I Finally Got to Visit The Qantas First Class Lounge LAX, To My Surprise, I Wasn’t That Impressed
It was recently brought to my attention that I complain and whine too much in my posts and on social media. After this was brought to my attention, I went back to my most recent posts and Tweets and noticed a pattern: I’m a spoiled brat. I’ve been actively working to create more positive content. However, I will not sacrifice honest opinions to appease some readers. That said, I really didn’t care for the Qantas First Class Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport.
I’m writing this nearly three months after my visit to the lounge still, I have a very vivid memory of that visit as it came at the very end of my amazing trip to Auckland. It’s probably for the best that I’ve procrastinated and waited so long to write this review as most of the unneeded minutia is long gone from my memory.
The best part of my visit was how I received access to the lounge. On my way back from Auckland, I flew in American Airlines’ fairly new and phenomenal Premium Economy product. I loved every aspect of American’s Premium Economy except that passengers seated in that product don’t receive lounge access unless they hold elite status. So, I pretty much accepted the fact that I was going to spend the entirety of my three-plus hour layover nodding off at the departure gate for my flight home. This turned out not to be the case.
When I sat down in my seat, I turned to my neighbor who was looking intensely out the window and made a remark regarding upgrades on that flight. He turned to me and told me that he missed out on an upgrade by just one seat. I continued to chat to pass the time on the ground and found out that he was an Executive Platinum with American Airlines. I mentioned that I blog for BoardingArea and enjoy discussing loyalty programs and the airline industry. It turned out that my neighbor had actually read a few of my posts.
After talking for the better part of our time on the ground and for a while once in-flight, I managed to sneak in what was essentially a request. “Oh, so you get access to quite a few lounges when we land in LA?” As if he knew exactly what I was going for he turned to me and said, “Yep, which one do you think’s best, I’d be more than happy to guest you in.”
That’s how I received access to the Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX. I got extremely lucky, that’s all there is to it. If I had sat a row behind the bulkhead, I wouldn’t be writing this review. I can’t express my gratitude to that reader enough. The fight from Auckland to Los Angeles was one of the longest and more sleepless flights I’ve been on due to the time change.
The Qantas First Class Lounge LAX, Reviewed
Once we claimed our bags, we made our way through Terminal 4 security which at the time was virtually dead. We then walked to the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) using the fairly new Terminal 4-TBIT connector.
The Qantas First Class Lounge LAX is located just to the right of the T4-TBIT connector on the second level of the TBIT. It’s somewhat nestled back in the corner of the TBIT though very easy for Terminal 4 passengers to access.
The entrance way is especially attractive with a beautiful marble facade and automatic glass sliding doors, a Qantas Roo adjacent to the entryway. Upon entry, we were greeted by an energetic and professional lounge attendant. He took our boarding passes and explained the layout of the lounge. We both wanted to get a shower in before our next flight, so the lounge attendant lead us to the bank of private shower suites.
On my walk back to my shower suite, I was surprised by how worn the lounge looked. It wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing space I’ve ever visited though, given how quiet the lounge was, it was certainly a relaxing space.
Qantas First Class Lounge LAX Shower Suites
The shower suites weren’t especially large but were clean and featured premium amenities. Honestly, you could have handed me a hose, a bar of Irish Spring soap, and a piece of sandpaper to dry off with and I would have thought it was the most luxurious shower experience ever, that’s how badly I wanted to shower after a 12-hour flight.
Each Qantas First Class Lounge shower suites features ASPAR by Aurora amenities. I especially liked these amenities as they weren’t tough on the skin and featured a fairly calming scent. Towels are also provided, of course, however, I was surprised by how frayed the towels were. There was also quite a bit of hair on the towels. Though the suite itself felt clean, the towels did not. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my shower immensely
Qantas First Class Lounge LAX A La Carte Dining
After my shower, I sat down in the a la carte dining area. One thing I found interesting about the dining area was how it wasn’t necessarily separated from the rest of the lounge. A small partition somewhat blocked off the rest of the lounge but honestly, the dining space just blends in with the rest of the lounge. It’s oddly placed but nonetheless, a quiet and relaxing area.
