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


Due to the sheer volume of international carriers that depart from the Los Angeles Tom Bradley International Terminal, many carriers that fly to and from this location aren’t part of the traditional global three of airline alliances; One World, Star Alliance or Sky Team. The Los Angeles International Lounge is designed to service all of these leftover carriers in a space located within the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Our visit to the Los Angeles International Lounge was part of our onward flight on Fiji Airways Business Class Los Angeles – Nadi.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Fiji, New Zealand and French Polynesia. This trip was redeemed through Alaska Mileage Plan and AAdvantage frequent flier programs and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. 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: Los Angeles International Lounge, Tom Bradley International Terminal, Los Angeles International Airport, USA

After arriving off of Alaska Airlines Seattle – Los Angeles, we took our last breath of Los Angeles Air just outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal. It was a warm summer night and we were enjoying the last of it between the smokers outside of this international terminal.

Entering the Tom Bradley International Lounge

Checking into Fiji Airways Business Class:

We entered into the Tom Bradley International Terminal of Los Angeles International Airport. We located the check in desks for Fiji Airways. While we had been able to check into our earlier Alaska Airlines First Class Vancouver – Seattle and Alaska Airlines Seattle – Los Angeles, we were not given onward boarding cards for our international flights. We also had our bags to check for our onward journey to Nadi, Fiji.

I have always found the Tom Bradley International Terminal as an aspirational, but a somewhat institutional place. The sheer number of destinations that are accessible from this terminal are astounding, and you can make it to almost every corner of the globe from this airport.

The Departures Hall of the Tom Bradley International Terminal
Fiji Airways Premium Check In Lanes

We had no line at the Fiji Airways Business / Tabua Club Premium Check In line. Our bags were re-tagged and our boarding cards were printed on Fiji Airways ticket stock. We were also given a second boarding card, which doubled as the lounge invitation to the Los Angeles International Lounge.

Fiji Airways Business Class Check In Counters
Fiji Airways Business / Tabua Club Members

After checking in, we headed through the premium security screening line within the Tom Bradley International Terminal. There were only about 20 people in front of us; one of the shortest lines ever that I’ve experienced leaving here. MrsWT73 in a terrific mood. “You’re not taking me to that horrible Bali place!”. Ouch – a blow to hotel reward redemption opportunities there. 

We wandered past the time Tower and into the food court area of Tom Bradley for some dinner. It was 8 PM and I was starved at this point and we had some chicken tacos at the Border Grill in the food fair area of Tom Bradley International Terminal.

The Time Tower contains the Elevator to most lounges
Departures Concourse at Tom Bradley International Terminal
The Petrossian Caviar Bar at Tom Bradley International Departures Hall

Locating the Los Angeles International Lounge:

After dinner, we headed up to find the International Lounge that was located on the sixth floor. The easiest access to this location is through the elevator located in the Time Tower. It’s not easily marked on the map, but the lounge footprint occupies the space under the red circle; except that it is up on the sixth floor in this location, instead of being on the main terminal departure concourse.

Location of the Los Angeles International Lounge on the Sixth Floor
Map Courtesy of

MrsWT73 handled the entry procedures while I was taking pictures. The International Lounge is the best of what’s left; all the odd leftover carriers that need a lounge that don’t have access to their own through an airline alliance.

Los Angeles International Lounge Reception

Accessing the Los Angeles International Lounge:

Access to the Los Angeles International Lounge is limited to those flying in business or first class on a same day boarding card when when flying with Air Tahiti Nui, El Al, Fiji Airways, Japan Airlines, Hainan Airlines, and Philippine Airlines.

For the life of me, I can’t imagine why you’d visit here if you were flying Japan Airlines and had access to the swish One World Business Lounge elsewhere in the terminal. On closer examination, Japan Airlines offers its premium economy travellers access to the Los Angeles International Lounge. A sign near the entrance posts all eligible carriers that are permitted to access the lounge in a business class cabin.

Eligible Business Class Cabins permitted to access the LA International Lounge

The lounge is not presently part of Priority Pass. This is surprising to me as it seems it would be a perfect compliment to this place that may find itself quiet at certain times of the day.

