Friday, 20 November 2015

Review: Qantas International Business Lounge, LAX

For this review Qantas gave me access to its lounge at LAX, though I paid for my own airfare to/from the USA.

When booking connecting flights, I prefer to have a surplus of time in case of delays.

Thus my Alaska Airlines domestic flight from Seattle touched down at Los Angeles International Airport some eight hours before my Qantas flight to Melbourne was due to take off.

Excessive? Possibly. But on this occasion I knew I'd have access to Qantas' new International Business Lounge (officially the "Los Angeles Business Lounge") at LAX.

Even without lounge access, I don't mind a bit of dead time between flights at the end of a big trip. I'll find somewhere to sit with something to eat and drink, and fill the time by working on my iPad: writing a blog post, or doing some final admin.

The new Qantas Business Lounge, it turned out, was a classy place to be wrangling my receipts.

Opened in June 2014, it's actually a joint lounge shared by Qantas, British Airways and Cathay Pacific, though managed by the Australian airline.

It's located in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, which itself has had a complete overhaul and is now a much more attractive place in which to wait for a flight.

The first thing that struck me about the new lounge is its size - it's immense, spreading out in various directions and wrapping around a central lightwell.

The second thing I noticed was its decor. Borrowing design elements from each airlines' own lounges as from Californian culture, it has a sleek retro look which varied as I moved through the space:

There were also a lot of power points throughout the lounge, something you really appreciate when you have work to do or need to recharge a device.

For a while I sat at this long table which was inset with power points along its centre:

I was also impressed with the catering, particularly from a vegetarian point of view. Of these six hot dishes, only the butter chicken was non-vege (the bacon bits mentioned were stored separately from the roast potatoes):

There was also an excellent selection of fresh salads on offer:

In the dedicated dining area across the lounge, I believe there were further hot dishes on offer. But I found the buffet selection to be more than adequate.

I moved around between the various areas and seating types, got some work done, and ate some good food. The time passed more quickly than one might expect at LAX, and the lounge provided a pleasant finale to my latest US visit.

If you can afford a Business Class fare, I recommend it.

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