5h 30m layover in LAX

Old Mar 3, 2024, 4:18 pm
  #16  
 
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Or pop into https://www.theproudbird.com/
I remember visiting in 2019 before my flight to AKL, spent a couple of hours over lunch and cocktails and looking at planes land in LAX. They also have an interesting outdoor space and do tours.
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Old Mar 8, 2024, 5:29 am
  #17  
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If you have a platinum or black AMEX, go to the Centurion Lounge in TBIT.

i wouldnt recommend any off the off-airport options if you have rolling hand luggage.
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Old Mar 12, 2024, 1:49 pm
  #18  
 
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How insufferable is transiting through LAX? I'm doing OPs route (but in reverse) coming back from UK later this year. ~6hr in LAX is presumably enough not to completely stress about it? Normally I'd avoid going through USA like the plague, but the deal was too sharp to pass by.

Last time I did the route was when Air NZ still went all the way to Heathrow, and I recall my wife and I only just making the gate. That was with whatever the normal transfer time was (maybe 2.5/3hrs?)
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Old Mar 12, 2024, 1:52 pm
  #19  
 
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6hrs is more than enough, just sometimes its hit and miss on how long/stressful the TSA line + delays (whether its landing or having an available gate) can quickly evaporate a 2-3hr layover.
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Old Mar 12, 2024, 1:55 pm
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by raznz
6hrs is more than enough, just sometimes its hit and miss on how long/stressful the TSA line + delays (whether its landing or having an available gate) can quickly evaporate a 2-3hr layover.
Cheers. As long as I've got enough time to hopefully pop in to the lounge and have a shower I'll be happy enough.

How does the process work, e.g. once you've cleared immigration with your baggage do you go to the Air NZ counter and check in for the next flight? (I'm on the Air NZ flight back) and then you just need to pass through outbound immigration and security again in enough time? I'm trying to work out how everybody is getting I N Out burger lol.
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Old Mar 12, 2024, 2:08 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by raznz
6hrs is more than enough, just sometimes its hit and miss on how long/stressful the TSA line + delays (whether its landing or having an available gate) can quickly evaporate a 2-3hr layover.

If the TSA line is long at Bradley, just pop next door to Terminal 4 and use that one.
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Old Mar 12, 2024, 2:10 pm
  #22  
 
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I may be missing a step here and this has been my past 2x experience:
If your original flight is also landing at TBIT, you do a luggage transfer which involves picking up your luggage from one conveyer belt, and walking a few meters and dropping it to another conveyer belt and afterwards you end up landside in TBIT.
In both my cases I was connecting from non *A so had to get a new boarding pass either via the check-in counters or automated kiosk, and then go thru TSA and end up airside.
The *A lounge is on Level 5 or 6 from memory
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 12:17 am
  #23  
 
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I did the AKL - LAX - LHR trip in Z in September, United for the second leg. 5hrs layover was fine as even allowing for the LAX TSA experience surely I would make it to the lounge?

Plane in to AKL was late so departure delayed by an hours + bad weather + late arrival by two hours + apparently unexpected arrival of thousands of passengers needing to go through immigration (goodness me if only there was a way of predicting when these planes might land?) for two hours + pick up bag, drop off bag (way after bag drop closed), run between terminals + through TSA in next terminal + run to plane, I was the last person on and essentially it was close door take off. On the plus side, ultimately I did get to LHR at about the time advertised and amazingly, my luggage was on the plane in to T2. My luggage then went to T5 for no apparent reason and we were eventually reunited about 30 hours later after it was couriered out to me (how delighted I was to be woken at 11pm by a knock at the door whilst in the depths of my jet lag).
I never imagined I would be putting my parkrun time to use between terminals at LAX. The whole experience was stressful and unpleasant - apart from the 'in the air' bit which was fine, but overshadowed by the "am I going to miss my connection" uncertainty on the first leg and "where the heck is my luggage" on the second. Everything was varying degrees of painful - including 2 hours trying to sort out the misplaced luggage at LHR while my elderly parents were sat out in the arrivals hall racking up car parking charges. Through the magic of United's tracking app I could even see my bag had arrived to LHR with me, only to be moved somewhere else. Operationally of course this was ultimately mostly related to weather delays and so out of anyone's control, but given the expense of flying Z it was characterised by poor communication and the incredibly poor transit experience. I'm NZ*E last 10 years and EK Gold as of last year as I'm keen to avoid transiting through LAX again for a while. And my $ are going via Dubai now....

