Photos: new Star Alliance First Class lounge at LAX

By David Flynn, September 24 2013

Star Alliance's new business lounge at Los Angeles will get plenty of fanfare, but let's not overlook the smaller and more exclusive first class lounge discretely tucked away to the side.

The first class lounge will be available only to passengers flying in first class with Star Alliance members operating out of the also-new-and-shiny Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX.

That's a small group which includes ANA, Asiana, Lufthansa, Singapore Airline, SWISS and Thai Airways.

(Ironically, Air New Zealand doesn't make the cut – the Kiwi carrier, which operates Star's lush new LAX digs, still flies out of Terminal 2 and isn't expected to move to TBIT until the second half of next year.)

Booked into business class but carrying a Gold frequent flyer card in your wallet?

Sorry, that won't open the doors to the first class lounge – so you may need to be content to take this virtual wander through Star's LAX first class lounge.

The first class lounge is a very compact affair with seating for just 42 passengers – or 43, if you include the iconic Eames chair in the reception area.

The space also includes two small rooms which can be used for the vippest of VIPs...

... plus four small dining tables.

Guests in the first class lounge enjoy a higher quality buffet spread than their business lounge counterparts, with pre-flight delights ranging from sushi and soup to macarons plus an a la carte menu.

However, Star expects many first class passengers will shuffle in and out of the business lounge to visit the bar or outdoor terrace or use the larger lounge's shower suites, as the first class lounge has only two bathrooms.

So to a certain extent it's more of a first class annexe – a less crowded and more private space than the business lounge.

Australian Business Traveller visited Los Angeles for the opening of the new Star Alliance lounges as a guest of Star Alliance.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

call me 'old fashioned'..but i LOVE  the fact that a FIRST CLASS lounge is ONLY available to pax FLYING FIRST CLASS...same SHOULD go for BUSINESS CLASS  lounges.. BUT the insatiable need by airlines to lure the general public into flying with them by dangling 'exclusive benefits' of a F/Fer scheme...but sadly over the years, there are so many different 'variables'/tiers/partnerships/alliances in and between airlines....airlines/airports  couldnt/cant provide seperate spaces/clubs/lounges for ALL the different catergories...a more prominent classic example worldwide is the BUSINESS CLASS LOUNGE...that isnt!!!! as it allows nearly 'every man and his dog' into it!!!   it devalues the whole product...BRING BACK FIRST CLASS SEAT (sold as F/C) = FIRST CLASS LOUNGE...BUSINESS CLASS SEAT(sold as B/C)= BUSINESS CLASS LOUNGE... ( it's a dream...i know it will never happen)

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

SQ has done this at Changi. The Silverkris Lounge is only available for people flying Business (or Suites or First - but there are better options if you are ticketed in those classes) with the airline and the top tier PPS members (kind of like LH HON Cirle member). All others will have to go to the Krisflyer Gold lounge.

I can understand your point on lounge access, but being a OW Emerald I love the fact I have access to the F lounges around the world (OW being the only alliance who allows their top tier FF to access F lounges of any airline in OW). Star Alliance does not allow their Star Gold access to F class lounges, it is on an individual airline basis only (e.g. LH allows their HON Circle members LH F class access).

I do not have an issue myself with top tier FF accessing lounges, however, when a lounge also allows paid access or access to certain CC holders it is a different story as it could devaluate the experience. However, this is the reality especially when airlines use third party operated lounges.

13 Aug 2013

Total posts 80

Totally agree. I feel one should have to earn the right to a Business Class or First Class lounge, by it matching the Cabin Class flown.By the way, how is this lounge amazing in any sense of the word. The styling is boring. I expected better. The Virgin Clubhouse lounge in JFK and Heathrow are a squillion times more inspired and stylish

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

"I feel one should have to earn the right to a Business Class or First Class lounge"

Um, isn't getting to Gold/Platinum status "earning" it?

13 Aug 2013

Total posts 80

Yes it would be. Don't twist my meaning. I think anyone who has accrued some level of status and or traveling on a Business Class or First Class ticket should have access. But, I do think it cheapens the product and is disrespectful to those who have paid 2, 3, or even 4 times more if access can be bought for a small fee by Economy Passengers. There's nothing elitist in that. Its fair.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

I agree that allowing one-time lounge access passes to be purchased at the door for a nominal fee does indeed cheapen the atmosphere, but I refuse to be accused of 'twisting' your meaning when you were rabbling on about how lounge access must be earned and how it must match cabin class.

"I feel one should have to earn the right to a Business Class or First Class lounge, by it matching the Cabin Class flown."

I agree that the right to lounge access should be earned. This can be through travel in a premium cabin and/or elite status. However, because you emphasised "matching the Cabin Class flown", your phrasing strongly suggested a pure cabin class-lounge relationship ignoring elite status. Nowhere did you include accrual of status prior to this reply.

The value proposition of Star Alliance is poor when you consider the highest band for the alliance does not match up to the best perks of their product offerings. 

To maintain an elitist perspective to lounge access is to be myopic and blinkered.

Today's economy pax is tomorrow's business and first pax. Brand loyalty does not occur overnight. It's an organic process supported by on-going recognition of value by customers.

13 Aug 2013

Total posts 80

Oh please. Really? I don't think anyone is suggesting Economy Passengers are sub-human, and to make statements that it is elitist, well you've drawn an extremely long bow. But why should they have access to a Business Class Lounge. When I have flown economy I have never had the opinion that I am entitled to anything other than the basic service, because it is at a cheaper fare. It is unfair to those who have paid for a higher class. I think Airlines should however consider adding a separate section of the lounge for Economy Passengers, for a fee. Having 2 or 3 distinct sections would be a good idea. There has to be some reward to those who have paid for that extra level of service and to expect them to be fine with anyone and everyone gaining access to a more exclusive section is spitting in their face. 

Sorry Jay. I've not made myself clear enough. My response was with reference to the comment that elite frequent flyers should not get access to lounges. It is not a general statement about economy class pax getting lounge access. That would plainly be illogical.

13 Aug 2013

Total posts 80

Hmmm, OK. That changes everything lol. Thank you for clarifying. I did get fiery with the myopic and blinkered comment, but all is well. Ignore my other posts, where I sounded like an angry raving lunatic. I think I should get an early night :-) 

13 Aug 2013

Total posts 80

I suppose Village Cinemas should do away with Gold Class distinction too and Gold Class patrons would be myopic and blinkered if not wanting to share the product they have paid for. .  "Want A LA Carte food and wine brought to you on your $12.50 ticket? Sure! How about a reclining armchair too? 

No reasonable person would have such an entitled  mentality and expect  a high end service, even in a Cinema - unless they have paid for it.

 

It is a shame you've not understood the context of the comment i.e. comparing Oneworld to Star Alliance but have chosen instead to consider a spurious example. 

But nevertheless you have raised an interesting point. I guess Hoyts cinema best not rock the boat and offer incentives to frequent patrons of their cinema! Village might be forced to lower its standards to compete!

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

i knew my post would open the proverbial 'can of (F/F) worms' ....  'F/F'  is the  best  'scheme' ever invented by the airline industry .... 'GET REWARDED FOR YOUR LOYALTY'..  hmmmm sounds familliar...happens everyday/everywhere...we humans are a 'fascinating' bunch....i do the same with my partner!!! LOL

17 Jul 2013

Total posts 3

Thai does not offer First Class out of LAX


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