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corncob Aug 23, 15 7:19 pm

ARCHIVE: 2015-2017 GUIDE: LAX / Los Angeles Intíl. Airport - MCT, Connection, etc.
 
I'm looking for some advice on the best way to approach a 1hr35m non-MCT conn in LAX that gets me direct to DEN vs waiting an extra 3 to 6 hours for a one-stop or non-stop flight, respectively.

Details
1) Arriving on QF15 BNE-LAX at 6:25am. I know arrival time varies depending on flight time and how far away the plane parks in the annex terminals.

2) Flights for LAX-DEN, only looking at OW/AA partners at this point.
A) AA5932: Dep 8am; Arr 11:29am, nonstop
B) AA491/AA1951: Dep 10:05am, Arr 3:02pm, Conn PHX
C) AA225/AA1634: Dep 9:30am, Arr 4:46pm, Conn DFW
D) AA5903: Dep 2:50pm, Arr 6:14pm, nonstop
3) I won't be in the front of the plane, so I won't be the first off unless a FA will agree to help me out in that respect.

4) I'll have checked luggage to collect and transfer. If this shows up later than me in DEN though, that's fine.

5) I need to get to DEN by 2pm if at all possible. 6pm isn't feasible, with my current schedule.


Strategy/Options

A) Book Flight A on a separate ticket and hustle to make the connection, and check-in online before leaving BNE. However, because it doesn't meet the MCT, I see two possible issues. If I hit a delay I believe AA isn't obligated to put me on a later flight via their AA/OW separate ticket connection policy. The MCT window might also cause issues interlining baggage with the Qantas desk in BNE. I would welcome some input on both those issues, especially any real-world experiences. Or any other hiccups/restrictions you see.

B) Book Flight B on the same PNR, and try to sweet-talk my way onto Flight A once I get to LAX, time permitting. I successfully did this when I went through a year ago with plenty of extra time, but it involved me lugging my baggage to T4 because they couldn't make the change at the TBIT transfer desk. When I got to T4, they still couldn't confirm me, so I went to the gate and luckily got moved from standby to confirmed. My bags also made it, thanks to some hard work by a gate agent. I was only AA Silver at that time, if that makes any difference. Does AA Plat make this option any smoother, by chance?

Option A is much riskier with potential consequences, but would guarantee me a seat if I can make it. Option B is much safer, but I could hustle to connect and not get a seat.

HNL Aug 23, 15 9:03 pm

2 hours

corncob Aug 23, 15 9:19 pm

Thanks HNL :cool:

I actually had a question related to the MCT, but I believe when I went to edit it, I screwed up the thread. Here's the original text.



I'm looking for some advice on the best way to approach a 1hr35m non-MCT conn in LAX that gets me direct to DEN vs waiting an extra 3 to 6 hours for a one-stop or non-stop flight, respectively.

1) Arriving on QF15 BNE-LAX at 6:25am. I know arrival time varies depending on flight time and how far away the plane parks in the annex terminals.

2) Options for LAX-DEN, only looking at OW/AA partners at this point.
A) AA5932: Dep 8am; Arr 11:29am, nonstop
B) AA491/AA1951: Dep 10:05am, Arr 3:02pm, Conn PHX
C) AA225/AA1634: Dep 9:30am, Arr 4:46pm, Conn DFW
D) AA5903: Dep 2:50pm, Arr 6:14pm, nonstop
3) I won't be in the front of the plane, so I won't be the first off unless a FA will agree to help me out in that respect.

4) I'll have checked luggage to collect and transfer. If this shows up later than me in DEN though, that's fine.

5) I need to get to DEN by 2pm if at all possible. 6pm isn't feasible, with my current schedule.


The way I see it, I have two options.

A) Book Flight A on a separate ticket and hustle to make the connection, and check-in online before leaving BNE. However, because it doesn't meet the MCT, I see two possible issues. If I hit a delay I believe AA isn't obligated to put me on a later flight via their AA/OW separate ticket connection policy. The MCT window might also cause issues interlining baggage with the Qantas desk in BNE. I would welcome some input on both those issues, especially any real-world experiences. Or any other hiccups/restrictions you see.

B) Book Flight B on the same PNR, and try to sweet-talk my way onto Flight A once I get to LAX, time permitting. I successfully did this when I went through a year ago with plenty of extra time, but it involved me lugging my baggage to T4 because they couldn't make the change at the TBIT transfer desk. When I got to T4, they still couldn't confirm me, so I went to the gate and luckily got moved from standby to confirmed. My bags also made it, thanks to some hard work by a gate agent. I was only AA Silver at that time, if that makes any difference. Does AA Plat make this option any smoother, by chance?

