T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX.

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX.

Updated 2/26 to fix Youtube video link.

On Thursday, the project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to build a post-security connector (pdf) between the renovated Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) and Terminal 4 (T4) had a “soft opening” that vastly improves the airport experience for a significant number of passengers.

The $115 million project, which was originally set to open in early December 2015, is slated to include an outdoor patio, retail and food outlets, and a streamlined baggage transfer experience for those arriving on international flights and connecting onward. A small section for passengers walking to the customs and immigration was previously opened a couple of weeks ago.

With this opening, Terminals 4, 5, 6, and 7, as well as TBIT, are all connected behind security, meaning that passengers already in this area can walk to any of these terminals without the need to exit and reclear security. AirlineReporter has the first photos of the newly opened passageway…

Arguably, the biggest beneficiary to the connector is American Airlines, whose T4 is immediately adjacent to TBIT; the carrier has an agreement with the airport to operate several gates out of TBIT. The connector also eliminates the need for passengers arriving on American and connecting to Qantas flights to take a shuttle bus, as the walk from T4 to the TBIT gates should take around 5-10 minutes at a medium pace. In fact, the walk was measured at just under 4 minutes from Gate 41 to the entrance of the Oneworld First Class Lounge operated by Qantas.

Juan Carlos Liscano, American Airlines’ Managing Director at LAX said, “The two-year construction project considerably improves the experience for our connecting customers by reducing the walking distance between the two terminals to just five minutes. The connector is another development in improving our customer offering to be the #BestinLAX.”

According to American, the connector will soon provide a Checked Baggage Inspection System, a five-lane Passenger Security Screening Checkpoint and a South Matrix Interline Baggage Transfer.

Not to be left out, customers flying on Delta Air Lines in T5, Alaska Airlines in T6, and United Airlines in T7 can also walk to TBIT via underground tunnels behind security, allowing passengers to easily connect to international partners departing out of TBIT, as well as an upgraded passenger area full of retail and dining opportunities. From the furthest gate in T7, the walk should take about 15-20 minutes.

Below are photos of the new connector:

Entrance to the T4-TBIT connector at LAX, near Gate 41.

Entrance to the T4-TBIT connector at LAX, near Gate 41

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX.

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX.

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX.

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the landside roadway and the area where the future patio will go.

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the landside roadway and the area where the future patio will go

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Just a soft-opening, so some things still to work on. These escalators would lead directly to the ticketing/check-in level. There are elevators available.

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Just a soft-opening, so some things still to work on. These escalators would lead directly to the ticketing/check-in level. There are elevators available.

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the check-in area at TBIT.

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Walkway overlooking the check-in area at TBIT

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX.

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: Overlooking the ramp between TBIT and T4 at LAX

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: A walkway over the check-in counters.

T4-TBIT connector at LAX: A walkway over the check-in counters

The Oneworld/Qantas First Class Lounge is located at the International Terminal-end of the new airside connector to Terminal 4.

The Oneworld/Qantas First Class Lounge is located at the International Terminal-end of the new airside connector to Terminal 4.

Even though it was just a soft opening, the T4 connector project will already have a significant impact on the passenger experience for the better. We at AirlineReporter look forward to when it is in full operation.

 

SENIOR CORRESPONDENT - LOS ANGELES, CA. With LAX serving as a second home, John enjoys being confined to an aluminum (or now carbon composite) cylinder jetting through the air miles above the terra firma. He has logged millions of miles in such conditions and enjoyed it 99% of the time. Email: [email protected]. You can also read more about John's non-AVGeek musings on his personal blog, VNAFlyer.

http://VNAFlyer.blogspot.com
The First Boeing 727’s Final Flight is Scheduled for Today
46 Comments

Having done a “preview walk” against my will coming back from Sydney a few weeks ago. I really cannot speak to this being an amazing passenger experience boost. If you are parked at T4 and have to walk all the way to TBIT for customs- that’s not improving much. In fact, it’s making it worse. There’s nothing better than stepping off a flight from the warm tropics to walking right into a freezing California morning! All the more reason I wish QF11 hadn’t been full the day I needed to come home! Going the other way, you bet. It’s something LAX has needed since TBIT opened! Getting rid of dedicated FIS in T4 though, that’s a massive fail!The only reason I really started thinking about this in detail was when I realized how easy it seems for this concourse to produce one of AA’s favorite JFK issues of late: passengers entering the U.S. without traversing a legal Federal Inspection Site!

