The new Qantas Los Angeles Business Lounge will open in mid-June, providing a new preflight home for passengers on Oneworld flights including those of lounge partners British Airways and Cathay Pacific.
Qantas describes this as Phase One of the LAX lounge project, with Phase Two – a new first class lounge – due to open by year’s end.
The airline boasts this much-needed replacement for the current cramped Qantas/Oneworld lounge at LAX “will offer a new standard of luxury for customers travelling from Los Angeles.”
Although a media launch for the lounge will be held on Tuesday June 17, the newest Qantas international lounges at Singapore and Hong Konghave seen a ‘soft opening’ a few days prior to the official date.
A uniquely LA look
And like its Asian siblings, the Qantas business lounge at LAX will draw on its location to shape a unique “look, feel and food” offering.
“As we’ve done with the Singapore and Hong Kong lounges, there will that knowledge of where you are, with parts of California and the US brought into both the first and business lounges” Simon Hickey, Qantas International CEO, told Australian Business Traveller during last month’s opening of the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
A centrepiece of the LA-inspired lounge is the internal circular internal fireplace around which passengers can sit and relax.
Qantas consulting chef Neil Perry will bring a regional twist to the lounge’s menu, just as he has done in the airline’s Singapore and Hong Kong lounges, and has promised that “the food will certainly be the very best airport lounge food in America, by a long way.”
In fact, the dining vibe of the LAX lounge will be very ‘California cuisine’ elaborates Roger Barstow, one of the Rockpool Group chefs working with Perry and Qantas on the dining at its international lounges.
“It’s going to be an ‘LA street food’ concept so we’re looking at Mexican, Korean, Italian and some of the Rockpool influence in there as well” Barstow told Australian Business Traveller.
“There will be several food stations and we’ll be doing lots of tray-arounds because this is such a busy lounge, especially in that small window in the evening when we have four Qantas flights leaving within two hours” Barstow says.
“There’ll probably be a little bit of Spice Temple in there” Barstow adds, name-checking another of the restaurants in Neil Perry’s empire, “but it’s more Rockpool Bar & Grill and any Rosetta items which are more suited to the west coast.”
As with the Qantas Singapore Lounge, LA will feature a dining area with a view into the kitchen, along with a separate wine bar offering signature cocktails.
LAX’s biggest and best?
Located at the stylishly revamped Tom Bradley International Terminal, the new Qantas Los Angles Business Lounge will not only be three times larger than the current facility, it will also be “the biggest lounge in Tom Bradley and by far the best lounge in that terminal in my humble opinion” Hickey says.
Qantas reportedly passed on the terminal space now used by Star Alliance – which has room for around 400 passengers and a total footprint of 1,675 square metres (18,000 square feet) – because the area was simply too small.
Qantas will certainly need all that space, as its business lounge will be jointly owned by Qantas, British Airways and Cathay Pacific, which between them run eight flights each day from LAX – with several of those being passenger-packing Airbus A380 superjumbos.
Has Hickey visited the Star Alliance lounge? “Yes, and it does look good, but only because we haven’t opened ours yet!” Hickey teases.
Australian Business Traveller will be attending the opening of the Qantas Los Angeles Business Lounge as a guest of Qantas.
Source : Australian Business Traveller