Our Virgin Australia flight from Sydney arrived 30 minutes late at just about 7 am in the morning Pacific Standard Time. We proceeded through immigration, and customs in a matter of minutes, thanks to Global Entry (c/o having the AMEX Platinum cards). And when we arrived at baggage claim, we saw an unexpected celebrity.
Introduction: Christmas in Hong Kong, and New Year in New Zealand
Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge San Francisco
Cathay Pacific Business Class (Reverse Herringbone) SFO-HKG
The Conrad Hong Kong – Harbor View Twin Room
The Intercontinental Hong Kong – Harbor View Room
The Sights and Sounds of Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge HKG Airport
Singapore Airlines Business Class HKG-SIN-AKL
Arrival in Queenstown & The Rees Queenstown Luxury Hotel Apartments
Queenstown Day 1: Milford Sound
Queenstown Day 2: Glenorchy
Queenstown Day 3: Crown Range Road & Wanaka
The Hilton Auckland & New Year’s Eve
Hobbiton, New Zealand
Emperor Lounge @ Auckland Airport (via Priority Pass)
The Park Hyatt Sydney – Opera View Deluxe King Room
Virgin Australia Business Class SYD-LAX
Virgin America Lounge – The Loft at LAX
I swear my sister can spot celebrities from a mile away. I think it took her a matter of a second to recognize Jessie Tyler Ferguson waiting for his bags at the adjacent baggage carousel. I quite frankly just thought he was just another guy, but my sister showed me all the research she had done to prove her point. Apparently he was in Brisbane the previous day and said that he was flying back home the following day. We didn’t really bother the guy considering that there would soon be a crowd of arriving passengers picking up their bags. For the record he was wearing shades and a cap, probably to look inconspicuous.
Anyway after picking up our bags, we headed outside and walked across to the Terminal 3 check in area for Virgin America. And after check in and security, we still had some time to kill to check out the VX lounge before our flight to Dallas.
Virgin America operates a single lounge at LAX, which is located above the terminal and is accessible by elevator or stairs. Upon presenting our Priority Pass Membership cards, we were promptly admitted. In general access policy for the lounge is as follows:
Upon entering the lounge, what immediately strikes you is the mood lighting permeating the interior of the lounge and the swanky red and grey chairs arranged in several areas across the lounge. This gave the space a great ambiance and certainly made it look like a more awesome place to hangout in than it actually is.
Free food and drink in the lounge was pretty limited to some juices, soft drinks, trail mixes, pretzels, fruits, and some packaged biscotti. Though I did hear that the bar offered paid meals and cocktails, I never got a chance to test anything out since I had breakfast on Virgin Australia already.
The bar itself is quite small, and oddly enough a LCD screen nearby was advertising some appetizing food, which was clearly not available in the lounge. There are restrooms available inside the lounge, but they were pretty run down and had very few stalls.
Bottom Line: I would sum up the lounge as an IKEA furniture section with great mood lighting and tarmac views. There is nothing to really rave about in this lounge, and it gets jam packed as the day progresses. The free WIFI available is decent enough, but I still prefer my T-mobile data plan for tethering and surfing. I do see one reason for visiting the lounge: it’s a welcome reprieve from VX’s otherwise boring yet crowded terminal at LAX. It was still very disappointing considering how great of an on board experience Virgin America offers.
This wraps up my trip to New Zealand. The VX flight to DAL and consequent SWA flight to Midland were completely uneventful. These flights were completely packed so there was no room to snap any pictures.