How To Get Between Terminals At LAX

Filed Under: Advice, Travel

Airports can be confusing, particularly in the case of terminals designed for the jet era that haven’t adapted as well to modern aviation. The terminal shift at Los Angeles International Airport in 2017 has inspired improved wayfinding, but we still get questions every week about how to get around and between terminals at LAX.

It’s not intuitive.

post from reader Rohit a few years ago encouraged me to address this in a blog post, and it’s been one of the most popular posts on OMAAT every week since then. I’ve updated the post with new airlines and terminal listings, along with some visuals, but if you frequent LAX, please feel free to share your tips in the comments as well. (Note: all LAX terminal maps are courtesy Los Angeles World Airports, Family Circus-style annotations by me).

LAX Terminal map

To start, it’s worth reiterating that if you have a valid boarding pass for a same-day departure from any LAX terminal, you can enter and clear security at any terminal. This may or may not be a benefit, depending on your situation, but it’s good to know the rule.

As an overview, here’s the configuration of the various terminals at LAX, and the corresponding airlines:

If you’re not sure what terminal you’re dealing with, the gate number will give you a clue:

  • The numbering convention at LAX has the first number represent the terminal (so all gates in a given terminal start with the number of that terminal)
  • The second number represents the location of the gate (and with the exception of T3 and TBIT, odd numbers are on the right, and even on the left)
  • If a gate is split, a letter may follow the numbers

So gate 23A, which is not the same as gate 23 (these should really be 23A and 23B, but whatever), is on the right-hand-side of terminal 2.

I know that seems like a pedantic thing to clarify, but knowing the layout will be super helpful when we start talking about airside connections.

Pre-Security / Landside connections

A double-decker roadway connects all the terminals, and there’s a landside shuttle that runs counter-clockwise around the loop. That’s helpful if you have to take bags from one carrier’s baggage claim to another’s check-in counter, but in most cases walking is more efficient.

If you’re landside, I highly recommend taking an elevator or escalator up to the departures level, as while there are sidewalks on both tiers, the lower arrivals level is very smoggy. It’s also more convenient to cut through the parking structures if you need to go to a terminal that is directly across, like from T1 to T8.

The nice thing about LAX is that while the airport looks massive, it’s pretty easy to get around, especially if you’re walking outside. Going from Terminal 1 to TBIT is maybe a 10-minute walk.

Post-Security / Airside connections

With the exception of Terminal 1 (sorry Southwest!), every other terminal at LAX is accessible from at least one other terminal, without having to leave security. Doing so, however, requires a series of bridges and tunnels, along with the occasional bus.

Let’s look at the terminals again:

Los Angeles International Airport Terminals

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 is is used only by Southwest airlines, so if you’re flying in or out on Southwest, this is your terminal. There’s also a Priority Pass restaurant — Rock & Brews — that you can visit regardless of which terminal your flight departs from.

Just note that you’ll have to go through TSA security at T1, and again at whatever terminal you’re leaving from.

Terminal 2 & Terminal 3

Delta has a shuttle between their gates in T2, T3, and TBIT. They’re going to build a bridge eventually (like 2023) too, but for now, they suggest allowing at least 10 minutes for the bus.

T3 has long been the worst terminal at LAX, so you really don’t want to go there unless your flight leaves from there. Similarly, the shuttle to TBIT drops you off waaaay at the end of the terminal, down by gate 146 in the section that looks like a Costco.

You can use the Delta shuttle if you’re not flying Delta, but honestly — if you need to get to/from T6 to T2 or something, it’s almost certainly going to be faster to just walk outside and clear security again versus going through all this rigamarole.

LAX Terminal 2 Airlines

At present, the following airlines operate out of T2:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Southwest (International Check-in)
  • Aeromexico
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • West Jet

LAX Terminal 3 Airlines

Meanwhile the following airlines have check-in desks at T3, but don’t necessarily use the gates at T3:

  • Avianca (Check-in Only)
  • Copa (Check-in Only)
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Interjet (Check-in Only)
  • Virgin Australia (Check-in Only)

LAX Terminal 2 and 3 lounges

Delta operates SkyClubs in both terminals, which you can access with your Amex Platinum card if you’re flying Delta. Otherwise, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in T2 is open to Priority Pass members from 5AM – 11:30AM.

Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT)

If you are arriving at TBIT from an international flight, you’ll have to clear US Customs and Immigration, so will end up landside regardless.

If you just want to use the TBIT lounges and amenities, you can check your bag and clear security in the other terminals (all of which have both Clear and TSA PreCheck), walk over to TBIT, and walk back.

There’s a sky bridge between TBIT and T4, which makes this doable. You’ll want to go behind the big Duty-Free Shop, towards the elevators for the airline lounges.

LAX Terminal Connector

There’s a ramp leading to a series of hallways, which have progressively more windows as you go. It takes 5-10 minutes to make this walk, depending on how crowded the terminal is.

LAX Terminal Connector

LAX Bradley Terminal airlines

Most international flights depart or land from TBIT, including those operated by the following carriers:

  • Aeroflot
  • Air China
  • Air France
  • Air New Zealand
  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Air Italy
  • Alitalia
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian (Check-in/Departures)
  • Avianca (Arrivals)
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern
  • China Southern
  • Copa (Arrivals)
  • EVA Airlines
  • El Al Israel Airlines
  • Emirates Airlines
  • Ethiopian Airlines (Arrivals)
  • Etihad
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Iberia Airlines
  • Interjet (Arrivals)
  • Japan Airlines
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Airlines
  • LAN (Chile & Peru)
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Norwegian Air
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airlines
  • Saudia
  • SAS Scandinavian Airlines
  • Singapore
  • Swiss
  • Volaris
  • Xiamen

LAX Bradley Terminal lounges

TBIT definitely has the best retail, so if you have time before your flight and want to walk over, the restaurants and shopping are generally better than in the other terminals.

Priority Pass members can also use the Korean Airlines lounge or dine at the TBIT P.F. Chang’s restaurant.

Of course, if you’re flying internationally in a premium cabin you’ll have access to one of the lounges used by your airline for business class passengers as well, including:

Terminal 4

This is where it starts to get fun. The connector bridge from TBIT drops you out just after security in T4. To continue on to the other terminals without having to leave the secure area, go deeper into the terminal until you see the escalator near “Gate 44.”

LAX Terminal 4 Map

Gate 44 is literally a bus stop, which you don’t want. Instead, go downstairs, and follow the signs for Terminal 5.

These tunnels were closed for several years after 9/11, and despite some attempts to update with some artwork, they feel extra-vintage. Again, plan 5-10 minutes to walk depending on crowding.

LAX Terminal 4 airlines

American Airlines is the sole airline using T4 at present, and this is the terminal you’ll enter if using their Flagship check-in.

LAX Terminal 4 lounges

The only lounge in T4 is the Admirals Club (accessible with the Citi Executive card if you’re flying American). AA’s Flagship First lounge and dining are here as well, for those with access.

Terminal 5

If you’re continuing to T6, stay on the tunnel level and keep walking. If you want to connect from T5 to other terminals, use the escalators in the center of the terminal to access the lower level.

LAX Terminal 5 Map

LAX Terminal 5 airlines

An assortment of airlines operate out of T5:

  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines
  • American Eagle
  • Frontier
  • Hawaiian Air
  • JetBlue
  • Spirit
  • Sun Country

Technically American Eagle gates are also accessible via a bus from T4, but due to crowding, they are trying to encourage everyone to use T5 for check-in.

LAX Terminal 5 lounges

Like T4, the only lounge in T5 is an American Airlines Admirals Club.

Terminal 6

If you don’t feel like a hamster yet, this transfer should put you over the edge.

From the tunnels, take the escalator up to the main concourse. The follow the signs towards the front of the terminal. When you see the TSA area, keep right, and there will be a little hallway that jogs around the corner.

LAX Terminal 6 Map

The connecting bridge between T6 and T7 is relatively short, and should only take five minutes or so.

LAX Terminal 6 airlines

Terminal 6 is mainly the domain of Alaska Airlines, but there are several carriers using the terminal:

  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Boutique Air
  • Great Lakes
  • Mokulele Airlines
  • Thomas Cook
  • Viva Aerobus
  • XL Airways France

LAX Terminal 6 lounges

In theory, Priority Pass members can use the Alaska Board Room at LAX T6, though in practice they are often limiting access due to capacity.

Air Canada has a Maple Leaf lounge in T6 as well, for Star Alliance Gold members and those traveling in a premium cabin on Air Canada.

Terminals 7 & 8

While the connection between these two terminals is obvious, the corridor to T6 is a bit hidden. If you’re coming from T6 this isn’t a problem, but if you’re looking to leave T7, the connector is tucked away in a corner behind 71A:

LAX Terminal 7 & 8 Map

Both the T6 ↔ T7 and T7 ↔ T8 connectors are on the concourse level, but it takes a bit longer to get to T8. Distances are further than they look, and T8 is super crowded, so I’d plan 8-10 minutes here.

