Los Angeles Airport
Los Angeles Airport
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The LAX premise consists of 9 security control points serving passengers in each terminal except for T8, which has a common checkpoint with T7. Some airports allow passing through any control zone to reach your boarding gate, while the LAX layout obliges travelers to use the spot check corresponding to the departure gate. However, you can still clear LAX security at T5 and walk to T4 for boarding.
Below you can find the location of gates and airlines serving departure routes from each terminal:
This structure hosts Southwest Airlines flights providing boarding from Gates 9-18B. The control point operates daily from 4 am to 11 pm.
Here you will find Gates 21-28 which serve boarding on Aer Lingus, Southwest (Int.), Aeromexico, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and WestJet planes. The checkpoint in T2 operates daily from 4:30 am to 2 am.
In T3, passengers can board Delta Airlines flights using Gates 31-39. This structure allows check-in only for Avianca, Copa, Interjet, and Virgin Australia. The security area is open daily from 4:15 am to 1 am. Thanks to automated screening lanes installed by Delta, wait time in the LAX security lines has significantly reduced.
If you booked a flight with American Airlines, you need to proceed to T4 to boarding gates 40-49. Pass through the security zone is open daily from 4 am to 1:30 am.
Those traveling with Allegiant Air, American, Frontier, or Hawaiian should look for boarding gates 50-59 situated in the T5 facility. The checkpoint there operates daily from 4 am to 1:30 am.
This facility operates Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Boutique Air, Mokulele Airlines, Thomas Cook, and VivaAerobus routes departing from T6. Boarding for the flights is realized from Gates 60-69. Passengers can clean the security from 4:30 am to 1:30 am.
T7 shares a spot check with T8 which serves passengers of United Airlines/United Express daily from 4 am until midnight. In T7&8, you will find Gates numbered 70-80.
TBIT South hosts Aeroflot, Air China, Air France, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nu, and Air Italy airlines providing 30 gates (130-159) for boarding passengers. The control point is open for passing from 6 am to 1 am.
In TBIT North, travelers can board Aeroflot, Air China, Air France, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nu, or Air Italy flights using Gates 130-159. This facility allows passing security from 8 am to 1 am.
TSA Pre Lanes are available at all security control points at LAX. TSA Pre status allows to significantly shorten the wait time. Thus, in March 2021, 98% of PreCheck travelers took less than 5 min to pass through security.
TSA PreCheck at LAX verifies if a passenger presents a low risk to flight security, so travelers can pass through spot check without the need to remove shoes and belts, as well as get laptops and liquids out of their bags. You can sign up for TSA PreCheck before your next LAX route in the enrollment center in T5 and T6 (the lower level luggage reclaim area). Once approved for PreCheck status, you will be assigned a Known Traveler Number (KTN). Use it any time you book a flight, and you will automatically have your TSA PreCheck applied to your boarding pass.
The LAX Fast Lane pilot program allows guests flying out of T7 and T8 to reserve a specific time for their TSA security screening. Travelers are enabled to pass through the dedicated lane at the TSA Checkpoints to reduce their wait time. Please note that guests participating in other LAX trusted traveler programs (TSA PreCheck), cannot use their benefits in the dedicated lane.
Reservations are available for departing and screening travelers daily from 5 am to 1 pm at the TSA checkpoint of T7.
Follow this step-by-step instruction to participate in the LAX Fast Line program:
CLEAR service allows LAX guests to get through the security lines quicker for a more seamless travel experience. Following a 1-time enrollment, CLEAR will validate your identity using biometrics (face, iris scans, and fingerprints). CLEAR Ambassador will meet you at the checkpoint to help during the biometric scan. Once it is completed, the staff will escort the traveler directly to the TSA lines at LAX where you will be asked to provide a boarding pass. The rest of the process is the same, and includes a baggage scan and metal detector and/or body scan.
Enrollment in the program is available for a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident over 18 years of age upon subscription. The annual subscription is around $189/year.
LAX has CLEAR lanes in T1-7 for expedited security clearance. CLEAR counters are situated at Terminals 2 & 3.
Passport control at LAX
The list of documents that must be presented upon arrival at LAX Airport usually depends on the country of origin or purpose of the visit. The U.S. citizens returning to California are required to provide valid ID and boarding pass.
The members of the Global Entry program must present their machine-readable passports or U.S. permanent resident cards and pass fingerprint verification at the dedicated kiosk. Most foreign passengers may only enter the US with a valid nonimmigrant or immigrant visa issued by their country of citizenship. The average time to pass through passport control at LAX is 30-90 min.
Automated Passport Control (APC) booths are designed to expedite entry for international travelers arriving at Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). Using APC, LAX guests experience shorter wait times and less congestion. APC is a free service that does not require pre-registration or membership. All you need to do is to respond to CBP-inspection-related questions (customs declaration form) and submit biographic info.
The following categories of passengers are enabled to use the kiosks for the passport control at LAX:
Mobile Passport Control (MPC) permits travelers to submit their customs declaration info offering a more efficient in-person inspection without a loss of time waiting in line. Eligible travelers can submit their passports and answer the questions corresponding to CBP inspection electronically via a free, secure app on mobile devices. Use of MPC is free and does not require pre-approval.o
Upon landing in the US, travelers need to select the LAX terminal, take a self-photo, and reply to a series of questions to receive an electronic receipt with a QR code. The last step is to provide a physical passport and digital QR-coded receipt to a CBP officer to finalize their inspection.
The US CBP Public Office at Tom Bradley Edifice is situated on Ticketing Level next to aisle A. It serves travelers daily from 8 am to 4:30 pm. If you would like to get more info on CBP services or customs policy, dial the LAX Customs and Immigration contact number 310-665-4560. You can also reach out to the Los Angeles Airport helpline at 855-463-5252.
The improved staffing and the installation of more advanced automated screening lanes have resulted in up to 30% faster screening than in the past. Passing through the LAX Customs and Immigration Area takes on average between 30-90 minutes. The LAX Customs wait time can reduce/increase depending on the country of origin, the purpose of the trip, the number of TSA officers on duty, and other factors. A lot of international flights arrive early at LAX, so the airport tends to get quite busy between 6 am and 9 am. So, consider it when planning your schedule.
All travelers arriving at LAX (regardless of their final destination) have to pass the Immigration check, recollect their baggage, and clear customs. Once the luggage is rechecked, guests need to proceed to Transportation Security Administration screening.
The need of passing customs for a transit flight is also determined by the terminal of your arrival and further departure since some structures have no airside connections. Inter-terminal link requires travelers to exit the security zone, walk or use a shuttle bus to reach another terminal building, and then re-clear security. Tom Bradley edifice and T4-8 are connected by a walkway, allowing passengers in transit to access the departure terminals without having to re-pass security.
The approximate LAX security wait times vary between twenty minutes and one hour and a half. It greatly depends on the airport's congestion, peak hours, the number of passengers with issues that may lead to an extension of screening time, etc.
No, LAX does not have airside connections between their buildings. Inter-terminal connections require travelers to leave the security zone, and then re-clear the check in another terminal.
The operating time of the security control points varies depending on the location:
Usually, the checking process at LAX takes around 60 minutes. If you have all the required documents and visa, the passport and immigration control will not take a lot of time. The LAX Airport Customs check may take longer as it also includes a CBP official interview.
In general, the wait time depends on the time of day (late afternoons or evenings are more favorable for both local and international arrivals), the number of flights arriving at the same time, the efficiency of the airport staff, etc