Review: Oneworld Business Class Lounge Los Angeles LAX

Filed Under: Qantas

We took an Uber to the airport at 6AM, and thanks to virtually non-existent traffic made it to Tom Bradley International by 6:25AM, plenty early for our 8:55AM flight to New York.

I was especially excited about this flight, because I don’t think there’s a more intriguing way to fly between Los Angeles and New York than on Qantas’ 747 tag flight.

TBIT is dead this early in the morning, given that the first “rush hour” in the terminal is around noon.

Tom Bradley International Terminal LAX

Oneworld departures monitor LAX

Qantas check-in is located in the B Pier, and they just have two small queues set up for this flight. That’s because a vast majority of passengers on this sector are connecting same day from Australia, so only a couple of dozen passengers are checking in at this counter, really.

Tom Bradley International Terminal LAX

We were the first passengers to check-in, and quickly issued boarding passes for our flight to New York.

Qantas check-in LAX

Qantas check-in LAX

The nice thing about using TBIT so early in the morning is that there are no queues at security. We were literally the only people there, and through in about a minute.

Most duty free shops were still closed when we arrived.

Closed duty free Tom Bradley International Terminal LAX

As usual, the new Tom Bradley International Terminal is gorgeous, and was almost even more beautiful with no one in it.

Closed duty free Tom Bradley International Terminal LAX

Once through security, the oneworld lounge is to the right and up one level (on Level 5), and then it’s located on the right side.

Closed duty free Tom Bradley International Terminal LAX

The oneworld lounge is run by Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and British Airways, though the other oneworld airlines leaving from the terminal also use the lounge.

Oneworld Lounge LAX signage

There were four associates at the entrance that welcomed us and quickly admitted us. As it turns out the lounge had just opened at 6:30AM, and we were the first guests there.

The oneworld lounge LAX is massive — apparently it has seating for about 400. Keep in mind that this lounge used to be shared between business and first class passengers, but now that the first class lounge is open, this one should be considerably less crowded during peak hours. I was curious how this lounge stacked up, since the first class lounge is one of the best airport lounges, in my opinion.

The lounge itself has nice decor and almost a loft style feel thanks to the wood paneling on the ceilings, though the lounge is rather dark. There’s no natural light in the entire lounge, aside from the little light you get from the interior “atrium” of the terminal.

Oneworld Lounge LAX view

The lounge does have tons of seating options from traditional lounge chairs to communal tables to circular tables to oddly placed uncomfortable wooden chairs.

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

In addition to the main buffet, the lounge has a few self serve soda and coffee stations. It’s interesting to note that the coffee machines are clearly provided by Qantas, given that they have Australian coffee terms on them (ie “long black”).

Oneworld Lounge LAX self serve bar

At the far end of the lounge is a rectangular bar, and behind that is an interesting circular seating arrangement which almost looks like a fire pit.

Oneworld Lounge LAX bar

Oneworld Lounge LAX bar

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

Oneworld Lounge LAX seating

The lounge has one central buffet area. Keeping in mind that breakfast is usually the least exciting meal of the day, I was reasonably impressed by the spread.

Oneworld Lounge LAX buffet

The buffet featured toast, pastries, fresh fruit, cereal, bircher muesli, yogurt, granola, etc.

Oneworld Lounge LAX buffet

Oneworld Lounge LAX buffet

Oneworld Lounge LAX buffet

Oneworld Lounge LAX buffet

The bircher muesli with blueberries and almonds was amazing.

Oneworld Lounge LAX buffet

Then there were a few hot dishes, including eggs and meat.

Oneworld Lounge LAX buffet

And then interestingly they had a juicer, with celery and carrots next to it. That’s an innovative alternative for a lounge, given that they’re otherwise notoriously cluttered with unhealthy food.

Oneworld Lounge LAX buffet

The buffet also had a soda fountain and coffee machine.

Oneworld Lounge LAX buffet

Oneworld Lounge LAX soda fountain

Oneworld Lounge LAX coffee machine

The crowd trickling in at around 7:30AM was interesting. They were clearly all connecting from Australia (based on how tired they looked and the number of sweatpants), and many of them seemed to be famished. I’m not sure if they just skipped breakfast or what, but they hit the buffet alright!

The lounge also has a number of private shower rooms, which are quite nice.

Oneworld Lounge LAX shower room

Oneworld Lounge LAX shower room

Oneworld Lounge LAX shower room

Oneworld Lounge LAX shower room toiletries

Boarding was scheduled for around 8:15AM, but since we had seen all there was to see in the lounge, we decided to head out at around 7:50AM and walk the length of the terminal.

TBIT LAX terminal

The terminal was mostly dead as most planes hadn’t yet landed. The only noteworthy traffic were the three Qantas heavies — two 747s and one A380.

Qantas A380 LAX

Qantas 747 LAX

Qantas 747 LAX

We were departing from gate 154, which was still quite deserted.

Gate area LAX

We happened to be on the Qantas 747 painted in the oneworld livery, which I thought was pretty cool.

Qantas 747 LAX

Qantas 747 LAX

Sure enough, at 8:15AM sharp boarding was called, starting with business class.

