Back in December I reviewed the Virgin America Loft at LAX, which I purchased a $40 day pass to visit. On the whole I was a bit disappointed. For one, the lounge furniture and design felt really cheap, and could’ve been an IKEA showroom. Beyond that, they also devalued their food offerings, going from substantial appetizers to average domestic US airline lounge rabbit food. Unless I had a really long layover I can’t imagine paying $40 to access the lounge again.
But as it stands, that’s the only way to access the lounge short of being a “full fare” first class passenger on one of their “longhaul” routes to the east coast, or having elite status with them (Virgin America Elevate Silver members get two free day passes annually, while Virgin America Elevate Gold members get three free day passes anually).
The good news is that this lounge now seems to be part of the Priority Pass and Lounge Club networks. Per Virgin America’s website:
The Priority Pass website has also been updated to note the addition of The Loft:
So indirectly this is a nice new perk of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, which comes with Priority Pass membership. It certainly doesn’t begin to make up for the loss of Admirals Club and US Airways Club access and no longer being able to take guests into Delta SkyClubs, though.
This lounge being added to Priority Pass is hardly surprising. Virgin Australia used to use The Loft for their premium passengers, so my guess is that they provided a lot of the funding for the lounge. Then Virgin Australia stopped using the lounge, so my guess is that’s why they cut back on the food selection, since the lounge wasn’t bringing in much money.
Keep in mind that if you have a Priority Pass membership you don’t have to be flying Virgin America to use the lounge, but rather just have to have access to the airside of the terminal. Several other airlines also fly out of terminal three, including Allegiant, Frontier, JetBlue, and Spirit. So you should be able to use the lounge even if flying those airlines.
(Tip of the hat to Thrifty Tourist)