LAX Terminal 7 & 8 airlines

United effectively uses both terminals as though they are one, for both United and their regional carrier:

  • United Airlines
  • United Express

While you’ll want to know which gate you’re leaving from and plan enough time, there’s a centralized TSA and check-in area at T7.

LAX Terminal 7 & 8 lounges

There aren’t any Priority Pass lounges in these terminals, but United operates both a United Club, and their new United Polaris Lounge.

Bottom line

In theory, it’s possible to get between all terminals at LAX but T1 without leaving the secured area. In practice, this is most useful for getting between TBIT and T4 through T8 and makes enjoying the superior lounges and retail in TBIT a reasonable option.

And Delta travelers are probably better off sticking to T2 anyway, as the SkyClub there is better than the Korean Air lounge in TBIT.

Any other tips for connecting at LAX?

  1. Of I had a pesk-hour flight (late evening Asia/Aus) from TBIT would it make more sense to clear security in T4 then just walk over there, avoiding the mess that is TBIT security?

  2. The only problem that I have faced is that at the TBIT US CBP exit from customs, what I’ve found is that there isn’t a desk for the major airlines staffed all the times. I arrived on AA from Mexico and was connecting onto an AS flight. They could not issue me a AS BP in Mexico, so i was looking for a AS xfer desk at TBIT – did not exist. No problem walking over the T6, but it would be good to have major airlines have xfer desks staffed in TBIT.

  3. @ Max — It certainly can! T4 security can still take a long time during peak periods though, and they make you take everything out of your bag and remove shoes if you don’t have PreCheck, as opposed to the more “expedited” process TBIT generally uses.

  4. LAX is much better than JFK. At least TSA at LAX allows you enter a terminal if you’re departing from another terminal. Not in JFK.

    Last time I want to use a lounge in JFK T5 and my flight departs from T7. TSA refused me to enter T5. Too bad.

  5. @ D$ — It would be, but is unlikely to happen. Mobile boarding passes can make this a bit easier, but if you’re already landside at TBIT it’s faster to walk outside to T6 than to use the tunnels anyway.

  6. Very helpful article!
    Its worth noting there is another tunnel at Terminal 4 that goes out to baggage claim, in addition to the tunnel that goes to Terminal 5. There isn’t much signage and it is easy to simply follow the crowd of people and accidentally end up exiting the terminal and security.

  7. I am arriving to LAX via Etihad and leaving from LAX via Southwest for domestic destination.
    What would be efficient way to change terminals? How much time should I keep between two flights to ensure I don’t miss my domestic connection? Is 3 Hr sufficient?

  8. LAX is my home airport, and it has been dealing with too much vehicle traffic for a long time. Now, with about 16 airlines changing terminals this year, terminal remodeling, new Uber/Lyft curbside pick-up locations launched, and preparation for a new people-mover in advance of light rail connection for the 2024 Olympics, it is getting pretty bad around the clock.

    Please do allow extra time, and remember that all traffic moves in one slow counter-clockwise slog. Since United is my preferred carrier, I am always at the last terminal stop. It can take over 30 minutes to travel around all the terminals, so I will often ask to be dropped off at Terminal 1 (Southwest) and walk across to save time.

  9. @ desikid — If it’s reasonable for your situation (ie you don’t have mobility or baggage constraints), walking outside is the most efficient. Otherwise you can take the intra-terminal bus from the arrivals area.

    3 hours should be plenty, as you’ll have already pre-cleared US Customs in Abu Dhabi.

  10. “so I will often ask to be dropped off at Terminal 1 (Southwest) and walk across to save time.” but your ride will still have to spend 30 mins getting out?

  11. @Tiffany. thanks for the information. I will have luggage so seems like I will need to use intra-terminal bus.

  12. @Max @ Tiffany I was wondering that too, thanks for bringing that up. In the future I would definitely go through T4 and walk over to TBIT. At least with AA priority line you have a fighting chance. TBIT security is a nightmare.

    Can you use Clear if you are flying on a carrier that doesn’t have PreCheck?

  13. TBIT had precheck when I used the connector TSA checkpoint(arrivals level), the challenge is your departing airline, and if they participate.

  14. @desikid, personally, after clearing customs I would walk out to curbside and snag a luggage cart (they charge you at the terminal to get them, but usually pretty easy to get a free one as people get into their cars, etc. ) and walk over to T1. It will be anywhere from 20-60mins faster depending on traffic. With 3hrs you certainly have plenty of time, I just personally don’t like to be confined to a shuttle in traffic, but your preference for hauling luggage vs. being confined may differ from mine.

  15. FWIW, it’s theoretically possible to make it from T6 to T4 in 4 minutes at a full sprint. I learned that the hard way a few months ago thanks to a delayed AS flight leaving me a 20-minute connection to AA!

    @Max As Brodie mentioned there is a “hidden” security checkpoint on the arrivals level with Precheck, but that may or may not help you if your airline doesn’t participate. T4 is *usually* better, but not always. Back before I had Precheck, I’ve had ~30 minute waits at T4 during peak hours. I assume your flight is a late night departure, though, so T4 should be much quicker.

  16. @ Bob — Correct, there is no PreCheck, but the “style” of screening done in TBIT is generally PreCheck-esque. I haven’t had to remove shoes or liquids during screening at TBIT in years.

  17. I’m flying next week to Aus on VA. They tell me I check in at T2 and walk to TBIT. How far is that walk, anyone know?

    I ask because my wife has broken her foot and is on crutches and not very mobile.

  18. @ Adam — It’s probably five minutes, but TBIT itself is fairly large. I would probably recommend asking your wife if she’d be opposed to having wheelchair assistance at the airport. It would certainly make things easier for her.

  19. How does the bus service work for American Eagle to Terminal 5? Does it work both ways – arriving flights and departing flights? Do you have to go through security either way if you are connecting at LAX?

  20. @ Donna — The American Eagle “Terminal” is basically a bus gate as far as the main airport is concerned. It used to be numbered 44A-I (to encourage you to take the bus from T4), then was numbered 60A-I (to encourage you to take the bus from T6), and now is apparently numbered 52A-I (to get you to take the bus from T5).

    But there are bus stops at both Gate 44 and Gate 52, so you just take the bus to/from either to the Eagle Nest. You don’t have to go through security again.

  21. Tiffany, I happened to be using these tunnels/bridges just a few days ago, and took a photo of the helpful map that shows similar directions as your above post, with further detail and clarity. Here it is in case others + you may find it helpful:

  22. A few weeks ago I was on an all DL domestic itinerary. I had read reports that DL passengers could access the Korean Airlines lounge. After clearing security @ TBIT I headed up to the KE lounge. I was denied access! KE said that only KE business and KE first passengers were allowed in the lounge. Was that just a busy day why they were denying entry to others? Or does KE no longer allow DL passengers to use their lounge?

  23. @ Tiffany I am arriving with AC at terminal 6 and connecting to QR at TBIT what is the best way to use the tunnels or outside?

  24. @ Scott Shiba — Oy, thanks! Have they updated the gate signs in Eagle to reflect “52x”, or do they still say “44x”?

  25. They say “52x”; shuttle gate is right across from the Rock-n-Brews, before you go down the ramp to the main T5 Admirals Club.

  26. @ erick schmitt — THANK YOU! I took a photo of one of these maps last time I was in LAX, but the High Sierra update seems to have somehow disabled my SD card reader, so getting it off my camera got too complicated. Appreciate it!

  27. @ Akelly — If your bags are tagged through, I’d stay airside and use the tunnels. If you have to claim and recheck your bags, outside is the only real option.

  28. Hi Tiffany,

    Excellent post. One scenario is missing.

    What’s the process if you fly on a domestic sector into TBIT and need to connect to terminal 4 – is there an expedited domestic transfer path or do you have to queue up and explain yourself to an immigration official?

    Earlier this year I was booked out of DFW connecting to YVR via LAX. When I saw the arrivals gate number I queried AA ExpP desk who had no definitive answer. I had 56 minutes connection and knowing the TBIT T$ route very well was not concerned about the time to move gate to gate. Was just concerned about getting held up passing through immigration/customs. In the end, I just listed for an earlier flight arriving at T4.

  29. @ Rich — The doors and jetbridges at TBIT have the functionality to allow passengers to be deposited in the terminal rather than in immigration. So unless the gate agent messes something up, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t have sterile transit.

  30. @ Tiffany thank you for the advise. My bags will be tagged all the way hence no worries to get out. Useful article, appreciated.

  31. @Tiffany, “With the exception of Terminal 1 (sorry Southwest!), every other terminal at LAX can be accessed from at least one other terminal” is incorrect. There is an airside bus between T1 and TBIT

  32. We are flying in on delta arriving at 840pm and leaving on southwest at 1015pm. We will need to get our luggage and then check it again at southwest. We are first class coming in on delta and have precheck. I’m planning on walking from hopefully t2 to t1. I assume 95 minutes should be enough for this?

