First Look: Etihad’s New LAX Lounge

As I first wrote about late last month, Etihad Airways is opening a new lounge at Los Angeles International Airport this month.

This is Etihad’s third lounge in North America. Presently Etihad also operates a lounge at New York JFK and Washington Dulles.

The great news is that the Etihad Lounge LAX is now open daily from 1:30PM until 4:55PM. I was invited to attend the lounge’s opening earlier today, so figured I’d report back with my thoughts on the lounge.

Etihad’s new lounge in Los Angeles is located in Tom Bradley International Terminal. After you clear security, you’ll see the signage pointing right towards the Etihad Lounge.

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Tom Bradley International Terminal

Once you’re in the main part of the terminal, turn right and take the elevator up to the sixth floor, which is also where the Star Alliance Lounge is located.

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Tom Bradley International Terminal lounge signage

As you exit the elevator you’ll see the entrance to the Star Alliance First Class & Star Alliance Business Class Lounge (which Etihad passengers used to have access to).

Past that you’ll see the Etihad Lounge.

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Hallway where Etihad Lounge LAX is located

For context as to where the lounge is within the terminal, below is the view from outside the Etihad Lounge.

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Tom Bradley International Terminal LAX

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Tom Bradley International Terminal LAX

If you go further down the same hallway, you’ll find yourself at the Los Angeles International Lounge (which is a contract lounge), as well as the Emirates Lounge.

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Hallway where Etihad Lounge LAX is located

The exterior of the lounge is gorgeous, and is very similar to that of the Etihad Lounge in New York, though on a smaller scale. Come and think of it, I’d say that describes the lounge all around. The Etihad lounge seats a total of 76 people, with a maximum capacity of 122 people.

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Etihad Lounge LAX exterior

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Etihad Lounge LAX signage

There’s a beautiful reception desk, with signage listing all Etihad Airways Partners. As of now the lounge is only accessible to Etihad passengers, though I’m told eventually airberlin and Alitalia passengers should have access to this lounge as well.

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Etihad Lounge LAX entrance

Past the entrance and to the right is a beautiful seating area, which can apparently be converted into a VIP room if needed. That’s because there’s a glass shield that can extend to completely enclose the room. That being said, I’m told for the most part it should be accessible to all passengers.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles seating

To the left of that is another small seating area, with six chairs.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles seating

As you go further into the lounge you’ll find yourself at the bar.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles bar

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles

The bar is beautiful, and has a similar design to the bar at the Etihad Lounge in New York.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles bar

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles bar

In addition to there being seating at the bar itself, there’s also a long bench behind the bar with several small tables.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles bar seating

Adjacent to the bar is the buffet, which I’ll talk more about in a bit.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles buffet

Then next to the buffet is the dining area, which features nine tables.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles seating

Past that is another small room with 12 seats, with two rows of six seats facing one another.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles seating

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles seating

Across from that is another small seating area with six seats.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles seating

There’s also a rack with magazines and newspapers.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles magazines & newspapers

As you walk to the back of the lounge there’s a prayer room.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles prayer room

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles prayer room

To the left of the prayer room is the women’s bathroom, and to the right of it is the men’s bathroom.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles bathroom

The men’s bathroom features two stalls and two urinals.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles bathroom

On top of that there’s a shower room located inside the men’s bathroom, which features a walk-in shower, sink, and toilet.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles shower room

In terms of the Etihad Lounge food spread, there’s both a buffet and menu. The buffet was limited in terms of options, and featured fresh fruit, cheese, hummus, several types of salad, etc.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles buffet

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles buffet

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles buffet

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles buffet

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles buffet

Then there were also cookies and brownies.

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Etihad Lounge Los Angeles buffet

Here’s a full description of the buffet selection:

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On top of that, here’s the a la carte selection, which I didn’t have a chance to try, though it sounded great (and my experience with the menu at the Etihad Lounge JFK was excellent):

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In addition to the dining menu, there was also an extensive cocktail list, with each signature cocktail named after a different city:

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There was also a more traditional cocktail and mocktail list:

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Then there was a wine list, including champagne:

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Lastly, there was another list with tea, coffee, soft drinks, etc.:

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Given that we were in Los Angeles I had the cocktail named after the city, which was incredibly unique. It featured tequila, rice milk, cocoa nib, chili, sugar, coffee dahlia, aromatic bitters, and candy floss. It’s not something I’d drink every day due to the strong flavor, but it was really great, and unlike anything I’ve seen before.

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Etihad Lounge signature cocktail — “Los Angeles”

At 11AM there were some short speeches and a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The first to speak was Etihad’s head of corporate communications.

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Etihad’s head of PR

Then James Hogan, Etihad’s CEO, spoke. It’s pretty impressive that they sent the airline’s CEO for a lounge opening!

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Etihad’s CEO

Then the president of LAX Airport spoke, and finally there was a ribbon cutting ceremony.

I was most impressed by the ladies in the Etihad uniforms who managed to smile throughout all of it. Kudos!

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Etihad Lounge LAX ribbon cutting ceremony

Etihad Lounge Los Angeles International Airport bottom line

Etihad does an incredible job with their lounges, and this one is no exception. The decor is beautiful, the signature cocktail list is great, and the a la carte menu looked excellent. I loved my visit to the Etihad Lounge JFK several months ago, and I imagine this experience would be very similar.

