One of the big issues at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the inability to make connections between terminals without having to leave security. This has been slowly changing, and now we have the biggest improvement yet. The post-security connector between American’s Terminal 4 and the Bradley International Terminal is now open, and it’s even better than I thought it would be. I took a walk through it when I was flying out last week.
Thanks to a network of tunnels and corridors, anyone traveling between the Bradley Terminal and Terminals 4 (American), 5 (Delta), 6 (Alaska), and 7/8 (United) will be able to walk back and forth without leaving security. This will make for faster and easier connections, though clearly those walking from United’s terminals will have quite a long walk ahead of them. What I didn’t realize before is that those arriving internationally will also benefit here, but we’ll get to that a bit later.
Right after going through security in Terminal 4, travelers will see the entrance right there on the west side of the concourse. This used to be a wall, but now it’s open and shares space with the gate 41 waiting area.
After going upstairs (escalator/stairs/elevator), you head into a corridor with great views of the ramp.
The corridor quickly opens up into a large, semi-triangular space. You keep walking forward toward the moving walkways to head into the Bradley Terminal, and I couldn’t figure out why this needed to be so big.
Then I figured it out. On the right, there is what will be a door. That’s going to be an exit for people who have arrived at the Bradley Terminal from an international flight, but it hasn’t opened just yet.
You can see out the window in the next photo, immediately below where I am, that there’s a ramp coming up from the arrivals level. When passengers go through immigration and customs, they’ll be able to follow the signs to connecting flights. They can re-check bags and then immediately go through a new security area that leads up a ramp into the connector. That’s going to make things move much more quickly for those connecting off an international arrival in Bradley.
Continuing toward the Bradley Terminal, you go on some moving walkways and then get into the old bones of the original Bradley building. The walkway in this part is smaller and darker than the rest, but it does the trick. (I kept trying to remember what this replaced. I remember many years ago there were hotel rooms, though I’m not sure if that was in this exact area.)
There are still windows in this part of the walkway and you can look back on the curvy new connector.
Once through the first part of the Bradley terminal, it opens up into this really cool suspended tunnel with floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides.
It has a fantastic view down into the ticketing and security areas in Bradley.
At the end of that walkway, it’s time to head into the terminal. There is a set of escalators to do just that.
This goes down into an area where there’s a little dog park.
After a short walk further along, you end up in the center of the Bradley Terminal, past security.
I know I put a lot of photos in here, and it sounds like it might be a long walk, but it’s not. It’s probably 5 minutes from Terminal 4 to Bradley, and you can retrace your steps to come right back the same way (as I did to catch my flight).
For American travelers, this is a big development. American has some flights operating from Bradley, so this allows people to go back and forth between connections with ease. It also allows people to connect from American domestic flights to a variety of international partners including British Airways, Air Berlin, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Japan Airlines, Qantas, and more. Considering the minimum connect time from American to British Airways is 1h30m today, this should be able to drop dramatically, make for quicker connections, and get people where they’re going faster.
But it’s not just good for American. It’s good for every airline on the south side of the airport. Most importantly, this will make connecting a whole lot easier for a bunch of people.