One of the big values of the AAvantage Program with American Airlines is being able to redeem AA miles on their codeshare partners like Etihad Airways which is one of my favorite carriers to fly. Keep in mind, they are not part of the OneWorld alliance but they are a codeshare partner. When flying Etihad Airways I always redeem my AA miles because of the value. Being able to fly a cabin that is worth a couple thousands of dollars for just 67,500 AA miles for Business Class or 90,000 AA miles for First Class and very little tax fee is a bargain that you shouldn’t pass, ever. My advice is to be flexible when wanting to fly Etihad premium cabin as they tend to be stingy on releasing award space for Guest though its not impossible to score a premium cabin seat.
The lounge that Etihad Airways uses at Tom Bradley International Terminal is the Star Alliance Lounge. My first time visiting the lounge was in June and it was super packed that I ended up leaving the lounge to walk and explore the Tom Bradley Terminal. Keep in mind there is the Business Star Alliance Lounge and the First Class section which is completely separate from the Business class lounge, so keep that in mind at the time you’re headed to the lounge. They are close to one another so there is nothing to worry about on trying to find the lounge.
Star Alliance Business Class Lounge – Main Entrance
Once you arrive at the lounge the friendly agents will check your boarding pass and passport and welcome you into the lounge. The staff at this lounge are fantastic, super friendly and attentive so they truly go far and beyond to make their guest feel at home.
My first impression of the lounge when visiting it for the first time in June was “wow”. I am used to my OneWorld Lounges and this is a nice lounge for a change of scenery, environment and amenities and I was truly pleased with everything they offer for their guest. The lounge is well kept, clean, organized and offers a large variety of seating for their guest which from time to time, it is always a tough decision to decide where do I want to sit. The quiet room? The media room? The outdoor patio? The bar area? Who knows, but each section is truly awesome and well decorated.
As you walk around the lounge you will notice that the amount of refreshments offered is never ending. In every section of the lounge you will be able to find a station for soft drinks, alcohol, coffee and water. Without question they truly thought about maximizing the guest experience and making sure they are comfortable, there is no need to go across the lounge to get a drink since most likely you will have it a minute away from you. The waiters roaming around the lounge also do an incredible job on offering beverages incase you are in the mood for something, they are also very friendly and attentive, keeping the lounge clean and organized as well.
Star Alliance Business Class – Food Section
The food section at the lounge isn’t something extreme and at first I know it won’t “wow you” because it didn’t “wow me” but when I tried every single dish offered I was amazed at how good everything was. It is fresh and tasty. A variety of dishes like salad, hummus, pita bread sandwiches, wraps and hot main dishes are offered. The dessert area of course has to be one of my favorites as they offering brownies, chocolate mouse, strawberry shortcake, cookies, fruits and a few signature items as well. They could do a better job on keeping the area bit cleaner in the sense of collecting the food that drops from the bowls but for the most part everything is well placed. Utensils, plates and napkins can be found within the area as well.
The Star Alliance Business Class – Terrace
There is nothing better than being at an airport lounge and being able to get some fresh air. The Star Alliance business class lounge has an incredible outdoor terrace where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the killer views of the tarmac. Seeing some heavies take off and land. There is a no smoking policy while being at the terrace so be sure to keep that in mind. Plenty of seating is also available and a refreshment area of water can be found right upon entering, self served. They also play some great music giving the terrance an even cooler vibe.
The Star Alliance Business Class – Balcony Bar
The Balcony bar at the lounge has to be my second favorite area of the lounge as you have an incredible view of the Tom Bradley Terminal. The seating provided is also very comfortable and within every station you will be able to charge your phone. The balcony bar offers all sorts of alcoholic beverages so the selection to choose from is quite extensive. The balcony bar at the lounge it is also much more quieter.
The Star Alliance Business Class – Shower Suites
The shower suites of the lounge can be found near the Media Room and towards the Terrance lounge area. They have several showers to use and they will be a staff member on duty to accommodate your request. Keep in mind, it tends to get crowded so if you would like to take a shower before your flight, I would recommend visiting the shower suites as you first arrive into the lounge. The facility is beautiful and the decorations remind me of Asia.
The Star Alliance Business Class – Media room
The media room of the lounge is very relaxing, where you are able to enjoy some TV and unwind. It is also a very quiet section of the lounge so make sure to keep the tone of talking to a minimal to not disturb the other guest around you.
Refreshments throughout the lounge
As I previously mentioned, the lounge offers a large variety of refreshments and they can be found all over the lounge, they are centrally located in a way that you don’t have to go from one side of the lounge to the other to get a refreshment. Within one particular area of the lounge you will be able to type of hot dishes to eat aside from what you get on the foot court area of the lounge and from what I saw, all sort of soups were being offered though its subject to change daily.
Last but not least, incase you are in need of help with your flight or have to speak with an agent, right upon entering the lounge you will find the agents ready to help you. All of the agents at this lounge speak a variety of languages and their will to help the guest is noticeable. The staff there is truly caring and attentive and will try their best to accommodate your needs and wants prior to your flight.
Aside from the great agents making announcements for the flights, you will be able to find several departure board monitors throughout the lounge. Keep an eye on it to track your flight.
For those who have visited the Star Alliance Business class lounge, what do you think of the lounge? And what would you like to see being added or replaced?