Alaska Airlines has made impressive upgrades to its LAX lounge. But why limit coffee? Why oh why?
I recently stopped by the Alaska Lounge in Terminal 6 at Los Angeles International Airport. I was very pleasantly surprised that it had been renovated. The furniture was new, the food was better than before, and best of all…barista-made coffee was available.
There are so many elements required to make good coffee. It’s not just the beans or the water, it’s the machine used to make it. I love barista-made coffee not so much because the human hand inherently produces better coffee than a machine, but because fancy manual coffee machines tend to make excellent coffee. The act of tamping and the finely-tuning pressure that are only available in these “manual” coffee makers generally produce much better espresso. Plus, the milk foamers produce a far better milk for cappuccinos than do fully automatic machines.
Anyway, this isn’t a post on coffee, but coffee availability.
I enjoyed a cappuccino, which turned out very nicely.
In fact, I enjoyed it so much I returned again a few days later for some more coffee. This time, it was 7:00PM. A bartender unsympathetically told me, “Sorry, the machine is turned off at 5:00PM, you can use the automatic machine around the corner.”
That’s like saying, “Oh, I’m sorry. We stop serving Wagyu beef filets at 5:00PM. But don’t worry, there’s some salisbury steak around the corner.”
It’s not like there was no bartender on duty. She was just standing around. If she can mix drinks, why can’t she make coffee?
Anyway, I survived with a machine-made blend.
And again, the lounge looks beautiful:
Food has also improved, with two soups, nice salads, and real cups, glasses, plates, and silverware…something I don’t take for granted.
Alaska has managed to simultaneously delight And disappoint me. I’ll be returning to the lounge more often now, but the 5:00PM last call for coffee seems unnecessary.
Is the coffee policy the same in the Alaska lounges in Seattle and New York?