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Trip to Maui

(21 Posts)
ilovetrees30 Thu 29-Aug-19 19:28:43

We see off to Maui in October and have a lay over in Los Angeles. I've never flown long haul before so I was wondering does anyone have any experience of having a lay over in LAX. Do we have to go back landside? Do we have to collect our bags and recheck them in and go back through security? Or is it fully automated and we just move from one plane to another?

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 29-Aug-19 20:42:57

Yes I have done this (would never want to attempt a same day internal transfer from lax to the islands ever again!).

How long is your layover?. I ask as some flights from the UK to LAX could land very close to or even after the last flight to the islands of that day have already departed.

You need to check your flight details now and carefully because in all likelihood you will fly into one terminal (perhaps TBIT, Tom Bradley international terminal) and out of a separate terminal entirely. If this happens (and it can be some considerable distance between terminals) which is very likely you will need to check in and go through security again. Your bags will go on the transfer belt at the initial terminal you arrive into but again you need to check that your bags will be tagged all the way to Kahului, Maui’s airport.
This all takes up time and you are going to need a lot of it. If it’s less than 3 hours layover you may not make the onward flight.

It’s certainly not fully automated a process either and LAX as an airport is vast. Look at this airport’s terminal map well in advance of your travel date.

regularbutpanickingabit Thu 29-Aug-19 20:47:01

Is it for a wedding?

inwood Thu 29-Aug-19 20:51:08

Yes we did this - we had to reclear security etc - all my expensive suncream bought airside in Heathrow was taken off me, same with duty free.

The airport is horrendous.

MadeForThis Thu 29-Aug-19 20:51:27

🤣 please be a wedding 😝

Bouffalant Thu 29-Aug-19 20:55:17

Maui will only ever mean one thing on MN.

Bouffalant Thu 29-Aug-19 20:55:34

Same for Centre Parcs.

Okki Thu 29-Aug-19 20:56:49

I came on to check if it was a wedding grin

Have a great time OP.

WalkAwaySugarbear Thu 29-Aug-19 21:05:52

We flew Chicago to LA to Kahului, a long 33hrs later. We did the immigration at Chicago then LA was simple. They took care of the luggage.
I loved Maui and would go back in a heartbeat. I'd recommend the bike ride down Haleakala, I didn't do it but DH did and said it was amazing, you are driven up to the top of the volcano in the early hours of the morning to watch the sunrise over the clouds then freewheel on a bike to the bottom for breakfast on the beach.
Enjoy OP.

ilovetrees30 Fri 30-Aug-19 10:17:38

Sadly not a wedding. Its a last foray before IVF kicking off. Okay I'm concerned now that the layover time we have on the way out isn't enough!!!

My googling shows that the flight from heathrow normally gets into t2 and the maui flight is t3. Some googling suggests there is an airside shuttle to keep you airside but I am not sure now. Maybe a phone call to virgin atlantic will be needed to clarify!

OP’s posts: |
RocketRacoonsFurryBalls Fri 30-Aug-19 10:30:43

I don’t know what LAX is like now, but when I was last there in 2004 it was an absolute shithole.

We had 7 hours between flights (from Auckland, to Heathrow) and there was fuck all to do. I ended up sleeping on the floor for a bit!

It might be a bit different as your second flight will be domestic, so possibly more of a faff with changing terminals and what not.

Good luck and have a great hol!

chemenger Fri 30-Aug-19 10:40:35

I’ve always had to clear customs and immigration at the first US airport then recheck bags, or at least identify them. You are at the mercy of the immigration queue, which is usually slow because of shortages of immigration officers. Two hours in the queue is not all that unusual in some airports, in others you can be through in 20 minutes.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 30-Aug-19 11:11:47

How long is your layover?.

Terminal 1 (Southwest), terminal 2 (Delta and friends) and terminal 3 (more Delta and others) are NOT connected by an airside, pedestrian walkway yet. You will have to walk or take the LAX shuttle bus between these two terminals (that journey takes about 10 minutes depending on traffic).

