Review: Qantas International First Lounge, Tom Bradley International Terminal, Los Angeles, USA

This post is one chapter on our trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne with The Great Ocean Road, exploring The Yarra Valley and the beaches of The Gold Coast via Qantas First Class. This trip was booked using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Qantas First Class International Lounge, Tom Bradley International Terminal, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

“While the Qantas First Class Lounge Los Angeles doesn’t command the best real estate unlike other LAX lounges that offer great terrace and concourse views, it’s a pretty nice place that actually has some personality to it.”

We arrived to the Los Angeles Tom Bradley International Terminal. Being the middle of summer, the place was absolutely packed with travelling tourists, families and other groups. Los Angeles Airport isn’t too generous on sidewalk space at the best of times and it was slow going getting through all the throngs of people.

Checking into Qantas First Class:

Once inside, we made our way over to the middle B check in row. Thankfully, Qantas opens it’s check in counters at 6 PM, or just over 4 ½ hours in advance of our flight. This was really appreciated, as there were stacks of people camped out in the terminal just waiting for their flights to check in. We rolled up to the First Class check in lane, where there was no wait at all.

The friendly agent checked us in and asked if we wanted our bags tagged on the same luggage heck. We were then given instructions towards the lounge and directed upstairs. There was no escort given, but instructions were given to use the First / Business security lane. Security took a bit of time given that many families were all together and it took a bit of a wait to get through our lane with the groups of kiddies heading off to far away lands. Unfortunately, despite having a major focus in the USA with multiple flights from JFK, LAX and SFO, Qantas hasn’t bothered or wanted to pay into TSA Pre-Check.

Once on the secure side, we took a quick look at duty free. The pricing was almost retail street level amounts with cashier lines about 10 deep. We ended up foregoing duty free and headed up towards the lounge. We bypassed PJ Changs’ (Priority Pass joke there) and went straight to the Qantas Airlines International First Lounge.

Accessing the Qantas First Class Lounge:

The lounge is located on the 5th floor of the Tom Bradley International Terminal in the older terminal building before the renovation.

Our boarding cards were checked and we were admitted. Access was granted thanks to the International First Class cabin of our ticket. One World Emeralds, the highest One World Tier for having flown between 50,000 and 100,000 qualifying miles on a variety of carriers, are also afforded access.

Inside the Qantas First Class Lounge Los Angeles:

The lounge was particularly empty at 6:30 PM when we arrived. We opted for a large red lounger while we settled in with a glass of Mumm’s Champagne. I asked for the Perrier Jouiett champagne on the menu, but it turns out that they were out tonight. Similar to other proper first class lounges, they had an army of wait staff offering to get drinks, food and other snacks.

Food and Beverage includes a Sit Down A La Carte Dining Restaurant:

At about 7:20 PM, we ended up heading down for a proper dinner service. The summer menu was comprehensive and was full of interesting things to enjoy.

I started with the famous Neil Perry Salt and Pepper Squid with chili sauce, and aioli. It was a healthy portion and most excellent as it was freshly prepared. Our server recommended the red Penfold’s Max Cabernet Sauvingon to go with this; which was a bit of an odd choice combination when I tried it out. MrsWT73 had the tomato and basil soup; which she reported as excellent.

I followed with a minute steak with chipotle butter, chips and lime. For a minute steak, it was perfectly cooked, with just a bit of red in the middle. I went upscale and paired with the other wine on the list which was a Blass Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon.

I followed it with tomatoes with Neil’s Vinaigrette and buffalo mozzarella cheese, which was also very good.

I was pretty stuffed by this point. I was happy to realize that dinner in the lounge actually was able to substitute for a proper meal. I went all out and have a vanilla ice cream sundae with pineapple, coconut and lychee. No doubt a special occasion and it was paired with Jackson Triggs Ice Wine from Niagara Region, Canada. I was totally stuffed by this point and ready to enter into a food coma.

The lounge had gotten much fuller since we had arrived and probably had over 80 persons inside unlike the 5 that were here when we first arrived.

My Thoughts on the Qantas First Class Lounge, Los Angeles:

In summary, a solid lounge that actually had some personality and spirit to it; unlike some of the stodgy Lufthansa or British Airways First Class lounges. I’ll probably never get in here again, but stranger things have happened. Make sure you find time to stop by here before your over night Qantas flight… enjoy a dinner, allow some time to digest before you hop on board for a seven-star snooze. It is highly recommended.

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