Review: Star Alliance First Class Lounge – Los Angeles Airport

Review: Star Alliance First Class Lounge – Los Angeles Airport

Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport Introduction

Airport lounges in North America can be a but underwhelming, with many of them lacking the service and amenities found internationally. There are some exceptions though, such as the Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX, and the Cathay Pacific Lounge in Vancouver. This was my first time flying in first class on a Star Alliance carrier out of Los Angeles, so I was excited to have the opportunity to enjoy the highly praised Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles before my ANA flight to Tokyo.

Similar to the Star Alliance lounge in Paris, there are two separate spaces depending on your cabin class. By all accounts, the business class lounge at LAX is actually a bit more impressive, with access to the beautiful outdoor terrace, though the space can get busy given the volume of departing flights. Luckily first class passengers have access to both lounges, with the first class space offering a much quieter lounge to relax (after so many airports/flights, I value this more than ‘wow’ factor/amenities – though it is nice when you can have both, as is the case at the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt).

I checked out of the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel at around 8:30am, and took the quick shuttle to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Check-in was a breeze, and I was on my way to security in about 5 minutes. For what it’s worth, apparently ANA will offer you an escort through security, which bypasses the line, though I forgot to ask and made the journey without. Security took about 15 minutes, though during peak periods I could see this service being a real time saver. After security I followed the signs for airport lounges, and made my way to the 6th floor where the lounge is located. Upon scanning my boarding pass, the agent walked me to a separate entrance for first class passengers.

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The Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport

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The entrance is nice, with a beautiful Herman Miller Eames lounge chair and ottoman setting the stage. I’m not sure if anyone actually uses this seat (a little bit awkward right at the front door), but it sure looks nice! To the left is the main seating area, which is small, but nicely furnished, with dining chairs at the far end and a small selection of snacks along the wall. There is also a fully-stocked bar with top-shelf spirits and wine/champagne, though given the time of day, I opted for just water (ok, maybe I had one mimosa).

Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Seating

Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Seating

Comfortable Seating Area

Comfortable Seating Area

At the far end of the lounge is a small dining area with à la carte options. I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry (and wanted to save my appetite for my ANA first class flight based on the dining experience on my last flight with them) and decided to skip breakfast. For what it’s worth, a few people were eating, and everything looked and smelled delicious.

Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport Dining Area

Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport Dining Area

Separate À La Carte Dining

Separate À La Carte Dining

Table For One Please!

Table For One Please!

For those just wanting a snack, there is a small selection of hot and cold buffet items, including fruit, crackers, cheese, smoothies, pastries and noodles. The hot items were rice and gyoza, which I thought was a bit strange for breakfast.

Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport Buffet

Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport Buffet

Some Breakfast Snacks

Some Breakfast Snacks

Strange Hot Items For Breakfast

Strange Hot Items For Breakfast

More Snacks

More Snacks

The beverage selection was impressive, including beer, wine, spirits, champagne, coffee, tea and a selection of non-alcoholic juices and soft drinks.

Coffee Machine

Coffee Machine

Tea Selection (And Noodles)

Tea Selection (And Noodles)

Self-Serve Bar

Self-Serve Bar

Liquor Selection

Liquor Selection

Liquor Selection

Liquor Selection

Wines And Champagne

Wines And Champagne

While everything was self-serve, there were also staff walking around available to grab drinks for you. Given the small space though, I was more than happy to walk the 10 feet and grab something myself. While I wouldn’t say service was as personalized and polished as The Lufthansa First Class Terminal, everyone I interacted with was friendly and professional, which contradicts some accounts I’ve read where the staff seemed to need more training.

Just beyond the dining area was a small hallway with access to the business class lounge, and a couple of basic but clean washrooms (showers are located on the business side).

Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Bathroom

Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport Bathroom

Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport Bottom Line

While I wouldn’t plan a trip around visiting this lounge (yes I’ve done that), it’s certainly not a bad place to spend some time before a flight. What I love most about the space is the exclusivity, which is often lost in overcrowded business class lounges. While I was there, I only ever saw maybe half a dozen other passengers in the lounge, which meant getting some work done without distractions was no problem at all. I’ve started to value peace and quiet above all else, and if that’s what you’re looking for, this lounge won’t disappoint.

While it pales in comparison to some other international options, such as the Qantas First Class Lounge LAX and Cathay Pacific Lounge YVR, it’s still a great place to relax before a long flight, and much better than what most airlines offer in North America.

Have you visited the Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles before? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below!

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About the Author:

Champagne taste on a beer budget has always been reminiscent of Tyler’s travel style. Raised in British Columbia, Tyler has an unquenchable thirst for more adventure, which is fueled by leveraging airline and hotel loyalty programs to travel the world in luxury and style.

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