Flying from Las Vegas back to Bris Vegas

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by puffdragon, May 1, 2006.

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  1. puffdragon

    puffdragon Newbie

    May 1, 2006
    3
    0
    Canberrra ACT
    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post here so be kind.

    My partner and I are venturing to the USA for our Honeymoon in October and this will be the first overseas trip for both of us. We are flying from Brisbane -> LAX -> JFK -> Vegas -> LAX -> Brisbane.

    The Travel Agent has booked us on an American Eagle (for American Airline for Qantas) to fly from McCarran Intl Airport, Las Vegas to LAX. This flight departs 8:11pm and arrives 9:23pm at (According to my booking on the qantas FF website) terminal 4. We are then scheduled to fly Qantas from LAX to Bris at 11:20pm from Terminal B (once again according to the Qantas FF site).

    My belated question is as follows: Assuming all planes are on time, that leaves us 2 hours at LAX before we fly home. The Travel Agent assures me that we will go through customs in Las Vegas and thus will transit through LAX and not have to go through customs.

    I readily admit that I have no first hand knowledge with this, but in an Australian context, if I was flying from Canberra to LAX, I would have to catch a domestic flight to Sydney Domestic Terminal, then head over to the International Terminal, go through customs and then finally head on out to LAX.

    Basically I am concerned that the travel agent has not got this right and that we will have to go through customs and swap terminals. If that is the case, then the 1hr 57 between flights isn't going to be enough time to do this and we will miss our flight home.

    Does have anyone have any first hand experience/knowledge about this? Should I be concerned or am I panicing over nothing?
     

  2. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    The US does not have outgoing immigration/customs in the way that Australia does. When you check in at LAS, they will check your through to BNE and when you arrive in LAX you would connect in the same way that you would for a domestic flight

    You have plenty of time for the connection

    Dave
     
  3. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    308
    0
    Canberra ACT
    As Dave says, plenty of time. There are many things done differently in the US compared with Australia.

    The LAX to BNE flights leave from the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). When you exit Terminal 4 at LAX, turn left and walk about 50 metres to get there. The two terminals are next to each other.

    You should not need to collect your luggage because it should have been checked in all the way to BNE.

    When you arrive in the US, they will staple the bottom section of the green I94-W Visa Waiver form in your passport. The check-in agent in Las Vegas will remove and process this. That's the equivalent of the Immigration desks at SYD International stamping your passport "Departed Australia" (although they don't actually do that any more). No more immigration formalities are required.

    You will need to go through a security screening at TBIT, but that's all. As I indicated before, the terminal transfer is very quick and easy. Nowhere near as bad as going from SYD T3 to T1.

    Not that it is relevant, but if you had been going to SYD rather than BNE you would have arrived at LAX T4 on your flight from LAS, stayed airside, then walked straight to the gate for your LAX-SYD flight with no more security checks! In the US they don't always separate domestic from international flights.

    But the T4 to TBIT transfer is easy regardless.
     
  4. puffdragon

    puffdragon Newbie

    May 1, 2006
    3
    0
    Canberrra ACT
    Thank You both for all your help. That has cleared up all my confusion and eased all of my fears about being stuck in LA and having to buy new plane tickets home
     
  5. Reggie

    Reggie Established Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    1,616
    182
    Manchester
    puffdragon, just a piece of advise from someone who got caught out. There is nothing airside (other than a sunglass shop) in TBIT, so buy any books or magazines or do any duty free shopping prior to passing through screening. Also I wouldn't be in too much of a rush to get through to the airside as there isn't much seating space at the gates either.

    Reggie
     
  6. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Welcome to AFF puffdragon :) and congratulations.

    2 hours is plenty, and the answers above are correct. Other than the many slot machines, there isnt that much to do at LAS airport either. Allow plenty of time to get through security at LAS. LAX TBIT is much more efficient, and if the queue at QF end of the terminal's security check is long try the other end (its all connected airside).

    Finally, don't forget to leave your bags unlocked as security will want to check them. If you wish you can get TSA-approved locks (but no guarantees these wont be broken), or use baggage ties. Any other locks will be destroyed and removed.
     
  7. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    308
    0
    Canberra ACT
    Good point, and I actually meant to mention it. Unless you have lounge access there really is nothing to do airside in TBIT.

