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The Loft: Virgin America Airport Lounge

December 16, 2014

This year’s theme in our household has been one of finding a way to take a trip over every work holiday imaginable.  Instead of taking one big trip, like we’ve been doing the past few years, my husband and I have been taking shorter, quicker trips, but taking them in greater volume.  Approaching Labor Day weekend, it was no different, as we decided to take a few days off of work in advance of the long weekend, and fly out of town.  The first part of our travels involved a flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas via Virgin America.  Due to other factors going on that day, we actually ended up at the airport 2+ hours prior to our flight taking off, so we decided to take advantage of our time waiting for our flight by visiting The Loft, Virgin America’s airport lounge at LAX.

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Following along with the muted, intimate, purple and red light scheme that you find when you board Virgin America flights, The Loft, is designed in much the same way.  You’re greeted outside the entrance with a subdued, subtle sign on the second floor of the terminal that leads into a lounge lobby decorated in the familiar red and purple lighting scheme.  You know you’re stepping into a Virgin America space.

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The lounge fronts the terminal and one of the main runways at LAX.  So you can sit in comfortable chairs, or intimate booths, and stare out these amazing floor-to-ceiling windows while you watch planes land and depart in front of you.  There’s also a large, flat screen TV with seating so you can watch TV instead, if that’s what you prefer.  Of course, this seating area surrounds a bar, and small food counter, as you’d expect in any airport lounge.

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Unlike some of the previous airport lounges we’ve experienced in the past, such as Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas, or the airport lounge in Bangkok or Seoul/Incheon or even the United Club Lounge in San Francisco, the Virgin Loft, while it has amazing views, lacks a bit in terms of snacks, food or drinks.  There is a fountain soda machine from which guests can help themselves to refreshments.  There is also fruit flavored water and ice tea provided as well as a gourmet coffee machine to make your own latte or cappuccino.

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There’s also a bar in the lounge from which they served beer, wine and other spirits.  The most popular drink I saw being ordered was a Bloody Mary, especially in the morning breakfast hours.  They also had a menu with specialty drinks that they served, but I never bothered to look too closely at it, so I’m not sure what kind of alcohol they actually had on hand.

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As far as snacks, the selection was rather limited.  There was a hot soup selection being served, which was watercress soup on the day I was at the Loft.  Not quite sure what watercress soup is, nor did I bother to open up the container to take a look.

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There was toast, bagels and English muffins to be had with the standard fare of butter, jelly, jams and cream cheese to choose from.  And there was a toaster nearby in case anyone wanted to toast anything up.  Nothing to write home about.

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Nearby stood a cookie platter which served oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies.  Ok, I must admit to raiding the cooking platter more than once.  Their chocolate chip cookies were pretty darn tasty and certainly enough of a snack to tide me over.  After all, I was only going on a one our flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas before I was to catch a connecting flight.

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Towards the far end of the counter, there were two canisters filled with what I could call bar snacks.  Basically the mixed peanuts and other trail mix type bar snacks that you find at any typical bar.  Finger foods that act as snacks to help quell your hunger, or absorb the alcohol.

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There was also a small refrigerator that held a selection of fresh fruit including apples and bananas.  There was also cheese inside the case, to go with some crackers that were sitting nearby where the toast was.  Those little triangles of cheese were yummy.  But, like my husband would say, when is cheese not yummy?  There was also cold milk, cold orange juice and some containers of yogurt.

And that’s the tour of The Loft, Virgin America’s airport lounge at LAX.  Not too much to offer in the way of snacks and drinks, but certainly enough to grab a refreshment and some snacks just to get you through.  Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by other, more spectacular airport lounges in the past, and this is what the standard fare is like?  The best part of The Loft, and probably the best part of any airport lounge is the fact that you have a nice, relaxing space to kind of get away from it all.  The drinks and the snacks are just gravy, but to have nice comfortable seating, in a quiet, relaxing atmosphere without having to fight the crowds and the uncomfortable seats while you listen to the drone of gate agents and public announcement addresses go on and on while you wait to board your flight, is really what this particular lounge excels at.  I love the fact that The Loft looks right out onto one of the runways at LAX so you can peacefully sit there and watch planes come and go.  I could literally do that all day.  So, while The Loft isn’t a place that I can ever expect to go to get a meal, it is certainly a nice, quiet, and calm place to go and relax and unwind a bit amidst the craziness that is the airport before boarding my flight for the beginning of my journey.

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