Several years ago, Tom Bradley International had a $1 Billion facelift, and all things considered, the Folks at LAX did a fairly good job modernizing the Terminal and making it a pleasant place to wait for a flight. I, for one, have no problems spend a few hours at TBIT, and feel it is one of the better Terminal Buildings in the United States and competes well as a World Class Terminal.
LOCATION: LAX – between Terminals 3 & 4, facing West
GATES: 15 with Airbridge; 4 for Bus Transfer to Satelites
Check-in can be a mixed bag, time wise, but generally fairly quick. Premium Classes, of course, generally through the check-in process. Arriving early is always suggested, there is a good amount to keep you occupied once past security.
Premium Class Fast Track is available, but…
I have experienced it NOT being open several times.
TSA Pre Check is available
with several of the International Airlines: Lufthansa, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and others. But, be aware that TSA Pre is NOT always open.
• TSA info: Airlines Participating in TSA Pre Check
Clear Biometrics is NOT available at TBIT,
use security at Terminal 4 after initial check-in and enter TBIT via the South Walkway.
Arrivals Area Passenger Screening Area
There is a dedicated Security Screening in the lower Arrivals area at TBIT… this is used for employees and transfers for arriving passengers from TBIT. For now, it is generally a faster Screening Area for non-TSA Pre travellers.
There is a fairly good selection of shops and some surprisingly good dining options, and having a proper meal prior to flying is a better way to enjoy a flight.
Petrossian Caviar & Champagne Bar
I always have the set snack, Salmon with Caviar Croquette and Champagne before a flight… makes boarding so much more pleasant.
There are some extremely good Lounges at TBIT, except most have one big problem, and that is they do not have Tarmac/Runway views, only views of the inside of the Terminal, hopefully this will change with the new Midfield Satellite Concourse. Other than that, there are quite a few great lounges depending on your airline and class of travel.
Not a great lounge, but the inside deck makes this a pleasant place to hang out. (Report coming soon)
Star Alliance Lounge (Business)
A great lounge. (Report coming soon)
Star Alliance Lounge (First)
A great lounge, and the outdoor deck makes this a true winner. (Report coming soon)
Etihad Airways Lounge
Both of these have a sad hallway view, though once inside are quite good.
LA International Lounge
If all these are just too crowded and noisy, there is always the Private Suite, and they will drive you to your gate.
Mr. Lucky at OMAAT gives his opinions on all here: Ranking The Lounges At LAX TBIT
For an American Citizen with Global Entry, getting through Passport Control couldn’t be easier, for all others it can take a while… Welcome to the United States! After Passport Control collect the luggage and you are out front getting your cab or going up to the Departure Level to have your Uber or Lyft collect you.
Transferring to a Connecting Flight
This is where I think both LAX and Customs need to work out a better system. It’s a sad way to treat people who have just gotten off a 10+ hour flight. But sadly, most other US Airports handle this in the same manner.
After Passport Control, all passengers must collect their luggage and proceed through Customs. After Customs, turn right to the Connecting Flights to redeposit the Check-In Baggage. Make sure to have a Boarding Pass for your connecting Flight at LAX, and either proceed to the Terminal of your Airline, or if it is T4 thru T8, you can use the TSA Screening at TBIT on the Lower Level, to the right just as you exit from the ReCheck-In Desks.
Oh! Canada !
Anyone having done the US Passport & Customs clearance in Canada to a USA bound flight has witnessed that a better and easy way is very possible. We can only hope that someday.
If Your Luggage Doesn’t Arrive
Proceed to the same ReCheck-In Desks as the Connecting Flights Passengers. There will be someone there to take the information to have your luggage forwarded to you. Also, here is a good tip: an Airline Representative at Baggage Claim usually knows if a bag missed a flight before it comes off the carousel, ask if your name is ont the list. This will help save time in getting your claim in.
The new Satellite Terminal will be having 12 additional gates, and room to grow. It will be connected by an undergraound system and is to help expand TBIT to handle more jets and no longer need to have the Mini Satellites that need to be accessed by bus. It’s set to be operational by 2019 and fully complete by 2020.
• Official Info: LAX Midfield Satellite Concourse
Ride Share Pick-Up is on the Upper Departures level, except TCP registered vehicles (Limos including some Uber Black), which is on the Lower Arrivals Level. Ride Share Spot D, would be between TBIT & T4
Private Parking Shuttles Pick Up & Drop Off is on the Upper Departures Level.
International Flights: Los Angeles LAX Nonstop or Direct International Flight List
additional information you think would be useful,
please let me know.