A Guide to LAX's Airport LoungesUpdated by: Melissa Ruiz | 2024
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is a major travel hub. It is the gateway to the Pacific and a crossroads for international travelers. LAX is not just an airport; it is a vibrant representation of global connectivity. The airport has a sprawling complex of terminals that see millions of passengers each year, jetting off to destinations far and wide.
LAX is renowned for its impressive array of flights, connecting a diverse tapestry of cultures and continents. It is a pivotal node in the network of international air travel. The constant hum of activity, the blend of languages in the air, and the endless stream of arrivals and departures all contribute to the unique character of LAX. It is much more than just a point of departure or arrival; it is a significant landmark in the journey of countless global travelers.
The Importance of Airport Lounges at LAX
Airport lounges emerge as serene havens amid the whirlwind that is LAX, providing travelers with much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of one of the world's busiest airports.
These lounges are essential oases of comfort and convenience, not just luxury. They offer a tranquil space to relax and recharge for tired travelers away from crowded terminals.
The amenities offered within these lounges, from plush seating and high-speed Wi-Fi to gourmet dining and spa services, cater to a diverse range of needs, ensuring that every traveler can find a peaceful moment or a productive environment.
For business travelers, these lounges offer a conducive space for work, with quiet areas and meeting facilities. For families, they are a welcome escape, providing entertainment and relaxation for all ages.
In essence, LAX's lounges are more than just a part of the airport; they are sanctuaries that elevate the travel experience, offering comfort, luxury, and a sense of exclusivity in the airport's lively atmosphere.
Types of Lounges at LAX
Los Angeles International Airport has over 20 lounges, each catering to a different set of traveler needs and preferences. These lounges are divided into three categories: airline lounges, independent lounges, and Priority Pass lounges. Understanding the variety and features of these lounges can significantly improve your travel experience at LAX.
Los Angeles International Airport is a hub for several domestic airlines, which makes for a plethora of airline lounges. These specific airlines at LAX operate airline lounges that are reserved primarily for their customers. These lounges often reflect the airline's brand and level of service, offering a unique experience.
Notable Airline Lounges at LAX
Los Angeles Airport offers a variety of airline lounges for travelers to relax and enjoy amenities before their flights. Some of the most notable lounges include:
- American Airlines Admirals Club Lounges: These lounges are located throughout Terminals 4 and 5 and offer a variety of amenities, including complimentary food and drinks, Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, and access to flight information.
- American Airlines Flagship Lounge: This exclusive lounge is located in Terminal 5 and offers a more luxurious experience, with amenities such as a full-service bar, a buffet, and private spa-like showers.
- United Polaris Lounge: This impressive lounge is geared towards international and business-class travelers and offers a variety of amenities, including a chic dining area, a bar, and a quiet room.
Independent lounges at LAX are not affiliated with any specific airline and are often accessible to passengers regardless of their airline or class of service, usually through a paid entry fee or membership programs. An example of an independent lounge is the Centurion Lounge in the Tom Bradley Terminal. Certain American Express cardholders can access this lounge regardless of what airline they are utilizing for their trip.
Priority Pass Lounges
Priority Pass is a program that grants access to a global network of lounges, including several at LAX. Priority Pass members have access to these lounges regardless of airline or ticket class. The lounges within the network are accessible through a yearly membership or can be attained as an automatic perk from several travel rewards credit card memberships. Priority Pass Lounges at Los Angeles International Airport include Gameway and the Be Relax Spas, where members can enjoy complimentary services.
The Best Lounges at LAX
The Centurion Lounge at Tom Bradley International Terminal: This is an all-around spectacular lounge that has something for everybody. The lounge itself is beautiful; there is a chic bar and premium dining. The lounge has a boatload of amenities, like spa services, showers, curated meals by a famous local chef, a children’s area, workspaces, and signature Sunrise and Moonrooms to help ease jetlag.
