It’s Better Inside

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You know the age-old saying, ‘it’s not where you’re going, it’s how you get there?

I wholeheartedly agree. As long as it’s via an airport.

Bizarre as it sounds, I love the time spent at the airport as much as the time on vacation. Well, almost.

Of course perpetually delayed flights, bad food and limited shopping options can have you wondering why you left so much extra time to get there. But until I spend as much time in airports as Up in the Air’s Ryan Bingham, my love for airports will continue. From checking-in to watching your bag slide along the x-ray machine wondering what small item have you’ve left in there this time, an airport is a hub of excitement.

And the lounges…oh the lounges! Trust me on this one life is better inside.

Flying is a luxury and airline lounges add to the overall experience, which is why last month’s opening of the LAX Qantas Business Lounge at Tom Bradley Terminal is a timely event.

Replacing the outdated cramped Qantas/One World Lounge, the new space can accommodate 400 people, twice as many than before. It boasts Californian inspired contemporary décor with warm woods, a glass atrium and a 1960’s circular fire pit as the main focal point.

Australia’s Neil Perry once again has created a menu that will make you want to buy a ticket just to get into the lounge. Californian food carts will sample crumbed cod tacos with red cabbage coleslaw and lime chipotle mayo, pulled pork tacos and Asian-spiced chicken wings all freshly prepared of course.

The lounge has already become a celebrity hotspot, with sightings of singer Robin Thicke, Cameron Diaz, Jason Segal and Anna Faris already lounging before their flights.

Phase two of the lounge will see the addition of the First class area by early 2015. While that will bring the individual shower suites up to 16, there is still no indication a Day Spa will be opened, similar to the ones at Sydney and Melbourne Lounges.

With the luxury of pretty much anything at your fingertips, it’s easy to say flying really isn’t that bad. One step into a lounge area and the thought of delayed flights and bad food are a distant memory.

So sit back, grab a LA style hot dog and maybe spot a celeb. The luxury of travel begins before you even take off.

The Qantas Los Angeles Business Lounge is open from 6.30am to midnight for Qantas, Cathay and British Airways business class and first class travelers.

Steph_profHerstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.

Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.

Connect with her on the web, Facebook and Twitter.

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