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:
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.