Option A is much riskier with potential consequences, but would guarantee me a seat if I can make it. Option B is much safer, but I could hustle to connect and not get a seat.
Mods, if my original post shows back up, free feel to blow this one into oblivion :D

AAExpDFW Aug 23, 15 10:13 pm

Book option 2 in the same PNR. I've never been a fan of separate PNRs. More over, you are openly trying to break the MCT rules that are in place for this very reason. Why risk it and just accept the published flights and arrive with no issues?

corncob Aug 23, 15 10:50 pm


Originally Posted by AAExpDFW (Post 25317181)
Book option 2 in the same PNR. I've never been a fan of separate PNRs. More over, you are openly trying to break the MCT rules that are in place for this very reason. Why risk it and just accept the published flights and arrive with no issues?

Thanks AAExpDFW.

I need to be there before 2pm, if at all possible. Thus me considering the first option. Unfortunately, I can't leave BNE a day earlier, either.

With Option 2 (same PNR, and Flight B), is there anything I can do on the LAX transfer to increase my chances of getting on the earlier direct flight (Flight A) to DEN? Is there a suggested way to go about it, or a way to get confirmed on the flight before going through security in T4? Last time, they required that I go to the gate and prove I was there before giving me a seat.

hiima Aug 24, 15 12:20 am


Originally Posted by hartlogan (Post 25317243)
Thanks AAExpDFW.

I need to be there before 2pm, if at all possible. Thus me considering the first option. Unfortunately, I can't leave BNE a day earlier, either.

With Option 2 (same PNR, and Flight B), is there anything I can do on the LAX transfer to increase my chances of getting on the earlier direct flight (Flight A) to DEN? Is there a suggested way to go about it, or a way to get confirmed on the flight before going through security in T4? Last time, they required that I go to the gate and prove I was there before giving me a seat.

Go to a check in desk. They may be able to confirm you onto the earlier flight if you have at least 30 min from the check in desk to departure.

Exec_Plat Aug 24, 15 1:12 pm


Originally Posted by hartlogan (Post 25316698)
I'm looking for some advice on the best way to approach a 1hr35m non-MCT conn in LAX .

My travel agent can override the MCT pop-up in Sabre and book and ticket flights that do not comply with the MCT.

This is done knowing im a big boy and will deal with consequences.

The upside is I book the ticket as one ticket.

The good news is if I had a bag checked (only 2 times in the last 150k miles) that checked back would not prevent me from getting onto the earlier flight. if I physically get to the earlier flight, I am golden.

If I miss it, I am on standby.

or... maybe hold a changeable booking on a later flight (award or paid). If you make the early you cancel, if you miss the early you bight the bullet.

Again, an agent can override.

corncob Aug 24, 15 2:46 pm


Originally Posted by hiima (Post 25317423)
Go to a check in desk. They may be able to confirm you onto the earlier flight if you have at least 30 min from the check in desk to departure.

Thanks hiima, if I go with the safe option, that will definitely be my plan of action.


Originally Posted by Exec_Plat (Post 25320805)
My travel agent can override the MCT pop-up in Sabre and book and ticket flights that do not comply with the MCT.

This is done knowing im a big boy and will deal with consequences.

The upside is I book the ticket as one ticket.

The good news is if I had a bag checked (only 2 times in the last 150k miles) that checked back would not prevent me from getting onto the earlier flight. if I physically get to the earlier flight, I am golden.

If I miss it, I am on standby.

or... maybe hold a changeable booking on a later flight (award or paid). If you make the early you cancel, if you miss the early you bight the bullet.

Again, an agent can override.

Thanks Exec_Plat, that's the sort of experience I was hoping someone could provide. I do realize a checked bag definitely complicates things.

Have you missed it before, and successfully been allowed to standby without paying for an additional ticket? If so, were you EXP at the time (for reference)?

I have no problem going the standby route, as there's several ways to Denver late in the day. And if I don't make the 2pm deadline, it doesn't matter if I get in at 3pm or 12am.

Exec_Plat Aug 24, 15 4:00 pm


Originally Posted by hartlogan (Post 25321309)


Thanks Exec_Plat, that's the sort of experience I was hoping someone could provide. I do realize a checked bag definitely complicates things.

Have you missed it before, and successfully been allowed to standby without paying for an additional ticket? If so, were you EXP at the time (for reference)?

I have no problem going the standby route, as there's several ways to Denver late in the day. And if I don't make the 2pm deadline, it doesn't matter if I get in at 3pm or 12am.


Ive been a CK for a while, so my experience isnt of much value as a comparator.

I have not done that for an intl to domestic at LAX. yes D to D, at LAX as well as DFW. Ive not missed.

If it blew up, Id expense it- so dont confuse my blase attitude with assurance.

