For decades, visitors to Los Angeles International Airport have been surprised at how difficult it is to connect from a domestic flight to an international departure. But on Feb. 25, those troubles ended for many passengers.
For two years, the airport spent an estimated $115 million to build a connector, inside security, between Terminal 4 and the Tom Bradley International International Terminal, which is used by many, but not all, international airlines. On Feb. 25, an American Airlines spokeswoman told me, the connector finally opened.
What does this mean for travelers?
Previously, no matter what domestic airline you flew to Los Angeles, you had to walk outside to reach the Tom Bradley Terminal, where you needed to re-clear security. But with the connector, travelers arriving in Los Angeles on a domestic leg from United, American, Delta and Alaska don't have to go outside, and they don't have to go through security again. They can simply walk, indoors, to their connecting international flight.
American Airlines passengers are benefiting most, as the carrier's Terminal 4 is directly next to the Bradley Terminal. It will easier to transfer on American to OneWorld partners Qantas, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific and British Airways.
"The two-year construction project considerably improves the experience for our connecting customers by reducing the walking distance between the two terminals to just five minutes," JC Liscano, American's managing director for LAX, said in a statement.
The walk will take longer for passengers on Delta, United and Alaska, but as passengers won't have to clear security a second time, travelers on those carriers now have an easier path to make their connections.
Has anyone seen the connector yet? How is it?
UPDATE: One of my readers checked on the connector and sent me some photos. The reader wanted me to post them here, but did not want credit. Thank, you, reader!
The reader also informed me that airport officials are calling this a soft opening. In the near future, we have learned, the connection will not always be open. Apparently there's still some work to be done.
Looking for more airline stories? Try these.
Like this blog? How about following me on social media?