Transfer at LAX TBIT QF - AA

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by jetranger, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. jetranger

    jetranger Junior Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hi all,

    Just looking for a little bit of sage advice from members who have travelled a lot more thru LAX than I have.

    Arriving into LAX TBIT with 4 pax on QF11 late November and will need a transfer to Pheonix. Looking at an American Eagle flight that departs a little over 2 hours after arrival into LAX.

    AA's terminal is close to TBIT but is this enough time assuming QF11 is on time (currently 09:40) ?
    I was last in LAX in Dec 2005 (ex QF175 from BNE) and seem to remember immigration and customs clearance was fairly painless and quick and we were in our hire car in no time. Realise this was a long time ago though.

    Would like to use AA as One World Ruby and won't have to pay extra for baggage it seems.

    Is the 2 hours achievable or would we be cutting it way too fine.........?

    Many thanks :)
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  2. Katie

    Katie Established Member

    Sep 21, 2009
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    Don't risk it. Go for a min. 3hr transit between arriving at TBIT on QF and departing AA T4. I've had times where I've been kerbside at TBIT in ~30mins, but last time (May) I was stillin the immigration queue at least 45mins after disembarking. It can be good,it can be horrid - it's entirely unpredictable. And then you can get to T4 & face long lines at security ...
  3. serfty


    Nov 16, 2004
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    #3 serfty, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
    Best from TBIT to airside T4 was 35 minutes when travelling First on QF93.

    Worst was 80 minutes after taking 55 of that waiting in the immigration queue.

    Process is:

    • Check bags through to PHX at checking in Oz
    • Fly to LAX
    • Disembark Aircraft
    • Walk through the dungeon like corridors to TBIT immigration (some travelators may be working)
    • Queue up
    • Be processed by Immigration
    • Collect bags
    • Proceed to/through customs processing
    • Head up ramp, look for signs for baggage "re-deposit"
    • Re-deposit bags
    • Head out landside
    • Get upstairs one level at TBIT (lift/stairs)
    • head right and walk the 100 metres or so to T4 (150 metres if having rights to Priority AAccess)
    • Go through security
    • Await ongoing flight ...

    The queue before being processed by USA immigration is generally the longest part.
    I presume you will already have your PHX BPs'.

    Finally AA flight from LAX tend to commence boarding ~35 minutes before scheduled departure
  4. straitman


    Apr 27, 2003
    SE Oz (Sale)
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    As you said, this all assumes that QF11 is on time.

    Too tight IMHO.
  5. jetranger

    jetranger Junior Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Thanks all for your comments. Really appreciate the advice.

    Travelling with a couple of teenagers as well so need less stress......not more.
    Will look for an option that provides 3-4hrs between flights.


  6. JohnM

    JohnM Established Member

    Jun 7, 2006
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    That would be very sensible in my experience. LAX immigration can work but on the other hand it can't - big time :evil:.
  7. Sprucegoose

    Sprucegoose Senior Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    SE Aust

    Good call.....always prepare for the worst.
  8. QF32

    QF32 Newbie

    Aug 7, 2010
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    It can be done. Last month I arrived LAX on QF11, on blocks at 09:40, off the aircraft 9 minutes later, in the AA lounge showering at 10:15....however I had no luggage and was at the front of economy.
  9. Berlin

    Berlin Active Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Sydney, Darlinghurst
    Especially in LAX! :evil::evil::evil:
  10. juddles

    juddles Established Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    Sth America
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    Exactly. 2 hrs is ample. Any more than that and you are guaranteed to be bored.
  11. michaelj

    michaelj Intern

    Jun 6, 2012
    Do you have an APEC card? If so the immigration wait will be shorter and 2 hours is plenty.


