SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

October 10, 2006 15:33 ET

Airlines Open Interim First Class, Business Class Lounges While Construction Underway at LAX'S Bradley Terminal

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 10, 2006 -- First- and business-class travelers using airlines in the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will still enjoy the comfort and service of its premium passenger lounges with the opening of two interim lounges while the building is undergoing a $575.6-million renovation.

LAXTEC Corporation, representative of the Bradley Terminal's consortium of 33 airlines, is giving the airline community and travel-and-tourism industry an opportunity to see the interim first class and business lounges today during a tour of the waiting areas. LAXTEC paid more than $2.5 million to develop the two interim lounges which are scheduled to open today. They will be in use for the next eight months while four permanent consolidated airline lounges are being constructed.

Frank Clark, executive director of LAXTEC, said, "While both lounges are temporary, great care has been taken in design and execution to provide airlines' premium passengers with the level of comfort and service they have come to expect."

The 4,000-foot, interim first-class lounge, located on the Bradley's Terminal's mezzanine level, is designed for 133 guests. The interim business-class lounge is 16,000 square feet and designed for 578 guests. It is located on a vacant ramp area opposite the terminal and is reached from the Bradley Terminal's Gate 118 by continuously operating motor coaches.

Clark estimated airlines in the Bradley Terminal will pay about $7 million to operate the two interim lounges during the construction period.

Opening of the interim lounges allows for the demolition of Bradley Terminal's 16 existing airline lounges on its fourth and fifth floors. Demolition is scheduled to be completed Nov. 30 and then work will start on four new lounge groups. Three new lounges will serve airline alliances, and the fourth is for customers of airlines not affiliated with an alliance.

Clark said the new lounges are scheduled to be completed May 2007. Airlines are paying the entire $15- to $20-million cost of the upgraded lounges. While each of the four new lounges will vary in size and occupancy, the overall lounge space in the Bradley Terminal will grow from the current 27,000 square feet to 47,000 square feet -- an increase of 72 percent.

The renovation of the Bradley Terminal is the largest single construction project in the history of the City of Los Angeles. Unlike most airport projects where the building is closed to occupants, airlines will continue providing service to 10 million passengers annually during the 38-month construction schedule that begins January 2007. A wide range of improvements will be made to the building, including the installation of a $140-million, in-line baggage security screening system, state-of-the-art dynamic signage, improved lighting and finishes, and up-to-date information technology systems to speed the check-in process for passengers.

For more information about this project and other improvements and enhancements taking place at LAX, visit www.lawa.org and select LAX and then the link for the LAXpectations... Better Travel Ahead page.