The 7 Best Airport Lounges in the United States

It is undeniable that the general standard of airport lounges in the United States is not excellent. If you think of airport lounges, you might think of overcrowded rooms with outdated furniture, a mix of stale snacks, and cheap chardonnay.

Luckily, not all lounges are created equal, so in this article, I wanted to share some of my favorite airport lounges in the United States (I’ve separately ranked the best first class lounges in the world). Rather than doing a simple numerical ranking, I will instead share my favorite salon from a variety of categories. With that out of the way, here we go, in no particular order.

Capital One Lounge DFW (Best Credit Card Lounge)

The Capital One Lounge DFW recently opened and is nothing short of spectacular. It has a beautiful design, innovative amenities, an excellent food and drink selection (including takeout, cold brews, etc.), and exceptional service (especially from Rumana). There are several more Capital One salons on the way, and I can’t wait to see this network grow. Amex Centurion lounges are great, but I think Capital One has the edge in terms of quality.

Capital One Lounge DFW bar area
Capital One Lounge DFW takeaway selection

American Flagship First Dining JFK (Best First Class Lounge)

American Flagship First Dining JFK is probably the most premium and enjoyable thing from American Airlines. This restaurant is located inside the Flagship Lounge and is exclusively for first class Airbus A321T and Boeing 777-300ER customers. The lounge offers stunning views of the tarmac, friendly service and a selection of food and beverages that will make you think you’re flying on another airline.

American Flagship First Dining JFK Seating
American Flagship First Dining Kitchen JFK

United Polaris Lounge SFO (Best Business Class Lounge)

United Polaris lounges are the best business class lounges run by any US airline, and I would say among the best you will find anywhere in the world. All Polaris lounges are very similar, but I guess if I had to choose one, I would choose the United Polaris Lounge SFO. The lounge has a beautiful design, nap rooms, shower suites, barista-made coffee, a la carte dining, and more.

United Polaris Lounge SFO Lounge & Bar
United Polaris Lounge Food SFO

Delta Sky Club LAX (Best Airline Membership Lounge)

The new Delta Sky Club LAX recently opened. Although I hate to put a salon on the list that I haven’t personally visited, I think it has to be one of the nicest membership salons in the United States. In general, Delta Sky Clubs are better than American Admirals Clubs and United Clubs. On top of that, the living room is massive, has creative decor, and has an outdoor terrace.

Delta Sky Club LAX Bar
Delta Sky Club LAX Terrace

Qantas First Lounge LAX (best lounge for elite members)

Although this lounge is temporarily closed (but expected to reopen soon), the Qantas First Lounge LAX is the best accessible lounge due to the airline’s elite status. Specifically, oneworld Emerald members can access the Qantas First Lounge in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, which offers an excellent restaurant-style dining experience.

Qantas First Lounge LAX seats
Qantas First Lounge LAX seats

Star Alliance Lounge LAX (Best Alliance Lounge)

There aren’t many salons in the United States run by any of the “big three” alliances. An exception is the Star Alliance Lounge LAX, which is open to Star Alliance First and Business Class passengers, as well as Star Alliance Gold members. The best features of the lounge are the indoor terrace (overlooking the terminal) and the outdoor terrace (overlooking the apron). There is even a separate first class section in the salon. This lounge is in a totally different league to the adjacent Korean Air lounge to which most SkyTeam passengers are sent.

Interior terrace of the Star Alliance Lounge LAX
Star Alliance Lounge LAX outdoor terrace

Air France First Lounge JFK (best lounge within a lounge)

Air France’s first class is one of the best first class products in the world, and that experience starts on the ground. While Air France’s ground experience is the best in Paris, the airline also has a hidden lounge within a lounge for first class passengers at New York JFK. This intimate room has just a few sofas and dining tables, plus an a la carte dining experience and an excellent wine selection.

Air France First JFK lounge
Restaurant JFK Air France First Lounge

At the end of the line

Here are some of my favorite lounges in the US in a variety of categories, from best membership lounge to best business class lounge.

Granted, this is all very subjective, so for OMAAT readers, what are your favorite shows in the US? Are there any others that really stand out, even if it’s “just” the best Priority Pass lounge?

Joshua B. Speller