Los Angeles' new connector between Terminal 4 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal is now open, promising faster connections between flights at LAX and also opening up more lounge options between flights.
The big winners are travellers connecting from a domestic American Airlines flight to a Qantas flight – such as from Chicago to Los Angeles with AA, and then onwards to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane with Qantas.
They'll now be able to walk straight from their inbound American Airlines flight at Terminal 4 to the departure gate at TBIT without the time-consuming hassle of another security check when changing terminals..
Passengers of United, Delta and Alaska Airlines will also find their LAX terminals feed into the new airside corridor, trimming their own transit times.
(Travellers arriving into Los Angeles' TBIT from an international flight will still need to clear passport control, collect their bag, clear customs and proceed through security with an onward departure.)
Here's how you can put this new connector to great use: saving time on your next business trip but also making the journey more enjoyable by using the best lounges that LA has to offer.
Lounging at LAX with Qantas, American Airlines
American Airlines passengers – particularly those flying out of T4 to Sydney in business class or with Qantas Gold/Oneworld Sapphire frequent flyer status – can now skip the T4 Admirals Club and take a quick walk through the connector to visit TBIT and its much nicer Oneworld Business Lounge.
AA’s first class passengers, Qantas Platinum/Platinum One frequent flyers and other Oneworld Emerald members can head for the Qantas First Lounge with its Rockpool-inspired restaurant in lieu of the Terminal 4 Flagship Lounge.
Of course, you'll want to set your smartphone's alarm to allow time to return to T4 for your American Airlines flight (we reckon 10 minutes ought to do it).
You can also enjoy these Qantas lounges before hopping onto a domestic American Airlines flight, especially if there's a long connection time.
Despite the name, the Tom Bradley International Terminal also caters for domestic USA passengers, as do the Qantas and Oneworld lounges when flashing the correct boarding pass or frequent flyer card.
So here's the deal: passengers can arrive into TBIT on an international Qantas flight, clear passport control and Customs, drop their bags off at the TBIT flight connection counters, and then proceed back through security at TBIT using their onward domestic boarding pass for a breakfast and shower in the Qantas first or business lounge.
When boarding time for your AA flight draws near, take the new walkway across to T4 to sidestep the inter-terminal security checks.
Lounging at LAX with Delta, United
While United Airlines' flights to Sydney and Melbourne depart from the distant LAX Terminal 7, there’s now nothing stopping ‘BusinessFirst’ passengers or Gold-grade Star Alliance flyers from taking a 20-minute walk to TBIT to enjoy the international-grade Star Alliance business class lounge…
… complete with private shower suites, an indoor terrace and a heated outdoor balcony…
… rather than the domestic-grade United Clubs in Terminal 7 which lack the same ambience and come sans showers:
Faster transits for Virgin Australia
Delta passengers arriving into Terminal 5 from destinations such as New York and travelling to Sydney or Brisbane with Virgin Australia can continue to take the free transfer bus from Gate 55A in T5 which runs every 15-20 minutes.
But if you've just missed that bus or would prefer to stretch your legs, the connector makes TBIT just a leisurely 15 minute stroll without the hassle of another security check.
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