Star Alliance First and Business Class ticket holders
Star Alliance Gold card holders
Date: June 2016
Despite my next flight being on United and departing from LAX’s terminal 7, I opted to clear security at Terminal 4 and then head next door to the Tom Bradley International to try out the Star Alliance lounge.
I don’t think anybody will be surprised that I picked one of the top flagship lounges in the Star Alliance, over a regular United club but the Terminal 4 thing may require some explanation.
At the time of my trip there was no Pre✓ facility at the TBIT, whereas T4’s allowed me to get airside in under 5 minutes. I even encountered friendly TSA agents who laughed and joked with me! T4 and TBIT are connected via an airside walkway so I was able to get to the lounge in another 5 minutes once I got airside.
After a warm welcome at the reception outside, I walked into the lounge and was immediately struck by how bright, spacious and stylish the space seemed. The white curtains are rather reminiscent of Air France’s La premiere cabin on the 777 and the cream and blue chairs, coupled with the recessed lighting make for a very elegant appearance.
Looking right from the literature stand. A smaller, quieter sitting area.
The most popular area of the lounge appeared to be the manned bar, featuring a variety of mid shelf spirits. I was quite surprised to see the screens showing premiership football.
A small self service drinks area was located immediately adjacent to the bar. I think that having both options available makes a lot of sense. You please people that want to have cocktails made for them whilst also allowing people in a hurry to grab a quick glass of wine, without holding up the staff.
Continuing to make our way around the lounge, past the bar. Here you can see once of the two entrances to the indoor terrace…
The indoor terrace was very popular and arguably the most refined looking space in the lounge. The designer chairs, parquet floor and curved beams of the terminal ceiling combine to great effect. It is amazing what a difference the trees make too, so many lifeless, windowless lounges could be significantly improved by just adding a little greenery.
Back inside the main lounge space we have a restaurant area to the left and a sitting area directly behind us, where I opted to sit and enjoy the amazing food.
The buffet was outstanding. A huge variety of hot and cold dishes, including a beautiful cheese display, freshly baked cakes, smoothies and a lot of healthy options!
I retreated to my darkened sanctum with a delicious bowl of Pho and was happy to see that there were plenty of charging points available.
After finishing my food I gathered my things and made my way down this hallway to the standout feature of this lounge. This area was the one I was most looking forward to – a space in which I could have spent a whole day, without the slightest hint of boredom.
In typical fashion, the skies had cleared and the sun started shining just as I was due to leave LA. Thankfully I had a couple of hours in which to enjoy the terrace… all by myself!
I have absolutely no idea why this space was completely empty when the rest of the lounge was so full. I can only imagine that it is due to a lack of signage inside. For any true #AVGeek this is paradise.
I can only imagine how cool this place is at night, when all the glass boxes are fences for flickering flames and the lights of the incoming aircraft fill the sky.
After finding a suitable spot, I headed indoors and ordered an espresso martini at the bar. When I returned I noticed that two other people had come outside to enjoy the views. Still, not exactly a crowded atmosphere out here ?
Some very cool and unusual traffic here. A340s are rare enough these days but to see one in Air Tahiti Nui livery was awesome. The Hobbit livery on the NZ 777 was a wonderful surprise too. The best part? The touch point for landings on the TBIT runway is almost perfectly lined up with this seat. Seeing the smoke coming off the tires of a Lufthansa A380 as it hit the ground was amazing!
The food and drink are excellent, the decor is very elegant and modern, power sockets are freely available and there’s an outdoor terrace from which to enjoy the sunshine and view some of the most diverse traffic of any airport in the world.