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GUIDE: LAX / Los Angeles International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.

GUIDE: LAX / Los Angeles International Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.

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Old Feb 9, 20, 2:49 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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NOTE: AA uses Terminals 4 and 5, the remote “Eagle’s Nest” and some gates at TBIT . International Arrivals in particular may use T4, TBIT (100s numbered gates), the remote arrival piers (200s) or the maintenance hangars (300s); in the latter cases, passengers will be bussed to T4 (domestic and some international) or TBIT (some international), as both have USCBP processing facilities.


Link to Los Angeles World Airports' LAX Airport website

NOTE: LAX is always undergoing changes; be aware the information herein may change. See here for LAWA notices affecting passengers.

Link LAWA / LAX FAQ page.

Link to aa.com


Link to 14 Feb 2017 post with AA-AA Minimum Times Times

NOTE: The Admirals Club® lounge and Flagship Lounge in Terminal 4 at Los Angeles International (LAX) have been renovated and include Flagship Dining for those in eligible three class First cabin.

Special notice

AA operate from multiple terminals at LAX. Check in at Terminal 5, east end (Gates 50-59, including Remote American Eagle terminal, gates 52A-J) or Terminal 4 (Gates 40-49, 110-159)
. (As of 31 Jan 2017)

NOTE: the 100s gates are at the Tom Bradley International Air Terminal (aka Terminal B), accessible to / from Terminal 4 by the airside connector if you are already airside and security cleared. The 200 gates are the remote piers served by bus, and the 300 “gates” are the maintenance hangars served by bus.


[AA T-6 ops moved to T-5[/B]


Check-in times as of March 2016 Link

In most locations, you must be checked in:

At least 45 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights within the United States

At least 60 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights to or from airports outside of the United States
. Some non-US require more.

If you are checking in with baggage to check at T-4, not T-5, and flying American Eagle from the remote "Eagle's Nest" 52A-J gates (31 Jan 2017 and after), you must check in 90 minutes prior to departure.

LAYOUT: LAX is like a letter "U" on its side, open end facing right. The Tom Bradley International Terminal is the bar of the "U" facing left, on the west side. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 on the north and 4 - 8 on the south. Entering the semicircular, counter-clockwise roadway serving the terminals, you will pass terminals 1, 2, 3, TBIT, 4, 5, 6, etc. There is quite a bit of construction going on and the airport roadways can get quite congested.

MCT: Though international to International or Domestic Minimum Connect Times (MCT) are listed as 2:00, arriving at the remote western 200 pads and gates (served by busses from the terminals), connecting between T4, T6, Remote Eagle terminal and TBIT, not to mention lengthy USCBP queues and the need to proceed landslide to connecting terminals and processing security may make 2:00 unrealistic at times. MCT Domestic to Domestic or International is often 0:40, but this may be unrealistic if connecting American Eagle remote terminal 52A-J and a domestic flight at TBIT, for example.

Operating terminals and gates

Terminal 4: AA primarily uses Terminal 4, Gates 40-49 but now also uses Terminal 5 (50-59, 52A-I remote Eagle gates and TBIT (110-159). Flagship Checkin, Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge are all in T-4.


Tom Bradley International Terminal ("100") gates 110-159 for domestic and international flights, with no particular flight assignment - check your gates information.

oneworld Business and Qantas First lounges in TBIT for qualified passengers. See LOUNGE DASHBOARD for further information - link.

Occasionally, the "200 gates" remote pads (bus from T-4) may be used. Terminal 4 and TBIT are connected airside by a new connector. Qualified travelers may use the TBIT oneworld Business or Qantas First lounges. See separate thread.

Terminal 5 AS OF Tue 31 Jan 2017: Legacy US flights operate from Terminal 5, gates 50 - 59. It is best to check in for American Eagle flights at T-5. Airside connection exists, as well as shuttles. Bus port at T-5 is at gate 52. American Eagle checked baggage is delivered to Terminal 5 baggage carousels; Eagle remote gates are now numbered 52A-J.


Terminal 6: Alaska Airlines flights operate from Terminal 6.

Legacy US flights operated from Terminal 6 until 31 Jan 2017; AA no longer operates out of Terminal 6.

American Eagle Remote Terminal "Eagle's Nest": Regional flights operate at a remote terminal served frequently by airside shuttle busses from bus gates 44 and 60. The remote American Eagle terminal gate numeration has changed: "May 16 2016 the remote gates at LAX formerly 44 A-J were renumbered to 60 A-J." There is a "junior" Admirals Club here. Preferred Eagle check in and baggage carousels are in T-5?

