I’d argue the most gorgeous terminal in the US is the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. This terminal is used by many airlines, primarily for international flights. It was redesigned a couple of years ago, and is truly globally competitive.
Tom Bradley International Terminal LAX
Well, at least once you get past security. The security queues can be quite long, and there’s no TSA Pre-Check in the terminal (at least as of now).
As American continues to expand at LAX, some of their international flights are operating to/from Tom Bradley International Terminal. And for that matter a lot of American’s partners always operate out of Tom Bradley International Terminal, including Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qantas, etc.
The catch is that there’s not an easy way to get between terminals. Tiffany recently wrote about how ridiculous the transfer process is when going from Terminal 4 to Tom Bradley International Terminal, connecting from American Eagle to Etihad. You actually have to leave the “secure” area, walk along the outside roadway, and then clear security again at TBIT, which can take quite a while. It’s a rather ridiculous process for a connection which hundreds of people make every day.
There is a connector bus specifically for Qantas passengers, but it only runs during limited hours and is limited to those passengers.
The process is often just as bad when you’re arriving. For example, when I flew from London to Los Angeles on American a few months back we parked at Terminal 4, but then had to take a bus to TBIT to clear immigration. That process was a pain!
There’s finally some good news for those making a connection to TBIT. Per @BrianSumers, American says that the connector tunnel between Terminal 4 and Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX will open in the coming weeks.
For those who know what this means. @AmericanAir says the T4-TBIT connector will be done in 6 weeks. A big deal for many travelers.
— Brian Sumers (@BrianSumers) January 20, 2016
The terminals are right next to one another, so the walk shouldn’t be more than five or ten minutes once this opens, and the connection will be airside, meaning you don’t have to clear security again. What are the implications of this otherwise?
- Connections between terminals will be much easier, as you’ll be able to switch between terminals without clearing security
- If you are originating in LA and have TSA Pre-Check, you can clear security at Terminal 4 so you can use TSA Pre-Check, and then take the tunnel to Tom Bradley International Terminal (LAX lets you access any terminal with a same day boarding pass), which will probably still save you time
- TBIT has considerably better lounges than T4, so this will make it easier to use the Qantas First Class Lounge and oneworld Business Class Lounge when flying American internationally as a oneworld Sapphire or Emerald, regardless of which terminal your flight leaves from
The connector between T4 and TBIT can’t open soon enough, as it’ll collectively save hundreds of passengers a lot of time every day. It also means I’ll more easily be able to enjoy the delicious salt & pepper squid at the Qantas Lounge more often. 😉
Who else is excited about the connector between T4 and TBIT opening soon?