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LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 6:59 am
by flyingdoc
Will be flying BA in first LAX-LHR later this week. I see that the lounges at TBIT are being renovated/redone into alliance lounges. I was in TBIT several days ago and the viewing area on the upper level beyond the chinese food restaurant has been turned into a lounge. Does anyone know what lounge BA is now using during the construction?

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:10 am
by chrisa330
There are only 2 lounges open. A First Class lounge which is on the upper level in the terminal, and a Business Class lounge which is housed in a hanger...you must take a bus to it.

I think the entry rules have been tightened too, you must be flying in the J or F cabin to gain entry. FF Elite statuses don't count. (I think this is the case...but not 100%)

I was through the F lounge recently and it is nothing to write home about. Simple food - very little, and a bar - that's it.

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:27 am
by BALAX
We're using both lounges, mostly the First class one. The business class lounge is actually quite roomy, but away from the terminal. It adds a bit of stress to trying to get to your gate on time.

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:59 am
by PER744
I believe elite status FF's are still allowed entry, or at least Qantas Club members (and Gold and Platinum FF's) and guests still have access.

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:37 am
by jfk777
The TBIT is an embarrasament not seen at a major US international airport since the disgrace that was the IAB at JFK at its end, T4 at JFK is so good Singapore and Virgin moved there from T1(another new in 1998 terminal at JFK). TBIT is so constrained, I took a Qantas 744 to Sydney a few years ago and we had to be towed into the gate after 14 hours from Aussie, the line for visitors was longer then a line for Rolling Stone tickets. LAX should develop the old TWA termnal into a ONEWORLD terminal with all the BA, CATHAY, JAL and Qantas flights.

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:51 am
by LAXintl
Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 4):
LAX should develop the old TWA termnal into a ONEWORLD terminal with all the BA, CATHAY, JAL and Qantas flights.

If OW carriers want to pony up monies they can pretty build what they want. I'm sure the airport would not object as it has not done previously to others whom have built from scratch or refurbishing existing facilities.

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:36 pm
by BALAX
Dude it's not just TBIT that has tow ins, get with the program. Fact is that LAX was poorly developed airport just the majority of LA roads and highways. Now, I know that TBIT isn't up to par to some of the other terminals around, but it isn't that horrible either. Yes, they need to definitely upgrade it, but I've seen worse, including T1 at LHR and others I won't even dare mention.

[Edited 2006-11-11 04:38:37]

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:36 pm
by flyingdoc
Thanks for the information. I am looking forward to flying BA; never flown BA longhaul.

If I understand it correctly, the lounge project is part of a major overhaul of TBIT. I don't know what else is included, but seems like I remember reading it was a part of a several hundred million dollar project.

I actually have always enjoyed flying out of LAX, including TBIT. Maybe it is because spotting is so good at LAX???

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 6:16 pm
by BALAX
What day are you flying, maybe I can give a quick "cheers thanks a lot" and what flight?

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:22 pm
by jfk777
THE TBIT may not be so horrible but it was built for the 1984 Olympics, only 22 years ago. There were many 747 then, so the airplanes for which is was designed are the same one as today. TBIT could have been something great but it seems like a rushed compromise for half the capacity it should have been.

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:34 am
by LAXintl
Quoting FlyingDoc (Reply 7):
If I understand it correctly, the lounge project is part of a major overhaul of TBIT. I don't know what else is included, but seems like I remember reading it was a part of a several hundred million dollar project

Indeed its part of a larger $225 million remodel of the terminal that will get on way in earnest in January.
As far as the lounges go this project will construct four separate VIP lounges, one for each alliance and a generic Shared User Lounge(LAXSUL) to be managed by a 3rd party.

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 9):
THE TBIT may not be so horrible but it was built for the 1984 Olympics, only 22 years ago. TBIT could have been something great but it seems like a rushed compromise for half the capacity it should have been.

I can assure you the facility was not a compromise. In actuality the airline community in LA chastised the airport for building a white monster way beyond what demand requires and saddling them with the cost.

When the facility opened in 1984 (I was there) the facility indeed far exceeded any needs LAX had.
Near half of the ticket counter facilities were unassigned. Its was quite rare for all its gates to be occupied which allowed airlines the luxury to leave aircraft parked at the terminal for extended periods.
The customs FIS facility was so large and under utilized that half of it was even boarded up and not reopened for another 3-4 years.

As a point of reference also keep in mind that airlines today that operate multiple daily flights such as BA, LH, KE, JL only had single daily flights those days, while airlines such as EVA, Cathay, Malaysian, Air Tahiti, Asiana, Air India, Aeroflot, Aer Lingus etc... were not even seen.