  33. @ Robin — Is that an international arrival with Delta? If it’s domestic it should be fine, international has more variables.

  34. Domestic, taking the 757 with Delta One from DCA. I’ve been wanting to fly it since it started so making it work even though our destination isn’t LA. Southwest has a later flight so we do have a possible backup. Thanks for the reply.

  35. AA has made a schedule change for me from a 2:45 layover to only 1:45 between SYD-LAX and LAX-MIA –that seems tight for TBIT to T4, even with GE. Agreed?

  36. @evan: Right past the parking building for Terminal 1, you can turn left and end up at Terminals 6 & 7. There’s no reason to drive the whole way around the curve…

  37. The length of the security line at TBIT can depend greatly on (1) the time of the day, and (2) whether the TSA bomb detection K-9 is on duty. Late evening can be very hectic when all the flights depart for Asia. When the TSA K-9 is on duty, then it is a pre-check style screening for everyone (i.e. regular metal detector, shoes on and all items stay in the bag) – this speeds up the process somewhat. What i’ve gathered is that the K-9 is there for the most part except for early morning. But since he/she is also a government employee, schedule and break periods can vary.

  38. Tip: if flying from TBIT, go through security at American’s terminal (T4) and then head to Tom Bradley. You can easily be stuck for an hour at security at TB, whereas at AA’s terminal you’ll breeze through in 15-20 min.

  39. @ Leslie — It depends on how confident you are with airports, honestly, and how comfortable you are with fixing things if they go south. I did TBIT to T3 including claiming and checking a bag on separate reservations, and gate to gate was about 45 minutes with Global Entry and PreCheck, so it’s not impossible.

  40. If you’re arriving international, make sure to avoid using the security line leading directly to the TBIT connector (it doesn’t have a TSApre lane). You’re better off walking to T4 landside and clearing there.

  41. Should be fine as you land realty and the terminal is easy to get through. I find that if you exit tbit and go down to terminal 4 you process security faster rather than doing the tbit rentry.

    Connection under 2 hrs You’ll also get the express connection pass which they prioritize in t4 but not tbit

  42. We’re arriving around 6.00am on a Sunday morning on Delta, with a connecting flight on United at 8.00am. We all have TSA pre. Should we try for the tunnels or go for a bus? Do we have enough time ( I thought we did, but now I’m getting nervous!)

  43. That is wonderfully helpful. Thank you!

    (LAX is still amongst my least favorite airports, but you have just made transiting it that much easier.)

  44. Wow, what a maze indeed! Thank you so much for posting this, I used it in a long connection from T3 to get to T6 Alaskan lounge. Very helpful

  45. In a couple of weeks I am connecting from AS410 (T6) onto QF12 (TBIT). I have a 3.5 hour layover.
    1. Will I be able to walk through to TBIT (via the 2 tunnels, 1 to T4 and then to TBIT) with a mobile boarding pass?
    2. Do they enforce ‘needing to have a boarding pass’ and if so, where abouts?

  46. Scenario: College aged son arrives on Southwest at 1:30. Needs to get shuttle back to UCSB, but it is scheduled at 2:00 (begins at terminal 1) so he will miss that most likely. Is it possible to walk through the parking garages without going back through security to catch it at the terminal 7 stop (which is at about 2:30)? He is directionally challenged…would it be difficult?

  47. @ Wendi — I don’t know why he wouldn’t be able to catch a 2PM shuttle from terminal 1, unless bags are exceptionally late. It’s a small terminal.

    Otherwise yes, he could walk through the parking garages, but if he’s bad at directions it might be difficult.

  48. Flying southwest to LAX and will be flying out on Hawaiian. What’s the best way to get from southwest to Hawaiian..? We plan on carry on only so no checking bags.

  49. Flying in from Hawaii on Hawaiian airlines arriving at 5 a.m. I have a separate southwest flight I booked with points. I need to get my luggage and then recheck them to Southwest for a flight that leaves at 9:20 a.m. What’s the best way to move around?

  50. I have a very bad experience few years ago in LAX airport, need to transfer from International to Domestic airports. At that time, I asked some staffs, and no one told me I can take a shuttle, or there’s a walkway between terminals. I needed to walk out to the airport, and walked about 1 miles to another terminals. Also the immigration custom not allowed me to skip lines even I told them I only have 30 mins left for the next flights. Afterward, I avoid flight with LAX airport again.

  51. We arriving on s Delta flight in either T2 or T3 and connecting on Air Tahiti Nui at TBIT. What is the best way to get to TBIT from these terminals . Will we need to leave security area and clear again at TBIT?
    Thank you .

  52. I am arriving American Air/ skywest terminal 5 going to an unconnected flight on Avianca international flight Terminal 3 leaving terminal TBIT, I assume. How would you suggest getting over there. We have 2 hours 15 on weds 2/14 at 7 pm to get there for 9 :20 flight, so a bit tight, since we will likely need to show passports and visa to Avianca. I assume we have to go to Avianca in terminl 3 first to check in with documents. So in summary what would be the fastest way from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3. We will only have carry on backpacks. Thanks

  53. Hello everyone,

    AMAZING guide! My SO will be visiting LAX for the first time and I have never been there either, so I am trying to plan in advance how to move between terminals and stuff, and this post helped me a ton.

    I have one question, she will be arriving to T3 with Delta, and is supposed to leave from T5 (most likely gate 52x as that is where Compass is flying from). My question is, is it better not to leave the secured area and run through the tunnels from TBIT, or leave the T3 and run to T5 asap? She will have no check-in bag and will have the boarding pass in her phone.

    Thank you VERY much for your input.

    Kind regards, Jiri

  54. Hi

    We are arriving at TBIT in May with Scandinavian Airlines, and then transfering to terminal 7 for our domestic United flight to SAN. Can we recheck our bags at TBIT or do we have to bring them with us to terminal 7? What would be the fastest way for us to get to terminal 7? Thankful for all advise that we can get.

  55. Please notify me as to the best and fastest way to commute from TBIT to terminal 7/8.
    Thank you very much. Carmen

  56. Dear Tiffany,

    My aunt is 62yrs, she will arrive TBIT in May and have 2hrs connection to Alaska Airlines flight in Terminal 6.
    Can she recheck her bags at TBIT or does she have to bring them to Terminal 6? What would the best way for her to get to terminal 6? please advise! thanks a lot

  57. absoulutely love the information in this article. truly comical how complex LAX is but this is so helpful for us priority pass users trying to get some lounge time in but flying from random terminals. Thanks!!

  58. To follow up our actual experience from my question above, our AA SYD-LAX flight arrived on a Sunday morning at 7:10. Orange express connection passes were waiting for us taped to a wall when we disembarked, and we used Global Entry to get through immigration. Our bags took about 45 minutes to appear on the belt, after which we dropped them off before exiting TBIT. No specific TSA Precheck queue there but it went quickly and our carry-ons were run through a separate conveyor. We got to our connecting AA flight gate at the back end of Terminal 4 about halfway through boarding at 8:25, and all of our luggage made it home on our flight.

  59. @Leslie

    Did they make you exit the terminal? I thought you would be able to recheck baggage with express connection and continue back through the tunnel to T4 without having to go back through security?

  60. We had to go through TSA security again when exiting TBIT after dropping off our checked luggage. After that it was a 5 minute walk through a well-marked tunnel and up and down escalators, arriving at T4 airside.

  61. Is it at all possible to make it from TBIT to Terminal 1 in an hour and change? My husband and I are flying in internationally at LAX at 8:50 and are trying to catch a Southwest flight that takes off at 10:05. Thank you in advance!!

  62. @ S. Fox — If you’re not checking bags, have Global Entry and PreCheck, and everything is on time, and are very confident travelers, that would probably work. That’s a *very* tight connection otherwise though, with no margin for error. The published Minimum Connection Time in your situation is 2 hours.

  63. Yes, anyone can take Delta’s shuttle bus between T2, T3, and TBIT.
    Subcontracted agents will always try to direct you to the most convenient checkin or connecting route, but this doesn’t mean you’re not allowed access. Just lie to them that you’re going to such and such lounge or meeting a colleague at a particular gate to shut them down.

    I highly encourage taking the bus during daytime hours since the bus travels on Service Road Delta adjacent to Taxiways Delta and Echo and its is possible to see widebody aircraft up close and personal. In fact I highly recommend booking a long connection that will allow you to take the bus several times back and forth between 3PM and 5PM because this is the period of day with the most B777 and A380 movements along Taxiways Delta and Echo as long haul flights arrive and depart. Your opportunity to see these planes up close like this will be over once the terminal connectors are complete. Just tell the agents that you’re killing time plane spotting.

