My Experience With The LAX International Terminal Connector

As I first posted about in late January, LAX airport has been working on building an airside connector between American’s Terminal 4 and Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). This is fantastic news, given that most of American’s partner airlines operate out of TBIT. Currently you have to exit security, walk along the outside roadway, and then reclear security at TBIT. It’s a pain.

Last week I wrote about how the LAX connector between T4 and TBIT is finally open. Well, I finally had the chance to test it out before a domestic flight yesterday, and figured I’d report back on the experience.

The entrance to the Terminal 4 connector is just past the security checkpoint. If you’re using the standard security checkpoint, just turn right, while if you’re coming from the Pre-Check/premium security checkpoint, just walk straight ahead, as you’ll see the signage for “Bradley International Terminal.”

LAX-Terminal-Connector - 1

There’s an escalator leading up a level, which is the start of the connector.

I decided to time my walk from the time I went up the escalator to the time I was in the center of Tom Bradley International Terminal. The entire walk took me just five minutes, and that includes stopping to take pictures. So this new connector is extremely practical.

LAX-Terminal-Connector - 2

After you go up the escalator you’ll be in a long hallway.

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As an aviation geek, it’s worth noting that the long hallway has awesome views of the gates at Terminal 4.

LAX-Terminal-Connector - 4

That walkway eventually bends right a bit.

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That takes you down the main stretch of the connector.

LAX-Terminal-Connector - 6

There were two people movers going in each direction.

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From there the building bends again, as you can see in the below picture.

LAX-Terminal-Connector - 8

At this point there were great views of the gates at TBIT (at least the ones closest to T4).

LAX-Terminal-Connector - 10

Then there are two more hallways, which have a bit less natural light.

LAX-Terminal-Connector - 9

LAX-Terminal-Connector - 11

As you get into the second hallway you’ll have a view of TBIT’s check-in area, along with the (probably long) security queues.

LAX-Terminal-Connector - 12

Then you just go down an escalator and a ramp.

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And then you’ll find yourself right in front of the elevator leading up to the airline lounges.

LAX-Terminal-Connector - 14

Or if you prefer to go to the center part of the terminal, it’s just another minute walk.

TBIT

What do I take away from having used the connector walkway for the first time?

Qantas-Lounge-LAX - 15
Qantas First Class Lounge LAX

Bottom line

The connector between Terminal 4 and Tom Bradley International Terminal exceeded my expectations, both in terms of how efficient it is, as well as in terms of the design and views it boasts. This connector is much nicer than the ones between the other terminals, which are underground (and creepy).

With how easy it is to use the connector, I’ll absolutely head over to TBIT for the superior lounges as often as possible.

Have you had a chance to use the TBIT connector yet? If so, what did you think of it?

Comments

  1. I was there last Sunday and I took the same photos as you 😉 (but at night).

    Where you able to access to the Qantas First Class Lounge? I had a 4+ hours layover and I was rejected, I was on a Domestic flight, my BP had my AA Exc PLT attached, but I handled my LA Comodoro Card (OW Emerald), the Qantas lady told me that I can’t access because this was for Qantas First passengers or international flyers, I tried to explain her that I’m on a domestic flight, but I’m OW Emerald with LAN, she didn’t care that much I sent me to the Business Lounge.

    Yesterday I have contacted the Qantas Vice President Airport Operations by email and he answered me in less than two hours, he apologies about the situation and he had contacted his lounge manager to investigate and resolve futures issues, which was a good sign for me. Too bad that I will have one hour or less this upcoming Sunday, which means I will not have enough time to try it.

  2. Glad this is open. Recently transferred T4->TBIT it was an un-signposted confusing mess. This will make it way easier!

  3. I think the connector drops you out at TBIT right in front of the Qanta first class lounge, right?

    And, I don’t know if it’s been decided yet, but it may end up that AA Executive Platinum cardholders (and Oneworld eqivalent) may not be granted access to the Qantas first class lounge if on a domestic flight from T4 (or any other terminal).

    Now this leads me to… Who in their right mind is going to go to the AA Flagship lounge if they can go to the Qanta first class lounge?! This AA lounge remodel that’s underway must be damn good if they want to have any chance of completing.

  4. So Im flying on JAL on march 14th from LAX to NRT. Should I check in at JAL, drop off my luggage and then go to terminal 4 for clearing security and then go through the hallway to get to the lounge? Also note that we are going first class on JAL.

