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.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Fiji, New Zealand & French Polynesia via Fiji Airways and Air Tahiti Nui Business Class
- Alaska Airlines First Class: Vancouver – Seattle
- Alaska Airlines Board Room – North Satellite – Seattle – Tacoma, USA
- Alaska Airlines: Seattle – Los Angeles
- The Los Angeles International Lounge, Tom Bradley International Terminal, USA
- Fiji Airways Business Class: Los Angeles – Nadi
- The Sheraton Resort and Spa Tokoriki Island, Fiji
- The Westin Denaru Island Resort and Spa, Fiji
- Fiji Airways Tabua Lounge, Nadi International Airport, Fiji
- Fiji Airways Business Class: Nadi – Auckland
- Air New Zealand – Auckland Domestic Lounge, New Zealand
- Air New Zealand – Auckland Regional Lounge, New Zealand
- Air New Zealand: Auckland – Blenheim
- The Marlborough Vintners Hotel, Blenheim, New Zealand
- Four Sauvingon Blanc Wineries and One Lunch, Blenheim, New Zealand
- Four Pinot Noir Wineries and One Lunch, Blenheim, New Zealand
- A Circle Driving Day: Blenheim – Nelson – Picton – Blenheim, New Zealand
- Air New Zealand Blenheim – Auckland
- Air New Zealand – Auckland International Lounge, New Zealand
- Air New Zealand Economy Sky Couch: Auckland – Papeete
- Le Meridien Tahiti, Papeete, French Polynesia
- Visiting the Papeete Market and Taking the Ferry: Papeete – Moorea, French Polynesia
- The Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort, French Polynesia
- Cycling in Teavaro and Snorkelling in Moorea, French Polynesia
- Air Tahiti: Moorea – Bora Bora
- Le Meridien Bora Bora, French Polynesia
- Air Tahiti: Bora Bora – Papeete
- Air Tahiti Nui Salon Manuhiri Business Lounge, Papeete, French Polynesia
- Air Tahiti Nui Poerava Business Class: Papeete – Los Angeles
- The United Club, Los Angeles Terminal Seven
- American Airlines First Class: Los Angeles – Vancouver
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Towards the end of our visit, the lounge emptied out as the Philippines Airlines flight left, leaving lots of empty seats.
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.
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.
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.
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.