    Understand that after 8PM there can be long delays at the Gate 22A and Gate 34P bus stations for the following reasons. International flights that arrive at T2 after 8PM (Aeromexico and Delta) must bus to TBIT to clear customs since CPB closes early in T2. There are only two bus stations at T2 located beneath Gates 21 and 22. T2 also has a shared corridor for boarding domestic departing passengers and deplaning international arriving passengers, and airlines are prohibited from commingling international arriving passengers that have not cleared customs with domestic passengers. Due to the terminal connector construction around Gate 21 (DWP is presently rerouting the power main via a new underground trench) the international bussing operation cannot always commence from Gate 21A. Therefore, if an international flight arrives at an odd numbered gate in T2 after 8PM, it is sometimes necessary to shutdown the terminal’s entire boarding and connecting passenger bussing operation at Gate22A in order to open a sterile corridor to allow international arriving passengers to deplane and walk the perimeter of the terminal to take a bus from Gate 22A to TBIT. This also means passengers and connecting crew members cannot get from T3 to T2 since the buses are prohibited from loitering on the service roads waiting for Gate 22A bus station to reopen for domestic passengers. As such, it is necessary to ensure a long connection time between flights if you happen to be traveling on AeroMexico, Aer Lingus, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, or West Jet, especially after 8PM.

  64. I arrive on Delta and depart on American with a 1.5hr layover, I have missed flights with this connecting time before…fastest way to get there?

  65. Hi-have been reading thru some of the older posts and may have missed the info but here goes:
    Get in to LAX Terminal 2 at 9:15PM (God willing:) Scheduled to take a flight to Sydney at 10:25PM from Terminal B. Both flights are Virgin Australia operated by Delta, in speaking with a VA rep I am on Delta planes throughout my trip.
    Since time will be of the essence, what would be the best way to navigate given the above scenario? In other words, how best to get to Terminal B from Terminal 2 without hitting long security lines etc. Reading the post from 4/6 from “LosAngeles” it sounds like the shuttle bus option can be lengthy after 8pm. Better to walk from Terminal 2 to B? Will that involve navigating security at Terminal B again? (will only have my carry-ons at this point). Any help is much appreciated

  66. @ Steve — You’re probably better off waiting for the shuttle (and informing them that you have a tight connection) than having to go through security at TBIT, which is almost always a disaster.

  67. We arrive at Terminal 5 at 6:30a and need to get our bags and get to Terminal 3 to check in our bags and get on a flight that departs at 10:15a (since we are on two different airlines/two separate tickets). Is it possible to walk through the parking lots to get from the south terminals to the north terminals, or should we walk around on the sidewalks? I know the shuttle can take some time.

  68. @steve, better off waiting for the shuttle since the security line at TBIT can sometimes take 45mins to an hour. There is no TSA precheck or Clear at TBIT. Also, double check your departure gate to SYD. If your flight is operated by Delta, then it will be DL41 and can depart from gates 133, 38, or 26. That aircraft arrives from Shanghai around 1600 at gate 133, but tows off the gate. While your flight may be ‘planned’ for 133, as you indicated a DL rep advised, depending on how utilized that gate is the day of your travel, Delta may choose to have it tow up to 38 or 26 to ensure sufficient time to fuel the aircraft for an ontime departure. Also DL41 suffers from chronic on time poor performance due to its scheduled departure time. That flight regularly takes a 15-30min departure delay to avoid loitering outside of SYD on arrival to wait for the noise curfew to lift in order to land.

  69. @LosAngeles-thanks so much for the information! When I was looking at the airport layout, wondered if it would be feasible to take a taxi from terminal 2 and have them bring me over to Terminal 4 (am guessing that may be quicker than walking to Terminal 4?), go through Clear at Terminal 4 security and take the walkway into TBIT?

  70. The sheer amount of detailed info you are sharing is really impressive and helpful!
    As a U.S. citizen, I am coming from LAX TBIT(Terminal B) and switching to Terminal 3, and have 2 hours and 10 minutes. I plan to only have my small carry-on with me.. What is the fastest way to get from TBIT to Terminal 3(walk out, straight to T3? Will 2 hours be enough without global entry nor pre-check? Thank you so much for your info.

  71. I am flying into terminal 1 on southwest and need to get checked bags and get to terminal 2 for Hawaiian air. My SW flight is scheduled to arrive at 7am and my Hawaiian Air flight is scheduled to depart at 11am, Is that enough time?

  72. Just to confirm – if I am arriving at Terminal-6 on Alaska and departing out of TBIT on an unassociated carrier (Norwegian) I will need to exit the secure area, claim my bag, and then make my way via the outside walkway to TBIT and go through security again – correct? Is it a long walk from T-6 to TBIT – maybe I should take the long way via the shuttle? Thanks.

  73. Correct. The walk is short- between 5 and 10 minutes. The shuttle will take 15 to 20 minutes. Double check with Alaska at checkin to see if they have an baggage agreement with Norwegian (I doubt it) so they can through-check your bag.

  74. Hello…

    Some friends and I are catching a flight on Interjet (on a Thursday…not sure if weekday vs weekend makes a difference)…to Cancun. I have never flown international before, so:

    Flight leaves at 10:30 am…we planned to be at airport at 7:30 am…I presume 3 hours should suffice?

    I see a connector walkway between T4 and TBIT…but we are supposed to check in @ T3.

    Can we walk from T3 to TBIT?
    Do we have to leave secured area to do so?
    Is it a pretty direct walk, or do I need to walk to T4 and then into TBIT?
    If we do TSA in T3, do we have to re-do it @ TBIT because of CBP?

    Thank you in advance for your help!

  75. @RF A new $5 billion people mover has been approved and is scheduled to be constructed prior to LA2028. ETA March 2023.

  76. HI All, I have a question I haven’t seen addressed and if it was – I missed it. My friend needs to get from Terminal 6 to TBIT and has mobility issues. Is there a way that she can get a ride on one of those electric carts? She isn’t wheelchair bound but will take a wheelchair if that is what she needs to do get between terminals. She has a short connection (2 hrs 7 mins). Any help would be appreciated.

  77. @ Betty — I’m sure that if she requested wheelchair assistance they would shuttle her on one of those carts. She may want to call the airline and ask if they have a provision for “less mobile, but needs help” and can arrange that service for her.

  78. @Betty The delivering airline has a regulatory requirement to provide mobility assistance to get to the connecting flight. The assistance will have to be a combination of cart and wheelchair assistance since the connector tunnel only extends between Terminal 6 and Terminal 4. Your friend will have to use a wheelchair to take an elevator up to the Terminal 4 Concourse, through the concourse to the TBIT connector bridge, where she can meet up with a cart again. She should not exit security unless she purchased two separate tickets for travel on two different airlines. If she purchased a single ticket, or two separate tickets but doesnt have checked baggage, then she takes the tunnels and checks in with the connecting flight at the gate podium. If she purchased 2 separate tickets and has checked baggage then she needs to take a wheelchair from her arrival gate, claim her bag, exit to the curbside, take the shuttle to TBIT, and checkin at the TBIT ticket counter. Please see 14CFR382.91(a) on page 21 (430) of the following:

  79. This is an amazing thread! Apologies if I’ve missed a similar question/answer, but:

    We (Australian citizens) arrive (fingers crossed) from Sydney on Delta at TBIT at 7:45am, and have a Delta flight from T3 to SLC at 10:05am.

    Time-wise, do you think it’s more advisable to shuttle to T3 (thereby avoiding having to go through security again, if I understand correctly?) or walk it and go through security?

  80. @ Holly — You’ll have to clear customs and immigration as you’re arriving from an international flight, at which point you will be outside of the secure area. Easiest thing is to walk at that point so you can clear security in the less-chaotic T3.

  81. @Tiffany, O of course – I should have put that together from some of the other messages. But your confirmation is very reassuring. Thanks so much, am feeling much more prepared for the LAX experience after this post.

  82. My son is traveling to LAX from ORD on United. He is traveling to New Zealand. What is the best way for him to get from T7/T8 to Air New Zealand. Will he need to get through security again at TBIT?

  83. Hello,
    Please advise on the fastest way to get from Southwest Airlines baggage claim in T1 to American Airlines departures in T4 or T5? We will be pressed for time as our flight leaves 2 hours after we land at LAX. Any and all help is welcomed/appreciated.

  84. I see some great comments here. Thank you everyone.

    I am planning on arriving into TBIT from Japan arriving at 11:40AM. My connecting flight is American Eagle at 1:50PM.

    Is it possible to arrive in TBIT, clear customs and immigration with luggage and make it to the Eagles Nest on time for the flight that leaves in 2 hours and 10 minutes after an International arrival?

    This seems a bit tight since we still need to take the bus to the Eagles Nest.

    Thank you for your input.

  85. Hi, maybe I missed something, but exiting from tbit to the right should be the tunnel to t4, correct? I flew into lax Saturday jul 28th at 11:00pm and the metal gate was down to domestic connecting flights. Do you know if Is this common at night or due to construction?

