HA is in T2, a pretty good haul from T7/T8 - you'll need to take the shuttle bus which is a PITA because it stops so frequently but still quicker than walking. The two hour outbound connection doesn't sound like much of a challenge. On the return, do you mean SAN instead of SNA?
cblaisd, welcome to Los Angeles, albeit for transitional purposes only.
Connecting to your Sunday morning flight should not be a problem. I'm concerned about your return connection on New Year's Eve. Your return UA flight connection could be tight, however with an on-time LAX arrival on HA and not having to claim luggage and then re-check it, it should be possible (with a little luck). You didn't mention your luggage situation. Hopefully, the airlines are transferring it?
I would suggest walking (Ground Level) between terminals rather than waiting for the Terminal to Terminal buses. Curb to curb it's about a 5-8 minute brisk walk between UA (Terminals 7/8) and HA (Terminal 2). With the wait and the frequent stops, I believe the shuttle bus would take considerably longer. There are sidewalks all the way, along with a couple traffic signals. You'll pass near Encounters Restaurant as you take the shortest route between those two terminals.
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Actually, it's not for me but for a family member who is trying to decide whether to (I know this sounds silly, but....) book the SNA-LAX-SNA ticket (with a $75 CS voucher it comes out to only about $75 total, or whether to take a door-to-door shuttle from home in Anaheim (which also, I'm assuming, would total about $75-ish or so?) This family member is looking for the cheapest way that's reliable.
I too am concerned about the return, particularly given HA's horrid luggage times at LAX. I would definitely hope the baggage could be interlined but don't know if that's enough time for UA to accept it.
Anyway, right now this family member is leaning towards the shuttle (although doesn't know which one to use and hasn't done it before and the less expensive the better) but I said I'd check the other possibility too.
I would suggest walking (Ground Level) between terminals rather than waiting for the Terminal to Terminal buses. Curb to curb it's about a 5-8 minute brisk walk between UA (Terminals 7/8) and HA (Terminal 2). With the wait and the frequent stops, I believe the shuttle bus would take considerably longer.
mmmm...I think it's more like a 15 minute walk, since it takes me about 8-10 to walk from TBIT to T7. Anyway I was more thinking that one would have no choice but to take the bus if they have a lot of luggage. Without substantial luggage I agree walking is the way to go.
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Follow Mr. Limo's advice, have the family member use Supershuttle. If they can get to the Disneyland Hotel, the one way fare is an amazing $15. It would be significantly higher from a home address in Anaheim though.
Less risky (and time-consuming) then getting over to SNA, hoping the flight is on time, and hightailing it over to T-2.