- Hours: 6:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
- How to access: Must be an American Express U.S. Platinum Card, U.S. Business Platinum Card, Corporate Platinum Card, Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Card, or Centurion Member.
- Pro tip: Members can bring two non-member guests and purchase a day pass at a minimal fee. Rates vary by age. Children under the age of 2 are free.
The American Airlines Flagship Lounge in Terminal 4: The AA Flagship Lounge is an upgraded version of the lounges operated by American Airlines. This lounge allows AA customers to enjoy a higher level of customer experience and more exclusivity. Travelers will find an array of amenities, including a great selection of food, modern and private showers, and an onsite concierge service.
- Hours: Almost 24 hours with a short closure between 1:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.
- How to access: Must be a qualifying First or Business pass passenger, have AAadvantage or Mileage Plan membership, ConciergeKey, be part of Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire, or purchase a single visit pass for $150.
- Pro tip: There is no guest access to this lounge.
The Emirates Lounge at Tom Bradley International Terminal: Emirates Airlines is synonymous with luxury so it is no shock that this is one of the best lounges at LAX. In this lounge, the champagne flows freely and it is an all-around great place for travelers to relax. Once you walk in, the Emirate's premium hospitality standard is apparent. You will find everything from marble floors to walnut wood accents, a gourmet buffet, and spa-like shower areas.
- Hours: 11:35 a.m.–3:35 p.m.
- How to access: Open to Emirates First Class and Business Class customers or Skywards Platinum or Gold members.
- Pro tip: For great people-watching, hang out in the seating area overlooking the atrium and shops at TBIT.
The Star Alliance Lounge at Tom Bradley International Terminal: This state-of-the-art lounge is rated highly in our books due to its accessibility. Star Alliance is a global aviation alliance that several foreign airlines founded. Anyone can experience this lounge by purchasing a day pass. The lounge was designed to capture the energetic Los Angeles vibe. One of the main highlights of this lounge is the outdoor terrace with various seating areas, fire pits for ambiance, and perfect views of the Hollywood Hills.
- Hours: 8:30 a.m.–1:00 a.m. On Sundays, the lounge opens at 9:00 a.m.
- How to access: It is open to Star Alliance elite members but it is also available to passengers through paid access.
- Pro tip: Want to feel like you’re not at the airport? Enjoy the LA weather on the outdoor terrace, which feels like a chic LA bar.
Lounges for Business and International Travelers
American Airlines Admirals Club in Terminal 4: This lounge helps domestic business travelers balance work and relaxation. Amenities include a conference room that seats up to 8 people, a full-service bar, and showers to refresh between layovers.
- Hours: 4:30 AM–1:00 AM
- How to access: You must be an Admirals Club member. Membership can be obtained by purchasing an annual membership or through various credit card programs like Citi or AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard. One-day passes can also be purchased for $79.
- Pro tip: Conference rooms can be booked in advance through this link here.
United Polaris Lounge: Located near gate 73 in Terminal 7, this spacious and upscale lounge caters to international and business-class travelers. With rainfall shower heads, relaxation areas, private day beds with luxurious sheets, and premium dining, this is one of the nicest and best-rated lounges at LAX.
- Hours: 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
- How to access: Be a qualifying Business Class, International Long Haul, or First Class passenger on a United Polaris flight.
- Pro tip: Choose from private sit-down dining or enjoy the buffet.
OneWorld International Business Lounge at Tom Bradley International Terminal: Not only is this a beautiful lounge with a sleek design but it has tons of room to spread out, which international travelers on long flights can appreciate. The seating areas are plentiful and there are various ways to relax. Travelers can relax in the modern recliners or sit in the comfy club chairs near the bar. The selection of food and drinks is self-serve but has many options at all times of the day. Additional amenities that are great for international travelers include showers, clothes pressing, shoe shine, and a children’s area.
- Hours: Opens at 6:30 a.m.; closes at the last departure
- How to access: You must be departing from a OneWorld Member Airline and have Emerald or Sapphire frequent flier status or have a business or first class ticket.
