The Star Alliance Lounge at Los Angeles International (LAX) within the Tom Bradley Terminal is very good.
It’s not the world’s best business class lounge, and frankly it might not even be in the top 10, but it’s not too far at all — and there are some unique features which can make any visit delightful.
Like all airport spaces it’s been through a lot in recent times, but many features are fast returning as the world gets back to travel.
Here’s what you can expect, if you’re coming through the lounge as a Star Alliance Gold member, business class passenger, or now, even someone paying for access.
Getting In To The Star Alliance Lounge @ LAX
The Star Alliance Lounge in the Tom Bradley International Terminal is a short walk from security checkpoints and up an escalator, some stairs or an elevator, whichever you prefer.
After clearing security, look for the clock tower in the main high ceiling atrium and head to Level 6 to find the Star Alliance Lounge at LAX.
Entry into the lounge is granted to Star Alliance Gold members traveling on a Star Alliance airline in any cabin, or to business class passengers flying with a Star Alliance airline as well. Recently, the lounge also began charging for guest access at a rate of $50 per visit. Worth it? More on that in a bit.
If you happen to be flying in ticketed first class on a Star Alliance Airline, there’s a separate lounge just across the hall.
Inside The Star Alliance Lounge At LAX
This is a relatively large lounge, and with so many international Star Alliance flights departing every day, it needs to be. After scanning your boarding pass, you’ll find a spacious selection of seating areas, as well as a bar to your left.
Unless it’s a whistle stop visit, keep going though. The “best” of the lounge is a bit deeper into the space, such as the outdoor terrace.
Interiors of the lounge are much in line with other Star Alliance outposts such as the newish lounge in Amsterdam. It’s a sharp, dimly lit space with nice odes to the city and aviation as a whole.
It won’t blow your mind with artistic vision or wowing architecture — unless this is your first airport lounge experience — but it’s very nice.
The real joys of the space however can quickly be found on the terraces. And yes, there are two. One circular terrace wraps around the interior of the Tom Bradley Terminal. It is nothing short a wonderful space.
Out on this airy deck the faint buzz of the terminal can be heard below, with people watching views and airy space for days. It’s the perfect place to read a book, or connect with a travel companion over a glass of something.
If terminal air isn’t good enough, further into the lounge near the signage for shower suites you can find the outdoor terrace. It’s modest, but any chance for “real” air prior to a flight should be relished — and plane spotting never hurts either.
After a connection, or before many of the ultra-long haul flights which depart from LAX, a shower is such a welcome reprieve during travel.
The Star Alliance Lounge in Tom Bradley (TBIT) offers an impressive shower suite area, so if you’re in need – know that.
This isn’t a lounge where one would say “come hungry”, but it’s a lounge where someone who is hungry can certainly be fed and happy.
There’s an ample buffet serving a variety of largely uninspired but perfectly palatable dishes for anyone looking to carb load, or eat pre-flight to maximize sleep.
The food menu rotates all too frequently to make sense here, but things like rice with chicken in a black bean sauce and some side salads are what you can expect.
As airport terminals have become more competitive spaces, dining options in the terminal have massively improved, so if it were up to me, I’d pay for food elsewhere — or ideally before arriving at the airport, and use the lounge to relax and maybe enjoy a drink.
Bar And Drinks
Although it could change at any moment — the bar at the Star Alliance Lounge at Los Angeles (LAX) is still temporarily closed. Instead, passengers are directed to a self serve bar nearby.
A variety of wines and bubbles are available in different areas of the lounge, including a few whites, reds and different variations of sparkling wine. From time to time, there is even a bonafide Champagne, though you’ll more commonly find Prosecco.
These are certainly passable wines, particularly the whites, but again, if it’s not about “it’s free”, there’s a wine bar down in the terminal with some exceptional wines. If it is about “it’s free”, then the self serve element is nice — and you can take a glass onto the beautiful terraces to toast the occasion.
Wi-Fi & Other Features
The Star Alliance Lounge at LAX features an impressive media room, just to the left of the shower suites. If you’re seeking seclusion, this is definitely one of the best spots. Most people never pop their head in, or see the television on and keep walking.
Wi-Fi in the Star Alliance Lounge is of a pretty decent standard and you can expect it to work anywhere in the lounge. I was able to upload a few fairly large photos without a significant delay and things like streaming Netflix should work like a charm.
The lounge claims to offer printing services, so if you need any last minute print outs of covid-19 travel documents, or work papers, you should be able to get that done, too.
In Review: The Star Alliance Lounge At LAX
This lounge is mostly function over fashion, which is definitely the better side to err’ on, but it’s got a few fun elements too. If not for the terraces, it would be supremely mid table, but with the outdoor space and the lounges, there’s a lot to love.
You really can find a seat that works for your needs and expect good wifi to keep you happy – and for most people that’s the name of the game.
As noted, the food won’t blow your mind, but food in few business class lounges will. You could say the same about the drinks. By North American standards this is a great place to kill time and is a delight in the case of flight delays.
Overall, a solid 8/10, or four stars.