New airline lounges for LAX: what you

New airline lounges for LAX: what you

Los Angeles’ renovated, redesigned and generally renewed Tom Bradley International Terminal is set to open next month after a $2 billion makeover.

Along with the wave-like rooftops, vast open space and eventually some 18 aircraft gates – half of which will accommodate the mighty Airbus A380 superjumbo – the new TBIT also brings a substantial upgrade to the lounges used by airlines and their alliance partners. 

Star Alliance

The first of the new LAX super-lounges to open will be home to all Star Alliance members, with the operation managed by Air New Zealand.

“We will have the LAX lounge opening very shortly” Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab told Australian Business Traveller, although he didn’t circle a date in the diary.

LAWA/AusBT
The Star Alliance, Emirates and shared lounges on TBIT Level 6
LAWA/AusBT

Schwab says this will be the latest in a series of Star-branded lounges “in locations around the world where we don’t have either a strong home carrier or we have a large number of Star Alliance carriers operating to that particular airport.”

This allows for a lower operating cost across the airlines, as well as longer opening hours and facilities such as showers which a single airline might not justify.

Star already operates branded lounges at London Heathrow and Buenos Aires, and Schwab says the group is “looking at a couple of areas in Asia, and the new Terminal 3 at São Paulo, Brazil may be a suitable location for us.”

But back to Los Angeles, where Air New Zealand will run the sprawling Level 6 space with its open-air terrace and a design vibe “inspired by a contemporary interpretation of modernist LA architecture of the 1950s and 1960s.”

The lounge will be open to all travellers flying on TBIT’s Star Alliance airlines in business class or holding Star Alliance Gold status, although there’s a separate first class lounge for the very well-heeled.

You can see what appears to the the first class receptions area (sporting an iconic Eames chair) to the right of main entry door below.

Emirates

Qantas partner Emirates has its own LAX bolthole sitting on a pier adjacent to the Star Alliance lounge, but a spokeswoman for Emirates was unable to provide any information on the lounge’s facilities or opening date.

Shared lounge

Tucked away at one corner of the space earmarked for Emirates lies a Shared User Lounge available for a clutch of other TBIT-operating airlines including China Airlines, EVA Air, Fiji Airways, Philippine Airlines, EL AL, Air Tahiti and Trans Aero.

A spokeswoman for Los Angeles World Airports told Australian Business Traveller that there is currently no opening date set for this shared lounge.

Qantas (Oneworld)

Qantas expects to open the doors to its expanded LAX business lounge later this year, with the first class lounge to follow in 2014 in a staged construction program.

LAWA/AusBT
Qantas and Korean Air soak up the lounge space on TBIT Level 5
LAWA/AusBT

Located on TBIT Level 5, the new Qantas Business Lounge will boast almost triple the capacity of the Red Roo’s current crowded LAX lounge.

The Qantas lounge will be open to oneworld airlines operating at TBIT include British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN and Malaysia Airlines (American Airlines has its own lounges at the adjacent Terminal 4). 

Korean Air (SkyTeam)

Nestled one floor below the Emirates lounge is a new facility for Korean Air and its SkyTeam siblings.

Korea Air PR manager Mi Hyun Kim told Australian Business Traveller that “we are aiming for the end of 2013” as an opening date, but cautioned that “construction could be completed either earlier or later than planned.” 

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

19 comments

  • Arcanum

    Arcanum

    10 Jul, 2013 04:05 am

    I'm surprised Emirates and Qantas aren't sharing a lounge, particularly as Emirates only has one flight a day which doesn't conflict with any of the Qantas flights.

    Will Eva be using the Star lounge or the shared lounge?

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  • Ben84

    Ben84

    11 Jul, 2013 12:29 am

    EK may only have one flight a day now...

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  • kash

    kash

    10 Jul, 2013 06:44 am

    What about British Airways and CX-?  Did they not have a joint lounge with QF before?

     

    Emirates probably has the largest lounge in terms of Passengers per area!!!!

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jul, 2013 07:30 am

    kash,

    Refer above..."The Qantas lounge will be open to oneworld airlines operating at TBIT include British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN and Malaysia Airlines..."

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  • kash

    kash

    10 Jul, 2013 07:32 am

    thanks, so it is not a joint lounge anymore

     

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jul, 2013 07:45 am

    It has always been a joint lounge managed by Qantas, at least as far as I know.

    It will continue to be a joint lounge but managed by Qantas.

    Managed by Qantas = All hardware, furnishings, service, service items and staff would be Qantas branded and in-line with Qantas design DNA.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jul, 2013 07:41 am

    Does anyone know where these lounges will be in relation to the existing lounges? I can't seem to visualise it.