- Pro tip: According to flyers, the best time to visit this lounge is in the mornings when it is least occupied.
Qantas Airways International First Lounge in the Tom Bradley International Terminal: This lounge can easily go on the best lounges list for its decor, full-service restaurant with local cuisine, and five-star service. However, business travelers would appreciate this lounge because of certain features that are conducive to seamless productivity. If you are traveling for business or need a quiet place to have a Zoom call or catch up on work, there are private rooms available as well as printers and copy machines. Like many international lounges, you will find amazing designs, private spa showers, and spa products.
- Hours: Opens at 6:30 a.m.; closes at the last departure
- How to access: Must be in the Qantas Frequent Flyer Membership tier, a first-class customer, or OneWorld First Class passenger, an Emerald member.
- Pro tip: Passengers can have one free guest admitted to the lounge.
USO Lounge at Terminal 2: While many of the lounges at LAX accept military personnel, the Bob Hope USO Lounge is known for making active military officers and their families feel right at home. The staff is made up of volunteers and makes it a point to provide solid hospitality to military travelers. Guests can enjoy free snacks and refreshments, TVs, free Wi-Fi, a children’s area, and massage chairs.
- Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday and 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday.
- How to access: Open to all active-duty military members and their families.
- Pro-Tip: This non-profit lounge is not open on Saturdays and Sundays.
The American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Flagship Lounge are complimentary for U.S. military personnel traveling in uniform on a same-day flight run by American Airlines.
A Unique Lounge for Playing and Entertainment
Gameway Lounge in Terminals 3 and 6: These Priority Pass lounges are the ultimate destination for gamers and kids of all ages to pass the time. Priority Pass members can enjoy one hour of free gaming as well as a complimentary snack and beverage or alcoholic drink. The lounge features a variety of gaming consoles, including Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch.
- Hours: 6:00 a.m.–9 p.m.
- How to access: Be a Priority Pass member or pay $15.99 for 15 minutes, $25.99 for 1 hour of play, or $45.99 for unlimited play.
- Pro tip: If you’re not into current-gen gaming, check out the classic arcade games or the large-screen TV for watching sports.
Other Airline Lounges at LAX
United Club: Situated in Terminals 7 and 8, the United Club is known for its comfortable seating, complimentary beverages, and light snacks. Access is available to United Club members and first- and business-class passengers on United and Star Alliance flights.
Delta Sky Club: Found on level 4 of Terminals 2 and 3, the Delta Sky Club stands out with its stylish design, offering a range of amenities including a full-service bar, buffet, and showers. Delta One or SkyTeam elite passengers, as well as Sky Club members, can access this lounge.
Alaska Airlines Lounge: Also situated in Terminal 6, the Alaska Airlines Lounge is open to Alaska MVP Gold members and is part of the OneWorld® Priority Lounges network, making both an airline and a Priority Pass Lounge, with day passes available for purchase. Amenities include ultra-plush lounge chairs for the ultimate in relaxation, free Wi-fi, food and snacks, a large selection of beverages, and a full bar.
Air New Zealand Elite Priority One Lounge: Located in the TBIT, this lounge is open to Star Alliance members and members of their Elite Priority One frequent flyer program. The lounge offers a premium dining experience, beer and wine, snacks, free Wi-Fi, and TV’s.
Etihad Airways First & Business Class Lounge: This is a notable lounge in the TBIT open to first and business class passengers of Etihad Airways. The lounge is elegantly designed with modern spaces and lives up to international airline standards. Travelers will have access to showers, a full bar, excellent dining choices, and free wifi.
Los Angeles International Lounge: Located in Terminal B, this lounge was established for specific international first- and business-class airline passengers who do not have designated lounges, such as Japan Airlines, Philippine Airlines, AirTahitiNui, Fiji Airways, and E-Al. The lounge has a self-service bar, coffee, soft drinks, snacks, and finger foods like sushi and fruits, and various seating areas for dining, working, and relaxing.