So - in answer to the OP - I wouldn't take it for granted that you will have any time and treat what you do have as a bonus! Good luck...

b
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 1:06 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by samjaynz
Cheers. As long as I've got enough time to hopefully pop in to the lounge and have a shower I'll be happy enough.

How does the process work, e.g. once you've cleared immigration with your baggage do you go to the Air NZ counter and check in for the next flight? (I'm on the Air NZ flight back) and then you just need to pass through outbound immigration and security again in enough time? I'm trying to work out how everybody is getting I N Out burger lol.
You will arrive in LAX and clear customs, and I'll be honest, customs in LAX is not my favorite place. It's ugly, loud and variable. I have cleared customs in 20 minutes and I have also waited 90+ minutes.

You then collect your bags and walk out into the arrivals terminal in LAX. Pretty much no bag checks really.

You then walk into the terminal your flight is leaving from, probably B. You might already be there but if not, just go outside the arrivals hall and you will be in a semi-circle road. Walk along the footpath to find your terminal.
​​​​​
​​​You then go up to the check in desk if it's open, check in your bags and clear security. After checking bags again, this is when most people on here go to In N Out before they pop through security. It's an extremely ugly long walk in a not amazing area but the actual In N Out is really unique. Planes fly incredibly close over head, and lots of air staff hang out there too. I have done it twice and happy to have done it but do not plan on doing it again.
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A tip is you can clear security at any terminal. So I like to clear security next door to B at American sometimes because it can be, if lucky, completely empty, whereas B is usually always a packed line.

Once through security, all of the terminals are connected, including domestic flights, hence why the USA does not offer any sort of transiting option. So you can walk to/from any terminal. Most lounges of significance though are in B. They are mostly up the Escalators too and not on the ground floor so you will want to follow the signs.

If you have a lot of time, you can follow the walking pathways to go between terminals. Not a lot of people know about them and it's a fun way to get some exercise walking from B to 9 and back again. I would choose to do this personally with them to kill rather than do In N Out. Allow 20-25 minutes each way.
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Last edited by kiwifrequentflyer; Mar 13, 2024 at 1:14 pm
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 1:48 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by kiwifrequentflyer
You will arrive in LAX and clear customs, and I'll be honest, customs in LAX is not my favorite place. It's ugly, loud and variable. I have cleared customs in 20 minutes and I have also waited 90+ minutes.
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I've gone from plane to curbside in under 15 minutes, but once it took over 3 hours as the immigration area was overrun with passengers and they had to put us in a special holding room. They then apparently forgot about us - when they remembered we existed the immigration area was virtually empty.

With LAX, there simply is no way to predict what the experience will be like. I always fly through YVR now instead, although I do miss the LAX lounge.
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 2:29 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by kiwifrequentflyer
You will arrive in LAX and clear customs, and I'll be honest, customs in LAX is not my favorite place. It's ugly, loud and variable. I have cleared customs in 20 minutes and I have also waited 90+ minutes.

You then collect your bags and walk out into the arrivals terminal in LAX. Pretty much no bag checks really.

You then walk into the terminal your flight is leaving from, probably B. You might already be there but if not, just go outside the arrivals hall and you will be in a semi-circle road. Walk along the footpath to find your terminal.
​​​​​
​​​You then go up to the check in desk if it's open, check in your bags and clear security. After checking bags again, this is when most people on here go to In N Out before they pop through security. It's an extremely ugly long walk in a not amazing area but the actual In N Out is really unique. Planes fly incredibly close over head, and lots of air staff hang out there too. I have done it twice and happy to have done it but do not plan on doing it again.
​​​​​
A tip is you can clear security at any terminal. So I like to clear security next door to B at American sometimes because it can be, if lucky, completely empty, whereas B is usually always a packed line.

