Qantas Los Angeles first class lounge brings luxe to LAX

By David Flynn, December 18 2014

The all-new Qantas Los Angeles First Lounge is a high-flying haven for travellers on Qantas and Oneworld airlines such as British Airways and Cathay Pacific, both of which run daily services out of LAX.

Designed by Marc Newson, the lounge takes its lead from Newson's work on Qantas' highly-praised Sydney and Melbourne first class lounges but strikes an updated, more contemporary note. (Although unlike its Aussie counterparts, there's no day spa.)

There's a definite local influence, including Californian Knoll furniture and American oak walls.

But there are also cues in some materials (such as Tuscan Carrara marbled floors), colours and patterns which connect the space to the Sydney and Melbourne first class lounges.

“The new lounge is more than triple the size of the previous space, and the design and service is equal to the world’s best five star hotels and restaurants,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce in opening the lounge.

With seating for over 200 travellers plus an a la carte dining room with seasonal menus from Neil Perry's Rockpool Group, this could just be America's best airport lounge.

The Qantas Los Angeles First Lounge includes a 74-seat restaurant with a view to the open-style kitchen.

In addition to seasonal updates the menu will include signature dishes including Black Angus minute steak with chipotle butter and lime; LA-inspired cuisine including Mexican, Korean and Italian dishes; and favourites from the First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, such as the Salt and Pepper Squid.

Passengers will also be offered a selection of individually prepared small plates in the lounge and bar area.

A stand-out feature is the dining room's 48 foot-long bar for dining and enjoying cocktails (such as a Mezcal Margarita), premium Australian and Californian wines and champagne.

Passengers travelling in first class will have Qantas hosts meet that at the check-in desk, fast-track them through security (using the airport's staff & crew lane) and also see them off at a dedicated first class boarding lane.

The lounge also sports fast and free WiFi with wireless printing plus two private work suites which travellers can book free of charge, along with seven shower suites featuring Australian Aurora Spa products.

Watch a video on the Qantas First Lounge below:

So who gets into the Qantas Los Angeles frst class lounge?

You'll need to be booked into first class on Qantas, British Airways and Cathay Pacific flights, or be a top-tier Emerald member of any Oneworld airline's frequent flyer program (including Qantas Platinum and Platinum One, BA Executive Club Gold and CX Marco Polo Diamond).

The Qantas Los Angeles First Lounge will help alleviate over-crowding in the adjacent Business Lounge, which has seen some Qantas Club members turned away during busy periods. A 200-seat extension to the business class lounge will follow next year.

Read: Qantas says expansion of LAX Business Lounge now 'early 2015'

David Flynn travelled to Los Angeles as a guest of Qantas.

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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.

Thanks David.

I'm curious about the mechanics of the following:

"Passengers travelling in first class will receive dedicated check-in, fast-track immigration and dedicated boarding at the hands of Qantas First Hosts."

  • Is the Qantas First Class check-in counter at TBIT still available for OW Emerald (not travelling in the First class cabin) or has it now changed?
  • Presumably "fast-track immigration" is actually referring to "fast-track TSA clearance" since the USA does not have immigration controls for departing passengers. Can you please confirm? If so, will such fast-track passes only be available to First Class passengers or has the OW Emerald Fast Track service been extended to LAX TBIT (previously only LAX T4 has this services for AA flights)?
  • Will the "dedicated boarding" be similar to the dedicated boarding for passengers in the Emirates First Class lounge in DXB Concourse A? Is this again only limited to First Class passengers, with other OW Emeralds not flying in First having to exit the lounge and board together with other Business,PE and Economy passengers?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

Hey TRB - just checked on this. 'First hosting' is basically a staffer to escort First class passengers all the way through.

1. Yes, First checkin still okay for Qantas Platinums.

2. 'Fast-track' through security is in fact using the LAX staff/crew lane (!)

