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Transit times etc LAX

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willymaykett

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Hi all,

We are going across to LAX from SYD in July, with a scheduled arrival of 10:25 on a Monday into TBIT. We are then scheduled to depart via Air Canada at 1:25pm to Toronto from T2. They are booked on separate tickets. I am getting a bit nervous with the time allowance, as I believe we need to check in one hour before our AC flight, so that leaves 2 hours. Given some of the horror stories I hear about trying to get through security etc, is this realistic? I am seriously considering seeing if I can still change it (which I doubt) or just buy new tickets and forfeit the other ones, since if we miss this flight, we would need to see if we can get to Toronto on the next flight based on availability and obviously at seriously more cost if I need to repurchase tickets.

Any recent experiences of trying to get through?

Thanks
 

Quickstatus

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Hi all,

We are going across to LAX from SYD in July, with a scheduled arrival of 10:25 on a Monday into TBIT. We are then scheduled to depart via Air Canada at 1:25pm to Toronto from T2. They are booked on separate tickets. I am getting a bit nervous with the time allowance, as I believe we need to check in one hour before our AC flight, so that leaves 2 hours. Given some of the horror stories I hear about trying to get through security etc, is this realistic? I am seriously considering seeing if I can still change it (which I doubt) or just buy new tickets and forfeit the other ones, since if we miss this flight, we would need to see if we can get to Toronto on the next flight based on availability and obviously at seriously more cost if I need to repurchase tickets.

Any recent experiences of trying to get through?

Thanks
Lots of experiences here in AFF but it's in order of 3-6 hours minimum.

My daughter flew on VA23 then connected to AC553. Separate tickets 2.5 hour connect was no probs. she was at the AC gate with 1 hour before departure and the VA23 was 30 min late arriving so she only had 2 hours

Minimum should be 3.
 
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rioter

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Lots of experiences here in AFF but it's in order of 3-6 hours minimum.

My daughter flew on VA23 then connected to AC553. Separate tickets 3 hour connect was no probs. she was at the AC gate with 1 hour before departure and the VA23 was 30 min late arriving so she only had 2 hours

Minimum should be 3.

I second this. I always leave a minimum of three it is close a lot of the time. Have missed flights before.
 

RooFlyer

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A while back, some-one posted a web site where either LAX or TSA posted stats for immigration wait times through the day, for 7 days/week. Doesn't look like I bookmarked it :( . If you trawl a bit, maybe you will find it and if so, re-post it here.

Three hours should be OK. Tips for a speedier trip through immigration: Try to get seated near your SYD-LAX plane's exit door; fast walk to the immigration area; observe the queues and don't just join the nearest; Aussies move quickly through the queues; Mexicans and many Asian nations have their entry details interrogated much more closely (longer).

Who are you flying SYD-LAX with? I'm pretty sure Qantas have tagged my bags with AC onward flight tags in the past. I'm certain that CX still do it (happened a couple of months ago). Give QF a call to see if they still do AC tagging.

Edit: you didn't mention SYD-LAX cabin; I'm assuming Y with your concern. If J, I'd say 3 hrs is no problem if your flight is on time.
 

rioter

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Edit: you didn't mention SYD-LAX cabin; I'm assuming Y with your concern. If J, I'd say 3 hrs is no problem if your flight is on time.

Have had this play against me on more than one occasion. An entire J cabin were the last through immigration as the agents opened up more queues as Y started to join the hall.
 

willymaykett

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Thanks for the responses,
Flying with VA, in economy. The craziest thing is the wild variations and experiences people have. I am tossing up whether to pay the change fee and leave on a later flight, or possible leave on an earlier flight outbound from AU, just to make sure. Nothing worse when everything goes well and it was all a percieved waste of money :(
 
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Quickstatus

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3 hours should be fine.
You cannot mitigate against all possibilities

Did you that aircanada tango and flex fares cost less to change on the same day at checkin than at any other time.

Tango costs CAD$150 and Flex CAD$75 to change flights to another on the same day at the checkin counter.

If you change at any other time you will pay for tango $200 plus fare difference.

So you have 3 hours and if you still dont have time and you miss the flight you only pay $150 at most to change flight.

See aircanada's fare options between usa and canada
 

willymaykett

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3 hours should be fine.
You cannot mitigate against all possibilities

Did you that aircanada tango and flex fares cost less to change on the same day at checkin than at any other time.

Tango costs CAD$150 and Flex CAD$75 to change flights to another on the same day at the checkin counter.

If you change at any other time you will pay for tango $200 plus fare difference.

So you have 3 hours and if you still dont have time and you miss the flight you only pay $150 at most to change flight.

See aircanada's fare options between usa and canada

I did just see that looking at the AC web site, and thought about that as a possibility if it all goes you know what. I will check with the TA what fare was booked.
Just so I am clear, When you mention 3 hours, do mean between arrival/departure times or arrival / bag check in time?

thanks so far :)
 

Quickstatus

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I did just see that looking at the AC web site, and thought about that as a possibility if it all goes you know what. I will check with the TA what fare was booked.
Just so I am clear, When you mention 3 hours, do mean between arrival/departure times or arrival / bag check in time?

thanks so far :)

3 hours : from scheduled arrival of one flight to scheduled departure of next flight
 

Shan Man

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Thanks for the responses,
Flying with VA, in economy. The craziest thing is the wild variations and experiences people have. I am tossing up whether to pay the change fee and leave on a later flight, or possible leave on an earlier flight outbound from AU, just to make sure. Nothing worse when everything goes well and it was all a percieved waste of money :(

Given you're on VA and transferring to AC, there is no interline agreement there. So you will have to collect your bags and re-checkin once you clear customs.
 