    Aug 22, 2012
    Am Aussie who has lived here 10 years, frequent LAX regularly. Good tips:
    - allow at least 3 hours between flights because of delays with flights and with immigration. You could breeze through in 20 minutes, could take you 2 hours. My sister visits regularly and last time was 3 hours to exit because QF lost her luggage (left it in BNE)
    - if you are doing a direct transfer to another flight ie. off QF and onto your next destination I suggest AA, I don't recommend them but I suggest them, as they codeshare, your bags will be tagged and you can just redrop (deposit) after clearing customs hall and walk out of T (Tom Bradley International) next door to 4 (Terminal 4, American)
    - the three main options to PHX are AA (yuk); US Airways (UGH!!!) or Southwest (fine)
    - if you want a recommendation for airline for other destinations or you have hours or days in between then I would suggest Virgin America (Terminal 3) for destinations like Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Vegas, Washington DC or for other places use Southwest (Terminal 1) they are much better airlines to fly with and Southwest lets you check two bags per passenger for free, staff are much friendlier, helpful than that surly AA team
    - if you're travelling to SF Bay Area but not going to be in the city ie. in the east bay like Berkeley or Walnut Creek or San Ramon or Dublin then go with Southwest to OAK (Oakland) as that cuts an hour off your trip if you're in south bay like San Jose or Santa Clara etc. then go with Southwest to San Jose airport and again cuts lots of time off your transit
  13. serfty


    Nov 16, 2004
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    Welcome to AFF :D

    Yes they are good tips, especially the OAK. FWIW, I don't find the AA team surly - in fact the opposite and they are generally only to please to assist me.
  14. drewbles

    drewbles Senior Member

    May 11, 2007
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    Likewise (and welcome to AFF AUSSIEBARB). I'm surprised anyone would choose Southwest over AA, but I guess that's cause I watched too much Airline USA when it was on ;)
  15. jetranger

    jetranger Junior Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Thanks very much for the info and advice AUSSIEBARB.:D

    I've ended up booking a flight with a different airline with a departure that gives us at least 3hours between the flights. AA either departed too soon or much later in the day.

    We are taking in a few other US destinations and I am trying JetBlue for a couple of these flights. I'm also using AA and Alaska Airlines as well.
  16. bertflyer

    bertflyer Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    Sorry to drag up an old thread, but my question relates to the reverse connection ie connecting AA to QF, - arrive from SFO in LAX at 21:20 (T4) and my LAX-MEL flight (QF94, TBIT) departs at 23.30. Is the two hour transit time sufficiently long?
    I assume I'll collect my bag at LAX and have to drop it for the onward flight to MEL?
  17. lovestotravel

    lovestotravel Senior Member

    Sep 18, 2008
    Can't help you with the bags, but I'd be allowing more time for that connection
  18. dfcatch

    dfcatch Established Member

    Apr 22, 2010
    Cairns / Los Angeles
    I've been stuck at LAX immigration queue for over 2 hours - don't risk it - even with the new "connecting passes".

    If you do risk it - always have a plan B in case it goes to hell.

    PS. Quickest was 15 mins to kerb - never been able to beat it but I keep trying

    For the reverse - it should be fine with 2 hours transit.

    Assuming your bags have been checked through and you have both boarding passes - simply take the airside transfer bus from T4 to TBIT or walk around (quicker IMHO)
  19. craven morehead

    craven morehead Active Member

    Aug 1, 2008
    Central Queensland
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    Arriving on QF93 on Jan 6th as we walked along the corridors there were EXPRESS passes in a bright orange envelope ( with AA boarding passes) for immigration for people with connecting flights. I don't know what the criteria was to get these passes (there were only about 15 from the entire flight) but we had approx 2.5 hours between landing and leaving out of T4 to Vegas.. Security was dreadfully slow in T4 and I would concur that 2 hours is really pushing it :mrgreen:
  20. JohnPhelan

    JohnPhelan Established Member

    Nov 5, 2010
    If they are on the same PNR, then AA in SFO will be able to tag the bags through to MEL. They will also give you both boarding passes.

    You do have to change terminals at LAX, but TBIT is right beside T4. I believe there is an airside transfer bus between T4 and TBIT, but I've never used it. If you can do the airside transfer, and if all goes well, the two hours will be fine - but it leaves no real leeway for delays to the AA service.
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