It was clean when I used it the first time, but I think someone spilled their glass of lemonade next to the urinal in between my first and second visit. The paper towel dispenser was also broken by my second visit.
My friend and I left the lounge a bit early so we could get better pictures of the plane, so we didn’t hear any boarding announcement that might have been made in the lounge.
Your lounge choices are limited at SJC, and if you’re flying the ANA flight from there then this will pretty much be your only choice. It’s a good lounge to pass the time before your flight and I’d take it over most other domestic US Airline lounges. It’s nothing worth getting to the airport early for, unless you’re an aviation geek and like to watch planes land and take off.
Up next: My review of the ANA 787 from SJC to NRT!