American Lounges at LAX. All change.

Long time readers of this blog will know that Hawaii is one of my favourite places to go, plus there are great opportunities for earning miles and points from a Europe to Hawaii trip.

Normally that means a transfer via LAX, before heading on the final six hour slog over to the middle of the Pacific.

For oneworld sapphire and emerald card holders there have always been a variety of lounge options available (although fewer if you have status with AAdvantage and no Admirals Club membership).

In  the main part of terminal 4 (the AA terminal), there’s an Admirals Club and a Flagship Lounge open to sapphire and emerald members respectively.  In the satellite terminal where the American Eagle regional flights go from, there’s also an Admirals Club.

However, since the US Airways and American Airlines merger, the old US Airways bits of the airline used to have some gates in terminal 6.  This was a pain to get to from terminal 4 where the rest of AA was.  So Delta and American did a swap and American now have a bunch of gates in terminal 5 as well.

To get between terminal 5 and terminal 4 there’s an underground connector so you can do the journey airside without having to re-clear security.  It takes about ten minutes to walk, including navigating either the stairs or lifts.

There was a Delta Sky Club in terminal 5, however that’s now been closed and will open as an Admirals Club in early September.

In the meantime American has been refurbishing the lounges in the main part of terminal 4.  For about the past year, every time I’ve gone through the airport, it’s been configured slightly differently with loads of construction work going on.

It appears that American aren’t happy with how long the building work has been taking, so they are going to close the entire terminal 4 lounge complex completely, from early September, when the terminal 5 lounge opens.

In addition, the LAX-JFK transcontinental flights are going to be moved over to terminal 5 where they are close to the lounge.

There are also two other lounge options available in the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), the oneworld business class lounge and the Qantas First lounge.  Terminal 4 and TBIT are connected airside as well; to walk between the two takes between ten and fifteen minutes.

If it were me, I’d be going to the lounges in TBIT every time; I think the Qantas First lounge is one of the best in North America.  Like in Sydney, they have an extensive menu to order from and a fabulous wine and cocktail list.  It really is an excellent place to wait for an aeroplane.

However if you’re on one of the transcontinental flights, you’re going to need to leave the best part of an hour before departure to leave the lounge, walk over to terminal 4, then to terminal 5 to get on board.

I’m sure once the refurbishment is done, it will be an excellent lounge product like the new lounges at JFK are.

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