Having said that, as a coach pax, with bags and no global entry? Id be nervous. F, no bags, GE and ive made it from plane at T4, onto a shuttle, over to TBIT and back to T4 through flagship and into T4 in ~20 minutes. But if the inbound flight is late, all the on-the-ground speed in the world is no use.

As a back up to standby, you can hold a coach saver or worst case an anytime, on a later flight. Might burn that if standby looks ugly. if you dont need it, as an EP its free. Depends on your balance.

Overall, Id like to plan for success and if the gamble on timing is OK, then nothing stupid, like an agent saying no, would ruin the plan. In my scenario you are biasing towards success against possible cost. ..... In the 'reserve later, beg sooner flight' scenario you are protected against financial risk, but leaving more to chance (timing has to work PLUS agent must agree)

Edit- just saw you are PLT. are award cancellations free?

QueenOfCoach Aug 24, 15 4:51 pm


Priority and Preferred Access: YES
Jdiver: Excellent summary. I have only one suggestion.

Indicate that the door to the Priority Access can be viewed from the upper (departures) roadway. As you make the turn past TBIT and see Terminal 4 (now clearly marked with large "4" signs") you first past the doors to the regular check-in area. A bit farther down is the door marked "Priority Access", then just a few steps farther is the "Flagship" check-in doors.

If possible, get your driver to drop you off at the Priority Access or Flagship doors if you so qualify.

If you do not qualify for Priority Access, then get dropped near the first set of doors you see after passing TBIT where you will enter the main check-in area.

corncob Aug 24, 15 5:58 pm


Originally Posted by Exec_Plat (Post 25321704)
Ive been a CK for a while, so my experience isnt of much value as a comparator.

I have not done that for an intl to domestic at LAX. yes D to D, at LAX as well as DFW. Ive not missed.

If it blew up, Id expense it- so dont confuse my blase attitude with assurance.

Having said that, as a coach pax, with bags and no global entry? Id be nervous. F, no bags, GE and ive made it from plane at T4, onto a shuttle, over to TBIT and back to T4 through flagship and into T4 in ~20 minutes. But if the inbound flight is late, all the on-the-ground speed in the world is no use.

As a back up to standby, you can hold a coach saver or worst case an anytime, on a later flight. Might burn that if standby looks ugly. if you dont need it, as an EP its free. Depends on your balance.

Overall, Id like to plan for success and if the gamble on timing is OK, then nothing stupid, like an agent saying no, would ruin the plan. In my scenario you are biasing towards success against possible cost. ..... In the 'reserve later, beg sooner flight' scenario you are protected against financial risk, but leaving more to chance (timing has to work PLUS agent must agree)

Edit- just saw you are PLT. are award cancellations free?

Despite the difference in status, your experience is still extremely valuable in terms of making me consider different variables.

Award cancellations are $125 150 for redepositing the points as PLT, I believe. And I can only hold an award for 2 hrs prior to the departure, so putting one on hold within 24 hours of departure wouldn't work - as I wouldn't know yes/no 2 hours before departure, if available at that point.

I appreciate the note on the expense part, that is good to know. Although I wouldn't be expensing it, the only way I would take the risk is fully knowing I may incur a rough estimate of cost should things completely fall apart.

It really comes down to the financial risk vs the potential reward, and if I'm comfortable with that. And how much of that risk do I want to hedge up front in cost, if I do take that risk.

All that said, I'm not looking for anyone to tell me "yes, you'll for sure make it" or anything of that nature, or pick Option A/B. I was most interested in what unintended consequences I may not be considering, in order to fully weigh the risk vs reward of both options. And you've done an excellent job with that. Thank you, good sir ^

AAerSTL Aug 24, 15 6:01 pm

The roadway singnage at LAX indicates AA Priority AAccess, AA Flagship, and also DeltaOne (DLs imitation of Flagship Check-in) and denotes them as it identifies actual airlines on their respective terminal signage.

corncob Aug 24, 15 7:00 pm

Does anyone know if there's an AAgent at the TBIT I->D bag drop? If attempting to switch to an earlier flight or go standby, I'm thinking it's best not to stop there and instead speedwalk w/ bags over to T4 to Priority check-in.

AAerSTL Aug 24, 15 10:54 pm


Originally Posted by hartlogan (Post 25322526)
Does anyone know if there's an AAgent at the TBIT I->D bag drop? If attempting to switch to an earlier flight or go standby, I'm thinking it's best not to stop there and instead speedwalk w/ bags over to T4 to Priority check-in.

Should be at the transfer desk.

JDiver Aug 24, 15 11:22 pm

AA usually will provide onward reaccommodation if an AA flight is missed connecting from a oneworld flight, even on separate tickets.

An award redemption being redeposited is $150.

MCT, they're often not flexible about that; you might be accommodated on the earlier flight, but it's risky and dependent on time, flight capacity, etc.


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