There are only two things that came to mind. First of all, the lounge has no views, though that’s true of most lounges at Tom Bradley International Terminal. Second of all, the lounge is small. It should be more than big enough for Etihad’s once daily 777-200LR flight, but if airberlin and Alitalia do indeed end up using this lounge as well, it seems like it would be overcrowded.

Kudos to Etihad on this gorgeous new lounge. Tom Bradley International Terminal has a lot of great lounges, though this one holds its own. I’d argue that this is the best business class lounge at Tom Bradley International Terminal, as it’s the only one to offer a la carte dining, as far as I know.

What do you make of Etihad’s new LAX lounge?

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About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. The two Australian cocktails…. Pine and a gum leaf??? I think I need to talk to whoever promotes Australia internationally about how far we’ve come…

  2. Nice write up, as usual.

    Questions:

    Was the lounge “open” to passengers, or was it just press?

    I would assume there would be minimal timing overlap with the Etihad, Alitalia, and airberlin, or am I wrong?

  3. @ TravelinWilly — The media event was at 11AM, so when I was there it was only press. Starting at 1:30PM today it’s open to passengers as well. And the Alitalia, airberlin, and Etihad flights all depart within two hours of one another.

  4. @ John — I wouldn’t assume so, unfortunately. It’s my understanding that Etihad couldn’t operate an A380 to LAX without a serious payload restriction due to their configuration.

  5. “The great news is that the Etihad Lounge LAX is now open daily from 1:30PM until 4:55PM.”
    You mean the lounge is open only for little over 3 hrs?

  6. @lucky I am sorry if I missed this – but did you say ALitalia and AB can use this lounge as well? Thanks

  7. @ James Long — I was told that would eventually be the case, but when I asked if that was possible immediately, they said no. Alitalia and airberlin passengers should have access at some point in the future… just not yet.

  8. The lounge looks absolutely stunning; however, it does look a bit small. I’m surprised that a new lounge would not feature a Six Senses Spa ( the LHR lounge does ) or a separate area for First Class passengers.

    @lucky – why wouldn’t Etihad install a spa to a new lounge when some of their existing lounges already have one?

  9. @ SheldonJD — It’s something they only offer in Abu Dhabi and London, given the frequency of flights there. Ultimately a spa takes up space and can be expensive to run, so I think they don’t view at as worthwhile for a destination with one flight a day.

  10. Is those open to any passenger on an Etihad flight… or is it restricted to Business/First only?

  11. The first picture of the prayer room, that’s actually the Wudhu area, which is different from the prayer room 🙂

  12. Wow this is one nice lounge – very close to the QF First lounge in terms of food and offerings – the cocktail list is impressive and the best even compared to the QF First lounge.
    I hope that with this lounge, it will push the Korean Air/aka SkyTeam lounge to improve in terms of offerings and quality (currently I even rank it worst than the US airlines lounges). Having visited the other bigger alliance lounges, the KE/ST lounge is the most pathetic lounge at the TBIT terminal.

  13. Is this lounge only accessible for business and first passengers, or could someone with Etihad status or even AirBerlin Gold or higher (AKA OneWorld Sapphire or Emerald) use the lounge if flying Etihad in economy?

  14. Funny, I was in the *A lounge at the exact same moment, and passed by on my way out, and noticed the opening event. I managed to get a quick peek inside, it does look like a fine lounge indeed!

  15. I know as an Etihad Platinum I was invited to attend the opening of the MEL lounge, so I wouldn’t be surprised that the LAX opening had a few Platinum there too.

    You can expect Etihad First and Business passengers and Etihad Guest Platinums (in any class) are given priority for access to LAX lounge, with EAPs and Guest Gold members redirected to another lounge if capacity is expected to be a problem on the day (this is what happens in other outstation lounges).

    Six Senses Spa treatments are nothing too special (nice but..) so absence is not a big issue.

    I think the irony is that these outstation lounges are nicer that Etihad’s AUH Premium (Business) lounge.

    I just hope it doesn’t get as packed as the Etihad LHR can be at times.

  16. Just curious how an Emirates A380 can make it to LAX, but an Etihad A380 can’t without payload restrictions. Isn’t the Etihad A380 configuration less dense than Emirates?

  17. @ Lyndon — I can’t answer that specifically, but that comes from someone “in the know.” Even though Etihad has fewer seats, I believe it comes down to their “dry” A380 weight being heavier.

  18. I love how pork isn’t available in the lounge, but alcohol is…even though both are equally prohibited under Islamic law.

  19. I think the lounge is a bit of a downgrade… I’d prefer access to the Star Alliance Gold F lounge while flying EY out of TBIT… is that a choice by any chance Lucky? … I especially love the Perrier‑Jouet champagne they serve in the Star Alliance Gold… I suppose if the new EY lounge took suggestions & brought that into the lounge, it wouldn’t be too bad… but yeah with no amenities (like spa), no views of the tarmac or a patio seating area in the open or even windows, this seems kind of a waste for EY to plop down all this money & take up space for something that wasn’t really needed. the old arrangement was working perfectly well from a customer’s perspective!

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