While you may check in at T-4 for American Eagle, those with baggage to check must do so no less than 90 minutes prior to departure. The preferred baggage check deadline is in place at T-5 for American Eagle.

Walking Interterminal - Landside

Note: You can walk airside between Terminal 4 and TBIT as of 25 Feb 2016. See LAX Terminal 4 - Tom Bradley Intl Terminal Secure Connector), and on to T-5 via a corridor (ground floor, by bus gate 44).

Terminals on the south side and TBIT are connected airside. A PDF guide is downloadable here.

One can also walk landside between terminals on upper or lower walkway sidewalks just outside the roadway. Lower walkways are protected from the weather, upper walkways are not. Distances can be short (T-4 <-> TBIT) or long (20 minutes or less in all cases, and there are crosswalks and walkways serving north and south terminals. See north - south blue corridors in Ground Transport map, above; walkways parallel them.

For access to the Tom Bradley International Terminal ("TBIT") one may also proceed landslide and walk a short distance, or take the counter clockwise landside courtesy airport shuttle bus.

Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach
Here is a graphic I made from a Google Earth Streetview screenshot that shows how close T4 is to TBIT. It's a two-minute walk. One minute if you are fast.

Link to fullsize map


Airside - Shuttle Bus or Walking

Airside shuttle busses:

NO BUS T-4 <-> T-5 (faster to walk pedestrian tunnel)
T-4 <-> Remote Eagle terminal (most efficient and frequent)
T-5 <-> Remote Eagle terminal (more frequent than from / to T-4)

Terminals 4 and 5: A courtesy shuttle bus operates airside between Terminal 4, ex-gate 44 bus gate, and Terminal 6 gate 60-62 through Mon 30 Jan 2017 - afterwards, Terminal gate 52, every fifteen minutes between 05:00 and 23:00; ongoing boarding pass required. At other times one either take the airside corridor T-5 Tue 31 Jan and after <-> T-4 or exit landslide and walk or take the counter-clockwise landslide courtesy shuttle bus.

American Eagle Remote Terminal: A courtesy shuttle bus serves the American Eagle remote terminal from Terminal 5, gate 52. Note: American Eagle checked baggage is delivered to Terminal 5 baggage carousels. Another shuttle runs from Terminal 4, gate 44 bus gate. A boarding pass to Gate 52A-I is required. This is the sole way of reaching these gates (other than Five Star Service passengers, who are shuttled via the Tarmac in Cadillac SUVs).

Terminal 4 - TBIT: The new pedestrian airside connector opened 25 Feb 2015. Qantas and AA passengers departing the TBIT can check in at Terminal 4, process airside, use Admirals or Flagship lounges T-4 <-> TBIT shuttles apparently ended when the airside connector open 25 Feb 2016[/hl].

Walk Terminals 4 and 5: One can walk airside using the Terminal 4 - 5 - 6 connector.

Walk Terminal 4 - TBIT airside connector: An airside connector leading to TBIT is open effective 25 Feb 2016. See here (FT) for more.


Getting from terminal to terminal, concourse to concourse, landside

Landside courtesy airport shuttle bus
  • "A" line buses: Transports passengers between terminals. "A" route operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and runs every 10 minutes (counter clockwise)

  • "C" line buses: Transports passengers to and from Parking Lot C. Travelers can walk to the LAX City Bus Center from Lot C. "C" route operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and runs every 10 to 15 minutes.

  • "G" line busses: Transports passengers with a valid TAP card to and from the Metro Green Line Aviation Station. Service is aligned with the rail schedule. To view, please go to www.metro.net . Click here for Green line Boarding Procedures (PDF document). TAP card is not required when taking the G Bus from LAX to the Aviation Metro Station.

  • Use this link for a real time map display of shuttle bus locations and movements.

  • Rental car company busses: transport passengers between terminals and car rental facilities.

Ground Transportation stops / pickups at LAX

NOTE: Rental, hotel shuttle, Über, etc. stops are in front of each terminal on the arrivals / lower level at the island crossing the first lanes of traffic.


Security at LAX

Link to FlyerGuide information on LAX T-4 Security.

TSA PreCheck: Yes (Terminal 4 upstairs, east; Terminal 5?)

Priority Access line in a Terminal 4 is accessed from the escalator on the left end (looking at the counters) of the terminal (furthest from TBIT, closest to terminal 5), next to the Priority Access check-in area. Often there is an AA worker at the bottom of the escalator making sure only Priority Access passengers go up this escalator. The First, Business and Priority Access lines now have their own screening room far from the economy area. This private room has multiple screening lines and during peak periods additional lines are opened up.

