We arrived at the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at LAX before 9pm, which gave us plenty of time to check in, go through security, and relax at the oneworld Lounge prior to our red-eye to Hong Kong. Disappointingly, TBIT does not offer a separate line for those with pre-TSA, so everyone follows the same lengthy queue. The only perk you get to keep is that you can keep yours shoes on walking through the metal detector. *Pro-Tip: Go through security in Terminal 4 as they do offer a pre-TSA line there. Then follow the connecting walkways to lead you back to TBIT. This is a major time saver that we’ll keep in mind for next time! Since we were taking one of the last flights out, I’m sure the line would have been much worse during peak hours. However, one issue that kept stalling our line was that several passengers were cutting the queue as they claimed to be late for their flights. Luckily it was Christmas night so we’ll credit the holiday spirit for giving everyone else a bit more patience.
Once through security, the oneworld Lounge is one flight up (Level 5) and a short walk over. This used to be shared by business and first class, but now there is a separate lounge for first class and Emerald tier frequent flyers. The oneworld Lounge is quite massive for an airport lounge and is the largest lounge I’ve encountered on my travels so far. The contemporary design connotes both a sense of trendy Californian style as well as comfort. There is ample seating with lots of electrical outlets surrounding a central glass atrium that serves as a beautiful focal point.
Upon entering, there is a cocktail bar to the right serving signature drinks and wines. Adjacent to the bar, there is also a circular fireplace with plenty of cushion seating surrounding it. In addition to the cocktail bar, there are self-serve wines and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the lounge.
Since it was rather late when we arrived at the lounge, I was still pleasantly surprised to see some food offerings. Sadly, we had just missed the taco bar. However, there was still a nice selection of food. The hot menu that night featured spiced carrot soup (really good!), roasted turkey breast with cornbread stuffing, mixed vegetables, and Thai stir fry. Salads included sliced chorizo potato and cannellini beans with roasted peppers; Mexican bean salad with coriander, feta, and salsa verde; and bell peppers with chickpea, corn and coriander in mango and jalapeno dressing.
As for the bathrooms, I was disappointed to see one closed off completely for cleaning. The remaining bathroom that was available offered a nice, clean sink area with a large mirror and great lighting for touch-ups. However, two of the four bathroom stalls were out of service. The two that were available were either occupied or out of toilet paper.
Overall, the oneworld Lounge is a great pitstop if you are flying business class out of TBIT via Qantas, British Airways, or Cathay Pacific. It offers a trendy yet calming ambiance to unwind amidst travels. However, the bathrooms (or lack thereof) was disappointing, though I’ll attribute this to the late hours when we were there. The food and drinks are good with a decent selection to help you re-fuel. I’m more intrigued now about the oneworld’s first class lounge to see how it compares.