The Star Alliance Lounge at LAX offers a quiet oasis from the bustling terminal with à la carte dining and personalized service. But it also has some rough edges.
First, take advantage of an escort if you are flying first class on ANA, Asiana, Lufthansa, Singapore or SWISS. While you will almost always be offered one, request one if you are not. They will escort you through security (usually to the hidden checkpoint), always bypassing all lines, and lead you directly to the lounge. It’s a great benefit of flying Star Alliance First Class from Los Angeles.
Inside the lounge there is a small check-in area which is bypassed if you are with an escort.
The lounge is a small single room divided into 3/4 seating and 1/4 dining. Seating is a mix of couches and chairs and quite comfortable.
A buffet stretches across the west side of the lounge, offering light snacks, fruit, salad, and a few hot items. Next to it, a bar offers a wide-selection of self-serve liquor and a coffee machine.
A dining area includes four round tables.
Behind the dining area are two private bathrooms, each offering privacy…but no showers. If you wish to shower, you will be escorted to the business class/Star Gold lounge next door.
When I visited the lounge in July, the à la carte menu was quite limited:
I had a turkey burger while John had marinara. Both were very unremarkable and we regretted ordering food.
When we returned a month later to fly Lufthansa first class again, the menu changed…for the better. There were several additional choices on the menu:
Sadly, I never got to sample anything. More on that below.
Two Areas of Improvement Desperately Needed
I was very disappointed during my last visit that service was so poor. I ordered Huevos Rancheros and John ordered flatbread pizza. We waited about 20 minutes and John’s food showed up, but mine did not. The lounge attendant forgot to order my dish…
By then it was time to board. The chef brought out the food personally and was horrified to learn that I had ordered eggs. He promised to rush them right out, but by then it was too late.
I don’t fault him, but I fault the sloppy staff for taking our order without pen and paper. Service is not at all polished in the lounge: the employees need some serious training on basic skills like writing down orders, offering drink refills, and checking in on guests. We practically had to beg someone to even order food. I’ve never understood why a waiter or waitress would not note down orders…this happens at restaurants too and the order inevitably gets screwed up.
The second problem is internet. It is terrible. Both visits it was practically non-functional. The lounge also seems to be surrounded in concrete and therefore cell phone reception is very poor. There may not be an easy fix for the cell phone problem, but there is for the internet — better routers.
The Star Alliance Lounge at LAX has first class elements, but also lacks key service details that would vault into the top tier of lounges. It is worth a visit, especially if you want to sit down and order some food, but in all other respects the beautiful business class lounge next door is a far better place to wait for your flight.
> Read More: Star Alliance Business Star Gold Lounge LAX Review
The cook is responsible for giving exacting instructions to the front of house staff on how to write orders. If the cook accepted unwritten food orders that falls squarely on him.
Is that*A lounge rule? Because it certainly isn’t a general restaurant management rule. I’ve run multiple restaurants including a James Beard award winning one, that service failure is solely on the FOH manager, not the chef.
I don’t think it is a rule — I think it was a lazy server with a shallow grasp of the English language.
Totally agree about writing down orders. Even if you pull it off I’m not impressed, mess up the order and I’ll be disappointed. Just get it right whatever is needed!
Is it in any way an upgrade over the business class lounge at LAX? The pics of the business lounge in your review from earlier this year look stunning, and this one just kinda looks drab and dark.
This one is very drab. The only difference is the a la carte menu.