The Korean Air Lounge LAX (KAL Lounge) is located in the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) and is open from 8:30 AM to 12:30 AM daily. The lounge is accessible by SkyTeam Elite Plus members and premium cabin passengers traveling on SkyTeam partner airlines and Priority Pass/Lounge Club members traveling on any airline. SkyTeam Elite Plus and premium cabin passengers may access the lounge at any time but Priority Pass/Lounge Club members may only access the lounge between 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM daily. Priority Pass/Lounge Club are allowed a maximum of two guests per card holder.
If you are not departing from the TBIT international terminal, you can still use the Korean Air Lounge before your flight. LAX now allows same-day ticketed passengers to access all the terminals regardless of which terminal your flight is departing from. If you are departing from terminals 4 – 8, there is a post security tunnel to connect you to the TBIT international terminal. You can read my post here on how to access the different terminals via the airside tunnel.
As you enter the lounge, there is a luggage storage area located to the left of the entrance. The personal lockers are large enough to store your carry-on luggage and other personal items and can be set with your own personal combination.
The main seating area of the lounge is open with a variety of comfortable seating options grouped together into small clusters. The area is open and brightly lit but lacks privacy screens or dividers to give the individual areas a sense of defined spaces. The whole lounge just feels like one open, mixed-use space to rest, relax and work.
For entertainment, televisions with a various programming are displayed throughout the lounge and large windows are provided for plane spotting and people watching below.
At 1320 square feet, the lounge is a decent size and can accommodate up to 305 passengers. And based on my last few visits, the lounge is fairly crowded at all hours of the day and night.
For food, the Korean Air Lounge LAX provides a very mediocre buffet spread. Unlike the Star Alliance and oneworld Lounges next door, there are no hot food options here. The food spread is limited to finger foods such as sandwiches, wraps, chips and an assortment of fruits and sushi. The only “hot” food option would be a variety of instant noodle soups.
As for alcoholic drinks and other beverages, don’t expect too much either. The complimentary alcohol selection is limited to a small offering of spirits and wines and a refrigerator with beers, sodas and juices. There is a single espresso machine but it was not operational during this visit.
Password protected WiFi and electrical outlets are provided throughout the lounge so you can work from anywhere but there are no dedicated work spaces. There is a long bar table located in the center of the lounge and some dining tables you can use to be productive but that’s about it. This is probably my second biggest complaint about this lounge. As a business traveler, I really appreciate dedicated spaces, or at the very least, a quiet space, to be productive before my flight and the lack of usable spaces for business travelers really disappoints me.
The highlight of the Korean Air Lounge LAX is the balcony overlooking the beautiful shopping arcade of the Villaraigosa Pavilion. The new TBIT international terminal is just beautiful and the balcony allows you to sit, relax and enjoy the people watching below. This is definitely my favorite part of the lounge.
If you’re connecting between flights or just need to freshen up, shower rooms are available on a first come, first serve basis. The beautiful shower rooms are furnished with bath and body products and other shower amenities.
Korean Air First Class Lounge LAX
There is a separate lounge space for first class passengers located to the right of the reception desk. The Korean Air First Class Lounge is significantly more private and exclusive than the main lounge but is also significantly smaller. The First Class Lounge consists of a small seating area with a couple rows of seats, two private rooms for VIPs and a small area on the deck reserved for first class passengers. It’s the same deck as the main lounge but the first class area is partitioned off with more comfortable seating options.
Food and beverage-wise, there is a very small buffet station with the same food options as the main lounge with the addition of two hot food items (fried rice and chicken wings).
Korean Air Lounge LAX overall thoughts
The Korean Air Lounge LAX is modern, beautiful and a decent place to relax before your flight but unfortunately falls short in so many areas. I really appreciate the warm ambiance and the balcony deck but the lack of hot food options, work spaces and areas to lie down and rest really disappoint me. As a contract lounge, I think the Korean Air Lounge LAX is fantastic but as a premium cabin lounge for first and business class passengers, it’s rather disappointing. And I know what you’re thinking, maybe the lounge provides upgraded food options for their own flights but sadly, it doesn’t. The lounge experience during restricted hours is the exact same as non-restricted hours.
Like I said before, the Korean Air Lounge LAX has so much potential. It really is a beautiful space but the lack of effort prevents the lounge from being a competitive space. Compared to the Star Alliance Lounge or the oneworld Lounge next door, the Korean Air Lounge LAX fails to provide a competitive ground experience for their premium cabin passengers.
Have you visited the Korean Air Lounge LAX? If so, please share your thoughts with me in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!
The other trip reports in this series include:
- Korean Air Lounge LAX, a Priority Pass Lounge
- Star Alliance Lounge LAX
- Singapore Airlines Economy Class, Los Angeles to Singapore
- Singapore Airlines Economy Class, Singapore to Bali
- Korean Air Lounge Concourse A Seoul, a Priority Pass Lounge
- SATS Premier Lounge Singapore, a Priority Pass Lounge
- The Stones Hotel, Bali
- Hilton Bali, Nusa Dua
- Singapore Airlines Economy Class, Singapore to Los Angeles