I feel really bad for Air New Zealand premium cabin passengers. It’s not because this is a horrible lounge. It’s not. It’s just that Air New Zealand also operates the new LAX Star Alliance Lounge. But for whatever reason, Air New Zealand is still operating out of terminal 2 and not out of the newly renovated Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) where the Star Alliance Lounge is located in. And because it is a pain in the butt to get to/from terminal 2 and the TBIT, current Air New Zealand premium cabin passengers are forced to use this lounge instead of the lounge that they should be using. Sigh. Here’s my review of the LAX Star Alliance Lounge in case you want to compare.
But in case you missed it, LAX now allows same-day ticketed passengers to access any of the other terminals even if they are not departing from that terminal. However, it will be a pain in the butt if you want to visit the TBIT Star Alliance Lounge. Here’s what you will need to do. Arrive at terminal 2, check your bags and obtain your boarding pass, walk outside to the TBIT (about a five minute walk) and clear security to use the lounge. Once you are done, you will have to exit the TBIT, walk back to terminal 2 and clear security again before you can board your plane. Like I said, it’s a pain in the butt and I wouldn’t really recommend you doing this unless you have a few hours to kill. Getting through security at the TBIT can be painful at peak times and there are no TSA Precheck lines to expedite the process.
Air New Zealand is in the process of moving their operations to the TBIT but that’s not scheduled till the end of the year. And rumor on the streets is that Virgin Atlantic will take over this space for their new Clubhouse. Air China used to contract with the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge next door but have since upgraded to the Air New Zealand Lounge for their premium cabin passengers.
The mezzanine style, Air New Zealand Koru Club Lounge at LAX is located in terminal 2, above gate 24. Open to Air New Zealand, Air China and Virgin Atlantic premium cabin passengers, Koru Club card holders, Star Alliance Gold members and those wishing to pay $55.00 for a day pass, the Air New Zealand Koru Club Lounge at LAX is actually a pretty good lounge. The lounge is spacious, bright and beautifully decorated. The lounge is open from 12:30 PM to 1:00 AM.
The Air New Zealand Koru Club Lounge is one single room with no separate area for first class passengers. As you enter the lounge, there is a luggage storage and closet area to store your belongings. The shelves face the front desk attendants but are open and unsecured.
Past the entrance and check-in area is the main seating area of the lounge. The seating area is open, spacious and beautifully decorated in warm colors and a touch of that kiwi flair. There are no partitions to divide the main seating area but low planters and the arrangement of furniture provide subtle yet defined spaces to the spacious lounge. At the time of my visit (9:30 PM on a Wednesday night), the lounge was full but at no time did I feel it was too crowded. I didn’t have a hard time finding seats and there was still plenty of food left. Most passengers left the lounge around 11:00 PM so there were only a handful of us Air China people after that. I basically had the entire back portion of the lounge to myself.
The only minor complaint about the seating area – there are no sofas, recliners, day rooms or otherwise rest area for you to lay down. It’s sitting room only here at the Air New Zealand Koru Club Lounge.
There are walls of large windows that let in a lot of natural light and provide for some good plane spotting. From the lounge, you can see the terminal 2 gates and runways to the north. Here’s a picture from the lounge of my Air China Boeing 777-300ER that just landed.
There is no dedicated business center but there are three large bar tables with plenty of room for you to spread out and work and lots of electrical outlets to keep your devices powered. Electrical outlets are also plentiful next to the tables and chairs along the walls if you can’t find a seat at the bar. If you are looking for some additional privacy, there are several small semi-enclosed rooms located in the back of the lounge. The small rooms are equipped with a desk and phone and provide a quieter place to work or hold that private phone call. Printing capabilities and a fax machine are also available if you need and password protected WiFi is provided throughout the lounge.
There’s a single food station with a decent selection of wraps, salads, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, chips and salsa, cookies, crackers, chips, soup and hot buffet items such as grilled chicken and potatoes. The self-serve bar had a good selection of beers, New Zealand wines, premium spirits, juices, sodas and a coffee/cappuccino machine.
The lounge was kept clean and there were plenty of employees cleaning, busing dishes and refreshing the buffet area.
Showers are also available if you need to freshen up and they do make boarding and gate announcements in the lounge.
Overall, this is a great lounge and a nice place to rest, relax and stay productive before your flight. The lounge is spacious, has a decent selection of food and drinks and is perfectly adequate until Air New Zealand moves their operations over to the TBIT.
Other trip reports in this series:
- Introduction: How we booked our trip using United miles
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at LAX
- Air New Zealand Lounge at LAX
- Air China “Forbidden Pavilion” first class Los Angeles to Beijing, Boeing 777-300ER
- Air China first class lounge at PEK
- Air China business class Beijing to Seoul, Airbus A330-300
- Hilton Seoul
- United Airlines “BusinessFirst” Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita, Boeing 787-8
- Asiana business class lounge at ICN
- Asiana business class Seoul to Tokyo Narita, Airbus A330-300
- Conrad Tokyo
- Hilton Tokyo
- ANA business class lounge at NRT
- Thai Airways “Royal Silk” business class Tokyo Narita to Bangkok, Boeing 747-400
- Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge at BKK
- Thai Airways “Royal Silk” business class Bangkok to Auckland, Boeing 777-200
- Hilton Auckland
- Emperor Lounge at AKL
- Air New Zealand Koru Club Lounge at AKL
- Air New Zealand “Business Premier” Auckland to Shanghai, Boeing 777-200
- Air China business class lounge at PVG
- Air China business class Shanghai to Taipei, Airbus A330-300
- EVA Air Evergreen Lounge at TPE
- EVA Air “Royal Laurel” business class Taipei to Los Angeles, Boeing 777-300ER