Note: Virgin America’s Loft at Los Angeles airport closed permanently on May 10th, 2017, as part of the merger between Virgin America and Alaska Airlines, and in order to accommodate Delta’s move to Terminal 3. Alaska and Virgin America passengers, as well as Priority Pass members, may use the Alaska Lounge located in Terminal 6. Priority Pass members may also use the Korean Airlines KAL Lounge in the International Terminal.
The Loft at Los Angeles airport is Virgin America‘s only lounge nationwide: outside LAX, the airline relies on Virgin Atlantic‘s facilities. It is therefore meant as a flagship lounge, with a signature design that reflects Virgin’s brand and vision. However, since few Virgin America passengers have lounge access — only full-fare first class passengers on longer routes are eligible — the club also doubles as a pay-in lounge. The rules are simple: anybody willing to pay the $40 fee is welcome, in addition to Priority Pass and Lounge Club members.
Virgin America Loft LAX design
The Loft is located above the rotunda in Terminal 3, and can be accessed through a staircase or an elevator, which can be both difficult to spot at a first glance. Once you’ve made your way upstairs, press the call button and the door will pop open. Hopefully you’re in a playful mood, because it might be difficult to distinguish the place from a night club. The trademark Virgin design is showcased in full force — the dimly lit space features red and purple accents; designer furniture emphasizes form over function, and electronic music plays softly in the background.
Next to the reception desk are a convenient baggage storage area as well as a TV area sparsely furnished with intriguing colorful chairs. A large hallway with a buffet opens onto the main area which features a bar, lounge chairs, and outstanding views of the tarmac. While the design may not be to everyone’s liking, it does exude a modern and cool vibe, and the whole arrangement feels open and spacious. Unlike the chairs in the TV area, the lounge chairs are very comfortable.
Evidently Virgin America solely designed this lounge as a place to socialize and enjoy a few drinks — it is worth noting that there is essentially no place suitable for work: not a single standard height table, traditional chair, or cubicle. Curl up with your tablet, or preferably forget all about your responsibilities and head to the prominent bar instead; that’s Virgin’s vision of glamour.
Virgin America Loft LAX amenities
The staffed bar offers a small selection of complimentary wines and alcoholic beverages. However, the cocktail list which used to be the signature feature of the Loft is no more. Along the same lines, the food selection, which used to include a variety of fresh items sufficient for a small meal has been downgraded to a few shrink wrapped snacks, cheese, yoghurt and fruit. This is perhaps not surprising — the food and beverage options are effectively in line with standard offerings at domestic US lounges — but Virgin’s initial marketing video which highlights the many available treats is still floating around the web and can be misleading.
Virgin America Loft LAX bottom line
Overall, the Virgin America Loft at Los Angeles airport is a fun and enjoyable lounge, with a pretty unique design which sharply contrasts with the drab Terminal 3. It is relaxing and quiet, with few patrons outside peak Virgin flight times. The club features a cool space in which to enjoy a drink and watch planes, and Virgin charges less than most legacy airlines (lounge access typically runs for $50.) However, the Loft is no place to work or to eat, so if you don’t have complimentary access, then the value of the entry fee may be questionable.
For information on other lounges at LAX, possible alternatives, and connections between terminals, check out our Definitive Guide to the LAX Lounge Scene.