Changes To The American Eagle Terminal LAX

Earlier this year American announced huge expansion at LAX, including 12 new routes. They’re trying to position themselves as LA’s hometown airline. As part of the expansion, American announced that they would build two additional gates at Terminal 4. This complements their existing gates at Terminal 4, Terminal 6, and the American Eagle terminal.

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American Eagle terminal LAX

The American Eagle terminal is remote, in the sense that you have to take a bus to access it — there’s no way to walk there. You have to go to Terminal 4 first, and then take a shuttle to the commuter terminal. It’s a bit of a pain, especially since the shuttle service isn’t always reliable.

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Shuttle to American Eagle terminal LAX

I flew American Eagle out of Los Angeles yesterday, and noticed that some changes have been made to the American Eagle terminal, which I figured I’d share here.

The intention of these changes is to alleviate congestion in Terminal 4, so here’s what’s changing:

  • If you’re originating at LAX, American now recommends using T6 for check-in, security, and the shuttle service, allowing you to bypass T4 altogether; the bus ride between T6 and the American Eagle terminal is also shorter than from T4
  • Baggage claim for American Eagle flights will be at T6 rather than T4
  • Per AirlineReporter, passengers originating at LAX using T6 will reduce the number of people using T4 by 3,000-6,000 daily
  • A shuttle will continue to operate between T4 and the American Eagle terminal, should you still prefer to take it (some might want to use the lounges in T4, for example)
  • The American Eagle gate number has changed from 44 to 60 — they’re still using the same area, but the idea is that passengers will associate gate 60 with being in Terminal 6, while they associated gate 44 with being in Terminal 4, based on the first number of the gate.

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New signage for American Eagle terminal LAX

So in practice nothing is being taken away from passengers, but rather they’re just trying to encourage passengers to use Terminal 6 instead. Terminal 6 also has Pre-Check, and queues are often even shorter than in Terminal 4 (that being said, you won’t be greeted by Pam’s smiling face in Terminal 6).

It’s also exciting that American is apparently getting new shuttle buses, which should be available in the coming months.

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American Eagle terminal LAX (now gate 60 rather than gate 44)

Bottom line

American’s regional operation at LAX is a bit of a mess, given that it’s disconnected from the rest of the terminal, so you’re at the mercy of the buses. Using Terminal 6 instead of Terminal 4 when flying American Eagle should reduce transit time, and lead to an overall less crowded experience.

If you happen to be in Terminal 4, you’re better off than before, since you’ll be competing with fewer people to get on the bus.

What do you make of these American Eagle changes at LAX?

Comments

  1. You really think it is exciting that they are getting new shuttle buses? Noteworthy maybe, but hardly seems exciting.

  2. The Admirals club situation is worth noting. The remote terminal has a small Admirals club, so I prefer to go to the large Admirals club in terminal 4 (which is pretty decent for a US domestic lounge) before busing over. Those with Priority Pass can use the Alaska Board room in terminal 6 but it’s only “ok”.

  3. Nice recap Ben. I flew out of their last week, and although the interior is nicer, I’ve always thought this entire operation for these smaller flights was a disaster. Sounds harsh, but it feels third world (from a first world problem perspective). Not usually a complainer, but they need to work with LAWA to build/create a better solution for their overall operation.

    I suppose the newer busses may help, but couldn’t help feeling like we were being herded like cattle.

  4. Agree with @Credit. LAX should be this gleaming gem of an airport/transit hub given how avant garde LA things it is and how it is very much the gateway to Asia to/from the US. In reality, though, it’s a shithole. And the new TBIT is a good step in the right direction, but at this point it’s still lipstick on a messy pig. Why is it so hard for American airports to replicate what SO MANY other countries have done so well. We pioneered aviation, and now our airlines and are airports are subpar to most every other developed nation.

  5. So glad I read this, flying out of T6 tomorrow and forgot about the bus. And didn’t know about option of the other shuttle. Thanks!!!

  6. I flew into LAX yesterday (May 18th) on AA from HNL, and after landing we went to a Terminal 6 gate, which the Flight Attendant said was the first time that has happened (for her). She also read off connecting gate info, and she kept mentioning gate 60 … I thought she had the wrong information.

    I loved that the HNL flight came into Terminal 6, as my connecting flight to PHX was right across from my arrival gate, and I thought I was going to have to use the underground hallway from Terminal 4 to make it in time!

  7. Connecting in LAX next week (SAN-SFO), with both legs on American Eagle.

    I saw @WT mention above there is a small Admirals Club in the remote terminal. If I have enough time, would it be better to take the bus back and forth to T4 for the Club there?

    Thanks.

  8. Awesome! This means you can shortcut past T3-T5 and Bradley to make the commuter flights. This will save 10-15 minutes waiting in traffic for all the Chinese tourists clogging up TBIT.

