Review: Star Alliance Business Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport LAX

Introduction
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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport LAX
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While I was flying in first class and therefore had access to the first class lounge, the business class lounge is actually much more impressive. For that matter, whenever I’ve heard people raving about this lounge, they’ve been referring to the business class section and not the first class section.

The entrance to the Star Alliance Business Class Lounge is right across from the Star Alliance First Class Lounge entrance, though there’s also a door between the back of the first and business class lounge, which is how I got between them.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX entrance

The Star Alliance Lounge is massive, and thanks to the variety of seating areas, I don’t think it ever feels overcrowded.

Near the entrance is more traditional lounge style seating, with plenty of outlets at each seat. They have nice “curtains” between seating areas to make the lounge feel more private and intimate.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX seating

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX seating

While I’d usually consider it to be cheesy, the lounge does have a really cool LA “theme” to it. It has lots of relevant quotes, local art, etc. It really captures what makes LA “electric,” whether you’re into the Hollywood scene or not (I’m not). There’s no denying that it’s a place people dream of, whether it’s a “dream” of being discovered, or whatnot. Of course unfortunately for them it usually ends with a lifelong career as a server at the Cheesecake Factory, but I digress…

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX quotes

Perhaps the most accurate quote is the one by the departures board — “tip the world over and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” True even without the double entendre! 😉

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX departures board

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX seating

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX seating

Past the entrance and to the left is the main bar area, which is presumably usually staffed, though I’m guessing it was too early.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX bar

Then on each side of the the bar are self serve drink stations with soda fountains, wine, snack mix, etc.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX buffet

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX buffet

The lounge has a massive dining area, with several seating options. There’s table-top seating, booths, tables, etc.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX seating

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX seating

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX seating

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX seating

The buffet area has a huge wine display as a backdrop, which is pretty cool.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX wine display

The food spread was surprisingly good, with both Western and Asian options.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX buffet

The buffet had salad, noodles, rice, dim sum, etc.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX buffet

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX buffet

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX coffee machine

Then they had cereal, juice, granola, croissants, pastries, fruit (both whole and cut), breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal, etc.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX buffet

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX buffet

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX buffet

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX buffet

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX buffet

As I said above, there are so many different seating areas which really make the lounge feel private.

There’s a media room.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX theater

Then there’s a library-like room (the bookshelves are actually just wallpaper).

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX library

Then there are about a dozen shower rooms, which are among the nicer ones I’ve seen in a US airport lounge.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX shower room

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX shower room

But the highlights of the lounge are the two terraces.

The first terrace overlooks the interior of the terminal, and is behind the main bar. It has lots of seating and even a bar. It’s worth noting that the seating on the terrace has power outlets by the seats. You’d think that would be an obvious feature for an airport lounge, but the Korean Air First Class Lounge LAX doesn’t have power outlets on their terrace.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX terrace

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX terrace

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX terrace

I know I’m weird, but I love watching terminals, so to me there’s something really cool about sitting “outside” and looking out over the terminal.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX terrace view

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX walkway to outside seating

But the real highlight of the lounge is the outdoor terrace, which overlooks the tarmac and runways. You can’t beat SoCal weather, so being able to sit outside while waiting for your flight is pretty tough to beat.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX outside seating

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX outside seating

My only wish is that the outdoor terrace overlooked the other side of the terminal, where all the A380s park. Instead you have a view of Terminal 3, where you’ll see such exotic airlines as US Airways, Spirit, and Allegiant.

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX outside seating

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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX outside seating

Star Alliance Business Class Lounge Los Angeles Bottom Line

All-in-all this is a fantastic business class lounge. It’s definitely the nicest business class lounge at LAX (though once the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse opens it may have some competition), and I’d say among the five nicest business class lounges in the US.

While the first class lounge has better food and drink options, the business class lounge is a more fun place to hang out. So if flying first class with a long layover I’d definitely eat and drink in the first class lounge and then head over to the business class lounge to hang out.

If you’ve visited the Star Alliance Lounge LAX, what was your experience?

