LAX Admiral’s Club Construction; What Are Your Alternatives
Renovations at the American Airlines’ Admiral’s Club in Terminal 4 are now in full swing. A few days ago, I stopped by the lounge for a bite to eat and a place to unwind for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, I could do neither as the lounge was an absolute mess. It was an absolute catastrophe. Seating was limited, amenities were scarce, and lounge staff was obviously distraught. After maybe ten minutes in the lounge, I decided that it would be more enjoyable to wait at my gate than in the lounge.
Just as I was about to pick up my bags and make my way down to gate 45, I remembered something. American operates a second Admiral’s Club in their American Eagle terminal, gates 60A-60I. I made my way over to the quiet, clean and newly renovated lounge where I enjoyed a sandwich, soda, dessert, and relaxed in a quiet oasis away from the hustle and bustle of LAX.
That visit got me thinking, as an Admiral’s Club member, what are the best alternatives during construction at the Terminal 4 lounge?
American Airlines Admiral’s Club; Gates 60A-60I
Access: All Admiral’s Club Members, Day-Pass Holders, Elites traveling on international or transcon itineraries
Day Pass: Standard Admiral’s Club Day Pass Policy; Costs $50; subject to capacity restrictions, can be used at any Admiral’s Club over the course of 24hrs
Your best bet is to visit the Admiral’s Club located in the American Eagle terminal. The American Eagle terminal includes gates 60A through 60I. The terminal is much smaller than Terminal 4 or any LAX terminal for that matter so navigating the small satellite facility shouldn’t be an issue. Once you get off the shuttle, the lounge is a few steps away.
This lounge is much smaller and lacks certain amenities. For example, the lounge lacks showers, there are only two bathrooms, the menu is limited, and seating is very limited. However, the lounge is severely under utilized making crowds a non-issue. I think the best selling point for this lounge is that it recently underwent renovations making the lounge one of the most updated and modern locations in the Admiral’s Club network.
I spent about an hour or two in the lounge where I enjoyed a club sandwich, a few sodas and superb customer service. Lounge access is the same as the Terminal 4 policy. Any Admiral’s Club member, day pass holder, and select elite tiers can visit the lounge.
Alaska Airlines Board Room; Terminal 6
Access: Admiral’s Club members traveling on an American or Alaska flight on the day of their visit, Select elite passengers traveling on international or transcon itineraries, International First/Biz Passengers, Priority Pass members, No Admiral’s Club day-passes
Day Pass: Costs $45; subject to capacity restrictions
I have never been a big fan of Alaska Air’s Board Room. They’re old, boring and lack amenities. Alaska Board Rooms are more like hospital waiting rooms or a hotel lobby circa 1995. However, there is a self-serve pancake machine and other snacks served throughout the day. Customer service is on par with Admiral’s Club locations and seating shouldn’t be an issue. Though there is adequate seating, the lounge can become a little too crowded during peak travel times.
The location is either a pro or con depending on your destination. Many of American’s flights to Charlotte, Phoenix and Philadelphia depart out of Terminal 6 making the Board Room the best lounge option for those passengers. All other American flights depart from Terminal 4 so, if you want to visit the Alaska Airlines Board Room, you’ll have to take a shuttle or use the underground walkways.
Again, this lounge is pretty underwhelming, however, it beats the construction at the T4 Admiral’s Club.
Delta SkyClub; Terminal 5
Access: Delta SkyClub members, SkyClub day-pass holders, Select Delta/SkyTeam elite passengers, No relation/partnership with American Airlines
Day Pass: Costs $59; subject to capacity restrictions
Probably not the best alternative but if you’re willing to pay $59 and live with the fact that you’ve betrayed your preferred airline, the SkyClub is a great option. The lounge is one of Delta’s best SkyClubs network wide. This particular location recently underwent some pretty significant renovations as well.
Snacks, free soft drinks, free basic spirits, fast wi-fi, comfortable seating and shower suites are all included in the price of a day pass. Just like at Admiral’s Clubs, there is additional food for purchase.
Premium Clubs; TBIT, Terminal 4
Access: Highly restricted; International (and select transcon) First/Biz Class passengers only; Select Elite passengers on international itineraries
Day Pass: Not available
These lounges include the Oneworld Business Class Lounge and Qantas First Lounge. Business Class passengers and some elite passengers can visit the Oneworld Business Class Lounge while First Class passengers and a very few select elite passengers can visit the Qantas First Lounge. These lounges are the creme de la creme at LAX (and in North America). If you manage to get in, enjoy.
Thanks to American Airlines wanting to improve the customer experience, some Admiral’s Club visitors will be left sitting on the floor or left to find other sanctuaries. Improvements aren’t expected to be completed until well into 2017 so find a new lounge at LAX and get used to it.