  5. I am just back from HKG via LAX and this does not seem to work in reverse to catch a connecting flight within the US. Even with Global Entry we were routed into an area outside of security and they said there was no way to use the connecting hallway if arriving. Darn.

  6. No need to go down the escalators, the hallway leads straight to Qantas First Class Lounge.
    Super convenient for AA ExecPlats , especially for AA flights that often depart from TBIT (LHR, PEK, PVG). Well, until Qantas will adjust lounge access policy ……….

  7. Flying Fiji Airways Business Class LAX to NAN after connecting via AA First Class domestic – which lounges will I have access to in the TBIT? Thanks!

  8. @mark

    the QF/OW lounges in TBIT are WAYYYYY better than any AA lounge in T4, so I’m sure AA elites will by pass on AA lounges and head to TBIT.

    I really think though QF will end up putting entry restrictions on their lounges once they start seeing tons of domestic-flying AA elites flooding their lounges. What kind of restrictions? who knows. I’m thinking only AA elites traveling on a OW international F/J itinerary will be allowed to access the TBIT lounges. I think non-AA elites would not be affected though.

    either way, looking forward to checking this connector out later this year.

  9. We arrive T4 on AA and we have checked bags, don’t I have to claim baggage and re check for our onward NZ flight to RAR, by going outside and reentering TBIT to check bags?

  10. @ lopere – If he takes pictures with people in them, then a reader will inevitably whine about privacy issues, so empty hallways it is.

  11. @Canobbio

    Do you think if someone has BA Emerald and they’re flying domestic through T4, they will be treated differently than the AA Executive Platinum traveling domestic through T4?

    I’m flying AA from LHR-LAX in September and am in business both directions. Is it true that these flights are now leaving out of TBIT? I flew LAX-LHR Dec. 29th, and it departed from T4.

    Lastly, I’m flying AA LAX-LHR in first at the end of November. Does anyone know when AA’s new Flagship lounge remodel will be completed? I could make a day of it to see it, and then end up in the Qantas first class lounge…

    and @lopere – of course he did, this is huge news for us LAX frequent travelers.

  12. I agree with Fredrico. I have been denied in the OW Business lounge flying domestic on AA as a AB Gold (sapphire). They explicitly told me that the lounge in TBIT is only for international passengers.

  13. @Pam USA requires all international arriving passengers to clear immigration, even if connecting to an onward international flight.

    @Jim Fiji Airways uses the contract International Lounge at LAX TBIT.

    @D Ayres it depends on whether you are able to through check your luggage or not (likely on a single ticket but probably not on separate tickets). If bags are through checked then you can remain airside, walk across to TBIT and check in for the NZ flight either at the lounge (if you have access) or at the gate. Note even if you already have a boarding pass (through being on a single ticket), NZ requires this to be reissued as part of their checks for eligibility to travel to RAR.

  14. I’m flying into LAX and arriving in T3. I have an international flight shortly after. Does this mean, I still need to exit security and walk the outside roadway to get to TBIT? Or can I access T4 directly from T3? Thanks!

  15. Everyone commenting about him doing a review about “hallways” — he did it because he previous lifted a post from another blogger who was first to discuss the connector (and had a video). Not to be outdone, our blogger had to copycat. Now, which credit card is being shilled this week?

  16. @ Lucky, is this connector still as convenient if you are landing in LAX with checked bags on a Delta flight from JFK, and then connecting to an AA international flight to Sydney? I’m considering such an itinerary for my mom who will be traveling alone and also not so mobile.

  17. If I arrive at TBIT at 6:30 am(flight AA 82 from AKL), and have a connecting flight from T4 (AA 2600) at 8am – is this enough time to clear customs, and make my connection?
    Do I have to clear security again in T4?
    A bit panicked that I won’t have time to make my connection…

  18. I will be arriving at terminal 4 and I would have my international flight at TBIT. I decided to take that connection. But I have concern that my tickets are not booked desperately from two airlines (AA domestic to CX). Do I need to go out and use my passport to reclear security (I use drivers license for domestic), or as long as i did my online check-in and have my boarding pass print out, I’m good?

    Thanks.

  19. GREAT to hear! Lifts LAX from the 3rd-world airport condition of having to change terminals outside. (Thinking MNL, old BOM, etc), at least from T4-T7.
    As an avid walker of airports….can I take the connector from T4 to T8, not exit the connector, and then return to T4?

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