LAX Opens Public reLAX Lounge, Others Should Follow

So, you’ve been trying to get to Seattle for a few days now, huh? I’m one of the lucky ones this year since I’m not going anywhere for the holidays, but if I were, I’m sure that the nasty weather would have me sitting on the floor at the airport for a long time. For those stuck at LAX, you might want to think about spending some time in the new public-access reLAX Lounge, which I recently had the chance to tour. Let’s hope that public lounges catch on and become more commonplace.

The reLAX Lounge is located in the Tom Bradley International Terminal at the end of the horseshoe that makes up the LAX terminal area. If you aren’t in LA, I know there’s a pay per use lounge in Terminal 4 at JFK, but I’m unaware of any other ones in the US. There must be more in smaller cities, but there definitely are not enough.

Sure, there are plenty of airlines that will sell you a one day pass into their lounge, but it usually costs around $50 or so. The lounge is obviously catering to that airlines’ passengers, so if you’re flying someone else, you might find you have trouble getting flight information or anything else catering to your airline.

The pay per use lounges, however, cater to just about every airline. For example, they have flight status for all airlines using that terminal, and they’ll be able to give you airport-wide information instead of just airline-specific stuff.

The one at LAX in particular is also very, very nice. It’s in the old interim First Class lounge at Bradley, and it has all new furniture, computers, printers, scanners, fax machines, etc. You’ll also find free wifi, sodas, coffee, tea, bottles of water, and snacks. They have a snack bar as well that currently sells salads, wraps, etc, and will soon sell alcohol. Oh, and I forgot to mention the absolutely stunning views to the north, west, and south with jumbo jets taxiing right by throughout the day. Take a look for yourself.

The best part of this whole thing? It’s usually $25 for three hours, but they’ve recently introduced a $10 rate for one hour or $35 for five hours as well. That’s a great deal, especially since it includes free wi-fi, something that still costs you in the rest of the airport.

The only problem for this particular lounge? It’s not behind security. So, if you’re catching a flight at Bradley, you’ll still have to cut out a little early to beat the lines. Johnny Jet and I were both touring together, and we both suggested to the lounge manager that he be constantly posting current security wait times. He seemed to like the idea, so hopefully that will make time management easier.

But the good news here is that if you have a long layover in any other terminal, you can come on by and use the lounge. With the great views and free wifi, it’s probably the best place to kill some time in the airport considering the price.

I hope you all have easy travels this year, but from the looks of the weather map, that’s not going to happen for a lot of you. Just hold on and remember that things will be great once you finally get there.

[See all my pictures of the lounge on Flickr]

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