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Domestic to international transfer time LAX


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While I am from the UK, this coming October/November I will be taking a US domestic flight into LAX and leaving on an international to Narita (Japan) on my trip to LOS this year.

 

I booked this all in one through United, who originally came up with a 40 minute connection through LAX - which on reading around doesn't seem to be enough. The flight I subsequently found after was a 2 hour connection. Does this sound like enough time? I have never flown through LAX before. Opinions seem very divided on the web.

 

Also, side question, from what I have gathered, there is no transit visa required for Japan, correct? 2 hour transfer there also.

 

Many thanks!

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While I am from the UK, this coming October/November I will be taking a US domestic flight into LAX and leaving on an international to Narita (Japan) on my trip to LOS this year.

 

I booked this all in one through United, who originally came up with a 40 minute connection through LAX - which on reading around doesn't seem to be enough. The flight I subsequently found after was a 2 hour connection. Does this sound like enough time? I have never flown through LAX before. Opinions seem very divided on the web.

 

Also, side question, from what I have gathered, there is no transit visa required for Japan, correct? 2 hour transfer there also.

 

Many thanks!

I've done this exact trip many, many times. You are correct in assuming 40 minutes is very tight, but 2 hours will be plenty; more than enough time since you don't have to go through customs and immigration. You'll have plenty of time to walk to a different terminal, have a bite to eat, do some shopping, and board your LAX to NRT flight. I've done it with a 1 hour layover, but it was tight.

 

No transit visa required in Japan. When you deplane at NRT, there are 2 signs.....just follow the crowd and the sign that guides you to International flights. The other sign shows passengers where to go if they're taking a connecting flight to anyplace in Japan. This is called transit because you are not leaving the airport.....you just go through the Japanese equivalent of the American TSA, but they are much more polite than their surly American counterparts. You are required to show a passport, a boarding pass, and you must go through security again, and then an escalator ride to the departure gates.

 

And 2 hours at NRT is plenty. The Japanese are very efficient, and the longest I've ever waited to get through transit is 20 minutes.

 

And you don't fill out any forms that are handed out on the plane.....those are only for travelers that are going to leave the airport or get on a connecting domestic flight to other cities in Japan.

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Agree with the above.  40 minutes is too tight.  I regularly fly into LAX from Phoenix.  My connection is to an EVA flight in the international terminal.  Even knowing exactly how to do it I'd be concerned with making the connection.

 

If you have to go from terminal 1 to the international terminal in a hurry walking is fastest.  Assuming you are healthy and can walk.  I make the walk in about 10-15 minutes and up the stairs to the checkin counter.  Security at the international terminal can take 10-15 minutes and that's flying business class.  On March 9 I am guessing it was at least 30 minutes for the coach class passengers.  

 

2 hours should work and just enough time to browse some of the duty free shit before boarding.  Or give a space for the inevitable late arrival by the domestic flights in the US.

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Agree with the above.  40 minutes is too tight.

 

-clip-

 

2 hours should work and just enough time to browse some of the duty free shit before boarding.  Or give a space for the inevitable late arrival by the domestic flights in the US.

 

I agree.  40 min is asking for trouble. I'd hesitate to book that short a transfer time even for domestic flight changes.

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Yes lax is the worst as far as transferring between terminals. You have to go outside to the curb and then walk to whatever teminal your leaving from.. they say there's a transfer bus but I've never seen it and just walk from Alaska terminal 3 to the international terminal which is a brisk 10 plus minute walk.. as long as lax has been around you would think they could but in a underground tram like a top notch airport should have..

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LAX is a shite airport.

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LAX is a shite airport.

Yes it is. They made a big deal about breaking into the top 100 of best airports with Singapore being number one.. not sure why the USA airports can't get the act together and make world class airports but I no for me it's a real dreaded part of my trip from the time I get off one plane to the time I get to the next plane coming or going from lax..

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I read the article and it sounds like another halfass bandaid fix for lax.. how about you put in a underground tram that stops at each terminal. The airport is shaped like a horseshoe so them tram could easily go in a cycle. .. goofy walk ways and shuttle buses that I personally don't think exist is a joke... time to use your heads as there been spending a fortune to modernize this airport and add some useful features and we'll your at it get those lazy folks at customs and immigration to quit standing around d and start moving people

L through in a timely Ely manner.. it's so irritating going through customs there and they open one or 2 lines but 10 or 12 ice workers are standing around d talking about who knows what.. probably yelp or Facebook knowing those nitwits...