Within a minute or two of sitting down, I was welcomed by a waitress who somewhat unenergetically welcomed me to the lounge. She handed me a menu and poured a glass of water. Everything on the menu is included with access to the lounge much like the Lufthansa First Class Terminal or American Airlines Flagship Dining Facilities. It was during the breakfast window so I opted for some eggs and the pancakes.
My waitress returned to my table to take my order. I ordered the pancakes and asked for a side of eggs. She looked at me somewhat confused. “What do you mean eggs, like what plate?” I responded, “Oh, just a plate of like scrambled eggs.” She looked down at me and said, “Um, ah, ok, just a side of plain old eggs.” I also ordered a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee, and a side of toast.
Less than ten minutes passed and my meal had arrived at my table. Each dish was great, albeit, it’s pretty hard to mess up eggs, toast, and pancakes. The pancakes were very fresh and topped with a tasty compote. The eggs were also tasty but featured ground pepper. I’m not a fan of ground pepper so the eggs ended up just being okay.
Overall, breakfast was great. I shouldn’t have any complaints as the alternative was an overpriced and stale terminal breakfast.
Qantas First Class Lounge LAX Seating and Atmosphere
The aspect of the lounge I disliked the least was the seating. It’s a fairly boring and uninspired lounge with the most basic seating I’ve seen in a lounge of this caliber. While the service was okay and the food was tasty, the lounge lacked any defining qualities or other amenities. This is why I found the lounge to be so overwhelming.
Seating consists of clusters of traditional leather lounge chairs and sofas as well as the occasional velvet upholstery chair. The most enjoyable and private part of the lounge is the row of Eams-like chairs located in the very front of the lounge. If you plan on doing any lounging, these chairs are your best bet.
The overall atmosphere seemed kind of stale. It was certainly a calming and relaxing space but there was nothing luxurious about the lounge. It was simply a waiting room with amazing food. The American Airlines Flagship Lounge is beautifully decorated with innovative and private seating as well as self-serve beverage and snack options. Considering this is a major first class lounge I’ve often heard compared to the Lufthansa First Class ground experience, I felt as if there wasn’t anything too special about the space.
There is one especially attractive aspect of the lounge that I think wins many guests over. Unfortunately, this was one amenity I could not take advantage of. I’m talking about the bar. The bar is a sprawling marble focal point featuring an assortment of what appeared to be very premium liquors. When I’m abroad, I usually drink and I understand just how enjoyable a nice glass of champagne is while traveling. I’m guessing this is the main attraction at the lounge aside from the dining area.
In addition to the extensive bar and fairly basic seating areas, there are a few self-serve snack and drink areas in the lounge. These self-serve stations included still and sparkling water, an espresso machine, and snacks like peanuts and pretzels. I’m guessing that Qantas wants the majority of the eating and drinking to occur in the dining area and around the bar.
After walking around the lounge following breakfast, I sat down at one of the Eams-like chairs and relaxed for forty-five or so minutes. Though I found the lounge to be somewhat of a let-down, I am very thankful for at least having a place to relax during my layover.
Overall, The Qantas First Class Lounge LAX
For years, I had always imagined the Qantas First Class Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport to be this unbelievably premium lounge. There were always four or so lounges that I had held to a certain standard: the Upper Class Clubhouse at LHR, the Cathay Pacific Pier, Lufthansa First Class Terminal, and the Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX. Both the Upper Class Clubhouse and Lufthansa First Class Terminal exceeded my expectations so I was excited to finally get the chance to visit the Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX.
The Qantas First Class Lounge LAX just didn’t wow me like the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse or Lufthansa First Class Terminal. It seemed so stale and actually very basic. With the opening of American Airlines’ new Flagship Lounge in Terminal 4, I don’t actually see a need for Oneworld frequent flyers to make the haul over to the TBIT anymore.
What’s your opinion of the Qantas First Class Lounge LAX? Do you think the lounge is overrated?
Twitter Poll: Qantas First Class Lounge LAX
Writing my review of the Qantas' First Class Lounge at LAX. Curious to what travel bloggers and frequent flyers think of the lounge in 2018. Retweet and share if you get a chance! #AvGeek
— Max Prosperi (@unaccompflyer) February 27, 2018