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Transiting through LAX During COVID-19 Pandemic

Transiting through LAX During COVID-19 Pandemic

Old Dec 13, 20, 11:11 pm
  #1  
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Transiting through LAX During COVID-19 Pandemic

My partner and I are returning to AUS from AKL via LAX in mid Jan after waiting out much of the pandemic in NZ. No choice but to return so we're naturally a bit paranoid compared to folks who have had to deal with it every day. What's the best way to get to AUS via LAX? ANZ flight arrives around 1 pm so no direct flights possible. We are *G, flying in J.
1. Fly on United to IAH; drive from there.
2. Take a DL flight at 6.30 pm (but will likely have to take six suitcases clear across LAX from TBIT to T2. Also, no lounge access)
3. End flight at LAX; drive from there to AUS (25 hrs of nonstop driving! Also, potential breach of quarantine regs?)
4. Spend night in LA; fly direct to AUS next am.

Any suggestions?
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Old Dec 13, 20, 11:19 pm
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Option 4
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Old Dec 14, 20, 9:54 am
  #3  
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Option 4 may not be viable.

Currently, California's Regional Stay at Home Order forbids hotels and other short term rentals from accepting or honoring out-of-state reservations for non-essential travel. There is an exception for reservations that are for the minimum length of time required for quarantine if the guests will quarantine in the hotel until after the quarantine period has expired.

Please take a look at this post in the California forum: Email from Hyatt re: upcoming stay in LA:
Originally Posted by zip10001 View Post
I had booked a stay at a Hyatt hotel in LA.

just received the following email:
Dear zip10001


We hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Thank you for choosing Hyatt for your upcoming stay.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve around the world, we continue to closely monitor updates from local authorities. At this time and until further notice, in light of the State of California’s recently announced mandatory COVID-19 travel restrictions, all Hyatt hotels in California may not honor out-of-state reservations except as follows:
  • A stay involving essential workers or those traveling to / from essential work;
  • Individuals in the area to care for a vulnerable person; or
  • Reservations that are minimum 14 days (guest must quarantine in their room for minimum 14 days)
To read more about the guidance, please visit covid19.ca.gov. Further, please note that a Limited Stay at Home Order is in effect and can be found here.

If you are not permitted to stay at a Hyatt hotel in California due to the state’s COVID-19 travel restrictions, unfortunately, we will not be able to honor your upcoming reservation. If you cancel your reservation and it required pre-payment, you will receive a full refund within the next 10 business days.

If you have questions regarding your upcoming reservation, please contact your nearest Hyatt Global Contact Centeror call 1-800-344-9288.
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Old Dec 14, 20, 10:01 am
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I would do 1.
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Old Dec 14, 20, 10:15 am
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At LAX, DL uses the two terminals that are next to TBIT, to the left as you exit. You should be able to keep the wheeled baggage carts from the international baggage claim and customs to wheel the luggage to DL check in, but prepare to pay checked bag fees unless you purchase domestic FC tickets since you don't seem to have status with DL or partners. Also, DL isn't service meals on board domestic flights, only snacks (and a nicer snack box for FC) plus wine and beer in FC and C+ only (free and not available for purchase in coach).
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Old Dec 14, 20, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
At LAX, DL uses the two terminals that are next to TBIT, to the left as you exit.
Terminal 3 is currently closed due to COVID-19.

Fly LAX:
Terminal 3 is temporarily closed as Delta is consolidating flights due to COVID-19 and flights will be leaving out of terminal 2. Please check with Delta directly on gate locations.
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Old Dec 14, 20, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
I would do 1.
Or any flights to DFW or SAT and then drive?
Great Circle Mapper

Pity you cannot stay in (covid-19 free) New Zealand
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Old Dec 14, 20, 12:56 pm
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On connecting flights with same PRN, you should be able to recheck your luggage at TBIT before leaving the secured area so if you can book your NZ and UA flight on the same ticket, this maybe the way to go.

If you are booking separate flights, you may not be able to recheck your luggage at TBIT (it depends on if the relevant airlines have staff at the recheck station when you show up) so you should think about the logistic of walking vs. shuttle bus ride. NZ to UA transfer is a 20 min walk or a 10 min shuttle ride (TBIT stopping at T4, T5, T6, and get off at T7). NZ to DL transfer is a under 10 min walk (TBIT to T2 walk clockwise direction - turn left after exiting TBIT).

If you walk, you can keep the free luggage carts from TBIT custom area. If you take the shuttle, you have to abandon your free cart at TBIT curbside, load the luggage on the bus, unload the luggage from the bus, take it inside the terminal.

