Virgin America today unveiled their first domestic lounge, located at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Virgin America has previously offered elite fliers access to Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses, operated by their bigger sister. However, with the introduction of the Virgin America Loft at LAX’s Terminal 3, Virgin America has made their inaugural foray into the premium lounge scene.
The lounge incorporates everything that we’ve come to expect from Virgin America: hip, transformative spaces with lots of mood lighting and urban-mod furniture. Naturally, there’s free wi-fi, and a view of jets outside. Virgin America has divided the space into three different zones, if you will: relax, refresh, and recharge.
- Relax: your typical chill space.
- Refresh: food and drinks (aka “Lofty Libations)
- Recharge: a social lounge of sorts (Virgin doesn’t really give any more details).
While we applaud Virgin’s efforts, there are a few things that stick out at us as possible detractors from the overall lounge experience:
- Where are all the power ports? For a lounge that promises “conveniently placed power charging stations,” there seems to be a marked lack of power ports, from what we can tell in photos and video. While there are USB ports in the table lamps, it appears that the only visible source of a wall outlet would be somewhere near the standing lights, which presumably have to be plugged in somewhere.
- Are the chairs actually comfortable? While the chairs are decidedly designer, are they actually comfortable to sit in? When we venture into a lounge, we’re looking to plonk down in a comfortable seat and get some work done, not worry about whether the chair would induce a back problem.
- Who does the lounge appeal to? The space looks very club-like. It’s definitely chic, but is Virgin attracting everyone they could? We’re sure it’ll be popular with the under-30s, but who else? Then again, we suppose that’s Virgin’s target market so maybe it does serve its purpose.
Food + Drink
With a pretty full bar selection and a reasonable noms menu, Virgin seems to be doing pretty well with their food and bev offerings. Food-wise, you’re looking at more small plates-type food (no Concorde Room-style full meals here), but it’s all looking very fresh and healthy. Current selections include breakfasts such as assorted breakfast breads or smoked salmon bagels, while other meals venture the sushi and salad way. Signature cocktails include the Virgintini and the Veev a la Virgin.
Elevate Gold members receive three complimentary day passes, while Elevate Silver members receive two. Virgin Australia Velocity Rewards Platinum and Gold members receive complimentary access. Guests traveling in Virgin Australia business class also receive access. Guests traveling on any cabin on a Virgin America flight must purchase a lounge pass for $40. However, if you’re connecting from a Virgin Australia flight to a Virgin America flight in first class, complimentary access is granted. So more or less, the only way to get in for free is to have elite status, or by flying in a premium cabin on Virgin Australia or connecting to a Virgin America premium cabin.
- The Loft is located in Terminal 3, past security, on the second level. The Loft is open from 6:00 am – 11:30 pm PST daily.
- Children 12 and under are not permitted in the Loft.
- “Children” under the age of 18 are not permitted in the Loft without adult supervision. (We protest, Virgin America. We protest)
Photos and video: Virgin America