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 in the process of being renovated and LAX is finally becoming the world-class airport it was intended to be. And the best part, airside (post-security) pedestrian tunnels have been recently built to allow for smoother connections between terminals. You can now walk freely between most of the terminals at LAX without having to clear through security multiple times. This is great news for passengers connecting from different airlines and those with airport lounge access.
As of February 2022, the new terminal 1.5 facility connecting terminals 1 and 2 is finally complete! Terminal 1 (Southwest), terminal 2 (Delta and friends) and terminal 3 (more Delta and friends) are now all connected via an airside walkway. Passengers who have cleared security in either terminal can now walk back and forth between the terminals without having to clear through security again. And there’s even an airside shuttle, operated by Delta Airlines, that can take passengers from terminals 1, 2 and 3 to/from the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).
Delta is currently building an airside bridge that will ultimately connect terminal 3 with TBIT but who knows when that project will be completed. However, once completed, I’m assuming Delta will most likely get rid of their shuttle service and passengers will have to walk from terminals 2 and 3 to TBIT.
On the south side of the airport, all the terminals are connected airside via an underground walkway. These terminals include terminal 4 (American Airlines), terminal 5 (more American Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit and others), terminal 6 (Air Canada, Alaska Airlines and others), terminals 7 & 8 (United Airlines) and the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).
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 it as “TBIT” but on your boarding pass, you will most likely see it as “Terminal B.”
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, having easy access to the lounges and being able to get back to your departure gate is what this post is all about.
For oneworld and Star Alliance elite passengers, TBIT is home to the Qantas oneworld and Star Alliance Lounges. For Skyteam elite fliers and Priority Pass members, there’s the Korean Airlines Skyteam Lounge. And for American Express Centurion and Platinum Card Holders, there’s the Centurion Lounge. So if you want to visit one of these lounges but still make it back to your departure gate, here’s how long it will take to get from one terminal to the other.
From terminals 1, 2 or 3, the shuttle ride from terminal 1.5 to TBIT will only take a few minutes but waiting for the shuttle might take you much longer. In my experience, it usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get from terminal 2 to TBIT (and vice-versa).
For terminals 4 through 8, it will take you roughly 5 to 8 minutes per terminal, meaning it will take you 5 to 8 minutes to get from terminal 4 to terminal 5 and then another 5 to 8 minutes to get to terminal 6, etc.
From TBIT, this is how long it will take you to get to the other terminals and the tunnel will pop you out at the following gates:
- 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.
Pro tip: If you already have a boarding pass (mobile or print), you can just go straight to the TBIT TSA line to gain entry. Any boarding pass from any airline will allow you entry into every terminal. For example, just because you have a boarding pass for Southwest (terminal 1), it doesn’t mean you can only enter through terminal 1. If you have bags to check, you must check them at the terminal of your carrier but you can use your boarding to get into any of the other terminals. 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 or fast-track lanes in TBIT.
Once passenger numbers get back to normal, my advice to you is to clear security in terminal 4 and then take the airside walkway to TBIT. In my experience, the TSA security line in terminal 4 is usually faster than the TSA security check at TBIT. And if you have TSA Pre-check or CLEAR, it will be even faster. But for now during Covid, TBIT is a ghost town so getting through security is pretty easy.
Here’s a detailed map of the airside connectors for terminals 4 -8 and TBIT.
Transferring Through LAX Bottom Line
LAX is definitely happening and it’s for the better! I’m so glad that the City of Los Angeles and the major airlines have dedicated so much money into revitalizing and modernizing this incredible airport and making it the world-class facility that it was intended to be. With the new terminal 1.5 completed and the existing underground connectors, passengers can now transfer and connect to different airlines without having to clear security multiple times. All nine terminals at LAX are now connected, which will allow passengers to have better access to lounges and other airport facilities.
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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