LAX is happening! And it’s for the better. Los Angeles International Airport used to be a mess but it has really improved these last few years. All the terminals have either been renovated already or are scheduled to be renovated and LAX is becoming the world class airport it was supposed to be. And the best part, there is now a pedestrian tunnel connecting more than half the terminals airside (post security) so you can 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. Those 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.
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.
So 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 clearly marked. Just look for these signs to point you in the right direction.
But what if you are departing from terminals 1, 2 or 3? Well, you guys are kind of out of luck for now. You will have to clear security to visit TBIT and then again when you get to your departure terminal. Your transfer time will all depend on how busy the TSA security lanes are. I know some airlines have an airside shuttle connecting the terminal to TBIT but I don’t know much about their schedule or frequency to provide 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 and they will make you go through the regular line (far right of the terminal). And there are no TSA Pre-check fast-track lanes in TBIT either.
So my advice? Clear security in terminal 4 and 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!
Here are some other reviews you might enjoy.
- Star Alliance Lounge LAX
- Qantas oneworld Business Class Lounge LAX
- Korean Air Skyteam Lounge LAX
- United Club LAX