a bar with a counter and bottles on the wall
The Final Verdict
Food & Beverage
Overall Vibe

Has anyone ever actually hoped for a flight delay? After a trip to the Qantas First Class Lounge in the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International (LAX) Airport, I’m certainly closer. Qantas has curated a magical array of spaces in their most prestigious Los Angeles lounge, delighting passengers with everything from zen den to best bar/restaurant around town. Take a look for yourself.

Entry Requirements: International First class ticket or OneWorld Emerald status (excluding American on domestic).

The Lounge…

a room with chairs and a table

QF first overview – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

a room with a table and chairs

Instantly upscale. Qantas has brilliantly melded “down under” design elements from their flagship Sydney first class lounge into its glitzy Los Angeles hub. Retro chic carpet, iconic chairs, wood and chrome finishes (matching their actual First Class seat) can be found throughout the space, as can their signature angled column.  You’ll feel stylish, guaranteed.

a room with red chairs and tables

QF first red seating – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

a room with chairs and tables

The walkway (above) serves as the highway to all cozy spaces throughout the lounge. The lounge itself by the way, is for lack of a better word, massive. Unlike many airport spaces, which are limited to low ceilings and entirely artificial light, the Qantas First lounge has an almost outdoor, clean feel; which even at capacity felt wonderfully fresh. You could spend a day in there and not run into someone, which is handy for some.

a room with chairs and a table

QF first lounge chairs – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

a room with white couches and a glass table

If you enjoy world class people watching or quiet productivity space I highly recommend a comfy solo lounge chair, which can be found to the left directly after entering the lounge. The perfectly lazy chairs feature unfiltered views of those passing through the main lounge corridor in the terminal. The area is a perfect marriage of quiet space and voyeurism, a strange but excellent combo.

a shelf with bottles and glasses

QF bar – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

a bar with a counter and bottles on the wall

Qantas food and beverage offerings are immense and definitely not to be missed. The open plan area features a whopping 4 champagnes, at least 4 reds, 4 whites and extensive cocktails designed by the Rockpool Grille mixology team. Laurent Perrier, Mumm, Pommery or Nicholas Feuillatte… these are life’s decisions. The waiter and table service is 100% inspired. White coats, busboys, it’s a real full scale restaurant operation with exacting standards. It just happens to be in an airport lounge. I loved the hamachi crudo, red duck, bibimbap, croque monsieur.

a room with tables and chairs

QF first dining – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

a group of wine bottles on a table

Impressive spread! The staff raved about the Markham Bordeaux blend and I very much enjoyed a solid Australian Shiraz, the Centenary Hill. No trip to the lounge is complete without a sampling of the truly legendary squid. Of the many excellent I’ve dined in on the ground, I’d be hard pressed to say I had better, more tender or well seasoned squid anywhere. The chili dip was pungent, powerful and a delightful accompaniment to a perfect dish.

a plate of food on a table

We were fortunate enough (coincidence?) to be the very first people served their new spring menu. The chef had just flown in from Australia to teach the staff how to execute the new dishes, which included Bibimbap, a Korean favorite which is the perfect fusion between a healthy breakfast and a flavorful Asian lunch. For a look at the entire spring menu, click here.

a plate of food on a table

If We Had To Be Picky….

a restaurant with tables and chairs

We had a rather chaotic day with American Airlines at LAX, so this lounge provided us comfort for almost 12 hours and we were lucky to experience it during the noon hour, when it was virtually empty and then again at prime time when all of the Qantas flights were outbound. If we had to be picky we’d highlight that there is no spa here, unlike their Sydney first lounge, the only reason it comes to mind is because a staff member made the distinction. Beyond that it’s hard to argue with…

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *