Review: OneWorld First Class Lounge Los Angeles

Filed Under: Air France, Travel

I took a 7AM Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Los Angeles, which would get me into Los Angeles before 10AM, nearly six hours before my flight to Paris. I figured that was the best option since I wanted to be sure I didn’t miss my connection, and since any later flight would’ve meant I’d be stuck in rush hour on the way to the airport.

Upon landing in Los Angeles I spent about an hour in the Alaska Airlines Board Room, and at 11AM I headed over to Tom Bradley International Terminal. A local friend was kind enough to come and hang out with me in the terminal for a couple of hours. Bradley Terminal was recently redone, though I was a bit surprised to see that all the landside dining options have closed – bizarre. Literally the only place to even get a coffee was at this sandwich place by baggage claim, which charged $6 for a cappuccino.

Tom Bradley International Terminal

Tom Bradley International Terminal

Tom Bradley International Terminal

We hung out for a couple of hours, and at around 1PM I headed to Air France check-in, in anticipation of my 3:45PM flight to Paris.

Air France has La Premiere (first class) check-in roped off, so when you walk up to the agent working the line and let them know you’re in first class they check your name off a list and then open a rope for you.

There was no wait at all, and my check-in was processed in less than 60 seconds by a very friendly agent. At that point I was introduced to an escort that would bring me to the lounge.

Tom Bradley International Terminal Air France La Premiere check-in

Tom Bradley International Terminal Air France La Premiere check-in

In the past I’ve been told that airlines don’t have the option of helping passengers “cut the queue” at Bradley Terminal, though this escort not only brought me to the very front of the security line so that I was right at the belt, but then shuffled us over to the crew line so we could get through even faster.

The ~25 person Singapore Airlines A380 crew was using the crew line, though the agent authoritatively put two bins right in front of them and urged me to go through right away. The looks on the faces of the Singapore flight attendants was hilarious, as I think they were kind of surprised by how authoritative she was as well. I went from being at check-in to airside at Bradley Terminal in a couple of minutes, which is a new record for me.

Tom Bradley International Terminal lounge signage

The escort informed me I’d be using the OneWorld first class lounge. While SkyTeam has their own lounge, it doesn’t have a first class section, so Air France uses the OneWorld lounge for their first class passengers. I was escorted right into the lounge, and was informed that I’d be picked up when the flight was ready for boarding. Of course, if I hadn’t been in first class, there are a number of options available in LAX for anyone with a credit card with lounge access.

I was absolutely blown away by the ground service. I’ve flown first class out of Bradley Terminal many times, but never have I been able to cut the queue.

OneWorld Lounge LAX elevator

OneWorld Lounge LAX entrance

OneWorld Lounge LAX British Airways entrance

OneWorld Lounge LAX entrance

Anyway, on to the OneWorld first class lounge. It was basically one long room with tons of seating. Typically my biggest frustration with “shared” lounges is that they’re chronically overcrowded.

While this lounge wasn’t all that impressive, I loved how quiet it was. For the first hour I was in the lounge I was the only guest, and after that there were only two other passengers. I should clarify that while I was the only “guest” in the lounge for the first hour, there was some maintenance guy fixing something in the roof, and he spent the better part of an hour yelling at the top of his lungs to whoever was in the “hole.”

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX…?

The lounge had lots of seating, with plenty of comfortable lounge chairs, bar stools, etc.

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX seating

There was also a small business center with several computers.

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX seating

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX seating

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX bar

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX bar

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX bar

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX seating

The OneWorld first class lounge had a buffet, which was extremely lackluster. That’s totally fine by me since I was awaiting the feast aboard, but I found it interesting that the spread was actually less impressive than in the business class lounge, which I’ll cover in the next installment.

The spread consisted of some cold options, including fruit, veggies, hummus, finger sandwiches, and salad. There were only two hot dishes, which were roasted garlic tomato soup and Mediterranean mixed vegetables with rice.

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX coffee machine

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX cookies

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX buffet spread

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX buffet spread

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX buffet spread

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX buffet spread

There was also an open bar, consisting of wine and spirits.

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX alcohol

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX wine

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX booze

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX champagne

Then there was a fridge with beer and soft drinks.

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX soft drinks

Since I hadn’t eaten all day I had some soup and champers to kick off the journey.

