LAX is happening and it’s for the better! Los Angeles International Airport used to be a mess but it has really improved in recent years. All the terminals have either been renovated or are scheduled to be renovated and LAX is finally becoming the world class airport it was supposed to be. And the best part, a pedestrian tunnel connecting more than half of the terminals airside (post security) was recently opened. You can now walk freely back and forth between the terminals without having to clear security both ways.
The bad news is not all terminals are connected airside yet. At the moment, only the terminals on the south side of the airport are connected post-security. These terminals include terminal 4 (American Airlines), terminal 5 (more American Airlines, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Spirit and others), terminal 6 (Air Canada, Alaska Air, Virgin America and others), terminals 7 & 8 (United Airlines) and the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). Terminal 1 (Southwest), terminal 2 (Delta and friends) and terminal 3 (more Delta and others) are NOT connected by an airside, pedestrian walkway yet.
Note: The Tom Bradley International Terminal goes by several different names. The international terminal can be referred to as TBIT, Terminal B or just the “international terminal.” In this post, I will refer to the international terminal as “TBIT.”
But let’s be honest, the only reason why you’re reading this post is to find out how long it will take you to get from TBIT to the other terminals. With brand name shops, celebrity restaurants and of course, the world class, airline lounges, TBIT is the crowning jewel of the LAX complex. And for premium cabin passengers, elite frequent fliers and Priority Pass members, we all want to use the lounges in TBIT over the “domestic” lounges, right?
For oneworld and Star Alliance elite fliers, TBIT is home to the Qantas oneworld and Star Alliance Lounges. And for Skyteam elite fliers and Priority Pass members, there’s the Korean Airlines Skyteam Lounge. So if you want to visit one of these lounges but still make it back to your departure terminal, here’s how long it will take to get from one terminal to the other.
For terminals 4 through 8, it will take your roughly 5 to 8 minutes per terminal, meaning it will take you 5 to 8 minutes to get from terminal 8 to terminal 7 and then another 5 to 8 minutes to get to terminal 6, etc.
From TBIT, it will take you approximately (and drop you off at gate):
- 5 to 8 minutes to get to terminal 4 (gate 40)
- 10 to 16 minutes to get to terminal 5 (gate 50)
- 15 to 24 minutes to get to terminal 6 (gate 64)
- 20 to 32 minutes to get to terminal 7 (gate 71A)
- 25 to 40 minutes to get to terminal 8 (gate 80).
But realistically, you’ll be closer to the 5 minute mark than the 8 minute mark if you walk at a casual but brisk pace. The airside tunnels connecting the terminals are all clearly marked. Just look for these signs to point you in the right direction.
But what if you are arriving/departing from terminal 1? You guys are kind of screwed. Terminal 1 is not connected airside to any other terminal. You will have to exit terminal 1 and re-clear security again to enter any other terminal. For terminals 2 and 3, Delta has an airside shuttle connecting terminal 2, 3 and TBIT but I don’t know much about their schedule or frequency to provide you with any accurate information.
Pro tip: If you already have your boarding pass (mobile or print), you can just go straight to the TBIT TSA line to gain entry. But keep in mind, TBIT can be a nightmare during peak times. There is a “premium cabin” lane (far left of the terminal) but that’s not always open. If it’s not open, they will make you go through the regular line (far right of the terminal) with everyone else. And there are no TSA Pre-check fast-track lanes in TBIT.
My advice is to clear security in terminal 4 and then take the airside walkway to TBIT. In my experience, the TSA security check-in terminal 4 is usually faster than the TSA security check at TBIT. And if you have TSA Pre-check, it will be even faster.
Here’s a detailed map of the airside connectors for terminals 4 -8 and TBIT.
That’s my advice for the day. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for reading!
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