  86. Hi Tiffany, I will be departing Vancouver on Sunday (05 Aug) on Air Canada, ETA 4pm and taking a connecting flight from Tom Bradley at 5.50pm on Singapore Airlines. Can you kindly advise :
    1) how far is the walk from T6 to Tom Bradley
    2) What is the best route to take ( given the limited time frame). Would very much appreciate detailed directions as I have zero idea on LAX airport terminals
    3) Will AC be able to check my luggage through from Vancouver to Singapore ? Or do I have to retrieve my luggages upon arrival and check in at TB ?
    4) Do I have to go through security again
    thank you for your kind attention and assistance.

  87. @ Peggy — Sounds like a fun trip! Did you read the details in the above post by chance? There’s a diagram and instructions that should answer your first two questions.

    Whether or not your bag can be checked through will depend on the check-in agent in Vancouver. If your flights are on a single ticket, that should be fine. You’ll clear US Customs in Vancouver before you leave, so you will arrive in LAX as a domestic passenger. If you follow the instructions in the post above, you won’t have to reclear security.

  88. Hi Tiffany. Unfortunately, my flights are on separate tickets 🙁
    Would it be faster to walk outside the terminal (street level) towards TB ? Looking at the map, I presume I turn left when I exit T6 ? And the walk is approx 15 to 20 mins ?

  89. @ Peggy — You can still ask in Vancouver, just show them both tickets.

    If you have to recheck bags, it will be faster to walk along the street. Otherwise it’s faster to go through the terminal, as you stay inside the secured area.

  90. Best ticket price is LAX-Rome purchased as such. Then purchasing an Oakland-LAX. Flying into LAX Southwest and then making the same connection in reverse on the return. Having read through the incredibly helpful information in your description as well as all the comments – getting from Southwest terminal to an international flight I am assuming we leave secured area, travel landslide and re enter through security. Is that assumption right? Secondly, better to not check bags and eliminate that hassle or picking up and re-checking? and finally how much time would you leave to accomplish that transition on both sides (leaving the country and then again on the return clearing customs?) thank you!

  91. Tiffany, what a PITA(not you, the airport:).
    Arriving Terminal 2(Delta), departing United Terminal 7. Have about 105 minutes(assuming arrival on time. I tend to trust Delta just not LAX ground traffic) between flights.
    Anyway, looks like I need to exit Term 2 and start walking, perhaps even across a huge parking lot OR jump on the inter-terminal bus. Need to re-clear as well(I have TSA and CLEAR). Only a carry-on and briefcase. Late Friday am(around 10:30).
    Looks like I have enough time, however……

  92. @Tiffany – my husband and I arrive on a SW flight (carry on only) and need to make our way to TBIT for Air Tahiti Nui. We both have Precheck, and although time isn’t an issue, we plan to use the club and would prefer to not wait forever in security. Would you recommend just going through TBIT security sans Pre-Check OR walking next door to Terminal 2 and taking the Delta bus (any tips on what to say to get on?)? Thank you!!

  93. Hi Tiffany,
    I am 72 yrs ( no health problem).
    I plan to visit Mexico in October. Unfortunately ,I already book EVA flight from Taiwan arrive tbit at 08.15am and Aeromexico from terminal 2 (at 11.20 am)to Mexico city. I shall have about 3 hr. at LAX to connect the flight.
    This is my first time going to USA.

    Could you please guide me the step by step processes at LAX and also the fastest option to get from tbit to terminal 2 ?
    Thank you very much for your support.

  94. @ Pui — Sounds like a fun trip! The process is in the post above, but you’ll basically just exit TBIT (after clearing immigration and customs), then turn left and walk over to T2. Once there, you’ll check in for your Aeromexico flight, check your bags, and go back through security.

  95. @ tiffany This is really helpful. Thank you!

    We are flying in on Jet blue and have an hour connection with our next flight on united. Is this doable? I imagine it would only be possible if we don’t check bags. I looks like we can get from terminal 5 to terminal 7 without leaving security. is this accurate?

  96. Hi, We have to go from southwest terminal 1 to United terminal 7 at LAX on Monday with two bags and a shoulder bag. Which is the best way to go, and how long does it take? Please help as we are seniors.

  97. @ laura — That’s very tight, but if everything is on time and you don’t check bags, it might be possible. You won’t have to clear security again if you use the tunnels.

  98. @ AJ — With luggage/reduced mobility, you are probably best off taking the intra-terminal bus. Otherwise I would walk through the parking structure.

  99. HI Tiffany, I so appreciate your insights! So, judging from your post and the comments above, would you say it’s best to walk (with luggage) from TBIT (Fiji airways) at 12.45pm in order to get to Terminal 1 for a Southwest flight at 3.05pm?

  100. How much time it takes to walk from the United terminal 7 to southwest terminal 1 at LAX, if we walk through the parking structure?

  101. What is the fastest way from T7 to T3? I arrive by United from Boston and leave to Honolulu by Delta with 90 min layover.
    Thanks in advance!

  102. @ VP — That’s going to be tight. If you don’t want to re-clear security, it’s possible to stay airside, but then you’re at the mercy of the shuttle bus. I’d personally probably walk outside and go back through security. Good luck!

  103. Hi Tiffany,
    I’m arriving into TBIT on an international flight and have a connecting domestic flight on AA to ATL (separate tickets). I have 2 questions if you don’t mind:
    1. AA operate out of T4 and T5 – do you know which terminal my flight AA1409 to ATL would leave from?
    2. Getting from TBIT to the AA terminal – I realise i need to clear immigration and collect my bags in TBIT. Do I then walk outside the terminal to T4 or T5 to then check my bags at AA, or by leaving TBIT via the internal connector to T4 will I end up at the check-in to drop my luggage or will I still be inside security and need to exit to do the luggage check in?
    Sorry I’m a little confused on this part.
    Thank you very much!

  104. Have a really short connection time from arriving in T1 and needing to get to T6. What is your best advice on how to get between these two ?

  105. Hello, Congratulations on an excellent website. I arrive at LAX on ‘COMPASS AIRLINES AS AMERICAN EAGLE FOR AMER At Terminal 4 and have. 1 hour 45 min gap before takeoff time at TBIT to uk. I haven’t found this direction journey asked about. Slightly unsure exactly where in T4 I arrive and if need to take any bus from satellite terminal to main terminal. Any advice here?
    Many thanks,

  106. @ Jonathan Price — If you are flying on American Eagle, you will definitely take a bus to the main terminal. You may have the option to take a bus directly from the “Eagle’s Nest” to TBIT, depending on the time of day.

    Otherwise, they’ll drop you off in T4, and you’ll go up the escalator, turn right, then follow the instructions to walk to TBIT.

  107. Hi Tiffany! Thank you so much for this information and detail!

    I’m flying internationally for the first time, and haven’t received a clear response from LAX support or the international airline, and am hoping you can help.

    I’m arriving in Terminal 7 on a United Flight. I then need to go to TBIT to depart on an international flight. If I stay airside, do I need to go through security again? They are not connecting flights nor are they the same airline. I’m carrying on only and am doing online check in for the second flight

    Thank you for any help!

  108. @ Kelly S — If you stay airside, you won’t have to go through security again. That’s what staying airside means 😉 If you aren’t checking a bag you should be good to go!

  109. Thanks Tiffany.
    We’ve got a UA flight from Houston via LAX to Auckland, with the latter leg on AirNZ metal departing from TBIT. Assuming we arrive into T7 from IAH and our bags are checked through to AKL, can we just walk from the arrival gate through the walkways to TBIT without dealing with security?
    We do have 7.5h layover to kill – is it worth the extra security queues to leave the airport for a few hours?

  110. @ JohnO — Yep, if your bags are checked through you can just stay airside.

    The Star Alliance business class lounge at TBIT is one of my favorites, but 7.5 hours is long time. I might look at leaving the airport for a bit (but not going too far because of traffic concerns). Lunch in Venice or Manhattan Beach might be nice!

  111. If I have an international flight departing from TBIT, would it make sense to check my bags in at TBIT, walk over to T4 to go through security, and then walk back over to TBIT? Going through security at TBIT has taken nearly an hour the last few times I’v been..

  112. KL: If your airline participates in precheck it may make sense to go to 4. Another blogger posted that there is a way to avoid going to the upstairs TBIT check point by taking an elevator in the front corner of TBIT down to the connection TSA screening area but some people report being rejected as they were not connecting pax. Never tried it myself.

  113. @Tiffany – thank you for a very informative post. I have read through all of the comments too.

    We arrive on Delta from SLC to LAX. So Terminal 2.
    We depart China Southern from LAX to CAN. So TBIT.

    Based on your post and the comments, it seems we will need to walk from T2 to TBIT. At the departures level.

