Before the school year started, I took one of my boys to Atlanta for a few days one a quick getaway. We flew out of San Jose, as I’d jumped on a great fare sale, thanks to an alert from The Flight Deal.
Before we made the 5-hour drive from where we live to San Jose, I checked to see if there was a Priority Pass lounge in San Jose. Turns out there is: The Club at SJC. I normally budget extra time when making the trek down to the Bay, nightmare traffic and all that. Things went smoothly, though, so we ended up having plenty of time to relax in the lounge before our flight.
Arriving at The Club at SJC
The Club at SJC is located across from Gate 15, near the international arrivals area between terminals A and B. You have to head up the stairs or take the elevator up one floor to the entrance.
As The Club at SJC is the only lounge in the entire airport, it functions as the business class lounge for multiple foreign airlines that fly nonstop to the Silicon Valley. Considering the quality of the international lounges for some of these carriers, The Club at SJC is likely a bit underwhelming for people flying in international business.
We were warmly greeted when we arrived by the lady at the front desk. She scanned my Priority Pass card that I received as a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder and then my boarding pass.
Typically, she would have noted my son as a guest, who would also be free as a guest. However, children under 12 are free at The Club at SJC. Take note, families.
The Club at SJC is a bit larger than its counterpart in Seattle that we visited a few months ago (SEE: The Club at SEA (Concourse A) Review).
There are two main seating areas with ample seating for a good number of guests.
There is also an area of desks with outlets if you’re productivity is your MO while in the lounge.
We sat in a couple of the large armchairs with a great view of the runway. Quite a few planes landed or took off while we were waiting the 90 minutes before our flight boarded.
San Jose Airport certainly isn’t as large as San Francisco International Airport 20 miles up the peninsula. But that’s not to say it doesn’t have an interesting mix of flights.
There is a daily nonstop to Tokyo on ANA, which pulled up right below us to gate 15 soon after we entered the lounge. Other interesting flights include the British Airways nonstop to London, a nonstop to Shanghai on Air China, and a nonstop to Beijing on Hainan.
The Hainan 787 was taxiing along the apron when we were boarding. If we hadn’t been in line already, I would have snapped a shot.
Food at The Club at SJC
The Club at SJC offered the best food of any of “The Club at [insert airport]” lounges I’ve visited, which include the one in Seattle in Concourse A, the one in Phoenix and one in Atlanta.
I mean, they have Cup of Noodles. What more could you want? Ok, the sandwiches are actually really good. Except for the one that surprised me with a thick slice of mushroom (gross) instead of meat. Other options include cold cuts, cheese, crackers and cereal.
There are other snack foods as well, a mix of veggies, and some pasta salads. Overall, it wasn’t a bad lunch, especially considering it was free.
My son opted for some veggies and a danish that was a holdover from breakfast. I really tried to have him try a sandwich. Or pasta salad. But no.
The second time through on our return, he had a cup of noodles. So we saved like 37 cents that visit.
There is a bar at The Club at SJC, of course, offering a selection of alcoholic beverages. I didn’t partake.
Beyond the adult beverages, there is a coffee station, which was honestly the weirdest and most confusing coffee machine I’ve ever tried to operate. Typically, push-button coffee requires you to just…push a couple buttons on a touchscreen. This one required you to load a pod. I’ve never seen anything like it, beyond Keurig.
The other confusing aspect was the sign that read “no espresso on this side”. Since I didn’t know how to determine which side was going to be used, I decided to just play it safe and have a cup of coffee.
Which turned out to be fairly poor. I’m also pretty sure the person behind be decided to look elsewhere for refreshment after he watched me struggle with the machine. My second time through, the machine gave me an error message halfway through brewing. Not sure coffee is worth the frustration.
The final offerings include iced tea, water and soft drinks. Tea was my first beverage, and it wasn’t bad at all.
As the only Priority Pass lounge at San Jose Airport, it’s not like you have any other options besides The Club at SJC. Still, I was more satisfied with this lounge than others in its network (except for the coffee). The view of the runway is a great feature, it was quiet, and the food and drink selections are reasonable. You really can’t ask for more from a U.S. domestic lounge.