Basically, if you can book a single NZ or UA ticket AKL-IAH, that is the best. If you are booking two separate AKL-LAX and LAX-XXX flights, I prefer DL in this case since the transfer at LAX is simpler and walk is shorter and you will have luggage carts, and it gets me directly to AUS rather than IAH.

Edit: booking separate tickets on DL means you have to pay checked luggage fee... so another thing to consider. Staying with UA at least your *G status comes into play on luggage fee.
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Last edited by bzcat; Dec 14, 20 at 1:07 pm
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Old Dec 14, 20, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
Option 4 may not be viable
I have had no issues staying at airport hotels during overnight transit.
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Old Dec 14, 20, 2:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
I have had no issues staying at airport hotels during overnight transit.
When?

The most recent Regional Stay At Home Order was issued by the California Department of Public Health on December 3, 2020.
3. Except as otherwise required by law, no hotel or lodging entity in California shall
accept or honor out of state reservations for non-essential travel, unless the
reservation is for at least the minimum time period required for quarantine and
the persons identified in the reservation will quarantine in the hotel or lodging
entity until after that time period has expired.

4. This order shall take effect on December 5, 2020 at 1259pm PST.
And a Supplemental Order was published on December 6, 2020.
The travel restriction in paragraph 3 of my Regional Stay At Home Order is applicable only when at least one Region has an adult ICU bed capacity of less than 15%, as set forth in paragraph 2 of that Order.
The ICU capacity in Los Angeles County is currently at 4.2%.
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Last edited by TWA884; Dec 14, 20 at 2:51 pm Reason: Update link to a non-PDF version of the Regional Stay at Home Order
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Old Dec 14, 20, 2:44 pm
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Dec 5 and this past weekend
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Old Dec 14, 20, 6:35 pm
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Exclamation Moderator's Note: Keep the Political Debate out of the Los Angeles forum!

California restricts essential hotel lodging as follows:
  • Hotels and lodging: Allow for COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, treatment measures, provide accommodation for essential workers, or providing housing solutions, including measures to protect homeless populations.
When the Regional Stay Home Order is in effect in a region, hotels and lodging can only offer accommodation for COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, treatment measures, accommodation for essential workers, or providing housing solutions, including measures to protect homeless populations.
Hotels or other commercial and residential buildings may offer lodging for essential functions and travel including COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, treatment measures, accommodation for essential workers, or housing solutions, including measures to protect homeless populations.
And:
[2]Essential travel” includes: work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.
This is an informational forum. If you wish to argue or debate whether overnighting on a trip should qualify as essential, please do so in OMNI/PR (access is restricted to members who have been on FlyerTalk for 180 days and posted 180 messages).

Future messages opining what should qualify as accommodation for essential travel will be summarily deleted without further notice!

Thank you for understanding,

TWA884
Moderator
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Old Dec 14, 20, 7:04 pm
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One or four would be my choices. Driving from IAH to AUS after that will be brutal but at least there’s two of you to deal with it. A night at LAX wouldn’t be the worst thing either. Rest, regroup, and move on.

Schlepping all your stuff from TBIT to T2 to catch a miserable DL flight with no lounge and no shower, no thanks. Driving from LA to AUS, not a chance.
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Old Dec 17, 20, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
One or four would be my choices. Driving from IAH to AUS after that will be brutal but at least there’s two of you to deal with it. A night at LAX wouldn’t be the worst thing either. Rest, regroup, and move on.

Schlepping all your stuff from TBIT to T2 to catch a miserable DL flight with no lounge and no shower, no thanks. Driving from LA to AUS, not a chance.
It's 160 miles from IAH to AUS. Having driven it many times, it is about 3.5 hours.

I suspect that if you were exhausted, you could overnight in Houston and either fly the remainder of the itinerary to AUS or drive the next day refreshed and more alert.

In any event, #1 would be my option.
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Old Dec 17, 20, 9:03 pm
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I'd go for 1, with 2 a close second, and 4 being acceptable. That long flight followed by a 25 hour drive doesn't sound like fun.

bzcat's summary is pretty complete, but I'll add that the walk to DL or UA from TBIT isn't likely to be bad at all, and might even be a nice opportunity to stretch your legs after a long flight. The sidewalks haven't been crowded at LAX throughout the pandemic, so two people rolling through with two carts should be pretty relaxed. I've flown in and out of LAX a number of times through all this and have yet to get on a shuttle. I walk to the LAXit lot or QuikPark (just off airport) from T6, and it's been fine. You won't even have to worry about the off chance of rain, since you aren't crossing the U or going off airport.
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