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Virgin Australia doesn't currently have a lounge at Los Angeles airport despite running several flights in and out to Australia. Historically passengers on outbound Virgin Australia flights in Business Class or passengers that held Gold or Platinum velocity status were allowed access to the fantastic Star Alliance lounge at Tom Bradley International Terminal, but that changed earlier this year and Virgin lost access to the lounge. What is fascinating is that Virgin has now partnered with both Etihad and Emirates to use their lounges in TBIT. Now, the Etihad lounge makes sense as Etihad owns a fair stake in Virgin, but the Emirates lounge is an odd one. I can only assume that the Etihad lounge didn’t have the required capacity so Virgin is paying for individual access to the Emirates lounge.
What makes this even more confusing is that you cannot simply choose which lounge you wish to visit. There are complicated rules but essentially all Business Class passengers have access to the Etihad lounge and passengers travelling in any class that hold Velocity Gold or Velocity Platinum get access to the Emirates lounge.
Rules for passengers in Business Class
Rules for Gold or Platinum passengers in any class
As I currently hold Velocity Gold we were instructed at check in to go to the Emirates Lounge. It is also interesting to note that Virgin still have their check-in counter at T2, but after checking in you need to exit the terminal and walk 5mins down to TBIT and then pass security.
Small checkin counter at T2
The lounge is located on level 6 of the terminal and the elevator is just to your left as you exit security.
Hallway in to lounge after the reception desk
The EK Rolex clock display!
The overall lounge is a good size with lots of areas you can break out in to.
Main seating area
There is also a sit down dining area that contains a well-stocked buffet and bar area.
Self service bar
Whilst the lounge doesn’t have an a la carte menu, the buffet seems to have ok food.
There is also an additional bar in the back corner of the lounge.
One feature I liked about the lounge was an outdoor terrace area that overlooked the shopping section of the terminal below. Whilst a little noisy to sit out there it gave a really open feel to the lounge.
Outdoor sitting area
View over the balcony to the terminal below
There is also a small business area that contains 5 computers, desks and a printer.
The bathrooms were clean and a reasonable size with each bathroom having two showers that you can access on a first come first serve basis. One shower was significantly larger and marked for wheelchairs and the other shower was quite small.
The larger accesable shower
The smaller shower
Overall I was impressed with the Emirates LAX lounge, it was well laid out, not crowded and had plenty of space to allow passengers to find a quiet spot to sit and rest prior to boarding.