    Based on the comments and the link, it would seem we should try and use the connections checkpoint

    Would you agree?

    Do you or does anyone else know how much the shutdown is affecting TSA screening at TBIT?

  114. @ Ben — If you aren’t checking bags that you need to claim with Delta and re-check with China Southern, then you could take Delta’s bus to TBIT and stay behind security!

  115. My daughter needs to get from T1 to T6 and will probably walk. Is it best to walk through the parking garages or outside?

  116. Hi Tiff,

    Thank you for your article, but I am still very confused with regards to catching a connecting flight in LAX.

    I will be arriving in TBIT from a Singapore Airlines flight at 1310hrs. I have an Air Canada flight onward to YVR to catch at Terminal 6 at 1445hrs.

    My question then is with regards to clearing immigration. From the LAX website (, it states “An additional security checkpoint will be available in this connector to allow passengers to enter Terminal 4 after arriving on an international arrival in the Tom Bradley Terminal, avoiding the main Terminal 4 security screening area and also allowing easier connections to Terminal 5, 6, 7, and 8.” So if I understand this correctly, I will need to clear security at a separate TSA screening area at TBIT and then use the tunnel to connect onto Terminal 4 and then onto 6. So, will I be required to clear immigration when “clearing security”, as that would require me to apply for a visa?

    That would be very much of help. Thank you.

  117. @ Kathy — Either way! Through the parking garage might be a little less crowded, but both are good options.

  118. @ Glenn — Whenever you arrive in the U.S. from an international flight you have to clear customs, immigration, and then re-enter the secured area. There is no sterile transit in the United States, so if you need a transit visa, you’ll need one regardless of the airport or connections you’re making. They’re talking about a less-busy security checkpoint in the T4 tunnel, but you still have to entire the US in order to use it.

    I would personally not clear security at TBIT, and would instead just walk upstairs and outside to T6. That will be much faster.

  119. Hi Tiffany!

    Thank you for such a great post. My partner, toddler, and I will be landing Delta T3… have a 3 hour layover before departing from United T7-8. Considering checking our 2 bags for more mobility, but am not sure if we would have enough time.
    Would walking through parking lots be faster? Or taking the inter-terminal shuttle? (Our toddler is a veteran traveller, and will be in a stroller.)

  120. @ Josie — Walking will definitely be faster than the intra-terminal shuttle, if you can manage it with bags!

  121. Hi
    I’m traveling from Fort Lauderdale w Jetblue, arrive terminal 5 and have 3hr 15 minutes before international flight out of terminal 2 or 3 virgin Australia for Brisbane. Having to check in bags and clear custom and security, wold it be best to use buses to change terminals or walk??

  122. Thanks Tiffany.
    Is the time between flights enough to walk and check in for international flight you think?? Do you know how long it takes for the walk from T5 – T3?? 🙂

  123. @ Joel Monteith — If everything is on time, it should be! It’s only a 15 minute walk if you go outside, for most.

  124. What is the easier way to get from domestic Terminal 7 United to Terminal 4 International American Airlines?

  125. Hi Tiffany. My flight is today on swa that’s now delayed with scheduled arrival into LAX at 715pm. I have to check in at Norwegian desk by 755pm in order to be able to make an 855pm flight to Barcelona. Is that possible on a Friday night in LAX? Thank you. Love the site

  126. @ Ryan — If your Southwest flight actually makes it to the gate at 7:15ish, and you walk outside to TBIT, you should be just in time. I wouldn’t take the shuttle; with traffic walking will definitely be faster.

  127. Hello Tiffany,

    Very informative article. My family will travel from MSP to LAX and then they have connection to Shanghai and then Delhi. They have first flight from DELTA and connecting flight from China Eastern in LAX. I think they will landed in Terminal 3 and then from Terminal B they need to catch other flight. Do they again need to go through security again in Terminal B. They have 1 hour 50 minutes lay over.Is that time is sufficient? She is traveling with 2 kids. Any suggestion to reach quickly in china Eastern gate.
    Thanks in advance.

  128. Hi, Tiffany:
    In one of your posts, you suggested taking Delta’s bus to TBIT from T3 if you don’t have to claim bags. What if you DO have to claim bags at T3 then go to TBIT – walk? What is your suggestion?


  129. Am arriving lax terminal 4 AA1602 and departing on Hawaiian HA9 from Terminal 5 on 4/24/19. My wife is wheelchair bound. The tickets were issued separately so American will not forward the baggage to Hawaiian. What is the best way to get from terminal 4 to Hawaiian check in at terminal 5 since I can’t handle the wheelchair and the baggage together?

  130. @ Richard Evans — Hmmm, firstly, American is able to forward the bags even though they are on separate tickets. They have what is called an “interline agreement” with Hawaiian, so the computer does make it technically possible. I’d ask the agent in Hartford very nicely, and see if they will do it for you (sometimes they will, sometimes they won’t, but it theoretically is an option).

    And then I’d request wheelchair assistance for your wife. That will be provided by a third-party company at LAX, and they would plan on helping your wife from the plane to baggage claim — you could then explain when you get to LAX that rather than going to the car or hotel, you need to go to T5, and it shouldn’t be a problem for them to help you.

  131. Thank you so much for the reply. The info is appreciated. I tried the interline agreement when speaking with American and got the “we don’t know what that is” reply.

  132. @ Richard Evans — Yes, I wouldn’t expect phone agents to be at all helpful in that regard, but the airport staff is usually (slightly) better informed, though not always more helpful.

  133. Hi
    We will arrive from hawaii and have to connect a flight to Denmark with Norweigen.
    Our flight to Denmark with Norweigen are 16.45.
    How much time do we need from arrivel, to go to check inn at Norweigen

  134. Thanks for the article @Tiffany. I am flying IN to LAX on SWA then out on Delta to London. I’m wondering what the best plan would be for getting to Delta from Southwest arrival. I’l need to pick up my luggage. It looks like TBIT doesn’t house Delta, am I right?

  135. I’m between a rock and a hard place with an AA schedule change for August. We’re coming from Tahiti arr. at 10:25a. Our AA flight out (I’m assuming T4) is now 11:35a instead of 12:40p. We won’t be checking luggage. We are savvy travelers. We don’t have Global Entry but there is the new Mobile Passport system. We have Pre-Check. My next option is 1.5 hours connect time instead of 1 hr 10 mins and then remaining rebooking options are VERY long layovers in LAX. Two flights, two separate tickets but both AA reservations (code share). I don’t know whether to wing this new arrangement and hope for the best (like an early arr or late connecting flight) or rebook. Help! And I seem to be reading contradictory info about whether to re-clear security via TBIT tunnel to T4 or from the outside.

  136. @ Deb — You can just walk! You’ll go from T1 to either T2 or T3 depending on your Delta flight, but both are close.

  137. @ Wendy Gordon — If they’ll let you rebook to a 1.5 hours connect time, I’d do that, just in case you have a long taxi time. I would definitely walk outside to T4 to reclear security since they don’t have PreCheck at TBIT,k but I think you can likely make it if you’re experienced travelers. I’ve made a 40-minute TBIT to T3 connection before myself, and what you’re looking to do is similar.

  138. @ Deb — Sometimes they do, but the flights to London *usually* leave from T2. It’s not that much further of a walk though!

  139. Thanks for the info. Since the difference is between 3 hr nonstop (original) and 6 hr connections (next choices) home, I’m inclined to go with the tight connection. How exactly do we go “outside” to access T4 precheck? We exit immigration and get dumped out of TBIT. Which signs do we follow and which do we ignore so we’re not wasting precious time?

  140. Quick question: If my flight lands in Terminal 3, can I eat in Terminal 1? I want to have lunch at Shake Shack… but will I be able to re-enter security into a terminal that I’m not using to travel?


  141. @ Ethan — Yep! You can go between all the terminals as long as you have a boarding pass for a same-day departure from LAX.

  142. Great site. Looking for some input.
    Have CVG-LAX-HND flight this month all on DL. Connection time in LAX has dropped from 1:20 to 1:00. I know the HND flight usually departs from TBIT but occasionally T2. CVG flight usually arrives at T3, but sometimes T3. Carryon’s only. With the airside shuttle bus, would you feel comfortable with this connection? Downside is no earlier flight to LAX from CVG and no latter flight to HND from LAX (unless they put me on Partner airline). Other option is to see if they will switch flight to CVG-MSP-HND (which has much longer connection time).


  143. Great site.
    Question about a tight connection at LAX. CVG-LAX-HND later this month. Connection time dropped to 60 min at LAX (arrive 9:40 am, dpt 10:40 am). I know I can use the airside shuttle and the flights will be spread amongst t2/t3/orTBIT. Only carryon’s and all on DL metal. Should I be worried about the short connection?

  144. @ Mark A — I think it’s doable, but very tight. I would probably have them reroute you via MSP (an hour in MSP is more manageable than an hour at LAX), or through DTW to NRT.