Gate area LAX

Oneworld Lounge LAX bottom line

The oneworld Lounge LAX is a solid lounge:

  • The Star Alliance Lounge LAX is significantly nicer than the oneworld Lounge, given that it has both an outdoor terrace and an indoor balcony of sorts, and just generally has more interesting decor
  • The oneworld Lounge is significantly nicer than the Korean Air/SkyTeam Lounge LAX, which is nice enough aesthetically, though has a crappy food and drink selection
  • Relatively speaking, I think the real oneworld winner at LAX is the new Qantas/oneworld First Class Lounge LAX, which has gorgeous decor and a Neil Perry inspired a la carte menu — it’s arguably the nicest lounge in North America

So the lounge seemed great to me and was obviously almost completely empty since there were just a couple of dozen passengers traveling to New York in the lounge. But I’ve heard the lounge does get full during peak hours.

If you’ve visited the oneworld Lounge LAX, what were your impressions?

  1. I was in the J lounge on the 28/12 on my trip back from JFK-SYD and it wasn’t packed at all. It could be that the F lounge just opened but it was fairly empty. I would say that it was barely 20% and this was peak time for QF flights. Another explanation could be that it was near NYs I guess.

    I agree with most of what you said about the lounge, its is quite nice. Most definitely a different feel from the J lounge in SYD but the food/drink selection in LAX is superb for a J lounge.

    Also! It great meeting you and your dad that morning! Hopefully next I won’t be in Y ha.

  2. don’t you feel that as an A380 passenger you were inconvenienced by the layover? i know it’s hard for Qantas to time all these flights right but still… all A380 passengers traveling to NYC had to either take AA or stay in LA overnight… kinda odd, no?

  3. @ Lantan — What’s the alternative? If they wait for the A380 to land and then fly to JFK, they can’t make it back to LAX in time for the night flights to Australia. American has a flat bed product in both business and first class that Qantas codeshares on, so I think they make the best of it that they can.

  4. @lucky

    well, i was thinking maybe if they had the 747 flight from BNE land at LAX around the same time as both A380 then the 747 could collect all continuing passengers from A380 from SYD and MEL and continue to JFK…
    that’s how i’d do it… šŸ˜‰

  5. @ Lantean — Well, except Qantas already has a 747 frequency from SYD which connects with the flight to JFK. So if it’s that important for you to fly all the way on Qantas from Sydney to New York then you can already do that.

  6. Ben, why don’t you have this card. Since the net annual fee is -$205 and you can either choose 2-4 free nights at Ritz-Carlton (based on property) or 50,000 airlines (including Alaska at 2.2 cents for a value of $1,100). Seems like a no brainer to me.

  7. I would say a lot of passengers might be on multicity trips with stops in both LA and NYC. But as lucky points out, business travellers don’t have much to lose if transferring to AA (and many of them might choose DFW instead as its arguably nicer to transit through.

    Also, just as a clarification, the lounge is jointly owned by QF/CX/BA but run solely by Qantas (ie Qantas catering, beverages and Accor staff as per Qantas lounges in Aus).

  8. I have a Qantas F flight from SYD to LAX then continuing tag flight to JFK on J- can I still access Qantas First Class lounge in LAX on arrival even when onward flight is only on business class ?

  9. @ arthur — The lounge is in a different terminal, but if you’re willing to make the trek then yes.

  10. So it seems like if you are on the first flight from Air China out of LAX, you get a oneworld lounge invitation. Even if your just *G on economy.

  11. Now that AA is opening up FL to Int;l J and the new connector, what would you prefer if you had a few hours to kill?

  12. To: Dolly at the One World Business Lounge LAX.
    Thank you for your very professional service, guidance and directions during our brief stop over in February 2016. Your personal yet professional approach to providing assistance is remarkable in this day and age where a lot of staff are just rushing around. THANK YOU.

  13. Lucky, I have a connection in LAX. Inbound flight from GRU on AA business, later connecting to SYD on QF economy. Am I allowed to access the OW business lounge? Access policies in OW website are not clear. Thanks!

  14. Worst lounge – though very busy with late night Asia bound flights, key food disappeared as they said they were cleaning up. Many people at bar asked for the tacos which closed down just as they arrived. Very low class. Staff appeared exhausted and not in the best mood. I would consider airlines that use other lounges that are better run. I’m a Cathay regular but will start looking.

  15. The lounge is not family friendly. Got denied access for being under 21 and was told to get a food voucher from Iberia.

  16. I think the one world lounge has the edge over the star alliance–although they are each way better than skyteam’s, which is nothing at all to write home about. the edge one world has over star alliance? they have a better bar. true, star alliance has that outdoor patio, but once you’ve seen it, ok, then what? anyway, the lax star alliance and one world lounges are better than Swissair’s main home lounge in Zurich. and speaking of Swissair, their lounge at ORD is just ghastly. tiny, cramped, not pleasant. ive been in the lounges for china southern in Guangzhou, and china eastern in shanghai, recently, and let’s be honest. They are just not up to speed in china for these kinds of things. As long as I’m on this rant, you can have A’s lounge in terminal 5 at lhr. always packed, and again, nothing to write home about.

  17. @ Robert Nance. Thatā€™s the USA due to alcohol rules … but hey, you can buy a gun when youā€™re 18 but they go loco if an 18 yr old drinks a glass of wine

    The Tom Bradley terminal is hower possibly the best terminal in the US and will get better once the midfield concourse opens. The only issue is itā€™s a pity they canā€™t expand the landslide /check in

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