I really want to like this improvement, but it just seems like it is going to lead to cold and annoyed passengers one direction- as well as setting AA up to get in more trouble with CBP.

Hey Bernie, now that the connector is open, the intention is for AA flights arriving from international cities to arrive at TBIT (with the result that the AA planes don’t have to be towed to another gate now… departing pax can just head over for their flight), so hopefully the customs walk from T4 > TBIT won’t happen too often anymore. This would also help minimize the potential problem you alluded to of international passengers being accidentally let into the terminal without being processed.

But, in case TBIT gates are unavailable, an international arrival may still dock at T4, so the walk won’t disappear completely.

And of note: The T4 > TBIT shuttle buses for Qantas passengers that depart from “Gate 44” (the bus gate) will continue to operate indefinitely, probably due to a service contract in place.

John | AirlineReporter

Yeah, bus contracts are not ones that can easily be broken.

The rest of it is very good to hear, I am easily menaced by terrible arrival procedures.

Lynne Buckingham

Hi John – My son is traveling on Spirit from Seattle to LAX, then switching to Norwegian Air in the International Terminal. Map doesn’t give much info re Terminal 5 – can he walk directly through the tunnels to International terminal? Is there an aboveground walkway? Will he have to clear security again?

On their way home, I know they’ll have to clear customs, and will they have to clear security again before boarding Spirit? Thanks for your help!

Mike Harder

He can take the tunnel from T5 to T4, then head upstairs and walk the connector from T4 to TBIT. All this is behind security, so no new check is needed. If he goes outside and walks to TBIT from T5, then, yes, he would have to go through security entering TBIT. Hope this helps.

Lynne Buckingham

Thanks! And upon return into Bradley on Norwegian Air, after clearing customs, is there a way to head right over to Terminal 5 to catch Spirit flight without going through security again?

Lynne

Mike Harder

There may be, I’m not sure. I don’t know where you are let out after customs. You just might have to ask when you’re there.

Lynne Buckingham

Can you walk from clearing Customs at Bradley to Terminal 5 flight without clearing security again?

Lynne

Mike Harder

Is T4 dedicated FIS not coming back a done deal???

Vincent Tassinari

You gave us a map of tunnels for the other terminals but where in T4 is the entrance to the connector to TBIT located?

Vincent Tassinari

Found the answer in the video, at gate 41.

It’s bizarre that AA does not have any info on their website other than a dotted line connection.
I only noticed the TBIT gate when I checked in and though okay what terminal do I check my wife in?? AAdvantage had no knowledge of the Airside connection when I called. They claim I could check in at the AA counter in TBIT (I don’t think there is one) and then use the oneworld lounge in TBIT. She said I could also check in at T4, go through security at T4 and use the T4 admirals club then exit the secure area, walk landside to TBIT and go through security again. (clearly nonsense since it’s not possible to check in at T4 for a TBIT gate without the existence of an airside connection – again not shown on the AA site. ). Luckily I didn’t believe her. It was then I looked at the airport map and saw the dotted landside side connection that showed a seemingly unfinished path to TBIT. Then a google search showed the T4-TBIT connection video on this site. Even the LAX web site doesn’t show it on the T4 map. So American spent millions of dollars building the walkway but are not telling anyone!!! I’m sure it confuses the heck out of all but very experienced travelers when they see the TB gate on their boarding pass and will cost AA in late take off delays. Like I said Bizarre. However …

As an AA passenger this is a big plus for me.
1. On international arrival presumably now at a TBIT gate, no more bussing from a T4 gate to TBIT immigration
2. Today I can use the fast T4 TSA pre and also admiral’s club and walk to the TBIT gate. There’s no TSA pre-check at TBIT – or there wasn’t in February and the security line there is horrendous.

