Etihad (EY)-to-AS Connection at LAX

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Old Jun 3, 19, 10:08 pm
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Arrow Etihad (EY)-to-AS Connection at LAX

Hi, I'm arriving on Etihad from AUH. I gather AUH has an immigration/customs pre-clearance facility, so i'll arrive as a domestic passenger. I need to connect (same ticket) onto an alaska flight to SEA. I'm trying to decide which connection to take. How long do folks recommend? I'll be with my wife and two small kids who move slowly. Thanks!
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Old Jun 4, 19, 8:30 am
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As this query pertains to selecting an appropriate connecting Alaska Airlines flight, letís move this to the AS forum for the experts there to chime in. Thanks!

/JY1024, AAdvantage forum co-moderator
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Old Jun 4, 19, 8:51 am
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My understanding is that those EY preclearance flights are pretty consistently late on departure, so you would want to bake in time for that. AS's terminal (6) is not particularly close to TBIT where EY would arrive, though it is connected behind security through tunnels/walkways to terminals 4 and 5.

So, uh, yeah. Take a very long connection (I don't think I'd want less than 4 hours) and if you have to waste time on the LAX side, go to someplace in T4/5/6 for a meal I guess.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 9:22 am
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I'd look for at least 2 hours between scheduled arrival and departure of the next flight. Allowing an hour for arrival and luggage. And another hour before the Alaska flight.

Here are some thoughts that lead me to that suggestion:

The Alaska flight will board about 40 minutes before it's scheduled departure time.

It is about a 15 minute walk from the TBIT to Terminal 6. All inside the buildings. Follow the signs. It would be a walk that I would welcome after such a long flight to LAX.

The food options in TBIT and terminals 4,5, and 6 are plentiful so I wouldn't be too concerned about having a little extra time in LAX. On the other hand, there are quite a few (~14 non-stop) flights from LAX to SEA on Alaska each day so I wouldn't be overly concerned about finding an alternate later flight if something went wrong and delayed my arrival at LAX and ultimately to the gate in terminal 6.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post

It is about a 15 minute walk from the TBIT to Terminal 6. All inside the buildings. Follow the signs.
.
With slow walkers and little kids it will probably be closer to a 30 min. hike.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post
I'd look for at least 2 hours between scheduled arrival and departure of the next flight. Allowing an hour for arrival and luggage. And another hour before the Alaska flight.

Here are some thoughts that lead me to that suggestion:

The Alaska flight will board about 40 minutes before it's scheduled departure time.

It is about a 15 minute walk from the TBIT to Terminal 6. All inside the buildings. Follow the signs. It would be a walk that I would welcome after such a long flight to LAX.

The food options in TBIT and terminals 4,5, and 6 are plentiful so I wouldn't be too concerned about having a little extra time in LAX. On the other hand, there are quite a few (~14 non-stop) flights from LAX to SEA on Alaska each day so I wouldn't be overly concerned about finding an alternate later flight if something went wrong and delayed my arrival at LAX and ultimately to the gate in terminal 6.
The PITA factor for seating a party of four on a missed connection/rebooking (or at least one parent with two small kids) and the fact that preclearance in AUH is a cluster (as far as I can tell flights are still persistently late) would lead me to pad the times for more than 2 hours. YMMV.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 12:43 pm
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For the eight most recent flights, EY171 has arrived from 27 minutes early to 46 minutes late.
That should guide your planning a bit.

That said, the connection from TBIT to T6 at LAX is simple, but a lot of walking.
There are NO moving sidewalks in the tunnels.
Maybe you, your wife, and your children will be ready for a lot of walking after that many hours in the air.
Or maybe your legs will be flubber.
I don't know.

You can sometimes find a golf cart in the tunnels to whisk you between them, but it's spotty, and the carts hardly fit in the tunnels anyhow.
Plus, everything will be crowded at your 2pm arrival time.

So, yeah, I'd give myself at least two hours. One hour for late arrival fudge factor, forty minutes for Alaska's insane boarding practices, and everything in between for walking.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by jsguyrus View Post
With slow walkers and little kids it will probably be closer to a 30 min. hike.
Or more. It really is quite a long walk.

I think the advice of a 4hr connection is a good one. Are you flying in a premium cabin or in economy? It can take half an hour to get off a large plane if you are seated near the back. And of course the wife and kids are going to want to stop to use the bathroom as soon as you get off the plane, so that's another 15 minutes. With a 2 hr connection you could be arriving at the AS gate during boarding, even with no delays -- it's very tight. It would only take one slight delay or mishap to miss it.

One thing to keep in mind is -- if you are booked into first class on AS you will have AS lounge access. If not, and you are planning to access the AS lounge through priority pass, it is quite possible (likely, even) that you will not get in (they deny PP access due to capacity on a regular basis -- there is another thread about that). So, if you do book a 4+ hr connection, and you end up not being delayed, keep this in mind.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 4:08 pm
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Thanks all for this advice. A few more datapoints. I'm in business on the EY flight, connecting to economy on AS. While ordinarily, that would get me off the plane very quickly, I'll need to wait for a gate-checked stroller. In my experience, that really kills the advantage exiting quickly from business class. But i need the stroller for the hike between terminals. I've done the hike before (although not from TBIT) and agree it's a bit of a slog with kids.

I ended up booking a a flight with a 2:25 layover (but can change for free since it's an AA redemption). I figured even if I misconnect, I'll be rebooked (provided there's space). I didn't follow @PaperGlider's comment about an "the "hour for arrival and luggage". Luggage preclears customs in AUH, so I don't recollect in LAX. Or are you saying it takes an hour for your bags to make it between the etihad and alaska flights?
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Old Jun 4, 19, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by turgutbey View Post
I ended up booking a a flight with a 2:25 layover (but can change for free since it's an AA redemption). I figured even if I misconnect, I'll be rebooked (provided there's space).
You will be rebooked, but putting all four of you together may be quite the challenge (perhaps 2x2 would be easier).
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