Finally! We are getting a brand new Clubhouse in Los Angeles Terminal 2. First suggested back in 2012 by TheDesignAir, the moving of the Air New Zealand lounge from LAX’s T2 which Virgin Atlantic used to use across to the TBIT terminal, left passengers in a bit of a quandary. However, the airline announced this week that their Los Angeles travellers are every bit as important to the carrier as ever. Investing over £2.5m in the new space, the lounge overlooking the Hollywood Hills, will take up 4,000 square foot of airport real estate and will be the first time that the airline has brought its award-winning Clubhouse concept to Los Angeles.
The new airside space has been designed by Slade Architecture (the same team that designed the new Newark lounge, opened two and a half years ago) in collaboration with the Virgin Atlantic in-house design team took its design cues from the West coast landscape, with accents of gold to reflect the famous LA sunshine. Being a clubhouse, this was never going to be a boring white shell, expect to see walls adorned with one-of-a-kind artwork, including an installation by California-based digital artist Diana Reichenbach, whose work is shown alongside a hand drawn mural from British artist, Vic Lee.
In a similar move to the Qantas and Air New Zealand lounges, LAX’s latest lounge has also drawn inspiration from its neighbourhood. The centrepiece of the lounge is a copper lined bar, featuring natural Californian produce and plants as well as Virgin Atlantic’s iconic bar service featuring fabulous cocktails. Working with The Juicery, Virgin have created healthy juice options infused with seeds and spices. Spaces for relaxing and socializing are framed by panoramic views that span from the aircraft just outside the window to the iconic Hollywood sign and the mountains beyond. Fully WiFi-enabled, the lounge provides all the tools that fliers need to get work done before taking off, while delighting them with surprising details in the design.
The food and drink concept will allow customers to taste and share several dishes, creating a relaxed, sociable atmosphere. The food itself will take inspiration from the clean, healthy west coast living. Working in collaboration with Hinoki and the Bird, one of LA’s most exciting and innovative restaurants, we have created a travel inspired menu that capitalises on the amazing produce available throughout California.
Reuben Arnold, Brand and Customer Engagement Director at Virgin Atlantic is delighted with the launch “Los Angeles was the natural choice for our next Clubhouse investment. It is such an important route for us – we have been flying there for 25 years this year. Our Clubhouses have always set the standard for airport lounges in terms of experience, service and design and we are delighted to bring our ultimate pre-flight experience to our customers travelling through Los Angeles”.
The airline isn’t just investing in a new lounge, its launch coincides with the arrival of the carrier’s latest aircraft. “Los Angeles is a key route for us and we are always thinking what our customers need when they are flying transatlantic. The investment in LAX will also include a refreshed check in area as well as the introduction of a meet-and-greet chauffeur drop-off service. Furthermore our brand new 787’s will be on the route from May, and together with the increased connectivity as part of our joint venture with Delta, we’re able to offer our customers the best possible experience when flying between London and Los Angeles.” Mr Arnold continues.
We used to dread LAX’s T2 and its dark underdeveloped terminal, but now that Virgin have brought the spark of creativity and a light airy space to whilst away the time (and watch the sunset!), maybe its time to give the terminal another go, after all, being smaller and quicker to navigate it is a much easier terminal to fly from than the behemoth TBIT. You may well just find us propping up the bar, with a clean juice, and cocktail in hand.