Triangle Trip

Tag: lax tsa security

TSA security checkin time at LAX for 2009/2010 holiday travel

by on Dec.31, 2009, under Airlines, Business Travel, Vacation

With heightened security measures at US airports, Los Angeles International’s (LAX) TSA staff can appear to be slower than usual over the 2009 holidays. But the situation isn’t all that bad. I got to LAX at 11:10AM for a 12:30PM flight in anticipation for delays and bag check. With Medallion status, it took me 50 minutes to check my bags and clear TSA security at LAX’s Terminal 5 for a Delta flight (I had to check a bag because I was carrying California wine back to the east coast.).

Here are some statistics and best practices for your December 2009 and January 2010 holiday travel at LAX’s Terminal 5:

*  Give yourself at least one hour to get through TSA security regardless if your airline status. It still took me exactly 50 minutes to check my bags and get through TSA security; this is despite the fact that I’m a Medallion member, and I know my way around LAX terminals.

*  Forget the status line and just line up with everyone else. I was on the Delta Medallion/First Class line and waited 35 minutes to pass the first TSA security checkpoint – where they check your ID and ticket. The regular line was a lot faster as people who got in line with me passed me on the first checkpoint. There were 3 screeners checking IDs on the normal line vs 1 screener for the Medallion/First Class line.

*  If you’re checking bags and don’t have status, give yourself two hours to check your bags and get through TSA security. The regular bag check line was wrapping around the doors outside the departure terminal at LAX Terminal 5. I also noticed issues with the checkin kiosks as people were complaining.

*  Note that LAX’s Terminal 4, 5, 6, and 7 are all interconnected. You can always checkin at Terminal 5 and use the walkway to get to Terminal 7 or 4.

I dropped off friends at LAX Terminal 6 and noticed the United line was also wrapped around the doors of Terminal 6 and terminal 7. I suggested our best practices (see previous posts: use Terminal 6 vs 7 and quickly get through Terminal 7) to my friends and they were able to clear TSA security in 20 minutes.

Happy 2010 everyone!

Leave a Comment :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Go to LAX Terminal 6 instead of Terminal 7 for your next United flight

by on May.06, 2009, under Airlines, Business Travel

United Airlines now operate out of Los Angeles International Airport’s (LAX) Terminals 6, 7, and 8. Following my previous post on how to get quickly get through LAX security in Terminal 7, this post gives you two more options should the LAX Terminal 7 garage security checkpoint is closed for whatever reason or becomes too crowded.

Option 1 – Use United Premier Line in Terminal 6:  United has their Premier check-in counters and security line in Terminal 6. Unlike LAX Terminal 7 (or other airports), Terminal 6’s security checkpoint does not have a pre-screener to look at your ID or re-validate that you are a United Premier member. If you walk into Terminal 6 and make an immediate left, you will see the United Premier security line. This line is generally empty and connects you to the normal Terminal 7 main security line. However, the Terminal 6 security line is much shorter as it does not wrap around like Terminal 7’s main line. If you do see a pre-screener and he/she does not let you go through, just tell him/her that you were dropped off by the rental car bus and have to catch the flight that’s in an hour. If that fails, go to Option 2.

Option 2 – use LAX Terminal 6’s TSA security line to get to Terminals 7 and 8:  This option will require some walking. Terminal 6’s normal TSA security is to the right of United Premier check-in. LAX Terminal 6 does not have many big airlines (AirTran, Continental, Spirit, Virgin America, etc.) so the security lines are generally shorter than Terminal 7. After you have cleared the Terminal 6 security line, make a left and walk through a tunnel that connects you to Terminal 7.

For your convenience, below is a map of LAX highlighting the United Terminals. I have labeled locations for Options #1 and #2 in red.

LAX United Terminal Map

LAX United Terminal Map

I have tried both options and both worked like a charm. I was at LAX at 3:20PM to catch a 4PM flight and there was no pre-screener at the United Premier security line in Terminal 6. I bypassed the normal Terminal 7 pre-screening and the long wrap around line. I have also tried go through security at Terminal 6 and walking back to Terminal 7. The entire process (clearing security to walking to the gate) took less than 15 minutes as no one uses the TSA security lines in Terminal 6.

I am still waiting for Clear to show up at the world’s 6th busiest airport. Here’s a link to my previous post regarding this topic. I would also like to give credit to Statusmonger for telling me about the United Terminal 6 secret.

9 Comments :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...