Security for (TBIT) international arrivals proceeding to Terminal 4 is open as of February 2017. When exiting TBIT customs and baggage recheck area, turn right immediately after the exit and proceed down the hallway to the checkpoint. No Pre-Check.


Check-in and ticketing at LAX and check in times Link

Flagship Check-in: YES Marked exclusive T-4 Flagship check-in entrance 4:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.

Five Star Service: YES

Priority and Preferred Access: YES

Curbside check-in: Yes. Terminal 4 only, including for international destinations.

Minimum time for checking in and arriving at the gate at LAX

Minimum time to check baggage

To help us get your bag on the same flight with you, present your bag to an airline representative for check-in no later than the cutoff time.

For flights within and between the U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands:
  • Check bags at least 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure at LAX

For flights originating in airports outside the U.S. or flights departing the U.S. for an international destination:
  • Check bags at least 60 minutes prior to scheduled departure (90’ if checking for Eagle at T-4 instead of T-5)

Time to baggage delivery: expect 0:30 or more.


Ticket counter locations

Terminal 4: upon entry, Qantas to right; First and Priority Access to left; Main Cabin straight ahead.
Self-service check-in kiosks available.
Open Daily: 04:00 - 00:30 (4 am to midnight + 30)

Terminal 5, east side: OPEN Tue 31 Jan 2017
Open Daily: 4:30 AM - 12:30 AM

Terminal 6: CLOSE Tue 31 Jan 2017
Open Daily: 4:30 AM - 12:30 AM

If departing on American Eagle, suggested check-in at T-5 Tue 31 Jan 2017 or after.


Minimum and reasonable connection and check-in times at LAX

See 20 May 2016 ExpertFlyer MCT listings here:
Originally Posted by serfty View Post
The MCT's for AA at LAX are a mess...
Q. What are minimum check-in time requirements at LAX?

AA requires arriving a minimum of 45 minutes prior to domestic departures if departing domestically (including Hawai'i, Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands) if one has no baggage to check; 60 minutes if one must check baggage; and two hours prior to international departures.

Additionally, AA requires passengers be checked in at least 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure at LAX and "Arrive at the gate and be ready to board at least 15 minutes prior to domestic departure" and 30 minutes prior to international departure. Gates close to boarding 10 minutes prior to departure.

Q. What is the domestic to domestic or domestic to international Minimum Connection Time (MCT)?

The minimum connect time at LAX, domestic to domestic or international, is 0:40 minutes. International to domestic or international MCT is 2:00, but as mentioned previously, this may be insufficient. Note: MCT is generally not waived for international passengers arriving from USCBP pre-clearance airports.

See AA domestic to international MCT from ExpertFlyer Nov 2016 c/o Serfty here.

Q. If I am making an international to international connection, what is the process?

There is no international transit process in nearly all airports in the USA (DFW and MIA have a baggage exception for international to international). Arriving internationally, unless you have been pre-cleared, you must proceed through U. S. immigration (there are kiosks and a fast channel for Global Entry approved passengers), recover your baggage from the baggage carousel and proceed through U. S. Customs.

Upon exiting Customs at TBIT there is a bag drop facility; drop your checked baggage, exit to the landside arrivals area. Pre-cleared passengers arriving at TBIT will bypass USCBP (but most airlines will enforce international to domestic MCT nonetheless).

ALL arrivals are forced landside (you may pass back through security at the TBIT end of the T-4 - TBIT connector) and Terminal 4 is a short walk to your right, Terminal 6 farther; one can board courtesy airport "A" busses and be dropped off very shortly at T-4 or T-5.

NOTE: Whilst most international Arrivals process immigration and customs at TBIT, some arriving at T-4 may walk a long underground passage and process formalities at TBIT. Others may process at T-4, but if you arrive with bags those will be available at TBIT.

There is no Arrivals Loinge for AA or oneworld customers at LAX.

Q. What is AA policy if I have separate tickets and my incoming flight is delayed?

Protection for oneworld world customers travelling on separate bookings:
oneworld Global Support

Your oneworld connection is generally not officially protected, but the airline may help you and put you on the next available flight, and AA does generally protect oneworld connections at this time..

If your flights are on the same PNR:

Connecting between airlines at unfamiliar airports can be a stressful experience, especially if your flight is delayed. American Airlines recognizes the impact delays and missed connections can have on your plans and on your life. That is why we partnered with the other oneworld member airlines to form teams of connection experts: oneworld Global Support.