Once through security, all of the terminals are connected, including domestic flights, hence why the USA does not offer any sort of transiting option. So you can walk to/from any terminal. Most lounges of significance though are in B. They are mostly up the Escalators too and not on the ground floor so you will want to follow the signs.

If you have a lot of time, you can follow the walking pathways to go between terminals. Not a lot of people know about them and it's a fun way to get some exercise walking from B to 9 and back again. I would choose to do this personally with them to kill rather than do In N Out. Allow 20-25 minutes each way.
​​

​​​​​
​​​​
Extremely helpful reply, thank you. Sounds like I'll be able to entertain myself no problem - I like the idea of getting some exercise in before the flight home, so might take the opportunity to wander through the terminals! I actually don't know if I want a big greasy burger before getting on a flight ... it's just wanting something to do.
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 3:16 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by samjaynz
Cheers. As long as I've got enough time to hopefully pop in to the lounge and have a shower I'll be happy enough.

How does the process work, e.g. once you've cleared immigration with your baggage do you go to the Air NZ counter and check in for the next flight? (I'm on the Air NZ flight back) and then you just need to pass through outbound immigration and security again in enough time? I'm trying to work out how everybody is getting I N Out burger lol.
US doesn't have the concept of outbound immigration / customs. You only clear security when departing and the security rules are the same for domestic and international unlike places like NZ where they are different hence airside at LAX (and most US airports) having pax together.

For anybody flying into the US who has has entered before on a ESTA as part of the VWP program (meaning the US has your biometric details) you can now use the CBP MPC app to submit your details and then use the dedicated MPC queue at the airport. The app has replaced the kiosks and a lot of people have been commenting that the time to get through CBP is now super quick.. But as always when dealing with CBP the only thing that is consistent is the inconsistency..

It seems very few people know about the app right now, I don't think I've seen a single person in this Air NZ forum post about using it which surprises me.
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 3:26 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by sbiddle
US doesn't have the concept of outbound immigration / customs. You only clear security when departing and the security rules are the same for domestic and international unlike places like NZ where they are different hence airside at LAX (and most US airports) having pax together.

For anybody flying into the US who has has entered before on a ESTA as part of the VWP program (meaning the US has your biometric details) you can now use the CBP MPC app to submit your details and then use the dedicated MPC queue at the airport. The app has replaced the kiosks and a lot of people have been commenting that the time to get through CBP is now super quick.. But as always when dealing with CBP the only thing that is consistent is the inconsistency..

It seems very few people know about the app right now, I don't think I've seen a single person in this Air NZ forum post about using it which surprises me.
I'll look into that app you suggest. I've been to America and done the ESTA process 3x before (in 2011 and 2016 for holidays, and 2019 for going through to LHR via LAX) so maybe that might work.
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 5:55 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by sbiddle

It seems very few people know about the app right now, I don't think I've seen a single person in this Air NZ forum post about using it which surprises me.
I'm a US citizen and have used it a couple times, both in YVR. The first time they weren't actually set up with the equipment to read it, so they waved me through straight away. The second time I walked straight up to the desk as no one was in front of me. Went through quickly but then got pulled aside for additional screening by American customs. I'm guessing they were bored and I was an easy target given I was the only person going through that line.
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 7:31 pm
  #30  
 
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I use this every time I arrive at the US and it's brilliant. Never waited longer than 30 seconds.

Originally Posted by SeaProf
I'm a US citizen and have used it a couple times, both in YVR. The first time they weren't actually set up with the equipment to read it, so they waved me through straight away. The second time I walked straight up to the desk as no one was in front of me. Went through quickly but then got pulled aside for additional screening by American customs. I'm guessing they were bored and I was an easy target given I was the only person going through that line.
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