How to Make Airside Connections Between Terminals at LAX

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LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals

Originally published October, 2014 and updated: 6/3/2016 to add photos of the connection tunnel between Terminal 4 and Tom Bradley International Terminal.

From September 11, 2011 until 2014, the tunnels connecting terminals 4 through 6 were closed. Fortunately in preparation for the connection of the Tom Bradley International Terminal to Terminal 4, these tunnels were reopened to the public. With United, Delta, Alaska, American all operating out of these terminals, it should be possible to connect between all of these terminals airside without the need for a shuttle. (Terminal map.)

Unfortunately at this time Terminals 1-3 are not connected airside. The tunnel that connects Terminal 4 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal opened in 2015.

Connecting from LAX Terminal 4 to Terminal 6

To connect from American Airlines in Terminal 4 to any other airline in Terminals 5 or 6, simply head to gate 44 and go down the first escalator.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
Gate 44 at LAX’s Terminal 4.

At the bottom of the first escalator you will find the American Airlines & US Airways Express shuttle bus stop. Take the second escalator to the left.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
The second escalator. This leads to a tunnel towards Terminals 5 & 6.

Once you have reached the bottom of this escalator do not go down the tunnel in front of you. This tunnel, which is pictured below goes to baggage claim. It does not go to the other Terminals.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
Do not go down this tunnel.

Instea of going straight through the tunnel pictured above, when you reach the bottom of the escalator, make a u-turn to find the tunnel leading towards Terminals 5 & 6.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
This is the escalator you will take down. The hallway to the left is the tunnel that leads to the other terminals. Make a u-turn when you get to the bottom of this escalator.

The tunnel that connects Terminals 4 & 5 is long and white. It is actually quite eery.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
The tunnel connecting LAX Terminals 4 & 5.

Eventually you will reach an escalator. If you want to go up to the Delta gates at Terminal 5, you can get to them from here. To continue to Terminal 6, head off to the left as shown below.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
Go up the escalator for Terminal 5, continue to the left for Terminal 6.

After a short while you will reach a T-intersection. Follow the signs for Terminal 6 and take a right turn at the T.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals

 

Thankfully the tunnel between terminals 5 & 6 has been decorated by Delta. Just follow the signs and you will eventually arrive at an escalator leading up to Terminal 6.

 

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
The tunnel between terminals 5 & 6.
LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
The top of the escalator in Terminal 6.

Connecting from LAX Terminal 6 to Terminal 4

Head down the following escalator to the basement. It is located next to the Ruby’s Diner in Terminal 6 as shown.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
The top of the escalator in Terminal 6.

Once at the bottom of the escalator, keep going straight and follow the signs towards Terminal 5.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
Go straight towards Terminal 5.

You will eventually reach the blue tunnel which connects the two terminals.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
The decorated tunnel between LAX terminal 5 & 6.

At the end of the blue tunnel, keep following the signs for Delta’s gates 50-59.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals

 

When you reach the escalator for Terminal 5, continue forward, following the sign for Terminal 4 as shown below.

 

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
Continue on to Terminal 4.

You will now be in the stark white tunnel. Continue straight through this tunnel to reach Terminal 4.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
The long white tunnel connecting LAX Terminals 4 & 5.

At the end of the white tunnel you will find an escalator. Head up to get to Terminal 4. The first escalator leads to a small connecting platform. Continue on to the second escalator to reach Terminal 4.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
Up to Terminal 4.

You are now at Gate 44 in Terminal 4.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
Gate 44 & LAX Terminal 4.

Connecting from Terminal 4 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal

In 2016 the tunnel connecting American’s Terminal 4 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal officially opened. The tunnel is located just past security in terminal 4. If you are coming from another terminal, follow the instructions above for getting to Terminal 4 and then make your way towards security and turn left just before exiting.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
Turn left just before exiting security at LAX Terminal 4.

Make your way to the escalators and then go up to reach the connection bridge/tunnel.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
Follow the signs and take the escalator to the connection bridge.

There are a few long corridors to walk through without any moving walkways. The views to the left of the taxiway are great for planespotting!

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
LAX Terminal 4 to TBIT connection hallway.

It is quite a long walk, but eventually you will reach moving walkways to help you out a bit. The moving walkways mean you are about halfway there.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
LAX Terminal 4 to Tom Bradley International Terminal moving walkways.

