Does NZ1 LAX Transit still suck?

Old Mar 13, 18, 9:52 pm
  #1  
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Does NZ1 LAX Transit still suck?

Considering doing NZ1 in August LHR-AKL, but being put off by the stories I read of how bad the connection at LAX is for those passengers. Is it still the case in 2018? Hard to tell.

Will I have time to make it through and get a shower at any lounge between legs? Am Elite Gold.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 10:14 pm
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TBIT Departures is not sterile, so need to pass through the border and enter the US before going through TSA before entering the departures area.

LAX (and US more generally) has no plans improve the situation. They will need sterile international departure areas and the concept of international transit.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 10:15 pm
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Do you have access to Global Entry or Mobile Passport Control? If not, you are going to have a bad time. You'll need to clear US Customs and Immigration, which tends to be very busy at that time of day, in addition to a TSA Security Checkpoint

With only 2 hours between flights, you'll be lucky if you have time for a drink, let alone a shower.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 11:14 pm
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Took me 2 hours to go through and back in the opposite direction - I will never transit through LAX again.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 12:23 am
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There are plenty of summaries on here by me if the experience and my trip reviews online.

My​​​​​My recommendation is to fly NZ6/NZ2 and NZ1/NZ5 which is a far more enjoyable experience.

You should not expect to get a shower flying NZ1 or NZ2 the whole way. Some days you will have time for a very quick shower.. on bad days you won't.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 5:43 pm
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Woah glad I posted now. Thanks everyone for the feedback. I've been through LAX transiting to Chicago a few times and yeah it sucked, though maybe for Transit to LHR it would be easier but apparently not.

Thanks again.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Shamrock55 View Post
Woah glad I posted now. Thanks everyone for the feedback. I've been through LAX transiting to Chicago a few times and yeah it sucked, though maybe for Transit to LHR it would be easier but apparently not.

Thanks again.
The process is identical except for not needing to collect and recheck checked luggage. I don't believe the process sucks - it just takes time, and if people are impatient then they're potentially not going to enjoy it.

I still happily fly NZ to LHR as I much prefer flying to Europe that way around the world with the timezone differences.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
snip I still happily fly NZ to LHR as I much prefer flying to Europe that way around the world with the timezone differences.
On the basis that westward travel is better for jetlag (which is my experience) I tend to end up going through LAX on the way home from Europe. Not yet tried the NZ1/NZ5 option but just accept the shuffling around and low probability of a shower. Patience helps.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 12:11 am
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Done recently in end of Jan - answer is still the same.

Be prepared to sprint or walk fast. Being Elite has no bearing to your fitness levels or queues in LAX. As for showers, you'll likely end up with a queue to get into the shower, best expectation is to assuming there will be no free showers available and it will be a bonus if you did.

I have done NZ2 all the way on J, and there was between 5-10 minutes between arriving to the lounge and boarding announcement - so very likely there is NO time for a shower.

If anything, the only difference I can observe is traveling in J/Y+ over Y which you might have a slight edge.

Last edited by dadig; Mar 17, 18 at 3:08 am
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Old Mar 17, 18, 2:30 am
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Does Air NZ put you on the next flight if you missed your flight due to immigration / customs, etc., delays?
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Old Mar 17, 18, 2:51 am
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Originally Posted by codyc1515 View Post
Does Air NZ put you on the next flight if you missed your flight due to immigration / customs, etc., delays?
There is no "next flight" until the next day. It's also not possible to miss the flight if you're in transit.

NZ1 and NZ2 are routinely delayed due to it taking excessive time for people to clear CBP and TSA screening, however the new TSA screening layout has improved wait times there quite significantly.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 3:59 am
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
There is no "next flight" until the next day. It's also not possible to miss the flight if you're in transit.

NZ1 and NZ2 are routinely delayed due to it taking excessive time for people to clear CBP and TSA screening, however the new TSA screening layout has improved wait times there quite significantly.
Flight statistics for NZ1/NZ2 don't seem too bad. So, if there are delays in departing, the airline seems to make up for it during flight.

https://www.flightstats.com/v2/fligh...ating/NZ/1/LAX

https://www.flightstats.com/v2/fligh...ating/NZ/2/AKL

I'll be taing the NZ1/NZ2 soon in J. 2h transit in LAX, with lounge access, looked like a nice and refreshing break, but I didn't realise the stopover meant clearing customs and immigration. I hope being off the plane quickly will allow me some time to shower.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 10:15 am
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I have done this transit 5 times in the last six months. Normally itís okay, however the last two times in March I was waiting in immigration for at least a hour and a half. Both times I was 2nd or 3rd off the plane in business class.
I have no idea how the queuing system seems to work at LAX as I didnít get an X on my CBP slip both times but somehow it seemed like half the flight ended up in front of me.

Both times I literally walked into the lounge for the next flight to immediately start boarding as I walked in the lounge. The transit experience is truly awful, and Iíll be seriously considering another airline for my next trip from London to NZ. Makes me wish NZ still had a route via Asia as I actually enjoy flying NZ, but the transit experience really lets us down.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 10:40 am
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If you are passing through LAX that often, you should definitely look into signing up for Global Entry if it is available to you (the list of countries who are eligible seems to be growing continuously, including AU, NZ, & UK). I live in LA, but I am usually out on the curb after arriving within 10-15 minutes, and most of that is just waiting for my bag. GE gets to skip the immigration line and the customs line, which is a huge plus.

Personally, I find LHR to be far more of a PITA than LAX, but it is my only option when taking NZ from LA to EU (and NZ is still much better than almost all of the other US/EU airlines). Also note that you can just walk from TBIT to T4 and enter there if the line at TBIT is long (which it almost always is). Since I have Clear and GE was only made available at TBIT recently, I always enter TBIT via T4 and the connector without even bothering to check how long the line at TBIT is.
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Last edited by downinit; Apr 18, 19 at 8:16 am Reason: NZ agreement is only good for USA citizens visiting NZ????
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Old Apr 17, 19, 1:30 pm
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To be clear. New Zealand citizens are not eligible for Global Entry.
https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-t...ry/eligibility
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