    The current lounges are up the lift just after security (depending, which security checkpoint you use).

    Would these lounges be located at the extremeties of TBIT, where renovations have been on-going these past couple of years or left at its current site?  I can't remember which level the current lounge is that...level 3?

    Will the lifts to level 5 also be improved? The current lift to the OW lounge is rediculous slow.

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  • moa999

    moa999

    10 Jul, 2013 09:19 am


    RealBabushka,

    The back part of the new oneworld area represents the current oneworld lounge and the current star lounge -- thus the comment that it will be a staged construction.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jul, 2013 09:46 am

    Thanks moa!

    It's making sense now. I've just had a look at the TBIT map. It appears the current Star Alliance Lounge is located on the 5th floor near the South TSA screening area (security). Sky team is in the same area on the 4th floor.

    It would appear, if I'm reading the map and floor plan correctly:

    • The Star Alliance lounge will be knocked down to enable the expansion of the OW lounge to straddle across level 5 near both North and South TSA screening stations areas (access to the lounge through both stations going forward?).
    • Sky Team lounge to move up to level 5
    • A whole new level 6 being developed for Star Alliance and EK?

    Is this correct?

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  • VA Beats QF

    VA Beats QF

    4 Jan, 2014 01:53 pm

    Yes the real babushka 

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  • madge

    madge

    10 Jul, 2013 09:40 am

    This Shared User lounge won't really see much action. CI can use the KE lounge as they're part of SkyTeam. BR can use the Star lounge. So all that would be left is LY, PR, UN, FJ & TN. Many of these airlines don't even fly daily to LAX.

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  • spankee

    spankee

    10 Jul, 2013 11:31 am

    Will the LAX-BNE (QF) flights move over to TBIT, when the refurbishment opens, or remain at T4?

    No member give thanks

  • Adrian Catalano

    agecat

    10 Jul, 2013 02:08 pm

    If i am travelling with QF and hold a Gold FF status can i use the Emirates lounge at LAX?

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  • moa999

    moa999

    10 Jul, 2013 03:27 pm

    Under the current rules - No... (as it doesn't cover the Americas, or NZ for that matter)

    Platinum One, Platinum and Gold Frequent Flyers have access to the Emirates lounge* where available across Australia, Europe, Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.

    In Dubai, Platinum One and Platinum Frequent Flyers will have access to the Emirates First Lounges and Gold Frequent Flyers will have access to the Emirates Business Lounges.

    * Access to the London Heathrow EK lounge is available when on an Emirates operated flight only.
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  • Smith

    RMITLad

    10 Jul, 2013 02:47 pm

    WIll the new QF managed oneworld business lounge follow the same design concept, and style as the recently opened Singapore lounge? And will the new First section follow the style of the Sydney and Melbourne lounges?

    As QFs biggest hub outside of Austrlia these days, seems senseless not to invest in the product. Unless they are unable to charge the other oneworld carriers enough to cover the costs.

    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn

    David

    10 Jul, 2013 07:18 pm

    Smith: Qantas has told us that the LAX First Lounge will have a Neil Perry menu but there's no other word on dining style, decor or influences of lounges such as Singapore.

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  • Andrew Rivlin

    Andrew yvR

    11 Jul, 2013 05:54 am

    This is very interesting.  I am excited Koru is opening a lounge at TBIT.  This would mean they are leaving T2 along side the AC MLL.  

    Koru Clubs are by far the best in the *A system.  Is SQ going to be sharing this or open their own Kris Lounge?

    No member give thanks

  • Dale Fowler

    dalefowler

    12 Jul, 2013 04:44 pm

    About time. Tom Bradley at LAX is one of the worst international airport terminals around. Long queues at screening. Nothing airside to eat or do. Both Qantas longes are well past capacity. The wait for the shower is 90+ minutes and there are often no seats available. The Qantas lounge at DFW terminal D is also too small and is second rate, but at least you can do something in the terminal as there are plenty of shops and restaurants.

    I would love to get feedback on other peoples lounge experiences with Star Alliance or other groups. I do alot of international travel and lounge access and facilities are the main driver for my Qantas membership. Outside of Australia the lounges are pretty second rate so would be interested on feedback.

    No member give thanks

  • Raffy71

    Raffy71

    17 Jul, 2013 11:18 pm

    I've read the new *A lounge will open mid-August => does anyone have a firm date? (I am flying SQ11 end of August, hence the interest).

    No member give thanks

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20 May, 2019 01:25 pm

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