MrsFezziwig Fri 30-Aug-19 12:40:10

If LAX is your first point of landing in the USA you will need to go through immigration. Depending on local and variable factors this could take hours. What is your layover time? The Americans don’t see a missed connection as a major deal as it happens so often, even if you miss the last flight they would put you in a hotel & send you on a flight the next day, but obviously that’s something you need to be aware might happen.

ilovetrees30 Fri 30-Aug-19 13:46:16

Our layover is 1 hour 40. Definitely thinking we are screwed! The way back we have 8.5hours. Its interesting though as all the flights out were of a similar lay over time regardless which airport we went into so that would make you think it should be doable. My anxiety is starting to build over this now though. sad

OP’s posts: |
chemenger Fri 30-Aug-19 14:24:33

do you have a through ticket with the same airline I’ve Virgin from the UK to Maui? If so then it is their problem to get to there. However that does mean that they guarantee to make the connection. DD missed a connecting flight from JFK and had to stay overnight in a hotel. Delta, quite incredibly, did not give her any assistance with this because their policy is not to book hotel rooms for travelers under 21. So they were totally happy to leave two 18 year olds stranded overnight in New York and actually laughed in their faces when they asked for help. Luckily DH was awake and able to book a room for them. Delta are scum.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 30-Aug-19 14:44:33

Hi

Is the flight to LAX with Virgin and the onward flight to Kahului with Delta then (one of the airlines they share a partnership with?).

One hour and 40 minutes was and is never enough time, it will need to be changed and you should never have been sold such a short transfer time (I would also put a complaint in to whoever sold you this and its even too tight for a domestic connection). Such short connection times are precisely why I would never recommend anyone do a same day internal transfer through a US airport (having done this I would never readily do it again because I've run for the plane at T7 at LAX before now).

The whole process for the plane to clear the runway and head for the gate takes time. More time is then eaten up in getting the doors open and then unloading the pax; this whole process could take nearly an hour. It can also take a considerable amount of time to clear immigration at LAX due to shortage of officers. And then you will have to walk to Delta's terminal at T3.

You need three hours or more at LAX particularly if you are changing terminals.

Is it possible for you to actually fly out to LAX the day before you were due to travel?. This I would do if you can.

Re your 8.5 hour layover coming back, there is a three hour time difference between the US mainland and the Islands. So your flight from Kahului will leave probably at lunchtime/early afternoon and arrives into LAX sometime after 8.00pm.

chemenger Fri 30-Aug-19 15:04:17

I agree that there is just not enough time. As Attila says there are time constraints that you can’t control. If your transatlantic flight is delayed at all, having to wait for the gate to be available, luggage delays and most of all immigration, also the gate will close for the onward flight before its departure time. I think first time ESTA users can’t use the automatic immigration scanners, you have to talk to someone (I may be wrong, I enter the US on a visa at the moment and that is always far worse). I would get back to whoever sold you the ticket and discuss it. I suspect that airlines use the time it takes a US passport holder to get through immigration to base connection times on, rather than foreigners.

I’d far rather have 8.5 hours than under 2 in these circumstances.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 30-Aug-19 15:15:10

Chemenger is correct, as first time visitors to the US you will need to be processed by an immigration officer.

bestbefore Fri 30-Aug-19 23:00:43

We flew into LA this summer and out to Hawaii the next morning - it took probably about 1.5- 2 hours from disembarking to getting our cases - queues for the machine to check our estas and then to speak to immigration man and then a short wait for the bags.
Don't make the mistake I did of taking off the airline luggage sticker thinking we'd get new ones for the 2nd flight as they should have been kept on (opps!).
Overnight we had an airport hotel.

MrsFezziwig Sat 31-Aug-19 20:04:18

They usually close the departure gate about 20-30 minutes before departure time so you haven’t even got 1 hr 40.
If your ticket has been booked as a whole then the airline should definitely sort you out, but I appreciate if it’s your first time long haul then it’s going to be more of a worry to you (after several years of this type of situation we’ve just learned to roll with whatever fate throws at us). What time does the flight arrive into LAX? If it’s late in the day there may not be another flight until the morning. I would contact whoever your holiday is booked with and check what the procedure is, just to set your mind at rest, and also in case you have any arrangements when you get to the islands which may need to be changed. Bit of a bummer though to miss a day of your holiday.

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