LAX Upgrades: New Star Alliance Lounge, United Terminals, TBIT

My former hometown airport has several long-needed projects underway or in the plans that will make it worthy of world-class airport status – at least in some terminals.

Today, Los Angeles International Airport’s new Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) saw its first flights arriving at the complex featuring 18 new gates, nine of which can accommodate Airbus A380 aircraft. The 150,000-square foot, $1.9 billion Antonio R. Villaraigosa Pavilion also has more than 60 restaurants and luxury retail shops set to open in the coming weeks, in addition to duty free shops that are in operation today.

On September 25, the new Star Alliance Lounge will open for travelers on level 6 of TBIT. It will be operated by Air New Zealand who plans to move into the terminal in mid-2014 from its current departures base in Terminal 2.

For now, access will be granted to eligible passengers departing from TBIT on other Star carriers using the terminal, including ANA, Asiana Airlines, EVA Air, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, THAI and Turkish Airlines.

Lounge entry (Source: Star Alliance)

Lounge entry (Source: Star Alliance)

It has separate first class (42 seats) and business class sections (387 seats), and even sports an outdoor terrace.

Seating (Source: Star Alliance)

Seating (Source: Star Alliance)

Outdoor terrace (Source: Star Alliance)

Outdoor terrace (Source: Star Alliance)

Bar (Source: Star Alliance)

Bar (Source: Star Alliance)

Click here for more renderings and details of the new lounge.

Also, United Airlines yesterday received approval from the Board of Airport Commissioners for its desired overhaul of Terminals 6, 7 and 8. United will reportedly only contribute $40 million of the total $412 million project, mainly for “proprietary improvements” unique to the airline, specifically a new United Club and other branding elements.

American Airlines and Delta also have earmarked improvements for their LAX facilities.

– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.

Related:

Review: American’s Flagship Check-In and Lounge at LAX

Review: Star Alliance First Class Lounge at LAX

Flight Review: Asiana Airlines First Class Los Angeles to Seoul

United Swaps Out 747 for 777 on Australia Flights

Flight Review: United Airlines BusinessFirst, Los Angeles to Sydney

Australia Trip Report: United, Virgin Australia, Hilton and Radisson Blu

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