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX snack

At the very end of the lounge were the restrooms, and also the hallway to the business class lounge, where the showers are located.

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX restrooms

OneWorld First Class Lounge LAX restrooms

I found it a bit odd that the Wi-Fi password for the OneWorld lounge was “Paris.” It’s weird enough to begin with that Air France uses the OneWorld lounge, but even stranger that the Wi-Fi password is the name of a city only served direct by Air France, as opposed to a city served direct by OneWorld.

The Wi-Fi speed was okay. I never get why lounges can’t have legitimate high speed Wi-Fi, but at least it wasn’t unusable.

Anyway, while I love extravagant first class lounges like the Emirates A380 First Class Lounge in Dubai, Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, and Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa in Bangkok, the single most important thing for me in a lounge is that it’s a quiet place to work. And the OneWorld first class lounge fit that bill, since I was basically the only person there. I’ve heard the new Star Alliance Lounge at Los Angeles Airport is even nicer, so I hope to check that out soon.

  1. Looks very similar to the Star Alliance lounge at LAX, but the Star Alliance lounge has a bar at the end of the lounge with a bartender serving good beers out of taps and also pouring wine and champagne for you. The food selection also seems to be much better on the Star Alliance Lounge.

    If you fly to JFK or London on AA in first class, they will escort you to the front of the security line at LAX.

  2. That lounge looks identical to the lounge that as recently as a couple of months ago you use when flying Iberia in J. In fact, I’m sure it’s the same. Do they now just call the old OW business lounge a first class lounge and move business passengers elsewhere?

  3. Thanks for the close up of the wine and spirits! I’ll be checking it out in February, looks like the booze offerings will be better on the plane (CX). But the hard stuff was serviceable if one was dying for a drink. Looks like AA Admiral’s Club offerings, but free.

  4. @ Larry — The business class lounge, which I’ll review in the next installment, does have very similar decor.

  5. @TomOFCT
    All nonstop flights are direct flights as well. I’d venture a guess that none of the oneworld airlines have “direct” Paris service, in which case his statement is correct.

  6. So I’m confused as to whether there will be then multiple one world lounge at TBT? If this lounge is new, and run by Qantas (cutlery, plates etc)? Will then Qantas opens it’s new one and run those parallel? Decor isn’t very qantas

  7. @Alex, Qantas will open the business class lounge first at the new TBIT side and close the old first/business class lounge section. Then the old first/business class will turn into the brand new first class lounge. At the end, the One World lounge will be biggest lounge at TBIT.

  8. I’ve flown Lufthansa First Class back to MUC this summer. The agent there also escorted me to the front of the security line at LAX.

  9. Wow–that was an early start to your day for a mid-aft departure.

    How do you rate the lounge champagne? Nothing like what was to come later in the trip, I suppose?

    Maybe “paris” is the code only for Air France users so the club can track which airlines’ guests are using the wi fi. Or maybe I’m over thinking it. 😉

  10. As they say, “timing is everything”!
    My Cathay flight in November apparently was one of a number of International flights leaving LAX between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., and the lounge was packed.
    I was disappointed in the food offerings and even more so by the wifi speed.

  11. @ Peter — Hah, for what it’s worth the “Paris” password was plastered all over the lounge, including for the British Airways passengers that later showed up.

    The champagne was fairly good for a US first class lounge, in my opinion.

  12. The comment about maintenance was uncalled for. I’m sure he was there to fix whatever necessary so spoiled brats like you wouldn’t complain because your toes weren’t warm enough or something. Have a little class. Just because you get comped to sit in first class doesn’t mean you exude any. Don’t choke on your paté.

  13. Paris is the WiFi password? That means that the wifi security is either non-existent (you have to enter the password on a web page to access the internet) or WEP. Tsk.

    When I find wifi access with no or WEP security, I’ll use my own hotspot, thankyouverymuch…

  14. This lounge is now closed. We’ve just turned up to be told the new lounge won’t open till Dec 2014/Jan 2015

    So it’s the one world business lounge for everyone till then. It’s nice and new, the barman was really helpful and made me a strong Bloody Mary 🙂

    The food is a bit lacklustre though. 6 Bain Maries with no identifiers. One looks like a stew or curry, some rice, some pasta…

    So far, so OK

  15. Both the new and the old KAL lounge at LAX had a first class section, so no clue why you said it didn’t in your article….

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