Air New Zealand streamlines LAX transit, skips security line

By David Flynn, April 22 2013

Air New Zealand's streamlined passenger transit procedure at LAX has been given the green light by US Customs, with travellers arriving from Auckland or from London now able to access the general terminal area and the airline's LAX lounge without the need to clear security.

The system, which has been trialled for several months, still requires transit passengers to complete the standard US visa. But they're then issued with a special 'token' and can forego the usual security queue.

Air New Zealand's Deputy Chief Executive Officer Norm Thompson promises the new transit process will make a significant difference to the overall passenger experience for Air NZ travellers heading to London via Los Angeles.

"They now have the freedom to move around during their transit instead of being confined to the transit lounge while waiting for their onward flight."

Lounging around at LAX...

Up next for Air New Zealand and LAX will be the airline's relocation from LAX Terminal 2 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal in the middle of 2014.

The terminal is in the midst of a US$1.7 billion makeover which will deliver more shops and restaurants as well as faster boarding and disembarking systems.

There'll also be a new Star Alliance Lounge at TBIT, designed and managed by Air New Zealand.

The new lounge is three times larger than the current Los Angeles Koru Lounge and will feature an open air terrace overlooking the runway.

Los Angeles isn't the only city enjoying a bit of Kiwi attention.  AirNZ will upgrade its daily Auckland – San Francisco services next year, with two new Boeing 777-300 aircraft replacing the current Boeing 747-400s in July and October 2014.

Also from mid-2014 through to mid-2015 the airline will begin refurbishing its Boeing 777-200 fleet with the latest business class, premium economy and economy seats to bring them up to the same standard as the 777-300 series.

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

Does the refurbishment of the 772's mean they'll just get the same seat in Economy as the 77W has or the same seat any layout as well?

03 Nov 2012

Total posts 1

Its about time AirNZ upgraded their 772 fleet. This is a long time coming and I'm glad to see them lifting their game.  As for 773 to San Fran - Well done!  I hate that old 747 to SFO.

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 142

I have no issues flying there 747, yes they are both pretty old but offer far more room in Economy then their 77W. Lets hope AirNZ keep their 772 Economy seating at 3-3-3 not 3-4-3 like their 77W.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

01 Mar 2012

Total posts 169

Just got off the flight AKL-SFO, was told that the Y+ seat will be a different one. Not sure if anyone has been told anything like that. Was told that the current one is too heavy, due to the base plate and also people have complained about not having enough recline.

Y will be squeezy as like the 77W

28 Sep 2011

Total posts 2

The 772 upgrade will put the seat layout as the same as the 77W @ 3/4/3 they are trying to have the same layout accross the whole longhaul fleet, no word on the 787 layout yet expect around 300 PAX's. 

The 2 extra 77W's arriving next year are slated for expansions into new routes, (that's coming from the CEO)  there has been nothing regarding them going to SFO yet.   You might probley end up getting the 787-9's going there.  

next year  (2014)  NZ will see 2 77Ws and 3 x 787-9's added to the fleet if all goes well.  

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Apr 2013

Total posts 147

The BIG win here is being able to access the Lounge or terminal when travelling in Y+ or Y. Hooray! That has been my biggest bugbear on the times I have not flown J with ANZ through LAX.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1229

Have I missed something? Why are Y and Y+ getting lounge access?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

01 Mar 2012

Total posts 169

You would have access if you are Start Alliance Gold or Velocity Gold or Platinum

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Apr 2013

Total posts 147

Correct! VA in my case.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1229

Okay that make sense. I just read the comment as all Y passengers were getting lounge access. But Y passengers with status is norm.


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