Review: New LAX Star Alliance Lounge and TBIT

Introduction/Booking
New LAX Star Alliance Lounge/Tom Bradley International Terminal
Singapore A380 Suites, Los Angeles to Tokyo-Narita
ANA Suite Lounge (Satellite 4) and United Club, Tokyo-Narita
Singapore A380 Suites, Tokyo-Narita to Singapore
Singapore Changi Ambassador Transit Hotel, Terminal 3
Singapore Airlines Private Room (and a day in Singapore)
Singapore Airlines NEW Boeing 777-300ER First Class, Singapore to Mumbai


I arrived at Tom Bradley International Terminal at about 11am, about 3 hours before departure.  I knew ahead of time that Suites was sold out on this flight, so I wasn’t surprised there was already a couple checking in (and taking forever).  I walked on to the red Singapore Suites carpet and an agent at a business class desk immediately came forward, approached me, and confirmed I was in Suites, inviting me to his desk to check in (but not before saying it was okay to wait if I wanted to check in at the Suites desk!).

I always know I'm going somewhere cool when I enter here

I always know I’m going somewhere cool when I enter here

Singapore Suites Check-In

Singapore Suites Check-In

The line I didn't get to use

The line I didn’t get to use

I made some small talk and queried if the station manager was around, since I had been introduced to him by a friend of mine (a certain Bengali Miles Guru).  He called the station manager who came to meet me, and then escorted me to the front of security and eventually to the beautiful new Star Alliance lounge. Connections! (For what it’s worth, the agent in the Suites lined offered the same to the couple checking in with her).

The new LAX Star Alliance lounge is an ENORMOUS upgrade from the old one.  Sure, it’s no Lufthansa First Class Terminal, but it’s much better than similar lounges, like the Star Alliance Lounge at London Heathrow.  Funny enough, the Star Alliance lounge is run by Air New Zealand, which is still in Terminal 2 (and has their own Koru Lounge) before they move to TBIT.

At the top of the elevator is the entrance to the Business Class/Star Gold side, while the First Class lounge has a smaller entrance off to the side.  However, both lounges are connected within, with a door that requires PIN access to go from Business -> First side.

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge entrance

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge entrance

Star Alliance First Lounge entrance (to the side)

Star Alliance First Lounge entrance (to the side)

The First lounge is rather small, with seating for no more than maybe 30 passengers at once. I was joined by other SQ Suites passengers as well as Lufthansa First passengers.

Star Alliance First Class Lounge

Star Alliance First Class Lounge

One thing that surprised me was the friendliness of the staff within the lounge, who immediately escorted me to a seat in the lounge and offered a drink as well as a menu of bites to eat.  The bar area is also self-serve if one wants to pour their own.  There are a few nibbles in the First lounge, but there are not as many as are on the menu (most of the menu is in the business lounge).

Star Alliance FIrst Lounge - food

Star Alliance First Lounge – food

Star Alliance First Lounge - food

Star Alliance First Lounge – food

Star Alliance First Lounge - drink

Star Alliance First Lounge – drink

 

Star Alliance First Lounge - drink

Star Alliance First Lounge – drink

Star Alliance First Lounge - drink

Star Alliance First Lounge – drink

Star Alliance First Lounge - seating

Star Alliance First Lounge – seating

First Class Menu ... comic sans??

First Class Menu … comic sans??

 

Spring rolls - I wasn't really a fan.

Spring rolls – I wasn’t really a fan.

There is a back entrance to the business class lounge, which opens directly to the food area, where the selection is pretty ample (much more than what was offered in the old lounge when I flew SQ 11 in Economy as a Star Gold two years ago).

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - food

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – food

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - food

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – food

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - food

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – food

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - food

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – food

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - food

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – food

The First Class lounge is rather private with not much pizzazz, but the Business Class side has all of the goodies.  What an amazing lounge – I’ll let the photos speak for the themselves.

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - LA quotations on the walls

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – LA quotations on the walls

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - "library"

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – “library”

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - indoor terrace

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – indoor terrace

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - LA quotation

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – LA quotation

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - plant features near outdoor terrace

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – plant features near outdoor terrace

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - outdoor terrace with fire and waterfall

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – outdoor terrace with fire and waterfall

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - more LA quotations

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – more LA quotations

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - outdoor deck

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – outdoor terrace

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge - outdoor terrace

Star Alliance Business/Gold Lounge – outdoor terrace

One of the First Class lounge attendants escorted me throughout the Business Class lounge, pointing out where things like the terrace and showers were.  I could tell they are all pretty proud of this place.  Sure, it will be outdated one day but it’s absolutely fantastic today.

After checking out the lounge, I wandered through the terminal.  I had already toured the terminal during a public tour day back in June 2013, but this was my first time checking out a functional new TBIT.  A gorgeous sunny 81º day provided plenty of natural light into the building.

First time I've seen a retail Economist store

First time I’ve seen a retail Economist store

Lucky's favorite store :P

Lucky‘s favorite store :P

Tom Bradley International Terminal

Tom Bradley International Terminal

TBIT restaurant options

TBIT restaurant options

TBIT restaurant options

TBIT restaurant options

If I wasn't already flying Singapore Suites ....

If I wasn’t already flying Singapore Suites ….

TBIT restaurant options

TBIT restaurant options

TBIT restaurant options

TBIT restaurant options

Not a bad place to eat and planewatch.

Not a bad place to eat and planewatch.

There were many more restaurant options than I took photos of, but even if you didn’t have lounge access, I could see this being a decent place to wait for a flight.

TBIT time tower (elevator shaft) and departures board

TBIT time tower (elevator shaft) and departures board

TBIT departures board

TBIT departures board

TBIT displays

TBIT displays

Walking through TBIT

Walking through TBIT

SQ 11 was parked at Gate 150, getting ready for the journey to Narita.  I snapped a few photos of my plane plus other A380s before returning to the lounge to get some work done.

Singapore Airlines A380

Singapore Airlines A380

Singapore Airlines A380

Singapore Airlines A380

Singapore Airlines A380

Singapore Airlines A380

Air France A380 lurking in the background

Air France A380 lurking in the background

One of the bartenders in the level just below the Star Alliance lounge struck a conversation with me, and I could tell that he, too, was really proud about working in a new terminal that wasn’t as dilapidated as the old one.

At about 50 minutes to departure, the lounge agent called boarding for SQ 11.  I made my way to Gate 150, where boarding hadn’t really begun.  However, the gate agent saw my “Suites” boarding pass and invited me to board early.  My Singapore Airlines experience was about to begin!

Giddy like a schoolgirl

Giddy like a schoolgirl

About 

Amol (@PointsToPointB) joined HMT in 2012 and posts his thoughts on mileage earning and burning. An ardent manufactured spender, he's an American Executive Platinum, Delta Platinum, and United Platinum.
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  • Or N

    looks real good

  • theSHARk

    Comic Sans for first class menu lol

    • Scottrick

      Actually, I think it’s closer to Lucida Handwriting, but that’s still not quite right. Now it’s bugging me.

  • Chris K

    Visited the business lounge last week and was pleasantly surprised. Just be aware that because there are so many red-eye flights departing to Asia it gets crowded really fast at night.