  9. In a few weeks we are flying our family to Maui from SFO via LAX with a one hour connecting time. The confirmation shows American Eagle to LAX will arrive at Terminal 4 and the flight to OGG will depart Terminal 4. How can that be correct if all American Eagle flights arrive and depart the American Eagle terminal? Would appreciate anyone’s advice on what we should expect as we are traveling with small grandchildren. Thank you.

  10. @ Old Flyer — It’s listed that way because the American Eagle “area” has technically been considered a gate rather than its own terminal.

    What type of aircraft are you flying between San Francisco and Los Angeles? That will answer the question as to whether or not you’ll be taking the bus during your connection.

  11. “Terminal 6 also has Pre-Check, and queues are often even shorter than in Terminal 4…”

    Does this mean T6 does not have Pre-Check? Flying to/from LAX soon and just got Pre-Check this year so want to make sure I take advantage of it. I did not have Pre-Check on my last 2 trips to LAX so always entered at T6 and wasn’t paying attention if there was Pre-Check.

  12. I fly out of Eagles Nest often. Bussing from T4 vs T6 is a difference of about a minute or two on the bus. Not significant. The key difference if if you are checking luggage for an Am Eagle flight, in which case you should go to T6. Also, if you are arriving at LAX on AE, your luggage will go to T6. Both T4 and T6 have pre-check. Both terminals can be busy. Admirals Club in T4 is arguably nicer than Alaska’s lounge in T6, but the attendants in the AS lounge are much friendlier. The transit busses are old and rundown and have old livery. Will be nice to have something new.

  13. Quick question.. I am flying on american airlines from lax to phoenix on F. The e-tix said that this departs from terminal 6, but seems like terminal 6 doesn’t have priority security lines for OW E or F passenger, which concerns me with all the news about long TSA wait as i don’t have TSA precheck as a foreigner visiting temporarily. Plus i prefer to wait at AA flagship lounge anyway. Would it make sense (and allowed) for me to go through the security via terminal 4 instead of terminal 6, taking the airside tunnel to go catch my flight? Thanks in advance

  14. @ Old Flyer — You’ll get to take the bus 😉

    Truly, it’s not that bad. The service is more reliable than it was a few years ago, so should only take a few minutes. And the kids will love getting to drive on the tarmac!

  15. Thank you Tiffany. You and Ben and all the team are so terrific in answering our questons!

  16. While I don’t mind riding the buses, when I was there last year the terminal looked pretty awful and not nearly as nice as Lucky’s photo. Perhaps because it was at capacity and full of passengers but it felt very crammed and unpleasant.

    What’s even more annoying is how many long domestic flights are operated by “regional” airlines (3.5-4 hours flights aren’t exactly the same as LAX-SFO or DFW-IAH).

  17. Question– we’re flying American Eagle for the first time from LAX to RNO on Thursday and it sounds like we’ll need to take a bus. We leave from Gate 60i in Terminal 6, but will it really be in Terminal 6? My husband has MS and trouble walking so I need to plan. Thx!

  18. Reno flights definitely depart out of the remote terminal so you will need to allow extra time. I fly out of there frequently and there are often passengers in wheel chairs so they are accustomed to handling this, but it is a bus transfer and will add to your airport time.

  19. Thanks so much for your reply, and for this site– quite helpful. We will pad in some extra time. Bit of a pain but it was so much cheaper than Southwest.

  20. I have a flight from LAX to San Diego departing from 60F, if I check-in at terminal 6 do I still have to get the bus? And if yes, I pass thru security before of after getting the bus? I’m arriving from an international flight (operated by another company, and I’m not sure if I will arrive at terminal 6 or terminal B) and I have luggage to check-in too. I don’t have a lot of time between flights so I’m concerned about it.
    Thanks for your help!

  21. If you are arriving at Teminal B on an international flight, you will probably have to clear immigration and then proceed to either terminal 4 or terminal 6 to get the bus to the remote Eage terminal for your flight to San Diego. Check in (if you aren’t checked all the way thru to SAN) and then go thru security before getting the shuttle. My advice would be to go from Teminal B to 4, which is closer than 6 and the shuttle is accessible from there.

  22. @ Rafaela — Yes, the American Eagle terminal requires a bus, no matter which terminal you enter from.

    If you’re coming from an international flight you will almost certainly arrive at TBIT. If your bags are tagged through you can drop them off before leaving TBIT (but after immigration, there will be signs). From there, you can go through security at T4 (or TBIT and take the walkway to T4), then there is a bus from there to the Eagle gates. You can go to T6 too, but it’s a further walk, and you still have to take the bus.

  23. Thanks, Steve! And one more question, at the terminal do I have to check-in at american eagle or american airlines? I’m not from the US so I’m not sure if they are the same company or not.