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 9):
There were many 747 then, so the airplanes for which is was designed are the same one as today



Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 4):
TBIT is so constrained, I took a Qantas 744 to Sydney a few years ago and we had to be towed into the gate after 14 hours

Unfortunately the B744 was not around when the terminal was built and as such gate wingtip clearance provided ample room for all types including the 747-200s to taxi onto gates. Only with the prevalent use of the larger B744 and did the need to get towed onto gates become a requirements due to safety concerns.


I agree that with even only a portion the LAX international traffic TBIT is bursting at its seems however no one had even imagined LAX traffic would rise at the rate it did. Matter of fact the FAA in 1980 projected LAX traffic by 2000 would equal 40million annual passenger... In reality in 2000 LAX handled 67.3million passengers of which 25.9% were international!

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:16 am
by BALAX
Quoting Laxintl (Reply 10):
Unfortunately the B744 was not around when the terminal was built and as such gate wingtip clearance provided ample room for all types including the 747-200s to taxi onto gates. Only with the prevalent use of the larger B744 and did the need to get towed onto gates become a requirements due to safety concerns

Many airlines into LAX have to do tow-ins due to the proximity of ALL terminals. It is an annoying process. Unless there's no equipment around across from the terminal you will see them just power into the gate. They've had a couple of incidents with stuff being blown off by power of the engines, especially when it was B727's or B757's.

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:59 am
by LAXintl
Quoting BALAX (Reply 11):

When TBIT opened all gates were taxi-on. You can still see the green/yellow/red lights still installed at a couple of the gates.

With the arrival of the B744s gates were re stripped and several jetways re-alligned to allow for the operation of the bigger types. In addition the inner gates such as 106 & 119 got crunched up a bit reducing the equipment type to MD-11s and smaller, while gate 123 got split into two separate smaller narrow body gates(123A/B).

As far as other terminals similar tow in procedures have become more and more prevalent as facilities have gotten modified over the years for either ever increasing aircraft size, or simply squeezing in more gates on concourses.

For being the 5th busiest airport in the world, I'd say the compact airport does quite well for the constraints it faces on a daily basis.

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:17 am
by ikramerica
Quoting BALAX (Reply 11):
It is an annoying process.

As long as the tug is there and ready, it takes something like 2 minutes at the CO gates 60-64. I assume it takes longer to hitch up a 744 and tow it all the way down the alleys at TBIT. But honestly, compared to the superlong taxi times between runways and terminals at some other airports, the overall time it takes to bring a 744 via tug isn't the end of the world.

At gates 60 and 62, tow-in is only required for 757 and larger planes. 737s can usually taxi-in to all the gates, but 738 had to be towed into Gate 64 on Tuesday due to some activity at T7, lots of ugly grey UA trucks that could be blown over I suppose. (And honestly, who at UA actually thought a grey livery was suitable for an airline? Their ground equipment looks like a huge US NAVY operation, not a customer friendly airline.)

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:54 am
by PER744
In defense of TBIT, while I hate every other aspect of it, I much prefer the Customs facilities there to T4.

There is nothing worse than 3 or 4 744's arriving at the same time (which can happen thanks to QF having flights arriving into TBIT that clear Customs in T4) and having to go through Customs in T4. The lines are not only long, they become quite squishy, the air conditioning is completely inadequate, finding your luggage almost impossible (and I get priority tags, I'd hate to know what it's like for the masses) and then you get to face another ridiculous queue.

TBIT on the other hand is much more spacious, and although not ideal, can handle several arrivals much better.

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:32 am
by flyingdoc
Quoting BALAX (Reply 8):



Quoting BALAX (Reply 8):
What day are you flying, maybe I can give a quick "cheers thanks a lot" and what flight

I am on BA 268 on 21 November.

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:43 am
by flyingdoc
Where is the business class lounge? Is it in another building?

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:29 am
by LAXintl
Quoting FlyingDoc (Reply 16):
Where is the business class lounge? Is it in another building?

The temporary business class facility is located over at the AA hangars and is reached by a bus that runs with pretty frequent service. Not too bad of a facility being only temporary.

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:11 am
by ikramerica
Quoting PER744 (Reply 14):
There is nothing worse than 3 or 4 744's arriving at the same time (which can happen thanks to QF having flights arriving into TBIT that clear Customs in T4)

What time does this happen? I'm on QF149 in F, so I'll get off first and hopefully get my luggage first, but will there be 2 other 744s arriving at 6am?

RE: LAX Tbit Lounges

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:35 am
by teamspeedy
Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 18):
but will there be 2 other 744s arriving at 6am?

i know at least one will be: QF107 from syd