  145. I am going to have about a 5 hour layover at LAX connecting to an international flight. Coming in on American (so I assume terminal 4) and departing TBIT. I have a priority pass, however the lounge in TBIT–the KAL lounge–indicates opening hours of 13:00-19:00. I arrive at 8:30 AM. What do you recommend between the Virgin Lounge in Terminal 2 and the Alaska Lounge in Terminal 6.

    Also, on the return flight, I am going to want to try to get on an earlier flight. Are there any American agents that I can check with before giving back my bags?

    Thanks so much. This is an airport I have never connected through despite extensive travel.

  146. Hi Tiffany, arriving at TBIT from NRT then connection to Terminal 7 United on one reservation, we have 2 hours in between, is this enough to claim bags, go thru customs recheck bags and catch connecting flight?

  147. @ Joseph — As long as everything is on time, you should be just fine! Your bags will be tagged all the way through, so you’ll just have to give them to a UA agent after you go through customs, then can make your way to T7. It will be fastest to walk outside on the departures level, most likely.

  148. Hi Tiffany, We are arriving on T2 on Delta at 9pm. We will have to claim our bags and check in with Air NZ at TBIT for a 11:30pm departure. What is the quickest way? Did I read to take the counter clockwise shuttle on level 4? Thanks in Advance!!

  149. Very great article, as always, Tiffany! You may want to indicate that there is an Admiral’s Club in Terminal 5 (which is much less crowded typically than the Admiral’s Club in T4, and has typically very friendly staff). The Admiral’s Club can be directly accessed from the tunnel, too, simply by going to the top floor. The elevator lets you out at the door to the Admiral’s Club.

  150. Thanks for the great post and update. I know some of these comments go back awhile but I want to state that there IS Pre-check at TBIT. I use it all the time. I fly Cathay to HKG and it is quicker than using Clear at Terminal 4. Of course the caveat is many International airlines to offer Pre-check and lots of the people arent US citizens. However that is what makes it fantastic if your airline is included. Most of the time I’m the only person in line. Takes 1 to 2 minutes to clear security.

  151. Wow! Never did I think my question would inspire such a storm on a blog as popular as this. I regularly fly on UA out of SNA and LAX and each time I fly international in economy out of LAX on UA now for the last few years, I’ve happily made the trek to the star alliance lounge at TBIT all thanks to Tiffany. This is my home airport and I didn’t even know this was a thing way back then, so that’s neat and big thanks Tiffany!

  152. @Tiffany, great guide! Your most recent update doesn’t mention the fact that TBIT has TSA Pre.

    Depending on the wait times, it still might be better to go through security at T4, but you might want to fix that. Too bad TBIT doesn’t have CLEAR, though… :-/

  153. There is a new structure between terminals 1-2 which will allow airside transfers
    Terminals 3 is being entirely rebuilt , integrated with 2 and with an airside connector to TBIT

    Given times have changed and there are more gates they need to renumber and no need to associate gates with terminals

    T1-2 will ultimately be one terminal and it’s also confusing

    Furthermore 8 is a concourse not a terminal

    T1. T2/3 become 2. TBIT also 3. 4/5 – 4, 6- 5 and then 6

    It’s quite easy to walk if you have time and avoid waiting for a bus There are free baggage trolleys for arrivals at TBIT

    The only thing is once the midfield concourse opens it’s a long walk from the most remote gate to customs. The underground walkway is over 1000 feet ( 300 meters ) plus the walk down the concourse to get to the entry to the walkway

  154. @John h I’m Its its own terminal 8. A lot of my UA flights depart out of it and it’s its own designated terminal. Even if all checkin operations occur at T7, T8 is still it’s own designated terminal

  155. There actually is TSA Pre at TBIT now. I’ve gone through it multiple times. You just have to go to the right side of security. Facing the terminal on the very right side is regular Security line, but on the very left (opposite side of the TBIT terminal) is the entrance for TSA Pre security. I was flying out on United recently and went straight to TBIT and went to TSA Pre at TBIT with United boarding pass and there was no one in TSA Pre line (maybe because not too many know about it.) And I also went through TSA Pre line at TBIT last time I was flying Lufthansa (since they do TSA Pre now too). So no need to go to T4 to use TSA Pre as you can go directly in TBIT. Thanks

  156. There used to be a way to enter TBIT security on the left side (looking at TBIT from the front) but not through T4, does that still exist? It was a shortcut to the moving walkways mentioned above that took you right to the Qantas First lounge (while looking through the window down at the long lines for security!)


  157. Thanks for the update! I heavily relied on the original post to help navigate my family into P.F. Chang’s (via Priority Pass) and then to T2 for a trip to Dublin.

    Two suggestions:
    1) Please state the closest TBIT gate to the Delta T2/T3 shuttle, as the first few people I asked had no clue (one confidently gave me the wrong location).

    2) Regarding “if you need to get to/from T6 to T2 or something, it’s almost certainly going to be faster to just walk outside and clear security again versus going through all this rigamarole”: This may not be accurate if traveling with children and flying an airline like Aer Lingus that does not participate in TSA precheck.

  158. One point to add about some United international arrivals is they arrive to Terminal B (Tom Bradley). In the last 3 months I have had my MEL, LHR, and SYD flight all arrive to Tom Bradley, then bring my bags all the way to terminal 7 or 8 to recheck them. I look occasionally and there is always a couple UA flights that arrive at Tom Bradley. Even LAX maps don’t point this out.

  159. @ Dan you can access the connector via a security channel from the arrivals level of TBIT if you turn right past Cantina Laredo

    Last time I was at LAX check in and security is the regular channel on the mezzanine was a breeze.

    My arrival at LAX including customs and immigration, was also very fast despite there being multiple flights arriving simultaneously . I was just finishing the aircraft and in a cab within an hour

  160. @Tiffany -Quoting “If you are arriving at TBIT from an international flight, you’ll have to clear US Customs and Immigration, so will end up landside regardless” – Etihad from Abu Dhabi and few other Airlines / Airports in Canada complete Pre-Clearance / Immigration before you board the flight to US. So you will not need to pass through Customs once again

  161. @flyingrogit I have also flown out of T8. Often it is called T8, but in fact is in Concourse 8. It is part of Terminal 7. Check the United terminal map — it shows Concourse 8.

  162. I walk around the U on my breaks at work, from T-1 all the way to T-7 the long way is no more than 25 min at a brisk pace.

    To cross over i.e. from 2 to 7, you must go to the lower level. That should be no more than ten minutes to cross the U including waiting for crosswalks.

    I would consider any outside of security shuttle to be a last resort, as during much of the day vehicle traffic moves slower than foot traffic around the U. The inside security shuttles are your best friend if you have the option to use them.

    Also, AA and UA international arrivals frequently park at TBIT early in the morning (pre-7am).

  163. Comments have exploded!!!!!!!!!!

    Is this the right place to ask questions about “Can I … ?” “How to …” “… enough time”.

    This is spamming more than Debit.

    People get yourself together, flying through LAX is not going to war against terror.
    Do yourself a favor
    1. Avoid LAX
    2. Avoid LAX
    3. Have at least 3 hours at LAX
    LAX is over packed but not confusing. You went to the wrong terminal because you are ignorant and you are to blame.

    90% of the first dozen comments (didn’t read the rest, too much) CAN BE SOLVED WHEN YOU GET THERE OR CAN’T BECAUSE YOU PUT YOURSELF IN A TIGHT CONNECTION.

  164. @Morley

    You make an excellent point there! LAX is not likely to win awards for convenience. However, it’s still much better than JFK by far for ease of movement between terminals, relatively speaking.

  165. Tiffany, you’re writing is the best on this site.

    Great point about the air pollution downstairs and going upstairs to walk outside – it’s something I do reflexively from experience, but never really thought about articulating, so it’s a great tip.

    “Similarly, the shuttle to TBIT drops you off waaaay at the end of the terminal, down by gate 146 in the section that looks like a Costco.”

    That photo of that section of the TBIT gave me PTSD, and I’m not sure I’m joking. When Air New Zealand, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and others board at the same time, it is just the worst place to be. Even waiting there is the worst place to be.

  166. I don’t plan on being at the LAX anytime soon, but I certainly enjoyed your article, Tiffany, as well as all the comments/replies from your readers. I especially liked the “Costco” and “hamster” references.

  167. Question and update regarding the new FlyAway shuttle to LAX. From LB we paid the night before to take LB Shuttle to LAX. It clearly stated pick ups are on the half hour every hour. Well we and another passenger waited at 6:25 am until 6:55…no shuttle, called a Lyft that got there the same time as the LATE shuttle. Of course we took the Lyft to LAX because now we were now OUT of time. Being dropped off at Terminal 1 by FlyAway would have put us tremendously late for our flight out of Terminal 7.

