Review: Alaska Lounge Los Angeles (LAX)

Review: Alaska Lounge Los Angeles (LAX)

NAME: Alaska Lounge
Airport: LAX
DATE: September 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The Alaska Lounge LAX features refreshed decor, great views, friendly service, barista-made coffee, and a good food selection. For a US domestic lounge, this is a great option.
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During my layover at LAX, I figured I’d check out multiple lounges. As far as oneworld lounges go, I not only visited the Qantas First Lounge and oneworld Lounge, but I also decided to check out the Alaska Lounge.

While this is obviously not in the same league as international premium lounges, it’s still a pretty solid domestic membership lounge. Not only was it recently renovated, but the lounge had friendly staff, great coffee, and above average food.

Alaska Lounge LAX location & hours

The Alaska Lounge LAX is located in Terminal 6, which is the terminal out of which all Alaska Airlines flights depart. If you’re traveling on another airline and want to visit the lounge, keep in mind that the terminal is accessible airside via connectors from Terminals 4, 5, 7, and 8, as well as Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).

Once in Terminal 6, the lounge is located one level above the main concourse, near gate 64. If you’re coming from the security checkpoint, just keep walking through the main terminal corridor.

Los Angeles Airport Terminal 6

Eventually you’ll have the option of turning either left or right, and you’ll want to hang left. In this area you’ll see the elevator to the Alaska Lounge on the left, right in front of gate 64B (there’s no option to take stairs — presumably there are some emergency stairs, but they’re not available under normal circumstances).

Alaska Lounge LAX elevator

The Alaska Lounge LAX is open daily from 5AM until 9:30PM.

Alaska Lounge LAX entry requirements

When it comes to rules for accessing Alaska Lounges:

  • Paid Alaska Airlines first class passengers get Alaska Lounge access, whether they paid with cash or miles (those who upgraded don’t qualify)
  • Those with an Alaska Lounge or American Admirals Club membership get Alaska Lounge access
  • In line with oneworld lounge access rules, Alaska Lounges are standard oneworld Sapphire and oneworld business class lounges

There’s a bit more nuance to lounge access policies, so see my detailed guide about Alaska Lounge access.

Alaska Lounge LAX reception

Alaska Lounge LAX seating & layout

The Alaska Lounge LAX underwent a full refresh in 2019, and the airline did a really good job with this. For context on the changes, check out my 2015 review of this lounge — the difference is night and day.

The LAX lounge is one of the smaller lounges in Alaska’s system, but then again, this isn’t as big of a hub for the airline as Portland or Seattle. The lounge consists of one large room, broken up into a variety of zones.

Just inside the entrance is a long bench with some dining tables and chairs.

Alaska Lounge LAX seating
Alaska Lounge LAX seating

There are then some cozy and well padded semi-private chairs, each of which also has an adjustable table.

Alaska Lounge LAX seating
Alaska Lounge LAX seating

Behind that are four more seats, each of which also has a table.

Alaska Lounge LAX seating

Then the main part of the lounge consists of seating that’s better for dining or working. This includes two communal tables with high-top seating, as well as some dining tables each seating four people, in the far corner of the lounge.

Alaska Lounge LAX seating
Alaska Lounge LAX seating
Alaska Lounge LAX seating
Alaska Lounge LAX seating

Lastly, there are some more tables along the windows, as well as a communal table with several seats at the far corner of the lounge, by the bar.

Alaska Lounge LAX seating
Alaska Lounge LAX seating
Alaska Lounge LAX seating
Alaska Lounge LAX bar

The lounge has great views of the apron, so you can see lots of the activity from Terminal 6 and Terminal 7 (and you have an especially good view of operations at gate 64B).

Alaska Lounge LAX view

Since the lounge refresh, there’s also no shortage of outlets, as a vast majority of seats have these.

Alaska Lounge LAX power outlets

In my opinion the lounge design strikes a good balance between being cozy and having some personality, while still being functional.

Alaska Lounge LAX food & drinks

Alaska Lounges have a solid food and drink selection — I’d say the food is generally slightly better than what you’ll find in Admirals Clubs and United Clubs, while the drinks are significantly better.

The Alaska Lounge LAX has a self-serve buffet.

Alaska Lounge LAX buffet

When I was there during breakfast hours, options included greek vanilla nonfat yogurt, chia pudding, strawberries, blueberries, steel cut oatmeal, scrambled eggs, sausage links, muffins, bagels, bread, cream cheese, whole fruit, snack mix, and more.