At select airports across the oneworld alliance network, teams are proactively monitoring connecting flights and, whenever possible, they will meet and assist you if your connection is in jeopardy. The oneworld Global Support teams will do their best to allow you to use dedicated fast track lanes through immigration or security to help you catch your next flight. Our teams will also do everything possible to transfer your baggage so that it makes it on time to your final destination.

If you miss your connecting flight, the oneworld Global Support team will provide you with updated travel information, a new boarding pass and, where applicable, assistance with overnight accommodations.

oneworld Global Support is currently available at Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid-Barajas, Miami, New York JFK and Sydney. The service is offered at these airports whenever possible, subject to operational constraints.
See:
Q. Can I check my baggage through?

If you're connecting within the oneworld alliance or airlines with an interline agreement and your connection is under eleven hours, all segments on the same PNR, probably. If over that or with separate PNRs (even within oneworld) airlines without an interline agreements with AA or on separate tickets connecting with non-oneworld airlines, no.

See oneworld not requiring protection or interline baggage 1 Jun 2016; AA policy.

Q. Is there baggage storage at LAX?

No. Since 9/11 most USA airports have eliminated baggage storage, but you can use a baggage storage firm that will pick up, store and return your baggage. You do not have to pre-book, and they are open 24/7: http://www.laxluggagestorage.com. There are $5 pickup, $5 return and storage charges.


WiFi at LAX:

"Internet Access at Los Angeles LAX Airport. LAX Airport offers free internet access, with paid upgrades: Free Wi-Fi service for up to 44 minutes is available in most of the public areas of the Airport - provided by Advanced Wireless Group."

=================

Other resources
  • Link to AA FAQ: Will I make my connection?
Posts from 2015-2017 have been archived to ARCHIVE: 2015-2017 GUIDE: LAX / Los Angeles Int’l. Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.







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Old Jan 14, 18, 4:07 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: KHOU + KSFO
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Originally Posted by whimike View Post


This is inaccurate, SJC rarely has any such weather issues.

True.. wasn't SJC's slogan FLY FOG FREE at one point (may still be).

SJC is rarely WX delayed. SFO on the other hand....
Antarius is offline  
Old Jan 14, 18, 6:33 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 348
It is doable but will be stressful. Make sure to really study the airport map and to know exactly where you are going. It is pretty well marked but know what gate you are going to and where the gate is. Do,the obvious such as being as close to the front of the plane as possible and not gate checking anything. It is really about a five to seven minute walk at a fast clip from where the shuttle comes in to most of the international gates but that is moving fast and making no wrong turns like I said it is well marked but watch the signs and make sure you know your gate.
tennessetom is offline  
Old Jan 14, 18, 8:43 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by whimike View Post
All I know is that 3-days ago I tried to ticket SJC-LAX-AUH with a 75-minute connection time and AA refused to ticket it stating the MCT was 90-minutes. Not sure how they are ticketing your flight with only a 60-minute connection time?

At LAX, there are fine-grained minimum connect times for different incoming and outgoing flight numbers. Essentially, there are different MCTs for Eagle-mainline, Eagle-Eagle, mainline-mainline, Eagle-codeshare partner, and mainline-codeshare partner, all with different times for domestic-domestic, Canada-domestic, domestic-international, international-international, etc. The default ID MCT is 90 minutes. LAX-AUH is not AA-operated, so it’s probably that default time that matters; it’s not relevant for an AA-AA connection. The AA-AA MCT is 40 minutes.
ashill is offline  
Old Jan 14, 18, 10:54 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
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I don't fly AA to often, but the first time I flew AA the wait to the shuttle was darn nerve wrecking. It was a surprise that the gate wasn't at T4 and had the what seemed like forever wait and darn slow shuttle. You guessed it I cut it pretty tight.

If you got stomach of stone, nerves of steel, a thrill seeker, feel lucky, don't have an issue possible arriving a day later, and weather and all that could go wrong doesn't, why not!

BTW as another poster noted, the departure time for international flights isnt' the time the door closes! Isn't the door closure 15-20' before departure?

I'd suggest a better strategy would be to have 90', and make the connect, versus 60' and possible have a 24 hour connect layover.
chipmaster is offline  
Old Jan 15, 18, 2:50 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Gatwick, UK
Programs: UA *G, AA EXP
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
Can you take the early flight out of SFO? Gets in at 7:15 am.
If this is winter / spring then this is poor advice – SFO is far far more likely to be affected by bad weather than SJC. Last time I was booked SFO-LAX-LHR, I was automatically rebooked by AA onto BA SFO-LHR nonstop simply because of the weather forecast (i.e. before my SFo-LAX flight was delayed or cancelled – it was cancelled in the end).