3. Dedicated boarding is, I'm told, a first-only lane which once again has Qantas staff to 'host' you.

Thanks David!

David,

Just been on the Oneworld website. It appears that BA is offering fast track through LAX TBIT for OWE flying on BA. I wonder when QF and CX are getting on board.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

Hey TRB - just checked on this. 'First hosting' is basically a staffer to escort First class passengers all the way through.

1. Yes, First checkin still okay for Qantas Platinums.

2. 'Fast-track' through security is in fact using the LAX staff/crew lane (!)

3. Dedicated boarding is, I'm told, a first-only lane which once again has Qantas staff to 'host' you.

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 128

CX and BA are not just daily

BA is 2X daily

CX is 4X daily

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Oh and QF 3 times daily...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

I like the individual ground hosting for first class pax, it's something that they could flesh out a little further, but not a bad start (especially given some other airlines provide this or better, at their major hubs). As Business and First class have less to seperate them these days (particularly if you are an elite frequent flyer already), I think airlines have to refine the on the ground experience for First passengers. You want to make the whole arrival at the airport to boarding the aircraft transition as smooth and seamless as it can be (if only to justify the First mark-up).

22 Jul 2011

Total posts 98

I was really looking forward to this. However, I'm really disappointed! I expected to see Marc Newson's touch and some references to Sydney/Melbourne lounge, but to me it's a poor imitation. Nearly 10 years on from the original first lounges, I expected a fresh, evolved look. Same carpet, same marble, same glass frosting etc, without any of the wow factors. And being local and using Knoll may be more of a cost saving than a design feature, as the furnitute looks bland. Hope the food is good.

20 May 2014

Total posts 79

Every single time Qantas does a press release about their lounges in LA, they are always needlessly confusing when they say "eligible passengers on Cathay, BA, and Qantas...."

I'm right in thinking that, like the business class lounge, JAL First Class passengers will have access to this lounge, right?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2013

Total posts 42

As long as you hold a valid JAL First Class ticket, there is no reason why you should be denied access to the Qantas First Lounge. Per their website (link below) access is restricted to oneworld Emerald customers and International oneworld First Customers (i.e. First class customers with a oneworld carrier).

As for why their press releases always say eligible Cathay, BA and Qantas passengers....it is because these 3 carriers are the operating carriers of the lounge. They've paid for, built and operate the lounge for their passengers as their primary focus. oneworld First class passengers and oneworld Emerald customers having access is merely a result of alliance membership. Carriers like JAL, Iberia, AA etc don't pay for and operate the lounge, hence why they are never mentioned.

Though I do get that it can be quite confusing when they say this. 

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

"As for why their press releases always say eligible Cathay, BA and Qantas passengers....it is because these 3 carriers are the operating carriers of the lounge."

Not quite so – that's the case with the business lounge, but the first class lounge is a 100% Qantas affair. 

26 May 2012

Total posts 150

It's funny seeing the First design themes without a fantastically large panoramic view to draw towards.

Furniture a little bit bland IMHO.

Still looks great though and I'm sure it will be a very cool haven for those eligible to enter prior to the long flight to Australia.

It's on my list. 

Lufthansa - Miles & More

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 185

I'm still going to use VS as I want a nice seat to fly over with I rate VS upper class higher than ba or aa first class

Qantas

12 Jul 2013

Total posts 10

In the first lounge at LAX now. Just had dinner with my wife and kids and are now relaxing. Service has been great. Food was very good. Plenty of seating. My wife has just had a shower.

There are dedicated First showers, so no wait required. Also good quality toiletries in the showers.

We are loving the experience so far. A big step up from the business lounge and it "feels' like a Qantas First lounge. 

Thanks for the heads up Dale! Passing through this weekend!

22 Jul 2011

Total posts 98

"There's a definite local influence, including Californian Knoll furniture and American oak walls". American oak was actually used for the dividing walls in the Sydney/Melbourne lounges


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