TBIT arrivals - Express or Kiosk?

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alect

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Flying QF 93 into LAX in J and connecting to LAX-DFW-SCL on AA.

Assume J pax receive express passes for TBIT immigration? What should be my strategy to minimise time through immigration - express or use a Kiosk? I'm on an Aust passport used recently to enter USA and on the same ESTA since last time...

Also looking forward to the T4 F checkin experience with AA (flying in F through to SCL) - anyone used it recently? Hints?
 

defurax

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Flying QF 93 into LAX in J and connecting to LAX-DFW-SCL on AA.

Assume J pax receive express passes for TBIT immigration? What should be my strategy to minimise time through immigration - express or use a Kiosk? I'm on an Aust passport used recently to enter USA and on the same ESTA since last time...

Also looking forward to the T4 F checkin experience with AA (flying in F through to SCL) - anyone used it recently? Hints?

If QF93 is on time you will not receive an express pass (Express passes at TBIT are only to avoid missing connecting flights). I am pretty sure the T4 F checkin is only for passengers on transcon F class, and even if you were eligible, there is no point since your bag will be already checked through to SCL and you just drop it on the transfer belt before exiting TBIT.

Edit: I read SLC instead of SCL, so you should be able to access T4 F checkin, but as I said, there is no point as you will already have your BP printed in MEL and bag checked through.
 
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raleyoz

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No such thing as Express passes at TBIT. The line at the normal booths seem to move quicker IME, pay attention to the best lanes with the most officers, end lanes often only have 1 officer, middle lanes can have up to 3-4 officers
I am often now kerbside in 15 mins with baggage.
LAX is much much better than previous.
The line to kiosks are often huge
 
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Himeno

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If QF93 is on time you will not receive an express pass (Express passes at TBIT are only to avoid missing connecting flights). I am pretty sure the T4 F checkin is only for passengers on transcon F class, and even if you were eligible, there is no point since your bag will be already checked through to SCL and you just drop it on the transfer belt before exiting TBIT.
AA has 2 types of F check in at their hubs. Normal F "premium" check in, which is for status holders and 2 class flight F bookings and "Flagship" check in, which is for F AA pax on 3 class flights.
 

defurax

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AA has 2 types of F check in at their hubs. Normal F "premium" check in, which is for status holders and 2 class flight F bookings and "Flagship" check in, which is for F AA pax on 3 class flights.

Yes, I've edited my post above. (I initially read SLC (Salt Lake City) instead of SCL). I was referring to the "Flagship F" checkin.
 

alect

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If QF93 is on time you will not receive an express pass (Express passes at TBIT are only to avoid missing connecting flights). I am pretty sure the T4 F checkin is only for passengers on transcon F class, and even if you were eligible, there is no point since your bag will be already checked through to SCL and you just drop it on the transfer belt before exiting TBIT.

Edit: I read SLC instead of SCL, so you should be able to access T4 F checkin, but as I said, there is no point as you will already have your BP printed in MEL and bag checked through.

Not planning on having checked luggage.

In the "old days" when I travelled more you used to have to get an AA BP reissued by AA even though QF may have given you one - is that not the case any more?

Wouldn't the FL F checkin at a minimum cut out the security lines and waiting as you go up in the elevator straight to the front of the queue...?
 

defurax

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Not planning on having checked luggage.

In the "old days" when I travelled more you used to have to get an AA BP reissued by AA even though QF may have given you one - is that not the case any more?

Wouldn't the FL F checkin at a minimum cut out the security lines and waiting as you go up in the elevator straight to the front of the queue...?

It is not required to get the BP reissued by AA. I do reprint them at the T4 check in desk or kiosk simply because I have the "TSA Pre" clearance for security and this doesn't show up on the BP printed by QF.

I haven't used the T4 F Flagship checkin and surely someone else here will be able to tell you if you get to skip the queue for security.
 

Himeno

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I haven't used the T4 F Flagship checkin and surely someone else here will be able to tell you if you get to skip the queue for security.
I've used it once. They were pulling people in from the normal F check in since Flagship wasn't busy and normal check in was.
I don't recall skipping the TSA queue. Flagship feeds into the T4 Precheck/Priority AAccess checkpoint.
 

bpeteb

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If you can use the terminal then I would use them. When we arrived at TBIT August the terminals were barely used and the queues very long. They were asking people in the queues if they had visited the states in the last however long (?) and that if they had, they could use the terminals.
 