Though that raises another question - if there is a one world flight nonstop from SFO to your international destination, then one might argue that flying from SFO is better than from SJC, since you have even better fallback options.
SeattleDavid is offline  
Old Jan 15, 18, 6:34 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New York
Programs: AA EXP 1.0mm, not sure where I am with hotels these days
Posts: 2,767
Originally Posted by whimike View Post
Say what? AE flies into the Eagles Nest, it is not Terminal 5.



I have flown into the Eagle's Nest about 20-25 times and it has never taken anywhere remotely close to 30 minutes. On average it takes me about 10-15 minutes to get to T4. Certainly it could take 30 minutes, but I would consider that to be an outlier and to be under the worst circumstances. Every time I have been there, there have been multiple buses running and rarely had to wait more than 5 minutes for a bus to arrive.

MCT according to AA is 90 minutes domestic to international. If arriving at Eagle's Next you would take the bus to T4 then walk to TBIT via the air-side walkway. Can it be done in 60 minutes? Yes, if everything aligns well and you don't mind being stressed. 90 minutes I would consider the most realistic minimum time. If you decide to chance it and if you are on separate tickets, make sure you can check-in inline for your international flight (often easier said that done). I don't think you can be on the same ticket as 60 minuets doesn't meet MCT.
Two other things to consider as well. Is the incoming aircraft one where everyone is required to gate check their bag (for which you will have to wait until is rolled over to you by the baggage crew)? If you checked through all of your luggage, is your seat in the incoming flight in front or back? If in front, that extra few m8 utes May be helpful. Due to a job change 18months ago, I haven’t had to do this connection. However when I had to, I always had to rush and worry about the connection.
george 3 is offline  
Old Jan 15, 18, 9:27 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: LAX
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Originally Posted by huggin View Post
I checked a few days and found the aa international flight was in T4, so I need to go from "eagle's nest" to T4.
Don't bet on it.

I fly LAX-LHR every year. For a week or two before the flight, I like to check the flight status to see the departing gate. There is no pattern.

The flight can leave from T4 a few days, then TBIT, then T4, then a few days from TBIT, then T4, etc. In 2016 the flight started out leaving from TBIT, so I made myself comfy there for the wait, then it was switched to T4 and I had to schlepp back to T4 through the connector.

Others may be faster walkers than I am. I would estimate about an additional 15 minutes if the flight leaves from TBIT. That means as you are passing gates 43-41, where a T4 international flight might leave, you have another 15 minutes to the TBIT departure gate. You have to go through the connector, go down to the departure level, then out to your gate.

I think a 60 minute connection from the Eagles Nest to an international departing flight is crazy. I wouldn't risk it.

Bear in mind, they usually start boarding an international flight at T-45. If you are not there, at some point they are free to give your seat to a standby passenger or upgrade wait listed passenger. You could very well show up at T-15 (45 minutes after landing) to find your seat is no longer yours.

I don't know the exact point where seats are released to standby passengers or to the upgrade list, but I am sure others here would know.

Finally, what is your tolerance for the "next available flight" should you miss your booked flight? Remember they start upgrading folks from the wait list a couple of days ahead. That next available flight may or may not have your premium cabin seat available. Are you willing to wait a day or two in Los Angeles?
QueenOfCoach is offline  
Old Jan 15, 18, 9:42 am
  #23  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Jose, CA USA
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Add me to the nay-sayers for a 60 min connect from SJC-LAX-INT. We usually fly long haul from LAX and live near SJC. All of our recent SJC-LAX flights have been delayed anywhere from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours.
There is runway work being done at LAX and this often causes flow control limits on the inbound traffic. My guess that the ERJ feeder flights are near the bottom of the priority tree and thus delayed.
Also, LAX sometimes gets fog that gums up everything. Too much stress at the start of a trip for me.
skydiver is offline  
Old Jan 15, 18, 9:47 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach View Post
Bear in mind, they usually start boarding an international flight at T-45. If you are not there, at some point they are free to give your seat to a standby passenger or upgrade wait listed passenger. You could very well show up at T-15 (45 minutes after landing) to find your seat is no longer yours.

I don't know the exact point where seats are released to standby passengers or to the upgrade list, but I am sure others here would know.

