Domestic transfer at LAX International

Old Jun 15th, 2013, 10:37 PM
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Domestic transfer at LAX International

Can anyone suggest the amount of time I should currently allow for my transfer to a domestic US flight? I'm traveling from Australia to LAX and going on to Phoenix. Is 3 hours enough time for the connection? Not sure how much time to allow for customs and transfers as it has been almost 8 years since my last visit.

Thanks for this.
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 12:36 AM
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Which airlines? Are the flights on the same ticket or purchased separately? Makes a big difference.
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 02:20 AM
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Thanks for the note. I arrive on Qantas at 6:40 am. The tickets have been purchased separately so I will need to collect my luggage and check-in for the domestic flight.

I'm flying US Airways to Phoenix.
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 06:19 AM
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I would not be comfortable with that little time. Even assuming your plane lands on time you have to taxi to the gate, deplane (can take much longer if you're at the back) get through Immigration, wait for luggage to appear, go through Customs and then get to the other terminal.

Typically airlines want you to check in 2 hours in advance for domestic flights - and I think getting all that done in 1 hour is not sure.

If it were a single ticket and you were protected, it would be one thing. But if you don;t make the second flight you would be considered a no show and have to buy a new ticket at the walk up price - if the next plane has a seat available.

If you can change your ongoing flight to a later one I would do so - but then I am risk averse.

You might well make the ongoing flight - but if you don't it could be very costly.
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 09:14 AM
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I just did a Tom Bradley to domestic transfer last month. The queue for non-USA passports was enormous.

I'd bet more than an hour. (For me immigration/customs were very quick - BUT the queue to re-drop bags (they were checked through) took nearly an hour.
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 01:47 PM
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We landed in LAX from Bangkok and made a domestic connection in another terminal, different airline, with a 2.5 hr connection time.
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 03:09 PM
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But HappyTrvlr, do you carry US passports? Makes a huge difference.
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 03:50 PM
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Three hours should be about right but then you're first flight could be an hour behind schedule and you're now in trouble.

Looks like the 10:15am on Southwest airlines might be a good bet, and your luggage will travel free which it won't on US Airways. Southwest is a popular carrier here in the states but won't come up on Expedia or any Aussie booking sites. Book at www.southwest.com and print your boarding passes the day before, or check-in online and print at the gate.

Oh wait, I see you've already purchased on US Airways? Not sure why you're asking, then.
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 06:19 AM
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clark makes a good point for others searching this topic, Southwest offers more flexibility. Also I too feel 3 hrs is enough, but be ready to grab a taxi from the Intl terminal because Ive had to wait up to 30 min for the shuttle

Lastly, everytime I go through customs in LA, the US holder line is SLOWER not faster and 3 hrs has been enough even with long security lines at connecting terminals
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 06:25 AM
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Yes, we have US passports.
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 07:09 AM
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I did a transfer from Virgin Australia to JetBlue in 90 minutes, but I think I was lucky. I waited in immigration for only 10 minutes, but I was quick off the plane and didn't stop along the way. Someone on the same flight who sat near me stopped to use the ladies room and was still in immigration after I'd gathered my bags. And this was all before the sequester. Immigration lines are much longer now, and I don't think you can assume it will take less than an hour.

So figure 30 minutes to get from one terminal to another, 20 minutes to check in and check your luggage, and another 20 or 30 minutes in security (and that could be very optimistic since security lines at LAX can be horrible at times), and then you still have to get to the gate. You can see where your three hours seems rather short.

I'd do this transfer with no less than 4 hours.
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 09:46 AM
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HapyTrvlr: the OP apparently is a foreign visitor - immigration/customs could very well take MUCH longer for him/her. That's why 3 hours might be too short.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 10:59 PM
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Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'm going to give myself a bit more time for the transfer.

Safe travels!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 03:41 AM
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Took us nearly two hours to get through immigration at SFO a few months ago. That was just the time standing in the queue. Once we got to the desk we were through in a few minutes. I made the mistake of stopping off at the bathroom first, the queue was very long by the time I got there.
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