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I read the article and it sounds like another halfass bandaid fix for lax.. how about you put in a underground tram that stops at each terminal. The airport is shaped like a horseshoe so them tram could easily go in a cycle. .. goofy walk ways and shuttle buses that I personally don't think exist is a joke... time to use your heads as there been spending a fortune to modernize this airport and add some useful features and we'll your at it get those lazy folks at customs and immigration to quit standing around d and start moving people

L through in a timely Ely manner.. it's so irritating going through customs there and they open one or 2 lines but 10 or 12 ice workers are standing around d talking about who knows what.. probably yelp or Facebook knowing those nitwits...

Agreed 100% regarding a tram however I see ANY improvement as better than nothing.

 

Regarding clearing Customs, I HIGHLY recommend 'Global Entry': http://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry

 

Makes a HUGE difference as I can come off the plane and through Customs in 10-15 minutes (only carryon luggage).

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Agreed 100% regarding a tram however I see ANY improvement as better than nothing.

 

Regarding clearing Customs, I HIGHLY recommend 'Global Entry': http://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry

 

Makes a HUGE difference as I can come off the plane and through Customs in 10-15 minutes (only carryon luggage).

I'm gonna look into applying when I get home.. I glanced at the site but didn't see a cost? And you no those lines wouldn't be there if ice would get to work I stead of standing around d in a group smiling and laughing at some Facebook post.. other countries seem to move people along its just irritation watching game them yuck it up will the masses wait.. they know when big planes are off loading so get it toget her and move people through...

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I'm gonna look into applying when I get home.. I glanced at the site but didn't see a cost? And you no those lines wouldn't be there if ice would get to work I stead of standing around d in a group smiling and laughing at some Facebook post.. other countries seem to move people along its just irritation watching game them yuck it up will the masses wait.. they know when big planes are off loading so get it toget her and move people through...

The cost is $100. for 5 years, and it includes pre-check for the same 5 years.  What a fantastic deal....I've had mine for a year and it saves SO much time.  I recently came back through SFO, and 6 jumbo jets all landed at the same time.  There were at least 1500 people waiting in lines to get through immigration, but there was only one other person using the Global Entry kiosks....I finished in under a minute.

 

The 5 year Global Entry is actually 5 years from your next birthday.  My birthday is in March; I got my Global Entry in June, and it's good for 5 years and 9 months.

 

One of the best deals on the planet. 

 

http://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry

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Just a note on those slagging LAX.  While all is true that it is a shit airport consider when it was designed and built.  And consider the traffic it gets.  I don't think they can upgrade it to be a truly modern international airport.  IMO the LA area needs a new airport.  There is simply no way to modernize it while it is in operation.  And hacking a few improvements will only buy a little time.

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Just a note on those slagging LAX.  While all is true that it is a shit airport consider when it was designed and built.  And consider the traffic it gets.  I don't think they can upgrade it to be a truly modern international airport.  IMO the LA area needs a new airport.  There is simply no way to modernize it while it is in operation.  And hacking a few improvements will only buy a little time.

Threshold several airport around La.. long beach, burbank etc..

 

LAX is an older airport sure but it's one of the busiest in the United states. So there's no excuses to not make it a real world class modern facility.. quit catering to the celibrities with gimmick services and build some real things that are helpful. Aka.. tram from terminal to terminal.. there rest of the bandaid crap inside is pointless as its a badly designed place all broken with terminalsome and not one big terminal.. but connecting them together would be a huge first step..

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Everytime I transfer from domestic to international I wonder or think what would someone like my older mother do in this horrible situation trying to walk with all her belongings from international to domestic outside in the heat etc.. and it's quit a trek for a person in poorer health..

 

I know they built a indoor thing but it's a poor deal and not that easy to get through all the different terminals if say your going down to Alaska for example.. I still just go outside myself and walk as I like a little fresh air, minus all the smokers of coarse but that's me.. what or how does an o.Der person manage..

 

I can't recall exactly but I don't think I've ever seen any of those golf carts transferring people either between terminals.. maybe it's done underground or I'm just not that observant

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Everytime I transfer from domestic to international I wonder or think what would someone like my older mother do in this horrible situation trying to walk with all her belongings from international to domestic outside in the heat etc.. and it's quit a trek for a person in poorer health..

