Review: Korean Airlines Lounge LAX – Priority Pass

Airline clubs aim to offer an escape for travelers from the stresses of flying. However, not all airline clubs are created equal. Our goal is to visit as many as possible and keep you informed on your next trip. Today we will be covering the Korean Airlines KAL Lounge at LAX before covering how to get in.

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The lounge has a very clean cut and minimalist look, with an inviting design and open feel. It is clearly divided between a business class and first class section, both of which feature many seating options and an open air balcony. Since I was entering with my priority pass I wasn’t able to enter the first class lounge.

Seating

When it comes to seating in lounges there is a minimum threshold that needs to be met. This lounge was a great example of meeting the minimum. Nothing special but certainly better than sitting at the gate in the terminal. This particular KAL Lounge has a lot of seats but the majority of them are very oddly shaped. It feels as if they were going with the aesthetically pleasing curvy design, but that doesn’t always make for the most comfortable seat. The seats do look neat, but after a quick check I ended up opting for the in club balcony with a view over the main area of the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

 

 

This balcony has multiple sets of low tables and chairs, which I found to be pretty comfortable. It also has a very open feeling, unlike some of the other areas of the club, which I really enjoyed.

Location

With the size of LAX it just isn’t possible to have a lounge located in a place that is convenient for everyone. However, the majority of people using this lounge are flying internationally out of Tom Bradley. Under these circumstances this lounge is in a great location and even has the added benefit of a large balcony overlooking the main atrium of the terminal.

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The downside to this lounge location is the fact that it doesn’t afford a view of the tarmac or planes. However, I wouldn’t say the addition of this detail would change a whole lot about the lounge since I did find the large open air balcony to be a great view in itself.

Food & Drink

This department was a little disappointing for what technically is an international business lounge for an Asian Airline. The vast majority of food options were cold, with the lone exception being ramen noodles. Please note I was in the business class section so first class could offer a better spread.

 

 

I tried the cold cut sandwich, chicken caesar wrap, muffin, and veggie sticks. I also gave the ramen a try since they have it set out as their featured item. It was really easy to prepare by simply mixing it with the hot water they have sitting out. Ultimately, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the food they have sitting out, it was actually very good for what it was. However, the disappointment came from the selection of items that consisted of snacks and nothing hot that could constitute a meal.

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The lounge drink selection is very basic, consisting of a selection of sodas. water, and two beer options (Budweiser & OB Premium Pilsner). They also had a small area with self-service liquor and wine. The self-service feature is very convenient and I didn’t notice anyone walking around offering drink service.

Amenities

If you find yourself in this lounge you will see it hits the checkbox on all the basic amenities. They have showers, tv’s around the lounge, outlets, bathrooms, and supposedly wifi. They actually had outlets in the floor out on balcony so that was great for charging my phone. However, the wifi was a different story. I don’t know if it is always like this or I just happened to catch them on a bad day, but the Wifi did not work at all.

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The WiFi would say it was connected but did not work. I tried a couple of times and finally gave up and used the data on my phone. I then actually had someone else ask me if I was able to connect to the WiFi because they were having issues as well. For someone who does not have a US data plan this lack of wifi would certainly be an even bigger nuisance.

Club Staff

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KAL Lounge logo near the entrance of the lounge in LAX.

The staff at the front desk was very friendly when I checked in. They required my priority pass card and boarding pass. Side note: they allow for pass members to bring in guests but it should be noted that they have extremely limited hours. Priority pass members can only enter this lounge between the hours of 12pm and 8 pm, even though they are open later. Then these hours could further be restricted by flight schedules. Click here for the details from the priority pass website. Since I arrived shortly after 12 they had no issues, smiling as they asked me how my day was going before I proceed into the lounge. While in the lounge, the majority of the staff was tasked with maintaining the food but they did have people going around clearing plates. They were all friendly but I wouldn’t describe any of the service as being overly exceptional either.

How can you get in the KAL Lounge at LAX?

  • Priority Pass Membership
  • Business class on Korean Airlines or Skyteam partner
  • First class on Korean Airlines or Skyteam partner
  • Know anyone with any of the above, as they can bring in a guest

Pros

  • Really nice balcony overlooking terminal
  • Complimentary snacks & drinks
  • Location

Cons

  • Gets very crowded
  • Limited hours
  • WiFi did not work

Final Thoughts

Overall I found the Korean Airlines Business Class Lounge in Los Angeles to be very nice in decor. It unfortunately did end up getting extremely crowded and the food and drink options were not as good as I have seen in other lounges. However, this would not stop me from returning in the future as I would much rather spend my time before the flight here than at the gate. And these options do certainly beat whatever exorbitant prices they would be charging for food in the terminal. It would also be a huge benefit for travelers if they could get the WiFi working. If anyone else has been to this lounge I would like to hear what your thoughts were as well. Or if anyone has questions I would be more than happy to answer them. Until next time!

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