    Question, how do we get from 7 to 1 to catch FlyAway with all the bags and a red eye flight, to return to LB and use up our paid tix? I’ve called FlyAway and left 2 messages but this is more of a LAX between terminals question…with lots of bags.

    Signed – yet to be a FlyAway*rider* !

  168. You can board the FLyaway from T7. Look for the green signs after exiting baggage claim. Good luck!

  169. @Tiffany,

    I have a flight on F ticket in SQ departing from TBIT, but I want to check out the United Polaris Lounge, rather than use the Star Alliance lounge. If I check in early enough, is it possible to walk over from TBIT to T7, go through security at T7, use the lounge and come back to TBIT in under 1.5 hours. (SQ flight is at 3:30 pm, planning to check in at 12 30 pm).

  170. @ooyaboon

    Shouldnt be a problem at all. Check in at TBIT, walk outside to T7, a few min walk, and clear security there. From T7, walk airside to TBIT, no need to clear security again, and the walk from the longe to TBIT would be less than 15 minutes.

  171. Can the Delta shuttle be taken in both directions (thus meaning that if one had the time and wanted to, one could go all the way between Terminal 2 and Terminal 8 without having to re-clear security?

  172. @ Eskimo — Yes, this is absolutely the right place, and I (and most readers) are happy to help people make decisions about connection times or how to get around an unfamiliar airport.

  173. The Southwest international check-in is in Terminal 1, not Terminal 2 as listed. From the Southwest website: “International Customers – Please check in for your international flight at Terminal 1. Upon return to LAX, walk or take Bus A from Tom Bradley International Terminal to Terminal 1 for connections and parking.”

    Also should note that for Delta, check-in and bag drop location depends on where you are flying to out of LAX (not your final destination). Granted, that could change with the renovations at T2/T3. From Delta’s website: “When traveling from LAX directly to Atlanta, Detroit, Hawaii, Minneapolis, New York-JFK, Washington D.C. or any Delta-operated international destination, you must check bags at Terminal 2 before proceeding to your departure terminal/gate. For all other Delta-operated domestic destinations, bags must be checked at LAX Terminal 3.”

  174. It’s really not that far. If you have the time and the ability, why not walk.

    You just spent x hours in traffic and our about to spend x hours sitting waiting for a flight and x hours sitting on an airplane. After that you’re going to spend x hours sitting in traffic again and x hours sitting at work, or x hours sitting and watching TV.

  175. I was just wondering if I have to go through TSA again to get into the international part of LAX ? I’m flying to New Zealand come February and flying United airlines from Montana into Lax , thanks from a nervous traveler

  176. @ Stacie — Nope! If you look at the map and instructions above, you’ll just follow them in reverse from T7/T8 to TBIT.

  177. Hi there! Tomorrow will be my first time flying in almost 10 years and I’m doing it by myself, so just had a quick question. I am landing at T2 with delta and then departing from T3, also with delta with roughly a 2 hr layover. What is the fastest way for me to get from T2 to T3?

  178. Hi Tiffany,
    We are flying from Sydney and arrive in LAX at 6.05am on Virgin Australia with our connecting flight to NYC at 8.05am from Terminal 2 with Delta. It is all on one ticket. Sorry if someone asked this or it was answered above. I have not had to do a connecting flight from LAX so just wanted to check if 2 hours is ok? It was all booked under one ticket as Sydney to NYC. Would i be correct in assuming we can do the egate, go through and drop bags to a delta agent after security and then go through to flight?

  179. @ Adam P — You should be fine, but you will have to go back through security at T2 once you’ve dropped your bags off. You should be able to give them to a transfer agent after you clear immigration though.

  180. Hi everyone! I’m transiting international flights in LAX TBIT. As I have a bit of time in transit, I would like to visit United Polaris Lounge in T7.
    Can I go TBIT – T7 – TBIT airside without the need to clear immigration/custom/security?

  181. Hi Tiffany,
    I’m meeting my sister who is flying into LAX from Chicago on United. I’m flying from SFO on Southwest into LAX, since their fares are much cheaper and there is no baggage fee. We both plan to arrive approximately 2:15pm. She will be checking in her luggage and I won’t be. What would be the best way for me to get from the Southwest terminal to the United terminal to meet her? Thanks. Peggy S

  182. A couple of years ago when arriving at TBIT and then going onto Calgary via WestJet at T2: I dropped off my checked luggage off on the conveyor in TBIT after clearing customs/immigration. In Calgary the luggage did not come through and WestJet had no record of it because they never received it. As far as I can see the luggage is in “no man’s land” until it’s received by the airline. (BTW Westjet were awesome in taking responsibility for it, even though they never got it, and tracked it down – 2 days later is was still lying in TBIT.) Other people have had similar experiences where the luggage doesn’t make it from TBIT to the connecting flight in a different terminal. Their advice: don’t drop it off but walk it over to the Terminal that the connecting flight is on and personally check it into the airline so at least they have a record of it (and you know they have received it).

  183. Arriving on an INTL flight into T2, and connecting to a flight out of TBIT, am I correct that I will have to go through security after customs, in order to take the Delta Shuttle to TBIT? Or am I still airside ?

  184. @ tracy — Yep, you will always have to go back through security after clearing customs, no matter which airport you arrive at in the USA (with a few exceptions for flights from Canada and other key airports). I would just walk to T2 versus taking the shuttle, personally.

  185. Hi Tiffany,

    Thank you for keeping this article updated. I recently walked through the whole thing from TBIT to T8 and made a mistake that unintentionally threw me out onto World Way.

    When you are in T4 and you take the first escalator down you are at the “AA Eagle bus stop”. From there there’s another escalator down to the tunnel level. At the bottom of that you “feel invited” to walk straight since there is a tunnel – but that one puts you out at the baggage carousels of T4! From that point your only choice is to clear security again.

    My mistake was that I didn’t realize there are two tunnels: To get into the tunnel to T5 you need to take a sharp right turn after arriving at the bottom of the escalator. Then 15 feet further the “real” T4-5 tunnel awaits behind a 90 degree left turn.

    The tunnel I took instead was a shortcut from the “AA Eagle bus stop” to the exit, so you don’t need to cope with the departing crowd within T4 when you are just arriving and don’t need to connect.

    What I did not recognize is that the signage between “Baggage Claim, Ground Transportation, Exit to Street” and “Terminals T5-8” splits right at the bottom of the escalator, i.e. there is no more T5-8 signage when you are in the “wrong” tunnel. Another note is that this “T4 baggage claim tunnel” is the only one of the tunnels that has a walkway and furthermore it is not shown on any terminal map!

    Maybe you can update the article occasionally to keep others away from making the same mistake.


  186. To add something to my reply above: I’ve foud the “wrong” tunnel that leads to the baggage claim on the interactive terminal map of LAX in American Airlines’ Android app. On level 1 (baggage claim) of the T4-8 map you can find that there’s baggage claim tunnels not only at T4, but also at T5 and T6.

    The connection tunnels between the terminals can be found on that map as well. AA doesn’t seem to publish those terminal maps of select airports on their website, they are only available within the app.

  187. Hi Tiffany,

    I will be flying into TBIT from Heathrow in March. I have Global Entry (and TSA Precheck) and only a carry-on to deal with. Will I be able to make a connecting flight out of Southwest Airlines in 1.5 hours?

    Also, I haven’t had a chance to read through all the comments yet. Is the map and article above up to date?



  188. I have a tight connection landing in LAX on Alaska Airlines (presumably T6) and needing to get over to TBIT (with only carry-ons thank God) to leave to China. I can’t find that scenario above…I really will need to jam…

  189. @ Kat — It’s just the reverse of what I have on the map if you were going from TBIT to T6. You should be able to use the tunnels, and then eventually the skybridge.

  190. Is it a Big deal transferring from Domestic to international on same airline,, Being American Airlines ? ie: Phoenix ,, to LAX,, then on to China

  191. I will be arriving on Delta, Terminal 2 and have a little over an hour to get to Alitalia in Terminal B. What route and means to get there do you suggest?

  192. When was the last time this was updated? I went on another site and it said Delta, which is the airline I’m using on Saturday, 4 days from now, it said that Delta was in Terminal 5. I’ve only used them once and it’s been awhile.

  193. Hi Tiffany,Iam fly from Honolulu to Auckland,having a transfer in Lax,need to go from Terminal 7
    to TBIT for Air NZ,the connecting time is only one hour. Will I be able to make it within this time? Do I have
    to go through security again in LAX?
    Thank you.

  194. @ zihuan — If you follow the instructions in the post, you can stay airside and not need to go through security again.

  195. Hi Tiffany,

    Thanks for those great information! It really helps!

    I just have one question. My flight is Delta which departures from Terminal 2. Can I enter Terminal B to see my wife off (her flight is terminal B) with boarding pass that shows terminal 2?

    Thank you!

  196. @ Felix — Yep, you can enter any terminal at LAX with a same-day boarding pass from any other terminal.

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