Be Relax Spa: For beauty services, massages, and relaxation, the Be Relax Spa is ideal for travelers who want to take advantage of these amenities before, after, or in between flights. The spa is located in Terminals 1 and B. Priority Pass cardholders can choose between a complimentary massage, a polish change, or a turn on the Be Feet Lounger.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge: Air Canada’s LAX lounge is one of the few in the U.S., located in Terminal 6, and is open to Business Class and Premium Rouge passengers, Maple Leaf Club Members, and Star Alliance Gold Members. One-time passes are also available. Maple Leaf lounges have free Wi-fi, showers, light snacks and beverages, and pancakes with maple syrup.
KAL Lounge: Operated by Korean Air, this lounge in TBIT is open to Priority Pass members. It offers basic amenities like snacks, drinks, and comfortable seating, making it a good option for travelers looking for a quiet space.
Tips for Finding LAX Lounges
Navigating through the sprawling expanse of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to find a lounge can seem daunting, especially for first-time visitors or those in a rush. However, with a few tips and insights, locating your desired lounge can be a smooth and stress-free part of your journey.
- Familiarize yourself with LAX’s Terminal Layout: LAX consists of nine passenger terminals. They are numbered 1-8 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal, also called Terminal B. Each terminal has its own set of lounges, often located near the main gates. Knowing which terminal your flight departs from can narrow down your lounge search.
- Use LAX Maps: Before your trip, review the LAX airport map available on the LAX official website. These maps provide detailed layouts for each terminal, including lounge locations.
- Follow Airport Signage: LAX is well-equipped with clear signage directing passengers to lounges. Look for overhead and wall signs as you navigate through the terminals.
- Visit Information Desks: Don't hesitate to ask for directions at airport information desks. The staff can provide guidance and updated information about lounge locations and access.
- Download Your Airline App: Many airlines have mobile apps that include terminal maps and lounge information specific to their passengers.
- Check Lounge Access and Hours: Lounge hours and access policies vary greatly. Before heading to a lounge, ensure you're aware of its access policies and operating hours. Some lounges may have restricted access during peak times or have capacity limits.
- Inter-Terminal Transportation: If your chosen lounge is in a different terminal from your departure gate, LAX offers shuttle buses and walkways between terminals. Allow extra time for terminal transfers.
- Security Checkpoints: Remember that moving between some terminals may require going through security again. Keep this in mind when planning your lounge visit.
By understanding the layout of LAX, utilizing available resources like maps and apps, and being aware of lounge access policies, you can navigate to your chosen lounge with ease. Whether you're looking for a quiet place to relax before your flight or need to freshen up during a layover, the lounges at LAX are just a few steps away with the right knowledge and preparation.
Final Thoughts: Your Gateway to Comfort at LAX
In short, the lounges at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) make traveling through this busy airport a much better experience. Whether you're a business traveler who needs a quiet place to work, a family with young kids who needs a place to relax, or a luxury traveler who wants to be pampered, LAX has a lounge that's perfect for you.
From the exclusive airline lounges with their brand-specific amenities to the accessible independent lounges and the versatile Priority Pass options, these spaces provide comfort, convenience, and a touch of class while you travel.
As you navigate through the vibrant and often hectic environment of LAX, remember that these lounges are more than just places to wait for your flight. They are tranquil sanctuaries where you can relax, recharge, and improve your travel experience. Whether you want to enjoy a gourmet meal, freshen up with a shower, or simply relax in a quiet area, the lounges at LAX transform your layover into an opportunity to relax and enjoy yourself.
So, the next time you're at LAX, consider checking out one of these lounges. Not only will it change the way you think about airport layovers, but it will also add an extra layer of enjoyment to your trip. LAX's lounges are more than just functional spaces; they're an essential part of the journey, promising comfort and a touch of luxury to every traveler passing through this world-renowned airport.