Chicago to LAX and the Star Alliance Lounge

So with a crazy change of plans and skipping an entire continent on my itinerary, I was headed to LAX to catch my international flight. Boarding started a tad bit late, but soon enough, I was on board.

Headed to LAX

United 592
ORD [Chicago] to LAX [Los Angeles]
April 19, 2017
Depart: 4:00 PM
Arrive: 6:18 PM
Duration: 4hr18min
Aircraft: 757-300
Seat: 5A

Interestingly enough, this was the first time I got to enjoy the privilege of “turning left” when boarding a domestic flight. It truly was marvelous. Basically, with aircraft as large as the 757, they can attach the jetway to the second door back (Door L2), allowing all first class passengers to turn left and all economy passengers to turn right. It makes for a much quieter boarding experience and allows you ample time to get situated, as you’re not blocking the aisle while people board.

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United’s seat map for the 757-300
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Headed out of ORD

After taking off and reaching cruise, lunch was served. There were two choices: a beef dish or a vegetable ravioli. I decided to go with the beef, which was not bad for a domestic flight. After the meal, they brought around mango sorbet for dessert.

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Lunch on my flight to LAX
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Mango sorbet

After a quick nap and a few TV episodes on my iPad, we began our descent into LAX. After landing, I snapped a picture of my seat. The interior of the plane wasn’t bad, but it would look a bit nicer with a refresh.

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My seat on this 757-300

After getting on the ground, I made a quick trip to the United Club in terminal 7 to grab a cookie and check things out. The layout was very bright and open with great tarmac views.

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United Club at LAX terminal 7

LAX Star Alliance Lounge

Next, I made my way to the Star Alliance Lounge in the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Reserved only for international first and business class passengers as well as international travelers with Star Alliance Gold status, it was far quieter than the United Club in terminal 7 and had some great features.

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Entrance area of the Star Alliance Lounge
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One of the multiple bars at the lounge
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The wall of wine

I’m not sure how busy it gets during the day, but it was very quiet when I visited. I gabbed a few things from the buffet (but I didn’t manage to get a picture), and poured myself a glass of Guinness.

The lounge had two terraces: one inside, overlooking the terminal and one outside, overlooking the tarmac. I sadly didn’t find the outdoor terrace until the close to my boarding time though.

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A glass of Guinness to start my evening meal
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The indoor terrace
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The heated outdoor terrace

I then went ahead and checked out one of the shower suites to freshen up before my nearly 13 hour flight to Auckland. I’ve found that showering between flights helps you feel less dirty, even if you end up putting on the same clothes afterwards.

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Star Alliance lounge shower suite

It was now just about boarding time, and although I didn’t want to leave, I didn’t want to miss my first AFL game in Australia either, so I made my way down three floors to the gate and got ready to board my next flight.

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