Baggage and people from American to USAir in LAX?
November 8, 2006 12:52 AM   Subscribe

Best way for people and baggage to make connecting flight in LAX with two different airlines?

So I am arriving at LAX on American Airlines and then have an overnight connecting flight on USAir. Problem is I only have an hour between flights so its a very tight connection. What is the best way to get myself and my baggage from American Airlines to USAir?
posted by UMDirector to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total)
Where are your original origin and destination? AA can interline your baggage for you, but if either leg is international, I think an hour is less than their minimum connecting time.

Best option would probably be to try to get on an earlier AA flight if possible.
posted by grouse at 1:19 AM on November 8, 2006

According to a number of maps, including this one, AA is Terminal 4 and US Airways is Terminal 1. That's all the way at the other end of the airport, on the other side - couldn't be further away.

You are going to have to somehow debark your flight, get out to the curbside, wait for a very slow and not particularly reliable shuttle bus (the "A" shuttle - LAX doesn't have a monorail or AirTrain), travel about 3 miles around a crowded concourse with lots of stops and lots of traffic lights (LAX is huge!), and then get back through security and get to the gate in that hour.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I don't see how you could do it. I don't believe you could do it even if there were a Ferrari waiting for you at the curbside. I'm also pretty sure that AA won't transfer your bag in that amount of time. It's not a matter of shaving minutes; I think you're maybe 30-60 minutes under the minimum optimal time you need to do this. (The last time I did it myself, I was a clueless 16 year old, but it took me 2 hours and I didn't make any serious wrong turns.)

You might want to call your airlines and see if they can't offer more information or accomodate you somehow.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:06 AM on November 8, 2006

Actually, as I think more about it, if your plane taxis straight to the gate, you get off first and can walk straight to the curb, the bus is waiting, and it somehow gets all green lights and skips all the intervening stops, and there's no line at security, you might just be able to do it in 59 and 1/2 minutes. They'd probably have to hold the plane for you as you sprinted for the gate.

But that might happen in a well-run airport like Charlotte or SFO or even Newark. LAX? Not a chance. No offense intended, but travel through LAX is always more of a hassle than other airports I've been to.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:11 AM on November 8, 2006

It's more like a 15 minute walk, so you might be OK if your first flight is on time, but you'd have more peace of mind if you arrived earlier.
posted by lukemeister at 4:31 AM on November 8, 2006

You baggage will probably be transferred from American to USAir for you (I would call American to confirm that), but one thing I'd worry about is that it doesn't get transferred in time, and ends up on the next flight. This means your baggage doesn't arrive until the next morning- this has happened to me a few times with short layovers.
posted by muddgirl at 5:45 AM on November 8, 2006

It's always been my experience that unless you're traveling from an international destination, the airline transfers the baggage for you. Whether it transfers it for you on time is an entirely different matter.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:59 AM on November 8, 2006

Travel between Terminals 4 and 1: out to the curb and wait for the circular "A" shuttle bus as ikkyu2 describes. It will come eventually -- maybe right away, if you're lucky. Or if you're impatient, turn to the right and walk a bit, then head across the street once you get a break in traffic, making for the white "Theme" building (now home to the Encounter restaurant). Walk around it, keeping it on your right. You'll cross a couple parking lots and streets; avoid the parking structures. Eventually you'll cross the main road again at Terminal 1 or 2. If 2, head to your right until you reach 1. Voila!
posted by Rash at 8:13 AM on November 8, 2006

Even if you could make it with walking and a blessedly on-time arrival, you are still checking bags and there's no way to speed up the wait at baggage. Or at check in and security on the other side. With today's rules that you must be at the gate a half hour ahead of time, It's just impossible to do yourself. Call AA and ask them what they will need to transfer your bag. Once it is in the bag handling system it will get to your destination with you even if you end up bumped to a later flight because you couldn't sprint across the airport fast enough even without bags, which I would put money on happening by-the-way.
posted by dness2 at 9:05 AM on November 8, 2006

Do you have to check in again and be there ahead of time, or can you check in for both flights when you get to the first airport? If you can't get a boarding pass for the second flight before you get on the first one, it's going to be much harder.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:19 PM on November 8, 2006

Response by poster: I should add:

We are checking in for the USAir flight and the American flight at the same time via internet.

We are travelling from Hawaii to LAX on AA and LAX to PHL on USAir.

We are also headed home so if our luggage does not arrive at the same time as us its not the end of the world...those Hawaii clothes would not be good weather wise in Philly at this time of year anyways!

If we decide to walk rather than shuttle what is the best path. Can we cut through the parking garage?
posted by UMDirector at 5:29 PM on November 8, 2006

Best answer: No, avoid the parking structures. Here is a LAX map. The central "+" is the Theme building housing the Encounter restaurant. Use it as your landmark, and walk around (but right next to) it.
posted by Rash at 9:15 AM on November 9, 2006

Response by poster: So in case anyone wondered...

we went around the inside track of the airport...not the parking garages but around them (rather than the outside terminal walkay)...

We pulled up to the gate at 8:50 and were at our new USAir gate at 9:10. Unfortunately our bags did not make it but we did.

So if anyone else ever looks at this for reference it is possible...Red Eye with short security line will help as will being willing to walk fast enough to break a sweat!
posted by UMDirector at 5:57 AM on November 12, 2006

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