Monday, July 30, 2012

Cambodia April 2012 - Admirals Club LAX and OneWorld Business Class Lounge LAX

***This post is part 3 of a full trip report. The index can be found here*** 

After deplaning, it was already after 6:00 pm. However, with a nearly eight-hour layover at LAX, I decided to take a quick peek inside the Admirals Club Lounge before heading over to the International Terminal. Upon entering, I showed my onward boarding pass, to which the agent remarked, "you do know your flight is in another terminal right?" I explained that I just wanted to take a look around, and she happily directed me to the stairs going up to the main lounge area.

At the top of the stairs was an official entrance with several counters. I asked one of the agents where I should go, and she gave me a quick rundown of the general layout. This was definitely one of the larger lounges I've been to in the States, and very nicely designed I must say, with high vaulted ceilings, plenty of natural night, and large windows overlooking the tarmac. There were several areas in the lounge, and many more I didn't even really get to explore. The wonderful thing was that it never got too crowded, which I feel tends to happen a lot at lounges within the U.S.

However, food selection was a bare minimum, with some snack mixes, cookies, and fruit. Complimentary soda, juice, and water were also available. There was a full bar, but alcoholic drinks and meal orders cost extra, of course. I chilled for a bit, played with the free WiFi, and decided to head out so I could make my way over to the International Terminal.

Checking in was quick and painless, and the agent reminded me of where the OneWorld Lounge was located. The security line was long, but I had hours to spare so it wasn't an issue. Once through, however, it became glaringly obvious how much of a dump Tom Bradley International Terminal was. Granted, there were tons of construction going on for the massive renovation effort that will vastly improve airside services by 2014... but until then, there are virtually no restaurants or shops in the entire terminal.

The OneWorld Lounge is located on the 5th floor. After exiting the elevator, I handed over my boarding pass for an entry stamp, and passed through the business area access doors. While the lounge is actually of decent size, the fact that all OneWorld airlines funnels its premium passengers here creates a very crowded environment that can be far from relaxing. If multiple flights are leaving within a short amount of time, it can be difficult to even find a place to sit.

Being around dinnertime, I decided to check out the food selection in the dining area. There was a small salad bar, and a couple of decent hot dishes to choose from. I knew there would a full dinner service on the flight despite the late departure, so I only tried a small sample of each to tide me over until then. There were also many bottles of wine available for self-service, and a wide array of beers and beverages.

The entire lounge is a long, narrow corridor, with a larger open space towards the very end. Along the corridor are separate zones with different functions, including a seating area near the entrance,a dining area, a business area with tons of computers for guest use, and a nice looking bar at the end. Restrooms and showers are located further down a hallway next to the bar area. I decided to take quick shower and remove my contacts prior to the long flight, which is always a good idea. There were Molton Brown bath products for guest use, and stacks of wrapped clean towels as well.

Afterwards, I used a computer in the business area to check my email, then grabbed a few more drinks before heading out to Gate 120 around 12:00 midnight. Overall, the OneWorld Lounge at LAX is nicely designed with decent food offerings and great amenities. However, it is a bit too small considering the number of airlines that utilize the facilities.

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