  24. Hoping someone can help. I just learned my flight from EUG/LAX comes into a remote (Eagles Nest) terminal….must take a bus to connection LAX/STL which, incredibly departs from the international terminal Gate 155. I have just over an hour and am in a knee brace….can’t move too fast but can walk. American insists this is a legal connection and will not change my ticket w/o big penalties. What is the fastest way to do this? Do I have to go through security again at TB? Must make flight as I have two more connections after that…..4 flights to get from EUG/AVL……sure do miss USAirways!!!

  25. @ Mary — You don’t have to clear security again, and there’s a skybridge over to the international terminal. If that’s too far to walk, you can ask them to arrange a cart for you.

  26. @Mary – make sure you take the shuttle from Eagle to Terminal 4, not Terminal 6, as that is where the skybridge is located. I would suggest a cart from the Eagle gate in T4 over to gate 155, as Tiffany suggested. It is a long walk but you should be able to do it as long as your inbound flight is on time.

  27. Thank you so much Tiffany & Steve……I’m traveling 1st. class so getting off the flight will save me some time. I thought about requesting a cart but have seen way too often passengers waiting a long time to access one….which may negate the savings in travel time. Your generosity helping a fellow traveler is much appreciated.

  28. Thanks, this helped a explain things. Coming in from LHR connecting to SAN which I’ve done 20 times before, I noticed it said the SAN flight was departing from T6. Not from the commuter I thought? But hey, it seems it is, and this saved me the extra walk T4-T6 from TBIT. Might still use the lounges at TBIT as they are a LOT nicer.

  29. Am arriving to LAX from Eugene on American Eagle and leaving LAX for San Antonio on American Eagle.
    Would that arrival and departure be in the same terminal?

  30. Great information!

    What’s the ballpark time it would take to get from exiting an American flight arriving in terminal 4 and getting to remote terminal ?

    Also, do they load the buses when your flight is 30 minutes from boarding or can you get over to remote any time you want ?

    eg: Miami to LAX on a 77W in business, and needing to get to LAX to Eugene on American Eagle. Have about an hour…

    thx

  31. @ todd — It doesn’t take very long. The bus ride is maybe five minutes, and runs every 15 minutes or less. You can go over any time, as the remote terminal has concessions and bathrooms and everything. An hour would be fine if everything is on-time.

  32. It takes 10-15 mins to go through the whole shuttle routine, getting from T4 to Eagle terminal. You can go anytime. You want to be at the gate in Eagle for boarding 30 mins before flight, so best to get on a shuttle before that. Your 77W flight from Miami could park at either T4 of Tom Bradley. If it’s the latter, it will take you more time to get to Eagle, as I don’t believe there are direct shuttles from TB to Eagle. You will have to walk to T4 first. The other thing to be aware of is long wait times at LAX once you’ve landed before you can get to a gate. Doesn’t always happen, but it is pretty common. There is an Admiral’s Club in the Eagle Terminal, but other services are pretty limited.

  33. Thank you very much for the help. I have been checking the gate for this flight and it’s been landing in T4 all the time lately, but yes, TB seems like it could happen, you never know. I’m going to stick with the tight option of the 77W because I love the plane so much.

  34. I flew this “new” set up this week and I have to say I am leaving AA for this route (btw I received an email from AA saying it will no longer fly out of Terminal 6). I have been flying AA exclusively for the past 10 years and I go to LA often (SFO-LAX). First of all their switch to a much smaller plane operated by American Eagle is basically like packing sardines into a can. I understand it’s a shortt flight but what happens when you are delayed, which I was on both directions this week?

    And what’s up with trying to do “Main Cabin Extra” for a few seats so that you can squash the other passengers who don’t want to may an additional x amount for what isn’t even extra leg room but rather, normal leg room…has American Airlines become so sadistic now so as to torture us on an Embraer jet with “extra” leg room and then non?

    Oh yes, the shuttle…what can I say, it adds travel time, the buses are dinky and our driver in LAX tonight actually cut off a plane and she honked…did you think they heard us? We stood still and she had to reverse. Then we pulled forward and she had to reverse out again.

    By the time I got to my gate I was the last one to get on. Thank goodness the flight was delayed so I had the joy of sitting in a sardine can for 2 hours on the tarmac.

    This new terminal at LAX plus the smaller jets does not work for me. I’ve signed up for FF miles with Alaska and will book Virgin for my SFO-LAX trips going forward.

  35. Was wondering how to file a complaint. I missed my flight due to not being picked up by the shuttle until it was too late. Couldn’t reschedule for that day, but took a flight a few weeks later with an additional cost of $100. Tried to complain to AA, but they said that the shuttles are run by LAX. A real cluster! Doesn’t seem fair that a shuttle controls your arrival to the plane, and clearly they don’t know what time the planes are departing.

    Also no clear information within the airport that you even need to wait for a shuttle.

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