Two weeks ago I flew to Hong Kong from Los Angeles in Cathay Pacific First Class, and the flight (as always) was amazing. I love Cathay – they’re such an incredible airline and I love everything about their brand. Cathay First Class passengers out of LAX are entitled to use the Qantas First Class Lounge, which is also available to other oneworld First Class passengers. To be completely honest, I really don’t know why so many people hype the Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX so much… Where do I begin?
I arrived from Seattle on Alaska and made my way over to the Qantas First Class Lounge and I only had an Alaska Airlines Boarding Pass for the Cathay flight. I was rejected entry. Cathay doesn’t have TSA PreCheck and therefore I didn’t want to go landside to get a boarding pass on Cathay stock.. but I had no other option since the Qantas lounge dragon wouldn’t accept the Alaska boarding pass for Cathay (even though it clearly said “F” class on it). Thankfully, I was able to check-in on my phone on the Cathay website and get a mobile boarding pass and I was then able to access the lounge.
Once inside, I did notice the lounge is really nice in terms of design. There are various seating areas with comfortable chairs and sofas, and the overall design is nice. However, the lounge is just one “rectangle”, nothing much. Near the entrance you have seating areas and the main dining area is in the back, where the showers and bathrooms are also located.
I sat down in one of the areas and wasn’t asked once by anyone if I’d like anything to drink. Not once. When I asked for something, I had to wait over 20 minutes to be served a glass of champagne… after reminding them. Not the best experience in a First Class lounge… Next, I tried the dining and food options. I tried a variety of items from the menu and basically everything was either uncooked or overcooked. The chicken was plain rubber and was downright disgusting while the steak was literally raw. At that point I stopped eating since I knew I’d be enjoying “real” food later in Cathay First.
At that point I was tired and wanted to take a shower, so I was excited to see how nice the shower rooms were. They aren’t. In fact, when I first walked in, I thought I was at one of the British Airways Lounges at London-Heathrow – that’s how bad it was.
I was done with the Qantas First Class Lounge.
I asked a friend to guest me into the Star Alliance Gold/Business Class lounge, which is significantly nicer with delicious food, amazing staff, and beautiful shower rooms. There, I was able to enjoy a nice shower and later relax on the outdoor patio with delicious food and drinks. This is why I fly with the Star Alliance and why they are the world’s leading airline alliance.
Maybe I just had a bad first experience with the Qantas First Class Lounge… or maybe not. I will agree that the design is nice.. but apart from that, nothing else. You know you’re loyal to the right airline alliance when their Business Class lounges are better than other First Class Lounges…