Airport lounges in the United States get kind of a bad rap (for good reason). To be honest, there’s still a lot of airport lounges badly in need of a sprucing up. Luckily, there are a few massive exceptions to this rule. Let’s break down the cream of the crop in airport lounges.
United Polaris Lounge, Los Angeles International (LAX), Terminal 7
For sheer opulence and atmosphere, there’s no sexier lounge than United Polaris at LAX. It’s a lounge for a shaken, not stirred kind of guy. Basically, it’s a lounge fit for super spies and jetsetters (as it should be). You can even partake of “quiet suites” where travelers can have a nap and a shower (with a rainfall showerhead, natch.)
The dining room is a downright expansive 12,000 square feet, outfitted with a full-service buffet and bar to sate your appetite. The Polaris Lounge is available to United Polaris Business Class travelers, long-haul international First Class, and Business Class travelers on a Star Alliance code share.
American Flagship Lounge, John F. Kennedy International (JFK)
If you thought the American Flagship Lounge was exclusive, did you know that there’s an exclusive restaurant inside called American Flagship First Dining? This dining experience is available exclusively for Airbus A321T and Boeing 777-300ER first class customers only. The menu changes daily, but recent options included a poached black sea bass, barbecued braised short ribs and a spiced lentil cake. There is also a rotating menu of seasonal wines and designer cocktails.
American Express Centurion Lounge, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH), Terminal D
Did you know that American Express has a network of lounges around the world exclusively for their elite members, as well as Delta’s elite cardholders? The complete list of eligible visitors: Platinum Card Members, Business Platinum Card Members, Corporate Platinum Card Members, Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card Members, Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Card Members, Centurion® Members.
We chose the Houston location for its overall zen vibes and quiet dedication to all things wellness. Everything about the space promotes peace and relaxation. You can access a cozy workspace, the “tranquility area,” along with the usual business amenities. Dining is curated by Chef Justin Yu, and features elevated local cuisine.
OneWorld Lounge, Los Angeles International (LAX), International Terminal
This sleek lounge for OneWorld elite travelers offers luxury for miles, including an indoor firepit. Services include shirt pressing, shoe shines, and access to 9 shower suites. There’s a huge restaurant with a menu from a celebrity chef and a separate bar to experience. Unlike some lounges that offer day passes, OneWorld lounge requires elite status or premium tickets. The One World lounge is child-friendly.
British Airways Lounge, Logan International Airport (BOS)
Our one international entry goes to British Airways in Boston. There are easy transatlantic flights to London Heathrow out of Boston, and the BA lounge is modeled after the lounge in London. It hits all the right beats you expect from a premium airport lounge, including a 3-course set menu available in the pre-flight dining room.