 

I know they built a indoor thing but it's a poor deal and not that easy to get through all the different terminals if say your going down to Alaska for example.. I still just go outside myself and walk as I like a little fresh air, minus all the smokers of coarse but that's me.. what or how does an o.Der person manage..

 

I can't recall exactly but I don't think I've ever seen any of those golf carts transferring people either between terminals.. maybe it's done underground or I'm just not that observant

 

I hear you.  I transited once after recent dual knee replacements.  Not pleasant.  They do have bus service between terminals but it is confusing as hell to someone who doesn't know how to use it.  

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I hear you.  I transited once after recent dual knee replacements.  Not pleasant.  They do have bus service between terminals but it is confusing as hell to someone who doesn't know how to use it.

 

Have you seen the buses or used them? I've been in and out of Lax many times and I gotta say I've never seen the transfer buses, I no they say there there and there's car rental buses I've seen but never a transfer bus. Doesn't mean they don't exist it's just I walk ever time coming and going to the international terminal and I've never seen them..

 

I feel for you if you had knee issues or even just someone that's an elderly person for that matter having to drag the luggage and everything outside and around the horseshoe to your departure terminal.. it's got to be the poorest excuse of a system for international travel I've been through.. but good news there finally in the top 100 so things are looking up... to bad there in the top 100 out of a list of 75 best airport's.. 5555555 good job Lax keep up the good work

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OP, just to clarify, you mentioned that that all flights were on United (not codeshare flights, but actually on United aircraft) correct?  If so, you don't need to change terminals in LAX because United uses the same terminal for international and domestic flights.  If it is a code share flight, ie United flight number but operated by ANA, Singapore, etc., then you will need to exit the terminal and walk to the TIBT (international terminal for other airlines).  FYI...TBIT has been completed renovated so it is actually a nice terminal to depart from (they are still fixing up arrivals which is a mess when I went through there in Dec).

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Have you seen the buses or used them? I've been in and out of Lax many times and I gotta say I've never seen the transfer buses, I no they say there there and there's car rental buses I've seen but never a transfer bus. Doesn't mean they don't exist it's just I walk ever time coming and going to the international terminal and I've never seen them..

 

I feel for you if you had knee issues or even just someone that's an elderly person for that matter having to drag the luggage and everything outside and around the horseshoe to your departure terminal.. it's got to be the poorest excuse of a system for international travel I've been through.. but good news there finally in the top 100 so things are looking up... to bad there in the top 100 out of a list of 75 best airport's.. 5555555 good job Lax keep up the good work

 

I used the buses once years ago before I realized walking was as fast and less hassle for those with good legs.  And now with the new knees I walk no issues. Very happy with that.    :GoldenSmile1:

 

If memory serves the buses are on the second curb.  They will work but it is clumsy to drag any serious luggage onto them.  Now I travel light.  I own a condo here in Pattaya and just take carry on.  I usually arrive on Southwest and walk to the international terminal which I believe is the longest walk possible.  It isn't bad and since I always give myself a minimum of 2 hours I don't have to worry how long.  A bit of exercise in the middle of flying is a good thing.

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I used the buses once years ago before I realized walking was as fast and less hassle for those with good legs.  And now with the new knees I walk no issues. Very happy with that.    :GoldenSmile1:

 

If memory serves the buses are on the second curb.  They will work but it is clumsy to drag any serious luggage onto them.  Now I travel light.  I own a condo here in Pattaya and just take carry on.  I usually arrive on Southwest and walk to the international terminal which I believe is the longest walk possible.  It isn't bad and since I always give myself a minimum of 2 hours I don't have to worry how long.  A bit of exercise in the middle of flying is a good thing.

I feel the same way about the walk although like I've said I've never seen the buses meaning even when I'm walking you'd think you'd see them go by but I always arrive on Alaska and I enjoy the walk over as sitting on all the flights coming and going it's nice to stretch the legs and get a little exercise. The nice thing flying out they ship the luggage all the way through to Bangkok and returning home I to travel light with only a carryon so it's easy for us but back to my original point it's just a poor airport that needs to get it together..

 

And let's not forget this is California where there always talking about the environment and driving hybrid cars etc.. I'm guessing a electric tram underground would and is way more environmentally friendly in comparison to a lot of diesel burning buses driving around a cycle 24 hours a day... come on Lax

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