    T4 has some OK facilities, so the OP might want to check them out before making the short trek to TBIT.
     
  8. puffdragon

    puffdragon Newbie

    May 1, 2006
    3
    0
    Canberrra ACT
    Thanks for your reply guys.

    I do have Qantas Club access, will I be able to access this from this terminal? Also, where should I go for that last minute duty free shopping before I come home (assuming I have any money left)
     
  9. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    In the USA, duty free shopping is a little different to Australia. Since they don't do outbound immigration processing and maintain a quarantined departures area (apart from security screening), only ticketed outbound passengers are permitted to enter the airport duty-free shops. They will often have someone at the door asking to view your boarding pass. And you must be on a non-stop flight from the USA to another country. So no access to duty-free at LAS, only at LAX for you.

    Years ago I was denied entry to the LAX duty-free shops when flying QF via HNL (back in the 747 classic trans-Pacific days). And since my flight transited HNL, I could not shop duty-free at LAX.

    When you purchase from an airport duty-free shop in the USA, you pay for the good and they note your departure flight details. They will then deliver the good to the aircraft door for your collection, thus ensuring you actually take the good out of the country with you.

    In my experience, USA duty-free prices are generally not great. However, I did once find JW Gold at US$50 in ORD which was a good price with the exchange rate at the time.

    You can also purchase alcohol, cigs and perfume upon arrival back into Australia. The prices are generally the same as Australian outbound duty-free shops (operated by the same shop as outbound DF), so you can check the prices on the way out and decide if you want to purchase on the way back. They also often offer a discount if you pre-order your return DF shopping. Generally something like 10% discount and they will have it ready for your collection when you return. But this is limited to alcohol, cigs and perfume only.

    I used to regularly route my return trip via AKL (QF25 was good when it operated LAX-AKL-BNE) and pick up my supplies at AKL.
     
  10. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    308
    0
    Canberra ACT
    Yes, but the TBIT lounge isn't up to the standard you would be used to. The lounge system is a little confusing - there is a Qantas Club on level 5, but that's the First lounge. The Business lounge is on level 4 and has JAL signage as well as Qantas.

    It is a fairly small room. There is a fridge with wines, beers and soft drinks, and an adjacent bar area with bar snacks and pour-your-own spirits. Tea and coffee facilities. A couple of phone booths.

    Toilet facilities are at the end of the corridor and are shared with other lounges - generally not the cleanest you've ever seen, particularly for the late departures. No showers anywhere!

    If you need a shower, use the club in T4 before you go to TBIT. It is a combined Admirals Club/Qantas Club and was newly built a couple of years ago. It has a pay bar - as a Qantas Club member you can get vouchers for free drinks from the entry desk, but the barman will still expect a tip (usually US$1 a drink). Might as well wait until you are in the TBIT club and pour your own.

    The TBIT lounge used to be a nightmare when all QF flights left from there, but it improved somewhat when the Sydney flights moved over to T4. Still not great, but better.
     
  11. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    1,872
    7
    1F
    Hi puffdragon. Welcome to AFF. :D

    Yes indeed - the queues to get through security at LAS can be outrageously long, so leave yourself plenty of time.

    Good luck on having money left over! You're going to be in one of the world's largest gambling capitals, a place where you are also expected to tip the hotel room maid, the guy who opens your taxi door, the dealer at every card game... you get the idea. :mrgreen:
     
  12. Maca44

    Maca44 Established Member

    Sep 2, 2005
    1,253
    193
    Sydney
    I agree with Yada Yada about the tipping, and I suggest you carry say 10x$1 bill in a separate section of your wallet specifically for this purpose. On a side note, if this is your first trip to the USA be very careful about the similarity in colour/size of the US currency as on a couple of occasions (after a couple of drinks) I have nearly handed over a $10 tip instead of a $1 note.

    One "tip" I was given several years ago concerning tipping at restaurants was that when you receive the bill it will have tax on it, and if you tip about the same amount as the tax you should be okay and not get too many dirty looks from the waiter. However, don't be scared to walk out and not leave a tip if the service is crap.
     
  13. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    Better still, leave a penny or a nickel as that shows that you didn't just forget to tip, but were intentional with your response.
     
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