Finally you will you see the Tom Bradley International Terminal check-in area to your right. Just up ahead you will emerge airside at the newly remodeled terminal. You do not need to go back through security.

LAX Airside Connections Between Terminals
Tom Bradley International Terminal check-in. You will emerge airside on the other side of the security checkpoint.

Conclusion

LAX is not one of my favorite airports to fly through, however the tunnels between terminals and now the connection to Tom Bradley International Terminal help a lot. If you are flying on Alaska, American, Delta, United or an International Carrier, things are much easier than before. As of now I am not aware of plans to connect Terminals 1-3, so unfortunately there is still some frustrations when connecting to carriers such as Southwest and Virgin America.


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66 COMMENTS

  1. I’m writing this from LAX after missing my flight and getting set up for the next one. I had a bad experience with these tunnels today.

    I entered the airport from Terminal 2 (Or maybe it was 6, based on the information you have here) and needed to go to Terminal 4. For some reason, I had booked the flight through US Airways, but the actual flight was on American. They still printed my boarding pass, though.

    I passed through security, then wound my way through the tunnels and several of the images you’d posted look familiar. I followed the signs to Gates 40-49. However, somehow I ended up leaving the security area. Either I was absent minded and daydreaming, or the security exit was poorly marked. I felt that I was paying close attention though, and don’t understand how I made the mistake.

    I want to retrace my steps to see if I can see where I went wrong.

  2. G’day,

    Great directions. Made it from 6 to 4 with time for a shower in the Admiral’s Club before my red-eye east.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Oh, they have also updated the white tunnel with lots of cool airline / flight history.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  3. I don’t fly often, so when I do I’m a bit nervous – especially when there’s a connecting flight involved. I happened upon your page and the combination of text and pictures was outstanding! I made it from terminal 4 to 6 without problems and even guided some fellow passengers along the way. Thanks for taking the time to document this as you have – I would’ve missed my connecting flight without it!

  4. I just made my way from TBIT to Terminal 4 on the airside! Much faster and more convenient than going through security again. Thanks, LAX!

    • I found myself landside after leaving passport and customs at TBIT with checked baggage to put back on the belt for my second flight from T6. Where did I go wrong?

      • Bump. Same here. After arriving at TBIT, you have to go through customs and pick up your bag before rechecking it, and I believe that location is already outside of the secured area.

  5. USA Airports, I been in zoos in 3rd world countries better organizes than USA Airports and Transportation systems.
    But hey keep telling yourselves you the worlds best, I am sur ether are idiots out there that will believe you.

      • Hi there
        My 16 yrs old son is going to travel with Etihad Airways…so he will get to TBIT then he needs to go to Terminal 6 to go to AZ with AA.

        The questation is
        1. How long does it take to transfer from TBIT to T6???

        2. How he can go…he does not speak good English???

        • This depends on if he clear customs in Abu Dhabi or not. If he needs to go through immigration and customs then it can take quite some time. The actual walk is about 20 minutes or there are busses that run between the terminals. The signage is quite good and if he knows how to say Terminal 6, employees can help direct him even with limited English. He can also write it down and show someone and they will direct him.

  6. Hello Shawn

    This is very informative, so thank you. I will be landing via United on Terminal 8. Is there a connection between Terminal 8 and the International Terminal where I will connect with Asiana Airlines. Secondly, I am also traveling with elderly parents who have limited mobility. One parent will need the aid of a wheelchair, maybe the other parent as well since the walk will be quite lengthy. In this situation, is it still better to use the tunnels so we do not have to go through security again? I am hoping that if I request wheelchair access that there will someone who will help us from Terminal 8 to the TBIT.

  7. Wanted to thank you a ton for your instructions on how to get from Terminal 6 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. My family of five, plus three others on our flight from Seattle to LAX had 1-hour to get to our international flight. These instructions allowed us to pass by what the flight attendant had told us (exiting the terminal and passing through security again) and get to our flight minutes before we boarded.

    Plus they made me look like a hero. Kudos were given on my blog at lifewiththreekids.com.

  8. We are traveling form T6 to Tom B through the tunnels and wanted to know Do we need to collect our baggage to transfeer or does the airline do it.

    • I am assuming you will be flying different airlines so as long as they don’t have a codeshare, then you will need to re-check. If they are partners and/or have a codeshare you may be able to check your baggage through. Check with your airline to see your options.

