LAX airport is pretty dumpy, but the one nice thing about is the Tom Bradley International Terminal (the completed parts anyways). It is spectacular, and it’s finally a terminal that is at least on the same playing field as the top airports of the world.
My flight got in at around 10:30am, so originally I was planning to head to In-N-Out, but I was way too tired. So I ended up sitting and walking around the check-in piers at TBIT, which was a perfectly pleasant way to spend a bit of time too.
I ended up at one of the seating areas a floor higher that gave a bird-eye’s view over the check-in concourse.
The Singapore Airlines counters ended up opening at around 12pm.
The check-in lady managed to print out all my boarding passes to Melbourne, which was appreciated, and in proper Suites and First Class ticket stock. She confirmed that there were only four passengers in Suites today.
She also got me an escort to the lounge, who went through security with me. The security situation was slightly awkward, because while he told me to cut into the line, he didn’t do it himself at first. No way I was going to cut the queue in the premium security line with a whole line of people giving me death glares!
We then proceeded to the lounge via the old set of boarding gates which was a longer walk, because there was some construction going on in pathway between security and the “normal” way to the lounge (between the designer shops in the main hall). There was a separate entrance to the First Class Lounge, although they were connected inside. Some pictures are taken from previous visits to the lounge.
LAX Star Alliance Lounge First Class
The lounge was surprisingly small, although there weren’t that many passengers in the lounge at once. It was basically a long seating area, with around 20-30 chairs, and a four tables which comprise the dining area. This picture basically captures the entire First Class section of the lounge.
There was a display of printed reading material as well as a customized flight display screen only displaying flights whose passengers used the Star Alliance Lounges.
The food on display is to the left. There were small amounts of ready-to-eat food, including chocolates, fruits, cookies, and cheeses. These were nicely displayed and refilled constantly.
There was also a counter for a coffee machine, drinks cabinet, and alcohol display.
If you wanted more food, there was a basic menu for made-to-order at the dining area. I think the food for both the First and Business Class lounges are similar (probably with slight differences) but they come from the same kitchen. The only difference is the First Class Lounge the food is brought to you.
The menu had lots of “simple” choices that were nice. I liked the tables quite a lot as I could get a bit of work done and it was nicer for my back than using the lounge chairs.
I had a Caesar salad, a tomato soup, and a crepe, which were delicious.
The check-in manager for SQ also stopped by to drop off a feedback form, and also to remind me not to consume any unattended alcohol in the lounge, as I am not of drinking age in the USA. 😉
The shower facilities are shared with business class passengers and are quite nice.
The business class areas are also quite nice, with the outdoor terrace, and various seating areas, albeit a bit more crowded.
This is probably one of the best lounges in North America (perhaps except for the JFK Virgin Clubhouse, JFK Lufthansa First Class Lounge and AMEX Centurion Lounges), and makes connecting in LAX that much more desirable.
I basically fall in love with everything new, so might be biased, but the food is simple and delicious, the atmosphere is decent, the wifi and showers are good, and the open-air seating areas are a refreshing change from closed off lounges. Of course there’s the crowding with business class lounges, but this is definitely a lot nicer than the average business class lounge, in my opinion. Especially with Vancouver having less international airline service than the typical US gateway, the lounge makes connecting in LAX very pleasant. The terminal layout and walking isn’t great, but the lounge makes up for it.
All Star Alliance premium passengers as well as Star Alliance Gold elite members can use this lounge. I used Krisflyer miles for Singapore Suites/First Class which is only accessible with Krisflyer miles, but you could also fly Asiana, All Nippon, EVA, Air China, Lufthansa, and Swiss to use this lounge (although the last two don’t release much space ex-LAX) on an Aeroplan award (or other star alliance mileage award). A good way to earn Aeroplan miles is to get the American Express Gold Card, which gives 25,000 Membership Rewards points after a $500 minimum spend in the first six months of holding the card. These points transfer 1:1 to Aeroplan. The easiest ways to earn KrisFlyer miles in Canada is a transfer from HSBC Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest.
At around 40 minutes before boarding, the SQ check-in manager came to escort all Suites passengers to the gate. I was really excited for Singapore Suites!
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