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This the first of many posts from my epic trip around the Pacific Rim. Over the next few weeks (ok, let’s be realistic, months), I’ll be writing about my experiences in Kuala Lumpur, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Osaka.
I booked the trip as my final booking using USAirways miles before the airline merged with American. As a result, I was able to fly all the way from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur to Auckland, then back from Auckland to Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong to Osaka to Los Angeles to San Francisco, all in business class on various airlines for just 110,000 miles. Sadly, these creative award bookings are no longer possible through American, but they were nice while they lasted.
When we approached Los Angeles, we first flew over LAX, which afforded us this clear view of the whole airport. Pretty cool.
After flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles in first class on American, I then had a few hours before my next flight on Cathay Pacific. At the time of this trip, the new connector between Terminal 4 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX had not yet been completed, so I had to exit security, walk over to the International Terminal, then re-clear security. Walking through the airport grounds always reminds me of playing Grand Theft Auto V. The security lines were long and there was no PreCheck available, though at the end of the line before the screening machines, I did get funneled into a line where PreCheck rules seemed to be in place. My original 3 hour layover was down to less than 2 by the time I got through security.
Eventualy, I made my way to the OneWorld Business Lounge, which is available to qualifying OneWorld passengers. I had access due to flying on Cathay Pacific in Business Class, but if you are flying in first class or business class on any OneWorld airline, you are eligible to hang out in this lounge. You can also access with OneWorld Emerald or Sapphire status.
As I first entered the OneWorld Business Lounge, it struck me just how empty the place was. It was 9:30am, so most international flights would not be leaving around that time, but still, there were several flights listed on the monitors so I would have expected it to be a bit busier.
Another thing that helps make the OneWorld lounge in LAX look empty is the fact that it’s a massive lounge. There are lots of seating areas for every level of comfort you want, from nice recliners to tables and workspaces.
There were self-service coffee and soda machines available.
There is even a fire pit!
There are also showers available, though I didn’t need to use them.
Business travelers will find themselves with plenty of quiet spaces. Also, there are lots of charging outlets all over the lounge.
While the LAX OneWorld Lounge is a nice space, I did find the food to be rather unimpressive, though that could have been due to my arrival in the morning during a time where there weren’t many people in the lounge. There was breakfast out, but areas of the dining room had no food out at all. Presumably lunch and dinner are much busier travel times so there is a better food selection out then.
The bar did look nice, though I skipped it since it was so early in the morning. It did have a local craft beer, Dog Town Duck, which I had never heard of before. It’s a nice touch to see local beers like that in a lounge.
After getting a bit of food, I sat down and relaxed for a while in one of the recliners. It was looking out over an atrium that had a large string art piece, reminding me of the ones in SFO’s Terminal 2.
The OneWorld Business Lounge in Los Angeles is a comfortable place to wait until your flight. I’d be interested in seeing if it ever gets unbearably crowded, but based on a quick look of the upcoming departures for the day, I can’t imagine that it would ever become chaotic. The major selling point of the lounge is the variety of quiet places to relax. The food selection could be better, but like I said, perhaps it is indeed better later in the day. Now that the connector between Terminal 4 and the International Terminal is open, American Airlines upper-level elites can easily access this lounge rather than visiting the inferior Admirals Clubs.
Read below for all of my posts about my trip around the Pacific Rim!
Traveler. Writer. Photographer. Terrible dancer. 40+ countries & major territories so far, slowly working his way through the rest. Related interests: craft beer, street food, cocktails, culture, sporting events, history, value travel, credit card bonuses, hiking, visiting non-touristy places, bacon, seafood, & cheese