Hello! Congrats for the awesome post.
I would like to know if it is possible to arrive at the TBIT and then go to the T4 without having a boarding pass for an AA flight.
I will arrive from Brazil in a non-stop flight, but my daughter is arriving a few hours later, but since her first stop is in Miami, she will get in LA at the T4. Is it possible to use the connector in that case?

Hi Hugo, so sorry for missing your question earlier! I don’t know if you’ve flown already, but unfortunately since you are arriving off an international flight into TBIT, you’ll be processed by Customs and Immigration and deposited outside of security. Since you won’t have a same-day boarding pass to depart out of LAX, you wouldn’t be able to reenter the airport. The best thing in your situation is likely just to hang out at Starbucks (lower level, at T4 arrivals) until your daughter arrives, and have her follow the signs to baggage claim to meet you there. Best of luck, and have a great trip!

John | AirlineReporter

Richard

Hello just a quick dumb question. I’m flying into LAX from Australia in October and then getting a connecting flight to Newark. Flying United so arriving at Tom Bradley and departing from most likely Terminal 7. Can I use this connector after going through Tom Bradley’s custom checks in arrivals? Cause I have looked at (vague) maps and the connector entrance appears to be on the departure level.

Hi Richard, not a dumb question at all! The somewhat dumb answer is… kinda.

Since you’ll be processed by Customs and Immigration, you’ll exit outside of security, and you’ll have to be rescreened for your subsequent departure. Normally, this would involve your just having to walk (I recommend the upper level for fresher air and some lengths within air-conditioned corridors) or catch the LAX shuttle bus (on the lower level) from TBIT to T7.

However, a new security checkpoint has opened up in the connector facility which, by all reports, doesn’t have a line because nobody knows about it. It would be to your right immediately after you leave the TBIT baggage claim area. While you could get through quickly, the drawback to entering here is then you’ll have a meandering walking path to T7, adding at least 25-30% more distance to your walk. You could also take the T4>T6 shuttle and walk the rest of the way to T7.

Hope this info helps!

John | AirlineReporter

Richard

Thank You John. That was was really helpful information.

🙂

Thanks a lot for the handful of info about the connection to TBIT
My flight arrives at T7 with checked baggage to pick up, can I still use those tunnel to get to TIBT without going out of the security?

Hi Claire,

Unfortunately, you’ll have to exit security at T7 to collect your checked bags, so you won’t be able to use the connector. In your situation, you’ll have the options of:

– walking the distance from T7 to TBIT, which will be about 15-20 minutes at a moderate pace. If you go this route, I recommend walking on the upper level for more sun, fresh air, and some air-conditioned corridors along in front of each terminal (I have heatwave on the brain, it’s been 95F+ here); or

– taking the LAX “A” – Airline Connections shuttle bus. You board from the lower level under the Blue signs on the outer curb/island, and the bus will take you through the TBIT loop, stopping at T1, T2, and T3 before getting to TBIT. This trip should take 10-20 minutes depending on traffic.

Good luck.

John | AirlineReporter

Jan Segal

How far is it from T6 to TBIT to walk. Also we have a Qantas ticket from Seattle to LA with Alaskan and then Qantas to Sydney. Can we check bags all the way through?

Hi Jan, thanks for you question. When you check in with Alaska in Seattle, they should check your bags all the way through to SYD, so you won’t have to deal with them when you get to LAX.

When you arrive into T6, quickest way may be to walk the tunnels: After arriving, look for the escalators going down into T5, which then you would continue your walk to T4, with an escalator ride back up to T4 departures level; head to Gate 41, where you’ll find signs to TBIT. It’s somewhat a circuitous path and I would plan 15-20 minutes to walk it, but you won’t have to clear security again.

You also have the option of taking the shuttle bus to T4, which departs from next to Gate 60. This could take anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on when the bus arrives and how much aircraft traffic there is, but this requires the least effort and amount of walking. If you have plenty of time, this is the route I would take.

A third option is to exit the secured area and walk along the road to TBIT. This is the most direct route, but of course you’ll have to reclear security at TBIT, and thus I would not recommend this path.

Good travels!

