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Questions on wheelchair transfer between TBIT and T6 in LAX

Questions on wheelchair transfer between TBIT and T6 in LAX

Old Apr 9, 19, 4:26 pm
  #1  
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Questions on wheelchair transfer between TBIT and T6 in LAX

My elderly parents are arriving at TBIT terminal in LAX. They have connecting Alaska airlines flight from terminal 6. I'm planning to fly to LAX and meet with them to ensure they don't run into any issues as they don't speak English. We are flying to SFO together. I have requested the wheelchair for them as they cannot walk long distance. I have never been to LAX so just wanted to check if someone can answer these questions.

1. Is there a separate line for immigration for wheelchair passengers at LAX? Probably, they'll be the last ones to offboard the plane and there's 3.5 hours between the flights so just wanted to ensure they'll be done with immigration with some time to spare for the transfer.
2. Is the bag drop for Alaska airlines after customs or they have to take the bags to Alaska ticketing counter? Their tickets are all the way to SFO.
3. How are they going to be transferred to terminal 6 on Wheelchair? Internally in the wheelchair/electric cart or outside via the shuttle?

I read somewhere that the wheelchair guys cannot go across terminals? Is that true?

If I arrive LAX on Delta (probably terminal 2 or 3), what is the best place to meet up with them? I'll have the same day boarding pass, can I meet with them right after they are done with customs?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 15, 19, 7:26 pm
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1. Wheelchair passengers usually get escorted to the front of the immigration line. If your parents are not US citizens, they will probably get priority handling in the non-citizen line to get photographed and finger printed. If they don't speak any English, they probably need help filling out entry and custom forms. Hopefully someone from the airplane can help them do this before they arrive at LAX. 3.5 hours is generally enough for this transfer.

2. There is bag re-check at TBIT right after custom before leaving the sterile area. If they are on the same ticket to SFO, most likely their bags will be tagged to SFO. If that is the case, they can just drop it off at the re-check station. If their bags are tagged only to LAX, they need to see if there is an Alaska rep at the re-check counter that will help them check in. I'm guessing there is no Alaska rep at TBIT - if that is the case, they will need to take their bags to T6 to check in with Alaska. The takeaway here is make sure bags are tagged to SFO at the first check in.

3. They will be pushed from TBIT to T6 check in thru the sidewalk on land side. There maybe a hand off somewhere between the two points for different handlers that are assigned to particular terminals but they will make sure your parents get there.

4. You can meet your parents at the TBIT arrival public waiting area. That's where they will emerge with their wheelchair handlers. Your same day boarding pass can only get you inside secured zone but not sterile zone so you need to wait for them land side to meet up.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 12:04 am
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Thank you so much for your detailed reply, really helpful.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 12:38 am
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Iím not sure post #3 is totally right.

Most wheelchair passengers are brought into the TBIT Customs hall, and often have to wait for another pusher. Thatís what happened to me a couple of weeks ago. The delay was enough for me to miss my connecting flight. I had a 2 hour connection, and my inbound flight was a bit late. 3.5 hours is a good idea for a connecting flight. Hopefully this was all booked under one itinerary.

You are able to recheck most bags once you exit the Customs inspection area. You might check with AS. I know DL, UA, AA and others certainly can. Dragging the bags with you to another terminal to recheck is no fun.

In my last few visits to LAX, they have a handicapped shuttlebus pick you up. If you are able to walk up the bus stairs, and take a normal seat, great. Otherwise they have a lift for a wheelchair. Then, at your correct terminal, a wheelchair pusher meets the bus, and takes you inside the terminal to another holding area. Another person comes later to take you through TSA security and to your gate.

They usually leave you at the gate, and then return for boarding. I have 3-4 pushers on an average inbound Intl trip. I would recommend bringing some US currency for tips. I usually have a pocketful of singles and fives.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post

You are able to recheck most bags once you exit the Customs inspection area. You might check with AS. I know DL, UA, AA and others certainly can. Dragging the bags with you to another terminal to recheck is no fun.

If the bags are tagged through, TBIT can take the AS luggage. There should be people directing them to the correct drop off counter / staff. I last did this in January.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 4:18 pm
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Called the airlines and their bags will be tagged to the final destination (SFO). Good to know that with Alaska too, bags can be dropped off right after customs.

Thanks to everyone, this forum is a big help!
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