  9. Reading your description of the tunnel system if I come in on United at terminal 7 it seems that going out and walking down to Bradley International is still the best bet than trying the tunnel system from there?

    • It depends. The tunnels are fairly straightforward, but going to the curb and walking straight to TBIT is definitely more direct. If you could get through security at TBIT fairly quickly then perhaps it would be simpler to go that way, but lines are often long and they don’t have precheck there either.

  10. How long does it take to get from terminal 7 to TBIT if I use the tunnels? I’m flying EWR to LAX, then LAX to SYD. I have a 90 min layover in LAX. Is that enough time to walk from terminal 7 to TBIT? Thanks

  11. I’m flying Delta from San Jose Costa Rica (SJO) to LAX then United Express to San Luis Obispo Ca. (SBP) , can I do that without going through security again and how would you do that

  12. Can someone confirm the validity of this information? I am travelling from
    PHX to LAX (T 6)
    LAX (TBIT) to AMS

    After reading this post, I was happy that I will not have to go out of the terminal and I will be able to skip the 2nd security screening at TBIT BUT when I checked with Delta Airlines (who in turned claimed to have called Airport Authorities at LAX) CONFIRMED that there is no internal connection and that I will have to go out of Terminal 6, reach TBIT, go through Security Screening again at TBIT.

    If someone has recently traveled from T6 to TBIT without having to have 2nd security screening at TBIT. Please let me know.

    • Yes it is open as recent as a few weeks ago. Make sure you get your boarding pass to AMS in PHX or else you will have to go outside security to check-in. As long as you have your boarding pass, follow the signs for T4. Once in T4 walk towards the exit and security. Right before security you will see the turn off towards TBIT and follow the walkway as shown in these pics.

      • You were absolutely correct Shawn. Thanks for the information and being so active in responding back. The information on this website made my travel a lot smoother. The Delta support was wrong. I got all my boarding passes at Phoenix (PHX — LAX — AMS — DEL). I did not have to go through the 2nd security screening at LAX.

        Thanks again for taking the pain of putting all this information here.

  13. Shawn, THANK YOU for this article & photos. This saved a ton of time & hassle at LAX. This info left me some time to eat & shower in Star Alliance lounge before international flight. Normally I’m running outside in the humidity between terminals & going through long security lines. Ugh! Thanks again!!

  14. Can you connect between international terminal and terminal 4 without having to go through security? If not can you connect to any of the other terminals from terminal 4 without having to go through security?

  15. My sister has a tight connection coming from an international United flight arriving in TBIT to a domestic United flight from T7. Can she get there through the tunnels without going through TSA again?

  16. Thank you for spelling this out for us, I can’t wait to follow your directions and prove my husband wrong! My family will be traveling soon, it will be my first international flight. We are flying

    Portland (PDX) to LAX Terminal 6 (Alaska)
    LAX to Cook Islands (RAR)

    Do I understand you to say we can avoid security at LAX (as long as we get our boarding pass for RAR in Portland) but on our way back into the country we will have to go through customs at LAX?

    Thanks

  17. Hi Shawn thanks for the information! I will be traveling next month and it seems like that I have to head to terminal 4 from terminal 6 and I’ve got little bit under an hour (like 50 minutes), do you think the time will be sufficient for me to catch my flight? Thank you in advance!

    -Edited: sorry for not being clear in my original post, my domestic flight will land at terminal 6 and then I have an international flight at terminal 4, so I guess the good thing is that I won’t be dealing with any hassle with the customs… oh and also the company for both flights is the same, in this case it’s AA.

    • There is definitely sufficient time as long as you get off the plan in a timely manner. The walk from T6 to T4 is 7-15 minutes depending on where your gates are on either end. Still a tight connection, but at least it is all AA so they know you’ll be coming.

  18. You CAN stay airside between T1 and T2 when connecting to/from Southwest to International. A shuttle bus runs between Gate 12A in T1 and Gate 21A in T2. Takes 5 minutes and stays airside. Almost impossible to find and SWA doesn’t announce its presence onboard.

  19. Thanks Shawn for the info! We are making a tight connection on American and I have not used these tunnels but it sure beats having to re enter security check again during this busy holiday season.

