This lounge is run by Qantas in partnership with British Airways and Cathay Pacific and will be most useful for New Zealand-based travellers returning from the US or The Americas on anAmerican Airlines or other oneworld flight.
However, if your American Airlines flight departs from Terminal 4 or 5, then you may prefer the American Airlines Flagship Lounge (opened in 2018)—the international terminal is connected to Terminals 4-5 by a walkway.
Lounge details & location
The lounge is located inside the TBIT central atrium. After exiting security, turn right toward the gates of the Northern Concourse and follow the signs to Mezzanine Level 5, which can be accessed via either a set of escalators or the clock tower elevator.
You may want to have a look at our top tips to avoid long security lines at LAX.
The lounge is open from 6:30am until 11:30pm (or last flight if delayed).
I spoke with a staff member and they said the 600-seat lounge fills up with the evening Qantas flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as two Cathay Pacific services to Hong Kong around midnight and a British Airways A380 service to London Heathrow. They said it runs at about 80% capacity from 11am-1pm and 9-11pm.
As I had mid-afternoon departure, I was in the lounge from 1-3pm and the whole time it was only at about 10-30% capacity.
The lounge’s design tone is sleek and modern, with a very cool communal fireplace and central atrium for natural light.
The lounge is split into two large dining areas with a central communal table.
I found the lounge quite dark in most sections, however, the long work table gets natural light from the atrium.
Compared to the rival Star Alliance Lounge, the light contrast is stark, with the Star Alliance lounge enjoying an outdoor patio and a more extensive use of glass.
Looking at it from a positive point-of-view, if you are trying to control jetlag and your body clock with regards to flight connections, the darkness may actually help you.
There was an average selection of newspapers and magazines, including the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
US pin AC sockets are widely available throughout but you need to grab a place at the communal work desk to charge USB devices. Make sure to bring an Australian-US adaptor as airport safety regulations at LAX prohibit the installation of international power outlets.
Food & drink
In keeping with the Australian-US fusion theme, the Neil Perry-designed menu is inspired by multicultural Californian cuisine.
The salad and sides offerings are phenomenal.
A nifty inclusion is the DIY juice station, where you can choose the fruit and vegetables.
I had a delicious tomato soup and one of the best salads I have enjoyed on my travels, however, the pasta was hard and undercooked.
The bar is well-stocked and varied. The absence of a tip jar like at other US lounges was a welcome sight.
There are four roating beers on tap, including two local brews from Long Beach and Venice, and one each from Barcelona and Munich.
The bar staff were friendly and made a great espresso.
The wifi was the one of the fastest and most reliable connections I have experienced at a lounge, at 70 Mbps download/87 Mbps upload.
There are 16 shower suites, which were all free both when I arrived and left the shower. I think I went in the disabled shower (whoops!) because it was the largest shower I have seen in a lounge. Here is one of the regular-sized suites:
The downsides were that temperature was frustratingly variable and the shower a little dirty with mould.
The Aspar shower products are supplied by Australia’s Aurora Spa.
There is a children’s play area to the right of the showers.
Lounge access options
- By class of travel: Business and First Class passengers departing on a Qantas or oneworld flight
- By airline frequent flyer status: Qantas Gold and above passengers travelling on a oneworld flight in any cabin
- By alliance frequent flyer status: oneworld Sapphire and above and International Business and above passengers departing on a oneworld flight in any cabin
- By lounge membership program: Qantas Club passengers travelling on a Qantas flight
All passengers above except oneworld International Business frequent flyers can bring a guest with them.
Unfortunately, single-use Qantas lounge passes cannot be used at this lounge nor can Emirates Skywards frequent flyers gain access as it is technically a oneworld, not Qantas, lounge.
Summing up: our take
The highlights of this lounge are the attractive open-plan design, fast wifi, wide availability of power outlets and the large number of shower suites.
The Sofitel-trained staff were very respectful, friendly and helpful, probably the best customer service I have encountered, especially in a US lounge.
One major thing that was missing was views of the tarmac, which contributes to the dark ambiance of the lounge.
As long as you have earphones, the open plan’s tendency to carry noise will not bother you.
Overall, this is a very solid lounge, with just a little room for improvement.