Which Lounge Does Qatar Airways Use At LAX?

Qatar Airways launched daily nonstop service between Doha and Los Angeles as of January 1, 2016. This is Qatar Airways’ longest route, and also means all of the “big three” Gulf carriers now fly from their respective hubs to Los Angeles. Qatar and Etihad fly 777-200s to Los Angeles, while Emirates has more than double the capacity with their A380s (which will become twice daily starting in July 2016).

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Qatar Airways 777-200

One thing which is surprising about Qatar Airways’ new flight is that they’re not operating out of Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, which is the terminal out of which most international carriers operate. That’s rather unfortunate, since the lounges there are excellent.

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Tom Bradley International Terminal LAX

There’s the oneworld Business Class Lounge, as well as the Qantas First Class Lounge for oneworld Emerald members. For that matter, the terminal is just gorgeous all around, and has great shopping and is a nice place to kill time.

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Qantas First Class Lounge LAX

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Oneworld Business Class Lounge LAX

Instead, Qatar Airways is operating out of Terminal 2 at LAX, which is used by a few other international carriers.

Why would Qatar Airways operate out of Terminal 2? The rumor I’ve heard is that it’s because they plan on eventually opening their own lounge, and there’s only space to do that in Terminal 2, and not at Tom Bradley International Terminal.

That ambition on the part of Qatar Airways wouldn’t surprise me, since they are an airline which likes controlling as many aspects of their experience as possible. However, in practice I doubt we’ll see it anytime soon.

In the meantime, Qatar Airways is using the Air Canada Lounge at LAX, which I reviewed a few months back. Yep, this is also a Priority Pass lounge. And while it’s a nice Priority Pass lounge, that doesn’t really make it a competitive international business class lounge.

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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge LAX

Last time I was there the lounge didn’t have a liquor license, which was supposed to be a “temporary” issue, though I think it hasn’t been resolved.

The good news is that Terminal 2 is undergoing a renovation, and is looking quite nice nowadays. Some might also prefer it to TBIT, given that it’s not quite as busy, and therefore security queues might not be as bad during peak times.

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Terminal 2 LAX

Bottom line

While the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge is nice for a Priority Pass lounge, it’s not exactly the best longhaul international business class lounge. So I certainly wouldn’t be arriving at the airport early to spend time in it before your Qatar Airways flight. Perhaps the upside is that Terminal 2 isn’t as crowded as Tom Bradley International Terminal, so you should be able to cut it a bit closer on departure.

Here’s to hoping Qatar Airways eventually opens their own lounge at LAX, which gives us at least a little taste of the Al Mourjan Lounge or Al Safwa Lounge in Doha.

Comments

  1. After the renovations, the T2 is really nice. Yeah, the air canada lounge got its liquor license, but the food spread has gone way down hill at the same time. Decent way to take advantage of a priority pass lounge but definitely not a premium experience. Btw, crankyflier has a blog post on Delta’s plan to move into T2 and T3 at Lax so we shall see what happens.

  2. speaking of the Al Safwa First Lounge in Doha, is it back open again after the rain/flood damage shut it down a cpl months ago? you never posted an update about that. just one of those nice to know things!

  3. The best lounge in T2, in my opinion, is the new VS Clubhouse that opened last year. Nick reviewed it back then but I hope you’ll be able to review it at some point.

  4. I remember you were less than impressed with the Air Canada lounge and I thought it hilarious they didnt have a booze license

  5. @Rand

    Not true, he was actually rather impressed. From the review he did:

    “I was quite impressed by the Air Canada Lounge LAX. The lounge was spacious, modern, and had a pretty impressive food spread, especially for a Priority Pass lounge. Since you can use this lounge regardless of which terminal you’re flying out of, I think it’s a great option for Priority Pass members passing through Los Angeles.”

    Now, is it up to the standards he’d expect from a lounge being used by Qatar Airways? Probably not. No champagne to instatweet about, for one thing…

  6. I took this flight on Jan 6th and I was really unimpressed by the ground staff. They only had one check-in agent for business class and it took about 45 minutes for her to check us in. It appeared to be her first day so she kept having to ask her supervisor how to do everything. You’d think they’d have someone more experienced for business class. We got to security and realized she forgot one of our boarding passes so had to go back to check-in to get it. By this time we had no time for the lounge and went straight to the gate, which was a bigger mess. They were finished boarding business and started economy boarding. We showed up and were told to wait for 10 minutes while they finished boarding economy and then we could board. Overall a horrible ground experience. I know it’s a new route so hopefully they get their act together. The flight itself was great though!

  7. @ Ricky the AA SYD flight operates out of T4 just like the rest of AA’s flights…I was there the night of the inaugural, they used the first big gate area on the right as you enter the main part of the terminal

  8. It always intrigues me how Etihad, Emirates and Qatar are called the “big three gulf carriers”, while Saudia has the second largest fleet after Emirates, and has the largest number of daily flights compared to all other carriers in the gulf region.
    Granted Saudia is ages behind the aforementioned three when it comes to services and reputation, yet it’s still interesting that they’re called “biggest” rather than “best”.

    I guess it’s down to perception rather than actual numbers.

  9. QR 728 PHL to DOH using new A350 cancelled today for aircraft maintenance issue. Waited 4 hrs., told part was on way, and then flight cancelled. Automatically Rebooked out of JFK this evening. What could go wrong on brand new aircraft…

  10. @Gulfer

    Are you including their domestic routes/flights as well? If you are…nobody gives a shit about those. What most people look at is their international service, and Saudia’s is…meh.

  11. @Aaron
    I’m talking crude numbers here rather than quality. Saying “biggest” should imply size while “best” is all about quality.

  12. I recently flew Qatar Business R/T from DFW to DOH and on to DEL. The lounge in DFW was horrible with very poor food and rot gut wines. Just terrible. I left and went to the Amex Lounge that was directly across from the gate. It was great as usual, as they have cleaned up their act after poor performance under a different manager. The Qatar in-flight was very good even with the older 777-200’s. The 787 from DOH to DEL was fine, but nothing special. After the 777 everything on that plane felt cramped. On the return the DEL lounge was absolutely disgusting. It was a “rent-a-lounge” for a variety of airlines, totally noncompetitive with the dedicated Emirates lounge in DEL. Obviously, the DOH business lounge was spectacular, and while I was annoyed that One World Emerald flyers are not able to access the FC lounge, it was still amazing. Qatar is a great airline, but the lounges that they use in some markets are really not acceptable. I am unsure if they care about the remote stations….

  13. Qr will be rolling out a new biz class for their 777-300ers planes, 1-2-1 seating , so similar to the a380 seating. – no timescale as of yet, but will have full privacy

  14. “I’m talking crude numbers here”

    Ok, are your numbers referring to their total operation or just their international routes?

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