Alaska Lounge LAX food selection
Alaska Lounge LAX food selection
Alaska Lounge LAX food selection
Alaska Lounge LAX food selection
Alaska Lounge LAX snack mix

Oh, and of course we can’t forget Alaska Airlines’ famous pancake machine.

Alaska Lounge LAX food selection

Self-serve drinks included Starbucks drip coffee, as well as a machine with a variety of espresso drinks. Some will appreciate that there are also syrups available, if you want to sweeten up your drink.

Alaska Lounge LAX drink selection

There’s also a Coca-Cola soda fountain.

Alaska Lounge LAX soda fountain

As a hot sauce enthusiast, I love that Alaska has a hot sauce caddy by the buffet, to spice things up a bit.

Alaska Lounge LAX hot sauce

My single favorite thing about Alaska Lounges is that they have barista-made coffees at the bar. You can order a latte, mocha, cappuccino, americano, espresso, macchiato, or hot chocolate, and you can even select the type of milk you’d like.

Alaska Lounge LAX espresso machine
Alaska Lounge LAX coffee menu

You can order your coffee in a to-go cup, if you’re in a rush and want to enjoy it on your flight. Alaska is the only US airline to consistently offer barista-made coffee as a feature in its standard lounges, and it’s something I love.

Alaska Lounge LAX cappuccino

Alaska Lounges also have a selection of complimentary beer, wine, and cocktails. As a mostly West Coast airline, I appreciate how Alaska Airlines highlights drinks from the region.

Alaska Lounge LAX alcoholic drink list

There’s even a signature martini available right now, with espresso, vanilla sweetener, and vodka.

Alaska Lounge LAX signature cocktail

The Alaska Lounge LAX also has a small menu of food available for purchase, including pizza, burgers, and chicken tenders. However, unless something has changed, it’s not something I’d recommend — if you want something more substantial, you’re better off dining in the terminal.

Alaska Lounge LAX food for purchase

Alaska Lounge LAX bathrooms

The Alaska Lounge LAX has restrooms inside the lounge. The men’s restroom had two stalls and urinals. However, note that the Alaska Lounge LAX doesn’t have showers (which isn’t surprising, since Alaska Airlines doesn’t operate long haul flights).

Alaska Lounge LAX bathroom
Alaska Lounge LAX bathroom

Alaska Lounge LAX service

One thing that stood out to me about the Alaska Lounge experience was how friendly all the staff were. This more or less matches my experience at other Alaska Lounges. The people working there just seemed plain happy, and grateful for customers.

The lounge isn’t very large, so I could hear them greet each passenger as they arrived, and they did so with great enthusiasm. I also think it’s interesting that at least historically, Alaska Lounges have had a no tipping policy, including at the bar, despite having some of the nicest and hardest working bartenders you’ll find at any lounge. That certainly counters the trend in the United States.

Bottom line

I’ve always been a fan of Alaska Lounges, and the refreshed LAX location is no exception. Admittedly these won’t compete with the top international lounges, but the Alaska Lounge LAX has great views, nice decor, friendly staff, solid food, barista-made coffee, and good alcohol.

It has always felt to me like Alaska Airlines puts effort into its lounges, even just down to the small thoughtful touches, like a hot sauce caddy. If you have the chance to visit this lounge and have realistic expectations, it shouldn’t disappoint.

If you’ve visited the Alaska Lounge LAX, what was your experience like?

Conversations (17)
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  1. Mary Guest

    Have never seen it that empty. :) But I do like it and the staff are always very helpful and kind.

  2. Dread Guest

    I've been to almost every Alaska Airlines lounge, 20+ more from other US providers and most Amex Centurion lounges.

    The LAX Alaska lounge is the best in the United States. I was there today and it continues to impress.

    Epic staff, solid food choices, fantastic bar and never a shitty parent with undisciplined children.

  3. Nathan Guest

    I've been in this lounge several times in the last few months and agree that the staff are top-notch. You can tell when someone truly enjoys their job, which in turn is reflected in providing an outstanding experience to the guest. Kudos to the staff and to whoever manages that location on sustaining that culture.

  4. Jon Guest

    If only there were not chronically a sign out front saying they are denying priority pass members...

    1. GLCTraveler Member

      Yep, PP access is dead at AK Lounges........... Just got to accept it and move on!!

