American Won’t Be Using Bus Gates at LAX After All

Back in July I went through a mental exercise over how a merged American and US Airways could combine their operations at LAX. I liked other ideas better, but my guess was “bus gates.”

It turns out that the American operation at LAX is getting squeezed even advance of any merger due to Tom Bradley International Terminal construction.

Last week they were saying they’d have to go to bus gates right away, even without additional capacity. They said they’d try to avoid assigning high yield flights (DC-Los Angeles non-stop, JFK-Los Angeles non-stop) to bus gates, and flights with lots of connecting passengers. But surely that would create a challenge for minimum connecting times there.

It turns out that they’ve changed the plan again, and will be moving around international arrivals only.

For the foreseeable future, American’s international flight arrivals, with the exception of its Shanghai plane, will land and unload passengers at Terminal 4. The international passengers will then use nearby stairs to access the ramp where they will board busses and be transported to the new Federal Inspection Service facility at the new Thomas Bradley International Terminal. American’s Shanghai flight will arrive at TBIT. All of American’s international departures will remain at Terminal 4 for the near future.

This seems like a reasonable solution, all things considered, and better than inconveniencing domestic connecting flights. Although I certainly hate getting bused to the terminal after a long haul international flight (as is the case with several carriers at Washington Dulles in my own back yard).

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Basically working like many non-US airports for long haul. And new TBIT is much improved. Sounds like a reasonable solution but wonder what becomes of the inspection facility in T4 with essentially no arrivals.

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