This part cannot be said enough. With only 60 minutes between scheduled arrival and departure, even if the arrival is on time that only leaves 15 min before the next flight begins boarding. And no more than 45 minutes before the seat could be released and the door closed. Also, what would happen if the flight load was light and they finished boarding earlier and shut the door at T-25 instead?

One would hope their system would alert them that a passenger was still on their way, but that is no guarantee.
thunderlounge is offline  
Old Jan 15, 18, 10:30 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by huggin View Post
If it's enough, I will book the tickets right now.
As someone indicated the MCT for D to International is 90 minutes, are you doing this on 2 tickets?
This would generally void protections for missing the connection and baggage would NOT be checked through
mvoight is offline  
Old Jan 15, 18, 10:35 am
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 8
I booked the flight. I checked the status of the flight from SJC to LAX for a few days. There was only 1 late flight and normally it arrived 20 mins earlier. I will let you know if I can catch the flight.
huggin is offline  
Old Jan 15, 18, 10:38 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Only way I would even consider it: There is a later AA flight, with plenty of availability.
diver858 is offline  
Old Jan 15, 18, 11:31 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
As someone indicated the MCT for D to International is 90 minutes, are you doing this on 2 tickets?
This would generally void protections for missing the connection and baggage would NOT be checked through
MCT for domestic to international on AA is 40 minutes, so this would presumably be one ticket. (Generic MCT DI at LAX is 90 minutes, but that doesn't apply here.)
ashill is offline  
Old Jan 15, 18, 11:46 am
  #29  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach View Post
Finally, what is your tolerance for the "next available flight" should you miss your booked flight? Remember they start upgrading folks from the wait list a couple of days ahead. That next available flight may or may not have your premium cabin seat available. Are you willing to wait a day or two in Los Angeles?
This is the key that people ignore when making blanket statements that short connections like this are crazy or only for gamblers. If the flight is on time, OP will make the connection. Even if the flight is delayed a bit, OP might well make the connection. Systemwide, AA is on time about 80% of the time (largely because the scheduled flight times include padding, which is why the flight often arrives 20 minutes early, as the OP says). So you're probably talking no more than a 20% probability of missing the connection. The question is whether the OP is willing to tolerate that risk for this particular trip; they haven't given any indication of what the backup options are or how catastrophic missing the international flight would be, but they apparently are OK with the risk because they booked the flight.

The 8:50 AM arrival from SJC is the first flight of the day, so the real question is which is worse for the OP: a 100% chance of having to leave SJC the previous night (assuming the 9:50 AM flight to their destination is the only one, something we can't assess with the information provided) or a 20% chance (probably a high guesstimate) of missing the international flights? For many but not all of my trips, the 100% chance of leaving SJC the night before would be worse.

Note that this morning's 8:50 AM scheduled arrival from SJC actually arrived at the gate at 8:15 AM (after landing at 8:05 AM); the latest it has landed in the last week is 8:30 AM. So this is not a connection I would sweat at all; it looks to me like my 20% guesstimate of the probability of missing the connection is very high.
ashill is offline  
Old Jan 16, 18, 3:43 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 8
Smile

Originally Posted by ashill View Post
This is the key that people ignore when making blanket statements that short connections like this are crazy or only for gamblers. If the flight is on time, OP will make the connection. Even if the flight is delayed a bit, OP might well make the connection. Systemwide, AA is on time about 80% of the time (largely because the scheduled flight times include padding, which is why the flight often arrives 20 minutes early, as the OP says). So you're probably talking no more than a 20% probability of missing the connection. The question is whether the OP is willing to tolerate that risk for this particular trip; they haven't given any indication of what the backup options are or how catastrophic missing the international flight would be, but they apparently are OK with the risk because they booked the flight.

The 8:50 AM arrival from SJC is the first flight of the day, so the real question is which is worse for the OP: a 100% chance of having to leave SJC the previous night (assuming the 9:50 AM flight to their destination is the only one, something we can't assess with the information provided) or a 20% chance (probably a high guesstimate) of missing the international flights? For many but not all of my trips, the 100% chance of leaving SJC the night before would be worse.

Note that this morning's 8:50 AM scheduled arrival from SJC actually arrived at the gate at 8:15 AM (after landing at 8:05 AM); the latest it has landed in the last week is 8:30 AM. So this is not a connection I would sweat at all; it looks to me like my 20% guesstimate of the probability of missing the connection is very high.

Thanks for the analysis. I'm more confident to catch the international flight now.
huggin is offline  

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