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Los Angeles International Airport offers a wealth of great airport lounges. But which is best? To determine a winner, we visited a half-dozen lounges at LAX and compared them with reports about other lounges to confirm our list of the best LAX lounges.
Keep in mind that the best airport lounge for you will depend on the airline you're flying, which terminal you're departing from and the airline elite status you hold.
For our rankings of the best LAX airport lounges, we focused on the best experience you can get. Also, we limited our review to LAX lounges open as of December 2022.
1. Qantas First Lounge (Tom Bradley International Terminal)
Imagine an airport lounge that also hosts a top-notch restaurant. You'll find that at the Qantas First Lounge in LAX. This lounge is located in the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) and is limited to Oneworld first-class travelers and Oneworld Emerald elites.
Guests can enjoy all the airport lounge standards — from various seating areas to snacks, TVs and even reservable conference rooms. The lounge also delivers next-level perks like seven individual shower rooms and a diverse selection of self-serve wines, champagne, coffees and teas.
But Qantas First Lounge takes it to the top tier with its professional bartender-staffed top-shelf bar and sit-down restaurant that feels fancy. Service is superb throughout the lounge, from the servers to housekeeping— a first-class experience.
2. United Polaris Lounge (Terminal 7)
United opened its signature Polaris Lounge in LAX in January 2019, and it easily takes second prize in our list of top LAX airport lounges. The modest-sized but rather exclusive lounge oozes elegance. Large windows give aviation geeks a front-row seat to watch busy airport operations.
Guests can serve themselves from a lengthy hot food buffet or order from an a la carte menu in the server-staffed sit-down restaurant — which is matter-of-factly named The Dining Room. In addition to an extensive liquor menu, you can order a variety of cocktails from the bartender-staffed bar — including a selection of cocktails exclusive to the lounge.
Six elegant shower rooms are stocked with Saks Fifth Avenue towels, slippers, and Sunday Riley amenities. And if you're battling jet lag, you can take advantage of one of the lounge's private nap rooms.
3. Delta Sky Club (Terminal 3)
Delta unveiled its stunning new Terminal 3 Sky Club in April 2022 to rave reviews. From a lovely large outdoor Sky Deck to a coffee grotto and stylish artwork, there's a lot to love about this striking new lounge.
Travelers can choose between two bars — including one on the Sky Deck — and two buffets of complimentary food. Catch the latest news or a game in the TV room or take a call in the private soundproof phone booths. And you can tidy up in one of the lounge's eight spacious spa-like shower suites.
» Learn more: How to get into the Delta Sky Club before your flight
4. American Airlines Flagship Lounge (Terminal 4)
American Airlines' best offering is its Flagship Lounge. And it's quite an offering. The lounge features a diverse hot food buffet, self-serve liquor, wine, champagne, beer, soda and several coffee machines. Lounge agents even greet you at the entrance with a glass of champagne.
You can relax and watch a game in the TV room, get some work done in the business center, admire the views out the expansive windows or clean up in the individual showers.
The main aspect holding this lounge back from competing for the top prize is the self-serve nature of the lounge — from buffet dining to make-your-own cocktails. Once Flagship First Dining is reopened (date to be determined), this lounge may climb in the rankings.
» Learn more: How to access American Airlines Flagship lounges
5. Star Alliance lounge (TBIT)
TBIT hosts two airline alliance lounges: Star Alliance and Oneworld. Both offer a full suite of amenities, buffet, bartender-served cocktails and more. However, only one provides an outdoor terrace. And that gives the edge to the Star Alliance lounge.
The main downside of this lounge is the food, which is a bit lacking compared with other lounges on this list (although the backdrop of wine and champagne bottles makes the buffet look visually stunning).
» Learn more: The guide to Star Alliance lounges
6. Oneworld business-class lounge (TBIT)
Coming in just behind the Star Alliance lounge is the Oneworld business-class lounge. Although technically unbranded, this massive 545-passenger capacity lounge is operated by Qantas and features many of the perks travelers may appreciate from Qantas lounges.
A lengthy and diverse buffet offers everything from warm dishes to ice cream. And to drink, you can get a boost from the barista-prepared coffee bar or relax with a wide selection of complimentary beers (including several on tap), wines, spirits and bartender-made cocktails.
» Learn more: Oneworld alliance pros and cons
7. LAX Centurion Lounge (TBIT)
On paper, the Centurion Lounge should compete for the top lounge at LAX. A buffet offers chef-cultivated food and bartenders serve complimentary made-to-order cocktails. In addition, guests can get complimentary spa service during certain hours or clean up in one of the lounge's two showers. You can even get a quick nap in the rest room — provided you can fit a nap in during the lounge's restricted visiting hours.
The lounge is disappointing. Many lounge perks — from the bar to the spa and showers — close at unposted times and well before the lounge closes. In addition, lounge attendants seem overwhelmed, resulting in standoffish to downright rude service.
And we aren't the only ones that have found this lounge disappointing. The LAX AmEx Centurion Lounge has just a 2.3 out of five rating on Google and 3.2 stars out of five on Yelp.
8. Emirates Lounge (TBIT)
By all reports, this is a nice lounge for Emirates business, first-class and Skywards Gold and Platinum elite passengers. The buffet serves a variety of hot dishes as well as a diverse selection of fresh fruits, nuts, cheeses and desserts.
Passengers can pour themselves a drink from the self-serve champagne and liquor bar or get a boost from the self-service coffee machine. And you can clean up in one of the lounge's showers.
The major downside is the limited hours. At the time of writing, the Emirates Lounge hours are only from 11:35 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. — to coincide with the timing of Emirates' current daily 3:35 p.m. flight.
» Learn more: The guide to Emirates business class
9. American Airlines Admirals Club (Terminal 4)
The Terminal 4 Admirals Club shares an entrance with the Flagship Lounge. If you don't qualify for a Flagship Lounge invitation card, you'll have to turn right instead of left at the upper lounge entrance. While the Admirals Club isn't as nice as the Flagship Lounge, it's still a solid lounge.
This sleek, recently renovated lounge offers plenty of seating areas, customizable food dishes such as build-your-own tacos, fresh fruits and espresso coffee machines. House beers, wines and select spirits are complimentary from the bar. And you can order cocktails or warm meals from a reasonably priced menu.
The one perk the Admirals Club offers that isn't found at any of the fancier lounges on this list? Complimentary fresh-made avocado toast and guacamole. During certain times of the day, a lounge agent prepares avocado toast or guacamole with just the ingredients you want.
A guacamole station isn't available in the American Airlines Flagship Lounge. However, we've found that lounge agents don't mind if you cross over to the Admirals Club to get some fresh-made guacamole. So you might get compliments for knowing about this hack.
Other LAX lounges
Seven other LAX airport lounges are currently operating at the time of publishing — not including experience-focused Priority Pass lounges at LAX, such as the Be Relax Spa and Gameway. See our full breakdown of Priority Pass LAX lounges to learn more about those options.
Here's a list of the other lounges that didn't make our top nine best LAX lounges:
Best LAX lounges, recapped
Los Angeles International Airport is filled with an embarrassment of riches regarding airport lounges. Each of the nine LAX airport lounges that made our list — and several that didn't — offers a buffet of complimentary hot food, free beer, wine and liquor and even showers.
The best lounge for your flight will depend significantly on which airline you're flying. After all, the only one of these that Southwest flyers can access is the Centurion Lounge — and you'd have to take the time to clear security twice to do so. So, work down this list of the best LAX lounges and compare access policies to find the best lounge for your trip.
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