  20. Hello Shawn.

    I will escort my 12 year old niece from San Luis Obispo(SBP) to Los Angeles(LAX) aboard United Express(UA). We will deplane at terminal 8. Her flight to return home to Peru will be from TBIT. The layover is 4 hrs.
    I would like to escort her to her LATAM gate at TBIT and spend the layover in a VIP lounge.

    Once I’ve deplaned my UA flight at terminal 8, I am no longer a ticketed passenger. However, I have not yet left the secured area.
    My question for you is this. Since I have reached my destination and am not ticketed for another flight, will I be able to move freely with her to TBIT?

    That brings to mind another question.
    Will there be a boarding pass kiosk inside the secured area, or will we have to go outside the secured area to get a boarding pass?
    Put simply; can we get her boarding pass without having to go out and clear security again?

    Thank you,
    Dave

    • You can move freely, but unless you get the Boarding Pass in SBP then you will have to leave security to get your LATAM pass. At that point you won’t be able to get back through.

  21. Shawn, I will be arriving at Terminal 2 on an Aer Lingus flight from Dublin, so I will have already cleared customs/immigration in Ireland before arriving at LAX. Officially it will therefore be a domestic arrival. I have only 60 minutes to get to a Delta gate in terminal 6. Is that possible? I think an earlier post suggested that you have to exit security on leaving terminal 2 and then go through security again to enter terminal 6. I will have only a carry-on case and will already have all boarding passes. Is this timeline possible? Can it be done without re-doing security? Any advice greatly appreciated. John

    • Hi John. Unfortunately there isn’t a way to get from Terminal 2 to Terminal 6 airside. That is a very tough connection. If you exit Terminal 2 and take the bus to Terminal 6 it shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes. The big hurdle for you is security. If there isn’t a huge line then you should be good. If the line is long, then you definitely risk missing the Delta flight.

  22. I will be arriving by AA domestic at Terminal 4 and leaving from TBIT on a separate reservation (Korean air). Do I need to exit, get a Korean boarding pass and then clear security again? Or can I go through the connector and have my boarding pass printed at the gates? Thanks

  23. Hi Shawn, I am going from Virgin America to Southwest. Which way should I go? I have 40min between my connecting fly. Do you think I have time? Thank you for your advise

  24. Shawn, I’m arriving in terminal 4 (AA) and leaving from TBIT on a separate flight. I will likely have bags to check unless AA checks them all the way through for us which is a potential possibility due to our flying on a partner airline (air tahiti nui).

    Do you know if we will have to leave terminal 4 and go back through security at TBIT, or can we use the connector? Air tahiti nui said it may be possible to just check in at the gate before flight but they were unsure of the checking bags issue. I also saw it mentioned somewhere that there may be a baggage re-check area in the connector, is that true?

    Any insight into this or advice? Thanks!

    • You can certainly try. If you are in Terminal 4 you will have access to the connector. The only issue you run into is if you need a boarding pass and can’t get one airside and/if AA won’t check your bags through. If the tickets are on the same itinerary hopefully they will. If you AA ticket is separate they probably won’t.

    • When you check in they will tell you if the bags are checked to the final destination.
      If so then follow the route in this post and you will end up in TBIT airside.

  25. Shawn, landing TBiT on Virgin Australia then to Delta at T5(aware of T4 T5 airside tunnel). I know I have to clear Customs Immigration then drop bags. Can you explain where the Sec point is for access to T4. Believe it is near bag drop. Would rather try this than walking outside along road and enter Sec at T5. Carl

      • Shawn, are you referring to going outside road side the up a level then walking along to T4 entrance. I ask as I thought there was a sec point very near bag drop that too a person direct to T4. Thanks Carl

        • I just passed thru LAX, after dropping luggage off at connector flight station there is NO REQUIREMENT to physically walk outside. There is a small corridor with TSA on the right that allows a person to go thru without having to go outside. After you pass thru this and follow path you pop out between TBIT and T4 along the new T4 TBIT connector. Right turn goes to TBIT and left goes to T4.
          Carl Z

  26. In two weeks time, I will be arriving LAX T4 shortly after 10pm with a 4 hours layoff, departing from T4 again at 2am. I probably would try your connector to reach T6 to use the Alaska lounge there (Priority pass) as this lounge close at midnight. Hope everything goes smoothly.
    Thanks for your post.

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