Christoo

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I was there last week and the queue for the kiosks was at least 2.5 times the regular visitor line.
Made a call and just went with the regular queue and was out in about 30-40 minutes which is blindingly fast by my US experiences.
 

Himeno

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Last time I was at TBIT, it took longer to get through customs then to get through immigration. The line for the kiosks was about 5 minutes at most.
 

Dmac6345

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Twice this year to TBIT and have used the kiosks.
The lines seem quite long but they move very quickly.
Curbside in 20 minutes at the most on both occasions.
Kiosks are the best IMO
 

dfcatch

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My experience with regular trips to LAX in the last year is that the initial love of the APC kiosks was like a flittering teenage romance.

Once the real relationship began - and more (ignorant inexperienced) people were directed to use it, combined with many having the experience of the full "Officer Martinez" treatment post-kiosk (as opposed to simple collection of the docket), I have realised that kiosks are NOT the way to go 8/10 times.

I make a split-second assessment as I descend the escalator, and scan the kiosk, normal, and express paths (You will get an Express card from the agents at the top of the jetbridge if you have a connecting flight <2 hours).

If you follow the directions of the TBIT agents, you will be directed into the APC lines.

Last arrival into TBIT on QF11 I was curbside, with bags, in under 10 minutes from aircraft door.
 

JimmeRuss

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Just on this, On QF93 next week, First time to the US, 1 hr 45 turnaround to continue onwards to JFK.

What are my chances of even making it to the lounge at LAX for a quick shower? Any tips other than to run like hell to Immigration?

Cheers,Jim
 

defurax

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Just on this, On QF93 next week, First time to the US, 1 hr 45 turnaround to continue onwards to JFK.

What are my chances of even making it to the lounge at LAX for a quick shower? Any tips other than to run like hell to Immigration?

Cheers,Jim

I've done this connection many times. You can't really know in advance, sometimes QF93 will be late 60 minutes, in which case you get an express pass and just enough time to enter the lounge to grab a newspaper. QF93 can also be 2+ hours late which often means you will be rebooked on an AA service to JFK.
I would say 50% of the time I managed a shower in the lounge (but with Global Entry I'm out of the Immigration/Customs in less than 5 minutes).
 

Dmac6345

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Just on this, On QF93 next week, First time to the US, 1 hr 45 turnaround to continue onwards to JFK.

What are my chances of even making it to the lounge at LAX for a quick shower? Any tips other than to run like hell to Immigration?

Cheers,Jim
Unlikely any lounge time.
You will have your bags full () getting to the departure gate in time. Advantage is you are already in the TBIT, so distance isn't a problem. HOWEVER, your flight (93) needs to leave on time. Any delay out of Melbourne and it's a long 14 hours wondering if you will make it.
Can be done though.
 

walter82

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I gather from the above discussion that the days of 2 to 3 hour wait times have gone. I have a connection in Jan from the new AA flight arriving at 6.50 (behind QF11) to a 9.00 am AA flight. Is this realistic? I used to allow 3 hours for connections however the 9.00 flight is the only one to that destination each day.
 

smarty11

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I gather from the above discussion that the days of 2 to 3 hour wait times have gone. I have a connection in Jan from the new AA flight arriving at 6.50 (behind QF11) to a 9.00 am AA flight. Is this realistic? I used to allow 3 hours for connections however the 9.00 flight is the only one to that destination each day.

Though the process at TBIT arrivals have improved, it is still very much a matter of how many flights arrive within a 20-30 minute window, your flight's # in that sequence and also whether you are one of the first off the plane or last few..
In August this year, traveling with a colleague, I was in J and she was in Y (back of the A380 too). I was in T4 AA lounge within 30 minutes whereas it took her over 80 minutes.
That all being said, if QF11 is on time, you will make the 9:00 AM connection.
 

walter82

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Though the process at TBIT arrivals have improved, it is still very much a matter of how many flights arrive within a 20-30 minute window, your flight's # in that sequence and also whether you are one of the first off the plane or last few..
In August this year, traveling with a colleague, I was in J and she was in Y (back of the A380 too). I was in T4 AA lounge within 30 minutes whereas it took her over 80 minutes.
That all being said, if QF11 is on time, you will make the 9:00 AM connection.

Thanks Smarty. I am not on QF 11 but the new AA flight due to come in behind it. We will be at the front of the aircraft. I am hopeful, I did read that they hand out orange cards to expedite tight connections.
 
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