Since we announced the move of our friends Air New Zealand’s Lounge in LAX back in October last year, the first images of their (much larger) TBIT lounge have just been revealed. Taking the form of a ‘Star Alliance’ branded lounge, the new space, set to open in 2013 will offer guests departing Tom Bradley International Terminal a truly unique and glamorous lounge experience.
From their Star Alliance page, the lounge is “Inspired by mid-century modern design born in Southern California, this lounge reflects the glamour and casual sophistication many seek from California.” Designed by international architectural firm Gensler the lounge will feature furniture which is locally designed and manufactured. Whilst the lounge now will offer two levels of service, both business class and first class, the lounge is set to offer a similar experience to that of the original lounge, found in Terminal 2.
The lounge is located airside, meaning only guests departing from the TBIT terminal will be able to access the new lounge, which features a rooftop deck, something that seemingly is a new trend in airport facilities. The lounge will be open to accommodate all Star Alliance departures each day from 09:15 until 00:30 (subject to change, dependant on flight schedules).
- First Class: 42 Seats
- Business Class: 387 Seats
- Outdoor terrace and bar
- A wide range of seating options
- Fast, free and unlimited Wi-Fi internet access
- Wireless printing and local telephone calls are available on request
- Variety of complimentary hot and cold food and beverages
- A wide range of Californian wines
- Complimentary bar
- Showers and restroom facilities
- Flight information displays
- Fully accessible to disabled travellers
- Luggage storage area
- Media room with international news and sports channels
- No smoking lounge
Our verdict? Well, to be honest, we are a little disappointed. Being an airline alliance lounge, certain personality traits of airlines are removed, the space looks well appointed, and relaxing, and obviously, shower facilities are great, as well as the addition of a first class lounge area. From the initial artists impressions though, the generic colour palette and layout isn’t as exciting as we could have hoped and the designs lacks the innovation found in Virgin Atlantic clubhouses, or Cathay Pacific lounges (read Solus chair) and Marc Newson’s Qantas First class lounge. Still, artists’ impressions are sometimes misleading, and we hope that the quality and finesse is in the details and fabrics and materials used. One thing we do love, is the rooftop lounge. LA weather is perfect for a spot of plane spotting, and may even beat the In’n’Out burger for a spot of plane spotting. As soon as we find out what this means for Virgin Atlantic travellers, we’ll let you know.