Monday, November 21, 2016

Lounge Destinations: The Qantas 1st Lounge at LAX

This post is part of my Lounge Destinations series, which reviews some of my favorite Oneworld lounges worldwide.

Also see:

"The Wing: Cathay Pacific 1st Class" and
"The Red Suite: JAL Haneda 1st Class"

The Qantas 1st Class Lounge that opened last year is a gift to all Oneworld flyers that depart from, or regularly transit, LAX.  What's an even bigger gift, is the newly (ish) finished airside connector from Terminal 4 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal.  Along with the recently re-opened tunnels connecting Terminals 7-4, this gives an entire half of the airport access to the newly renovated TBIT, its shops, restaurants, and lounges.

I'm looking forward to visiting here again before my last international flight of the year to Quito in a few weeks.  The lounge opens at 6:30 in the morning, so I'll be getting there as they open to make sure I have plenty of time before my 9:00 departure to MIA.

To get to the Qantas lounge from Terminal 4, take the TBIT connector, stay on the upstairs level, and follow the corridor around.  The Qantas lounge is the first one you'll come across.  If you're checking in at TBIT, after security, follow the signs up to the lounges.

Of the lounges available at LAX for Oneworld travelers, the Qantas Lounge is the top of the list.  It's a true first class experience.

So, how does one qualify for entry??

The takeaways from this chart are: You must be flying in first class on Qantas or another Oneworld airline, be one of Qantas' Platinum One or Platinum elite flyers, or hold Emerald status with the Oneworld alliance.  Each of these categories also entitles you to bring a guest.

What's not stated clearly here is that to qualify using your Oneworld Emerald status, you must be traveling onward on a Oneworld INTERNATIONAL flight.  International flights exclude Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

In addition, you may be able to gain access under the following scenarios:

-You are arriving on an international Oneworld flight that would qualify, connecting to a domestic flight to your final destination, i.e. HKG-LAX-DFW.

-You have a qualifying Oneworld international flight within the next 24 hours, even if your first flight is domestic, i.e. LAX-SFO-HKG, where the SFO-HKG is early the next morning.

These are good rules to get used to, as they apply to the majority of Oneworld lounges, and AA Flagship lounges.

So, after you've gotten in, what should you expect?  The lounge is essentially one large room with quite a bit of seating.  The d├ęcor is very modern and comfortable, with a decent number of power outlets in each seating area.  However, in the peak hours before Qantas and British Airways load up their a308s, even this lounge can get full and fairly loud. 

Lots and lots....

....Of seating.

The amenities are likewise well done, with premium drinks, and a full service complimentary menu that's made to order.  Wine and soft drinks are available for self pour, and there are several small snack stations placed throughout the lounge.  However, there is no buffet, so you'll need to plan some time if you want to have a meal.

The restaurant has a menu that changes through the day.  Especially when they're not operating at full capacity, the service is quite prompt, so it shouldn't slow you down too much.  I've heard good things about many of the menu items, but my personal favorite is the fillet with chipotle butter, or if I'm in the mood for something on the lighter side, a salad and their current carpaccio.
The Breakfast Menu

Settling In For a Meal Before Our Flight

The Salt and Pepper Calamari

A Light Meal Before a Late Flight

There's also a bar that runs along the side of the restaurant area.  It is a full bar serving wine, beer, and cocktails, as well as having a great espresso and tea service.  Always nice to be able to get a genuine Aussie flat white stateside.

They prefer that you sit at the restaurant tables or at the bar if you're ordering from the menu, but if these are full, they'll also bring you your meal if you're seated elsewhere.  I've always found the service at this lounge to be top quality. 

The Modern Bar
 If I'm at this lounge on my own, I generally head for the bar and visit with the servers for a few minutes, while I eat, before finding a place to relax and work.  They're friendly, helpful, and will give you the rundown on the who's who of guests if they're in a chatty mood.  This lounge seems to be the go-to for LA's celebrity flyers, which can lead to some good stories.
The lounge also offers free shower rooms, complete with towels and amenities so you can get refreshed before your flight.  Ask in advance, especially at peak hours, as there may be a waiting list.  There are also workstations, computers, and free wifi.  This lounge doesn't offer spa services like some of the very top lounges, but it's still the best choice for the Oneworld flyer at TBIT if you have access.  Just make sure you plan plenty of time to enjoy!
Travel Well,
Want to know more about lounge access, and plan your flights so you can check them out yourself?  Let me help you!  Check out my consulting site to learn more.

 This post is part of #WanderfulWednesdays, Budget Traveler's Sandbox's #TravelPhotoThursday, #WeekendTravelInspiration, and #FlyAwayFriday at Time Travel Blonde. Check out these linkups!


  1. This looks like a good place to relax before your flight. Too bad it is not available to use for a fee.

    1. It's true, though there are some good lounges that are fee based at LAX, and also some Priority Pass ones.

  2. You are quite an expert on this! How awesome is this! This is definitely a great lounge. #TPThursday

    1. Thanks for reading! I spend a fair amount of time 'lounge hopping' so it makes for a fun review.

  3. Looks good but I wouldn't qualify to use it.

    1. They're pretty strict with the rules for this one in particular, but there are other options as well, especially with the new connections in this airport.

  4. Thanks for breaking it down for us! #wkendtravelinspiration

  5. Looks very nice! #wkendtravelinspiration