John | AirlineReporter

Jan Segal

Thank you John

Stephen W

I’m taking a flight in October from Sydney to LA with American Airlines.
I then have to get a connecting flight to St Louis – time between landing and taking off is 1:55 mins
What I see on websites is Sydney Flight lands at TBIT. It then seems to suggest my AA Flight to St Louis is also from TBIT. So question is Do I have to clear customs or not and is 1hr 55mins really enough time ?

Hi Stephen. First thing’s first: All arriving international customers MUST be processed by customs and immigration when they first arrive into the US, so you will go through C&I when you arrive at LAX, before your flight to STL.

The arrival from SYD on AA is a weird thing, as you will basically be “dumped” into TBIT for customs and immigration processing, even if you arrive into T4 (in which case you’d be led down a tunnel/pathway for a long walk over to TBIT). You’ll want to check the departures board before you exit TBIT, but in playing the odds your STL flight will likely be out of T4 (with a small chance of it being out of T6, and a smaller-but-still-realistic chance of TBIT).

In any case, here the Connector again saves the day: After you go past the Bag Drop area, there is a small corridor that leads you into a security checkpoint designed for arriving international passengers. You can proceed through here, and since not many people know about it, there shouldn’t be much of a line. Worth noting that there is no TSA Pre-Check lane here, (only in T4 or T6).

Do you have Global Entry? Are you a US Citizen? 1h55m should be enough time, unless you’re a foreign national, then that’s tight on time. If you miss your connection AA should be able to assist you with rebooking.

Hope that helps!
John | AirlineReporter

I used to be recommended this web site byy way oof my cousin. I’m no longer positive whether this putt up is written by way of him as no one else understand
sucxh precise about my difficulty. You’re amazing! Thanks!

How to reach T3 Virgin Aussie from T6 Delta without leaving secured area?

Hi Liliana, unfortunately there is no way to go from T3 to T6 without exiting security. Also, note that all international arrivals into the US and LAX will go through immigration then customs, and all connecting passengers will have to be rescreened.

John | AirlineReporter

Thank you, John. Our DTW to LAX flight could arrive at T5. Then we need to get to T3 for a Virgin Aussie flight. Scheduled layover time is 95 minutes. It’s one reservation with Delta. VA is a code share partner with Delta. But T3 does not recognize TSA Pre, as I heard. Please give us your honest assessment whether we should change our fright from DTW to LAX to give us more time. Many thanks for your help. Liliana

Kathleen Fiaher

We arrive via United at Terminal 7 tomorrow at 3:30PM from SBP. We have a connecting Lufthansa flight at 5PM going to Munich. Can we make the connection via the tunnel?

Hi Kathleen, I hope I caught you in time. Yes, you can walk from T7 to TBIT all without leaving the secured area. From T7 near the TSA checkpoint, look for a sign that will point you to a walkway that leads to T6. From T6, you can either catch a shuttle bus to T4 (departing from Gate 60) or walk the tunnel from T6 to T5 to T4. Once you get to T4, follow the information posted above to get to TBIT. A 1.5 hour connection will be tight, so don’t be too leisurely in your walk!

John | AirlineReporter

Hi! Will it be possible to used this airside comnector if ill be arrivig from an international flight in TBIT? Ill be flying from MNL and and i have a domestic flight via AA on the same day (which is just 3 hrs connecting flight).

Veronica Vazquez

Hello! Which would be the best way to get from Terminal 7 (United) to TBIT (Singapore Air). Is it better to walk or take the shuttles? We have a three hour layover. Will we have to go through security again once we get to TBIT? Thank you so much for your help!!

This article with photos was great, though I would like to know if you would clarify the T6 to T4 walk. I arrive on American Eagle in T6, will be departing on an American international flight from T4 50 minutes later. Are T6 and T4 connected by the tunnels now? And this is all behind security? About how long would this walk take?

I’m arriving from HKG to LAX at T4, then departing from T4 for ATL. After parking at T4, where do I go to clear customs and immigration? Do I need to go to TBIT and then return to T4 to catch my connection to ATL? Thank you~

Hi John, I am flying Delta out of LAX, and would like to use the United Club Lounge. Can I walk from Delta to United Terminal after clearing security ? Thank you so much !