Our access was provided courtesy of our business class ticket for our Fiji Airways Los Angeles – Nadi flight.

Inside the Los Angeles International Lounge:

The lounge is a medium sized place. As with the redevelopment of the Tom Bradley International Terminal in Los Angeles, it’s fairly new in concept and in style. The Los Angeles International Lounge has a combination of inside and outside terrace seating. Inside, there were several small spaces of seating, split up into groups of four.

The place was pretty packed tonight with not a lot of seating choices in the late evening hour. At the time of our evening visit, there were a lot of Asian flights departing to the Philippines and North East Asia, making seats a little hard to come by.

Lounge Seating in Groups of Four
Back Rooms with Row Seating and Occasional Chairs
Lounge Seating with Additional Bench Spaces on the Edges
Lounge Seating with Views to the Outer Concourse

We ended up locating a seat on the outside terrace with a slight concourse view. The terrace seating was much more compact than the comparable Star Alliance Business Lounge Los Angeles elsewhere in the terminal, which offers a sweeping bar and curved terrace. In this space, it was a rectangular platform and limited to about twenty seats.

Concourse Seating
Compact Concourse Seating

As we were seated outside on the lounge patio, we were within ear shot of a live band that was playing on the concourse. The concourse was packed for a Friday night at the beginning of summer and as a result the whole place had a feel of Las Vegas to it; filled with excitement and crowds. At the very least, there were great views of the departures hall of the Tom Bradley International Terminal from the lounge concourse.

Tom Bradley International Concourse Lounge Views

MrsWT73 described the lounge as “It’s not bad”. I enjoyed a gin’s tonic as I settled in, the stresses of the last 48 hours consisting of flight cancellations and flight mis connections slowly evaporating away. One major draw back of the lounge is that the terrace does not have any power plug ins. We were out of electrons at this point and dumped laptops and phones inside and had to keep an eye on them from outside.

Enjoying a Gin and Tonic in the Lounge

Towards the end of our visit, the lounge emptied out as the Philippines Airlines flight left, leaving lots of empty seats.

More Seating Space Became Available as Time Went On
Back Corner of the Lounge
Views Towards the Reception and Food Area

There was an eclectic flight board inside the lounge that featured flights that were permitted access to the lounge. The flights were the odd ball ones that were not really in any one airline alliance.

Flights Departing from Los Angeles that have Access to the Lounge

Food and Beverage:

The lounge offered a full bar but was a little light on the food offerings. The bar was of the self service counter variety, with a large quantity of spirits available. While the spirits weren’t “top shelf”, there was certainly enough there to keep you satisfied.

LA International Lounge Self Service Counter Bar Spirits
LA International Self Service Bar Spirits, Wine and Accoutrements

In terms of food, there were some wrapped sandwiches, bags of chips and similar light but unappealing snacks. The food was presented office cafeteria style from within a cooler fridge (pictured on the left). There were also some salty wrapped snacks available on the counter. A buffet food station was surprisingly absent; a standard in this category for an international business lounge. On the food side, it wasn’t a realistically an option to eat in the lounge prior to departure. We were happy that we had taken dinner elsewhere.

Limited Sandwiches in the Cooler, Along with Select Mix in Cans
Minimal Snacks: Cereal, Croissants and Cookies at Ten PM
Costco Styled Drink Fountain Tower and a Thin Bar of Snacks

We used the lounge to relax a little before our onward flight on Fiji Airways Business Class Los Angeles – Nadi. The lounge was a reasonable place to be, but I couldn’t help but feel that it was less exciting than the comparable (and competing) Star Alliance Business Class Lounge Los Angeles and quite a ways below the nearby Qantas First Class Lounge Los Angeles.

The Bottom Line: Our Experience with the Los Angeles International Lounge:

In summary, the Los Angeles International Lounge was a reasonable place to hang out in a proper lounge chair, but there was nothing here that was “above average” for an international business class departure lounge. The highlight were the interior views from the outdoor terrace, whereas the food offerings in the lounge were the low point.

If you had the opportunity to visit the Los Angeles International Lounge, did you find it a bit meek in comparison to the other lounges available in the Tom Bradley International Terminal – Los Angeles ?

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