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Comments

  1. Very timely (for me) trip report, as I am taking the same itinerary as you as far as the Park Hyatt Seoul!!

    Great review. My only point of departure is that I think displaying lame wine in that fashion makes for a lame display in spite of the stylish approach.

  2. We were there last month on our way to Australia, had the whole outside lounge to ourselves for almost 3 hours, great weather and when those firepits are lit it is unbelievable! couldn’t understand all the people just staying in the indoor part, but having the whole terrace to ourselves was very cool!

  3. i read somewhere that LAX will allow you to enter different terminals even if the airline is not flying out it. Do you know anything about that? If i had a long layover or delay on UA, i would if they would let a Star Gold in, even though it would be a heck of a trek. Same for AA with the Oneworld lounge, although could be a really neat trick once the connector to T4 is open airside…

  4. @ brad n — In theory I believe you can enter a different terminal, though I wouldn’t be surprised if they denied you lounge access because they’ve never dealt with a situation like that before.

  5. Does anyone know if there are any other lounges, anywhere in the world, that would have access to an outdoor terrace?

  6. Nice write up! Agreed, one of the best lounges, and finally, an exclamation point to a revamped (and revamping) LAX.
    Outdoor terrace is amazing at night pre-red eye flights, and really establishes the sense of place.

    Pho bar is also a nice touch. With all the local eateries in the central hall it’s a tough sell to stay inside, or grab something from Ink Sack (highly recommended to eat at Ink, the main restaurant in Weho next time you’re in town).

    @Brad n, they are completing construction on an airside connector building between T4 (American) and TBIT/BW. Until then, I believe you’ve got to be flying out of a TBIT airline, or running the refundable ticket lounge access scam, since there is no link on the T3 side either.

    Cheers.

  7. Hi Lucky,

    The LAX Star Alliance lounge looks great! Do they have sleeping areas? or at least have reclining sofas to sleep?

    Thanks!

  8. “I know I’m weird, but I love watching terminals”

    And now you can watch one from the comfort of a premium lounge…and the people can see you watching them from the comfort of a premium lounge 😉

    “I’d say among the five nicest business class lounges in the US.”

    What are the other 4? I know the Virgin lounge at JFK is one, for sure, but the rest?

  9. Pasting my comment from the other post… It is possible to use this lounge when flying out of a diff terminal. YMMV. I arrived in TBIT on int’l flight, connecting flight was in T7. Got thru security @ TBIT with no problem (it probably helped that my BP was printed before my int’l flight and thus showed no terminal). Lounge attendants were a little confused because they’re not used to having domestic or UA guests, but they let me in. Loved the outdoor terrace and pho bar. Shower was second class compared to Asian lounges, but at least it has a shower.

  10. Great writeup as usual. Did want to mention that I checked out the KAL lounge (business class side) and their terrace did indeed have power outlets. Regardless, this lounge blows it out of the water.

  11. The lounge looks very good. Hopefully, carriers/alliances in other airports will also step up their game and at least start updating existing lounges/clubs!

  12. Hi Lucky,

    A noobie question. I have a long layover in LAX, connecting with domestic UA business class award ticket. Will I be able to get into this lounge?

  13. @ KC — So you’re exclusively flying domestically? If so, you wouldn’t get access for free, unless you’re flying LAX-JFK.

  14. just accessed the Star Alliance Biz lounge here at LAX. flying on a domestic United ticket. I have Star Alliance Gold via United and Copa Air. I figured I would have to show my copa account info, but they only scanned my domestic United boarding pass and let me in. FYI, I didn’t have my passport with me, which is a slight weird feeling using my drivers license as ID in the international terminal.

  15. You can enter the lounge if you are United Gold flying on a domestic ticket here. You can’t enter the United lounge with United Gold flying domestically. This lounge is worth it to chill if you have the time and if you are willing to trek over to the international terminal.

  16. Love this lounge. Just that rly wanted to visit the outdoor terrace, but I always fly Eva back to taiwan and it leaves at 1:15 am so there’s no point

  17. My wife and I are flying business class to Munich so we have the use of the lounge. We’re flying with our son, his wife, and our 6 month old granddaughter. They’re flying coach. Is there anyway to have them join us in the lounge before we board the plane? Can we pay for them to join us?

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