Stephanie

Is it possible to arrive on united express T7/8 at 4pm and get to Delta flight in T5 departing at 5:15 (boarding at 4:45) via walking? Please advise asap before I purchase ticket. Thank you

Can I get off my commuter American Air from San Diego at terminal 4 and walk across to my Korean Air 12 flight in TBIT on the new walkway with out going outside and back through security ?

Can I make it to my flight if my flight via American Air arrives in T6 at 9:55 pm and my connecting flight to Korea leaves at 11:30 p.m at TBIT? Would I have enough time to get from one terminal to the other and through the security? Please respond the soonest, I’m leaving in a couple of days. Thanks.

Outbound we used the connector and surprised the BA gate clerk when we checked in at the gate. Inbound, following the signs for baggage claim, customs, and connecting flights we ended up landside and lost our fluids including a decent bottle of wine from duty free that I took out of the bag.
Is there a baggage transfer facility airside for this connector?

Need advice for 2 elderly passengers that will be departing from the east coast and arriving LAX on AA at 1152am with a connection to a Japan Air codeshare flight at 145pm? What is the step by step process upon arrival in LAX if they use the new connector to TBIT? Do they have to go through TSA securities again and where, and do they have to check in with AA or Japan Airlines upon entering TBIT? Are bags checked through in LAX or do they have to claim and recheck at TBIT?

Hope this reply gets to you in time.
Leaving the USA is easy, your bags will be checked through as long as you tell the check in desk your final destination.
From terminals 4 or 6 follow the signs to TBIT, or your international gate number. If you land at the AA remote terminal take the shuttle bus to T4, its less of a walk.

Rod Hodkinson

Hi John,
We are arriving on the QF11 from sydney in a couple of days and we have been advised to use the walkway to T4 for Alaskan air to Seattle.
As we are both 75 is this the best option for us and will we have to clear customs before entry in the tunnel?
Rod

I had a long layover on my last trip into LAX and used the time to check this, I am sorry to say that the air side walkway is not available until after a TSA check.
You will need to retrieve your checked bags and take them through immigration and customs, following the signs for connecting flights will take you to a recheck area, make sure you put your liquids in your checked bags before you hand them over. At this point you are Land side, follow the signs for your Alaska terminal and you will end up in the air side walkway.
If you have time to kill, Alaska has a lounge that is a lot more comfortable at a reasonable price.

Hi Simon, Another question for you. It’s been a long time since I’ve traveled through LAX (usually DFW). I arrive on a Virgin International flight at 9am from Australia. At the time of booking I was unable to book a connecting flight to my final destination on points and connection times were not good with Delta, so I’m having to purchase a separate United ticket. The best flight to OKC is at 11:35am departure. I have a few questions – 1) Will have have enough transit time for a 11:35am flight? (I’m a US citizen currently living in Australia) so I would go through US immigration line. 2) Would I be able to check my bags in at the transit desk at International, if I can checkin before I leave Australia and print off my boarding pass? I’m not sure if I can do this, but thought I would ask. 3) How would I get from International to United terminal hopefully not having to lug my bags with me (est. time to get there)? Thanks in advance for your advice.

2 1/2 hours is cutting it tight. Even going through the citizen line at immigration can take up to 30 minutes, but then there’s customs and ag, that can be up to an hour.
The walk to transfer bag check is about 10 minutes, that’s where you lighten your load. Unfortunately that whole process puts you on the wrong side of the TSA lines.
There is a connector walkway that will take you through a quieter security check and put you at the wrong end of the terminals,leaving you with a 30 to 40 minute walk to United at the far end of the airport.
I would look at using the shuttle bus to get you from bag check to the United terminal, I’ve never done that so can not comment on it, but it’s got to be easier than walking. The bag check is right by an exit door to the street.
Good luck and safe travels.

Hello Everyone,

Need help!!! I will be traveling from SFO to LAX terminal 6, then transfer to Singapore Airline at TBIT. Can I take the tunnels from terminal 6 to tbit? Also, where will I check in with Singapore Airline if I take the terminal 4 to tbit connector?

Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *