Brand new interim business lounge at LAX Tom Bradley (TBIT)

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Kiwi Flyer, Oct 12, 2006.

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  1. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    #1 Kiwi Flyer, Oct 12, 2006
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2006
    Yesterday was the first day this lounge was open. It looks and smells brand new. By sheer coincidence I happened to be flying out of TBIT yesterday.

    There is a shuttle bus to & from gate 118 (very close to the right hand screening point) every 5 to 10 minutes in the evening (not sure of frequency at other times of day), and it takes about 5 minutes to reach the lounge depending on aircraft movements. So if have less than 30 minutes before boarding don't bother with a lounge visit - it isnt worthwhile. You need an invitation card to access the shuttle - no card no access regardless of what your boarding pass says. This also means you can't do multiple visits, since the invite card is removed before you board the shuttle.

    Looks like about 400 chairs, all laid out closely in a big open plan with one corner partly screened off from the rest. There are 4 or 5 computer terminals with an outrageous internet charge of $0.25 per minute, minimum $3.

    All plates, utensils and cups are plastic - yuk. Food is low quality - chips, cheese and crackers, mini sandwiches (mostly grilled vege flavour), small selection of fruit. Drink quality is low - eg cheap local sparkling wine in 187ml bottle instead of champagne, Johnnie Walker Red, etc. No drink chits needed and all self serve (so no tips needed either).

    While it wasn't too busy when I was there (for one of the earliest evening departures) with maybe 150 people, I could imagine it getting claustrophobically busy in peak travel periods.

    There are toilets but no shower and no bathroom amenities (other than paper towels).

    There is only 1 rubbish bin in the public area of the lounge, but staff wander around clearing away the rubbish.

    There is no tv or even a monitor showing flight status. Instead when it is time to board someone wanders the lounge with a small blackboard and flight number is written on it, ringing a bell to attract attention! I suggest you don't go to the loo at the wrong time or you'd easily miss it.

    Some airlines have ground staff circulating in the lounge. They say expect at least 12 to 18 months, and confirmed that top tier elites who would normally have access to first lounge when not flying first will indeed have to slum it in this interim lounge.

    There are no magazines and only a very limited selection and quantity of newspapers.

    I hope this info helps. Please ask if I haven't mentioned something you want to know.
     

  2. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Where is the lounge located? Is it in another terminal, a hanger, an out-building, or off-airport?

    Is there a different lounge facility for those travelling in F?

    Will need to remember to stop by the check-in counter at TBI even if you already have your boarding pass issued. Otherwise there won't be any way to collect the invitation.

    I suspect if you wanted multiple visits you could come back land-side and ask for another invitation at the check-in counter. I wonder if the airlines are charged by the number of invitations collected at the shuttle b*s?
     
  3. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Depends on where your boarding pass was issued originally. If flying QF, and got the BP when you checked in for your domestic AA flight to LAX - you'd surely just stay in T4 lounge until time to cross to TBIT? I guess though if connecting from intl flight or a domestic interline partner other than AA you would have to stop at the check in counter.
     
  4. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Its a new building over by the AA hangars across the taxiway from TBIT. F has different arrangements (someone on FT posted they have shut up one of the landside shops and converted it into a little lounge) - I didn't see it and forgot to ask about it.

    Yes they probably charge for each visit.
     
  5. NM

    NM
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    Indeed I would be planning on using the T4 lounge if the connection came into that terminal. But its also possible that I may head over to TBIT around 30 mins prior to scheduled boarding only to find the flight delayed. But I guess that is unlikely for the evening QF departures to MEL, BNE and AKL since the aircraft have been waiting at LAX for most of the day. Its mainly QF10LATE that is a schedule problem and it leaves from T4 anyway.
     
  6. Shano

    Shano Established Member

    Aug 17, 2006
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    I also used the "new" J class lounge at TBIT yesterday.

    I checked in at Denver for QF94 and was issued with an AA branded BP which clearly displayed "EMERALD". At TBIT I went to the QF check-in area to inquire about the location of the interim lounge and they issued me with a new BP and lounge invitation. As mentioned previously in this thread it appears that an EMERALD or BUSINESS BP will not gaurantee entry.

    I got to the lounge at about 9:45pm and there would have been no more than about 80 people in the lounge at that time.

    I was "interviewed" by a QF staff member in the airbridge while boarding flight QF94 about the standard of the lounge. My main comments where that as a temporary lounge it was OK, although considering the trouble they have gone to with the interim building that shower facilities would have been nice. It certainly is a lot bigger than the "old" shared business class lounge at TBIT. Food and drink quality (or lack of) as mentioned by Kiwi Flyer are on par with the old terminal lounge. Hopefully this will be improved upon when the new lounge opens.
     
  7. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    For some reason shano I thought you were flying on the same day as me (albeit later flight). I did look out for any FT tags but didn't see any. The lounge layout is not conducive to checking bag tags though.
     
  8. Shano

    Shano Established Member

    Aug 17, 2006
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    Kiwi Flyer, I have confused myself with travel dates. My flight departed on the 10th, so that is not actually yesterday.

    I got caught up in the bar in the check-in hall prior to my flight with an old friend that was arriving into LAX and then transferring to a domestic flight, so I did not get to the lounge until quite late. you are right, it is not an easy lounge to try and find someone, especially if you are looking specifically for luggage tags.
     
  9. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    I was probably gone by then
     
  10. Shano

    Shano Established Member

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    I suspected you might have so it was not a very thorough search of the lounge:)
     
  11. Optics

    Optics Member

    Mar 14, 2006
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    Thanks for this info. I am flying MEL/LAX/CHI/TRY/YQB and return in Dec, and will probably need to access this lounge when returning through LAX. What is the setup for WP's, do we get access to the F lounge?

    Also, does anyone have any experience with the lounges in Toronto?

    Thanks
     
  12. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Not from TBIT unless flying in F. If you can route the return through SYD then you can avoid TBIT.
     
  13. Optics

    Optics Member

    Mar 14, 2006
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    Thanks. I will be coming in from CHI via Terminal 4 (I think), so will just use the lounge there. I only have 2 hours, so it is not worth rerouting through SYD just to avoid TBIT.
     
  14. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Yes - just go to the AC (or FL if you are QF WP or AA EXP), collect/reprint BP there (inside desk upstairs) and leave for TBIT some 45-60 minutes before departure.
     
  15. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

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    Assuming you'll be flying AA, Toronto has (or at least had 3 years ago) a stock standard, albeit small Admirals Club. Standard arrangement with voucher for drinks, a few lounge chairs etc, nothing special but better than the terminal.

    I note from later posts you're travelling through Chicago, as a WP, if you have time make sure you visit the Flagship Lounge there. Exceptional for the US. I was there on Tuesday afternoon, and quite a range of hot finger food, as well as cold foods, salads and desserts with a good range of self serve alcohol. Substantially better than the offering at MEL's QF First Class Lounge last friday night, with the extensive coldfood offering of 1 piece of ham and 1 piece of salmon, and no hot food and no replenishment.
     
  16. Optics

    Optics Member

    Mar 14, 2006
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    Thanks, I have about 3 hours to kill in Toronto each way through, so good to know there is at least some lounge facility available.

    I agree about the Chicago FL, I was there last year and it was a definite cut above the usual US offerings. It is so much better when travelling to Europe and transiting via one of the Asian airports. But as you say, the Mel F lounge is not a great facility either.
     
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