OneWorld First Class Lounge Los Angeles
OneWorld Business Class Lounge Los Angeles
New Tom Bradley International Terminal Los Angeles Airport
Air France A380 First Class Los Angeles to Paris
Air France First Class Lounge Paris
Air France Business Class Paris to Frankfurt
Frankfurt Christmas Markets
Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge Frankfurt
British Airways Club Europe Frankfurt to London Heathrow
British Airways Concorde Room London Heathrow
British Airways A380 First Class London Heathrow to Los Angeles
SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
Park Hyatt Aviara Resort
I took a 7AM Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Los Angeles, which would get me into Los Angeles before 10AM, nearly six hours before my flight to Paris. I figured that was the best option since I wanted to be sure I didn’t miss my connection, and since any later flight would’ve meant I’d be stuck in rush hour on the way to the airport.
Upon landing in Los Angeles I spent about an hour in the Alaska Airlines Board Room, and at 11AM I headed over to Tom Bradley International Terminal. A local friend was kind enough to come and hang out with me in the terminal for a couple of hours. Bradley Terminal was recently redone, though I was a bit surprised to see that all the landside dining options have closed – bizarre. Literally the only place to even get a coffee was at this sandwich place by baggage claim, which charged $6 for a cappuccino.
We hung out for a couple of hours, and at around 1PM I headed to Air France check-in, in anticipation of my 3:45PM flight to Paris.
Air France has La Premiere (first class) check-in roped off, so when you walk up to the agent working the line and let them know you’re in first class they check your name off a list and then open a rope for you.
There was no wait at all, and my check-in was processed in less than 60 seconds by a very friendly agent. At that point I was introduced to an escort that would bring me to the lounge.
In the past I’ve been told that airlines don’t have the option of helping passengers “cut the queue” at Bradley Terminal, though this escort not only brought me to the very front of the security line so that I was right at the belt, but then shuffled us over to the crew line so we could get through even faster.
The ~25 person Singapore Airlines A380 crew was using the crew line, though the agent authoritatively put two bins right in front of them and urged me to go through right away. The looks on the faces of the Singapore flight attendants was hilarious, as I think they were kind of surprised by how authoritative she was as well. I went from being at check-in to airside at Bradley Terminal in a couple of minutes, which is a new record for me.
The escort informed me I’d be using the OneWorld first class lounge. While SkyTeam has their own lounge, it doesn’t have a first class section, so Air France uses the OneWorld lounge for their first class passengers. I was escorted right into the lounge, and was informed that I’d be picked up when the flight was ready for boarding.
I was absolutely blown away by the ground service. I’ve flown first class out of Bradley Terminal many times, but never have I been able to cut the queue.
Anyway, on to the OneWorld first class lounge. It was basically one long room with tons of seating. Typically my biggest frustration with “shared” lounges is that they’re chronically overcrowded.
While this lounge wasn’t all that impressive, I loved how quiet it was. For the first hour I was in the lounge I was the only guest, and after that there were only two other passengers. I should clarify that while I was the only “guest” in the lounge for the first hour, there was some maintenance guy fixing something in the roof, and he spent the better part of an hour yelling at the top of his lungs to whoever was in the “hole.”
The lounge had lots of seating, with plenty of comfortable lounge chairs, bar stools, etc.
There was also a small business center with several computers.
The OneWorld first class lounge had a buffet, which was extremely lackluster. That’s totally fine by me since I was awaiting the feast aboard, but I found it interesting that the spread was actually less impressive than in the business class lounge, which I’ll cover in the next installment.
The spread consisted of some cold options, including fruit, veggies, hummus, finger sandwiches, and salad. There were only two hot dishes, which were roasted garlic tomato soup and Mediterranean mixed vegetables with rice.
There was also an open bar, consisting of wine and spirits.
Then there was a fridge with beer and soft drinks.
Since I hadn’t eaten all day I had some soup and champers to kick off the journey.
At the very end of the lounge were the restrooms, and also the hallway to the business class lounge, where the showers are located.
I found it a bit odd that the wifi password for the OneWorld lounge was “Paris.” It’s weird enough to begin with that Air France uses the OneWorld lounge, but even stranger that the wifi password is the name of a city only served direct by Air France, as opposed to a city served direct by OneWorld.
The wifi speed was okay. I never get why lounges can’t have legitimate high speed wifi, but at least it wasn’t unusable.
Anyway, while I love extravagant first class lounges like the Emirates A380 First Class Lounge in Dubai, Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, and Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa in Bangkok, the single most important thing for me in a lounge is that it’s a quiet place to work. And the OneWorld first class lounge fit that bill, since I was basically the only person there. I’ve heard the new Star Alliance Lounge at Los Angeles Airport is even nicer, so I hope to check that out soon.