Quickstatus

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Given you're on VA and transferring to AC, there is no interline agreement there. So you will have to collect your bags and re-checkin once you clear customs.

That is correct!

My 15 yr old daughter did not have any probs and she only had 2 hours. She said the self service checkin was easy to use

You could do an online checkin before you board VA1 in Sydney. This way you only have to do a bag drop which may make it quicker. But only do this if VA1 is departing ontime.

If I were you I would wait until I get to LAX just in case as your change fee at checkin is reasonable.

Also when you arrive into the USA you have to fill in forms asking for address in US- just put in "transiting to Canada"
 

ozbeachbabe

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Who are you flying SYD-LAX with? I'm pretty sure Qantas have tagged my bags with AC onward flight tags in the past. I'm certain that CX still do it (happened a couple of months ago). Give QF a call to see if they still do AC tagging.

Edit: you didn't mention SYD-LAX cabin; I'm assuming Y with your concern. If J, I'd say 3 hrs is no problem if your flight is on time.

QF do have an interline agreement with AC for baggage & an IATCI agreement for boarding passes however this can only be done when the QF & AC flights are in the same booking.

If separate pnrs, QF will only interline only to other OW airlines. VA have no interline agreement with AC as I found out when doing a booking for my parents on VA to LAX in September this year so I suggested they fly out one day earlier & overnight in LAX at the airport before their flight to YVR the next day. That avoids any stress should VA be late when they could miss their next flight on a separate booking.

You could do an online checkin before you board VA1 in Sydney. This way you only have to do a bag drop which may make it quicker. But only do this if VA1 is departing ontime.

If I were you I would wait until I get to LAX just in case as your change fee at checkin is reasonable.

Also when you arrive into the USA you have to fill in forms asking for address in US- just put in "transiting to Canada"

Some airlines don't whether you've already checked in should you wish to move your flight. As you're flying VA, you will have to claim your bags in LAX & take them around to the AC terminal so most importantly the checked baggage will be in your possession if they do change your flight so it can be re-tagged.

Airlines are more inclined to move you from a later flight to an earlier one for no fee however if you have missed your original flight (LAX/YYZ) it's a different ball game so depending on what fare you've paid & the mood of the CSA you get at LAX may forfeit your old ticket & need to buy a new one, be charged a change fee or be reaccommodated gratis - it's in the lap of the gods.
 

BAM1748

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If everything running to time you'll make it. But, if the Sydney departure is delayed by an hour you'll be in trouble. It's happened to me, a problem with the aircraft resulted in a missed connection. Of course while some people complained I would certainly rather miss my connection than run the risk of a problem half way across the Pacific.

I've missed connections at LAX twice in the previous three trips, a three hour connection time would still not have enabled me to make the connecting flight.

Matt
 

docjames

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3hrs is a reasonable balance between allowing something reasonable without being OTT.

I'd be looking at how important timing-wise the arrival is at the other end (ie. what's the "worst case") and any travel insurance coverage / cost implications of a missed connection.

Travelling for a next-day wedding, funeral, important meeting, cant afford to buy another ticket / pay change fee etc - then 3hrs is probably not enough "to be safe" on non-connected tickets (anywhere, let alone LAX)

Long duration leisure trip, decent travel insurance / $$ available to sort out onward connection if the airline plays hardball etc? 3hrs is fine.
 

willymaykett

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Found out from my TA that we have the Flexi fare booked, and she also spoke highly of how a great airline AC is and she never had any bad experiences with them. So if worst comes to worst, should be able to rebook once on the ground if a problem arises. Will leave it as is, as the departure time does really suit our itinerary. Keeping fingers crossed till we get through everything and are making our way to the boarding gate.
 

ozbeachbabe

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So if worst comes to worst, should be able to rebook once on the ground if a problem arises. Will leave it as is, as the departure time does really suit our itinerary. Keeping fingers crossed till we get through everything and are making our way to the boarding gate.

Flexibility is one thing, availability is another. You would still need seats to be available in the flexi fare bucket on the later flight if you didn't make the first one.
 
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Given you're on VA and transferring to AC, there is no interline agreement there. So you will have to collect your bags and re-checkin once you clear customs.

Incorrect. They may not have an agreement but as long as the ticket is purchased through a TA (VA's rubbish website won't allow bookings to YYZ at least..) you can have your bags checked all the way. Last time I flew home from YYZ - SYD via LAX (AC to LAX and VA to SYD) my bags were tagged all the way.
 
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Thanks for the responses,
Flying with VA, in economy. The craziest thing is the wild variations and experiences people have. I am tossing up whether to pay the change fee and leave on a later flight, or possible leave on an earlier flight outbound from AU, just to make sure. Nothing worse when everything goes well and it was all a percieved waste of money :(

I've done this exact routing a few times and whilst it can get a bit on the close side if the queues at immigration are long, you should be fine. VA1 does tend to arrive around the same time as a couple of flights from Asia and as some other posters have written, this can delay things. At TBIT these days there are quite a few different queues, and I would be looking for a) the shortest and b) one that has a lot of australian/european looking people in it. Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with me being racist, but American customs officials grill the crap out of certain nationalities and are very casual with the rest.

They have also improved the baggage collection issue and that seems to be much quicker than it was last year. Once you clear TBIT you are a 10 minute walk to T2 and at mid day the queues for security aren't terrible. AC won't have much of a queue for check in either, they're usually pretty quick. And finally they have a 3.30pm departure to YYZ as well so if you happened to miss, I can imagine they would try and accommodate you on that flight. They are a decent airline and definitely better than their US counterparts.

I'm doing this routing next week on 22 May so will report back how we went.

Hope this helps!
 
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