  5. Greg Guest

    One think to know about the T6 Alaska lounge is it is schedule to grow by about 3000 sq ft. during the current terminal remodel. More details can be found at LAWA's website.
    https://www.lawa.org/lawa-our-lax/environmental-documents/current-projects/terminal-6-renovation-project

    1. GLCTraveler Member

      I just wish they would put it in plain English!!! The LAWA site says:
      "Improvements proposed at Level 4 - Lounge Level are aimed at improving passenger experience and service to airline lounge customers and would involve the reconfiguration and expansion of Level 4 to the south of the existing Alaska Airlines Lounge area to improve access and enhance the passenger experience in the lounge."
      I just checked the Alaska website and didn't...

      I just wish they would put it in plain English!!! The LAWA site says:
      "Improvements proposed at Level 4 - Lounge Level are aimed at improving passenger experience and service to airline lounge customers and would involve the reconfiguration and expansion of Level 4 to the south of the existing Alaska Airlines Lounge area to improve access and enhance the passenger experience in the lounge."
      I just checked the Alaska website and didn't find anything mentioned about an expansion of the LAX Lounge..... I hope I just missed it!!

    2. Greg Guest

      I agree it is a opaque at best in the description. Page 28 and 29 in the initial declaration document have a before and after comparison. Assume the plan is executed similar to what is in the document. The kitchen gets consolidation towards the inside of the space towards the current entrance. The lounge is expanded towards the runways and two new elevators get added to the outside of the building. The lounge entrance appears...

      I agree it is a opaque at best in the description. Page 28 and 29 in the initial declaration document have a before and after comparison. Assume the plan is executed similar to what is in the document. The kitchen gets consolidation towards the inside of the space towards the current entrance. The lounge is expanded towards the runways and two new elevators get added to the outside of the building. The lounge entrance appears to be added on the concourse level adjacent to gate 64B.

  6. Frank Guest

    It seems odd to me that the bowls of apples and bananas are on top of the garbage and recycling receptacle.

  7. T- Guest

    Nice article. My views exactly. This intimate lounge, although not fancy, ticks all the boxes. The lounge does get a bit crowded at times (what lounge doesn’t?) but these times are generally brief as most visitors do their thing and leave without lingering about for ages. I recommend this lounge as well.

  8. Bobo Guest

    There are indeed stairs to the LAX Alaska lounge but they don't advertise them, and they are not adjacent to the elevator. During earlier post-pandemic days, they were kind about letting people who did not want to be jammed into elevators use them. Haven't tried lately.

  9. Andrew Diamond

    I pay for first class tickets with Alaska once per month, and I *still* pay for the AA Exec AF so that I can use the Admirals Club instead of this lounge. My beef is that this lounge gets really crowded and the food quality whenever I'm there (usually evening) is not worthwhile. Agreed with everything else.

    That said, I didn't know about the coffee barista thing! Is this all Alaska lounges? I'd love to do that at SFO since those are my morning lounge visits.

    1. GLCTraveler Member

      Yep, Barista services should be at all Lounges....

  10. baflyer2 Guest

    The lounges are nice enough, but I've consistently found that AS lounge agents do not understand oneworld access rules correctly. I've been told I don't have access as a BA Emerald travelling on a domestic AA flight, which is not correct. After some explaining, some agents will let me in, and others will double down.

    1. ernestnywang Member

      I had the exact same experience. I wrote to AS in Apr. and they said they would remind the receptionists. Hope they did.

  11. shoeguy Guest

    Looks nice. I was at the Alaska Airlines Lounge at JFK recently and found it to be just OK. The seating was comfy, plentiful, and lots of outlets but the food was pretty bad, with stale breakfast pastries and bagels and inedible hot food. The lounge was also a little untidy. I also wish they would serve better coffee than Starbucks. I get that this is the hometown company, but Seattle has so many better coffee options than Starbucks.

  12. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Looks like they have removed the pairs of more comfortable chairs along the apron view area with tables and chairs, that’s a shame.

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Greg Guest

One think to know about the T6 Alaska lounge is it is schedule to grow by about 3000 sq ft. during the current terminal remodel. More details can be found at LAWA's website. https://www.lawa.org/lawa-our-lax/environmental-documents/current-projects/terminal-6-renovation-project

2
Nathan Guest

I've been in this lounge several times in the last few months and agree that the staff are top-notch. You can tell when someone truly enjoys their job, which in turn is reflected in providing an outstanding experience to the guest. Kudos to the staff and to whoever manages that location on sustaining that culture.

1
T- Guest

Nice article. My views exactly. This intimate lounge, although not fancy, ticks all the boxes. The lounge does get a bit crowded at times (what lounge doesn’t?) but these times are generally brief as most visitors do their thing and leave without lingering about for ages. I recommend this lounge as well.

1
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