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Customs at LAX, catching another plane question

Santa Rosa...
posts: 85
reviews: 56
Customs at LAX, catching another plane question

Hello. i don't know why I didn't think of this before, but due to a time change in our upcoming flight home from Berlin/London to LAX, Our flight gets into LAX at 5:20pm on American. At 7:40, we have an Alaskan Air flight from LAX to Santa Rosa.

How is this going to work? Since our flight originates in Berlin on British Air, in London we switch to American to fly to LAX, but fly home on another airline home (we booked that flight after the fact...and a flight change by BA/AA closed the gap between my LAX connection home. Will I have to collect my luggage and check in all over again with Alaskan or will be there a way to let the folks in Berlin know about my additional flight? I can't see that working...if I have to collect my luggage after customs, will I have enough time to catch my other flight? Any help or insight would be appreciated. Thanks

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 7,418
reviews: 74
1. Re: Customs at LAX, catching another plane question

You definitely collect your luggage after immigration but before customs.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 8,245
reviews: 51
2. Re: Customs at LAX, catching another plane question

Depends on how your flights are ticketed. If you are on one ticket TXL-LHR-LAX-STS then the baggage tag should have all airports listed on it when you check-in at TXL. If so then when you clear customs you'll put your bag on the transit belt. If the LAX-STS is a separate hop then you'll need to walk your bag over from T4 to T6 where AS fly from.

You have to take your bags through US Customs yourself they won't be through checked. Terminal 4 isn't too bad in my experience but times for clearing immigration are variable indeed. If on separate itineraries I like to leave it much longer than on one, protected, itinerary.

Timaru
posts: 8
reviews: 15
3. Re: Customs at LAX, catching another plane question

ARE any of your flights codeshare flights? if so you can ask about the possibility of your luggage being checked through to your final destination

Berkeley, CA
posts: 456
reviews: 11
4. Re: Customs at LAX, catching another plane question

Your alaska flight is also a code share with American, so you should ask in Berlin if they can route your luggage on the Alaska flight as well as the American. (If you had bought it all on one ticket that's what would happen.) That way, if you check in for the Alaska flight on the internet, your bags will be taken from you right after customs and will be put on the Alaska flight, and you won't have to spend time checking in at the Alaska desk.

Santa Rosa...
posts: 85
reviews: 56
5. Re: Customs at LAX, catching another plane question

Thanks for the quick responses. I did not book the flights together, so it's a separate flight. We had such a great deal flying out of LAX compared to SFO. We just thought we'd drive down and drive back...no big deal. Then realization came in and we booked a RT from Santa Rosa to LAX. Originally, we had a 5hr stop in between our Alaska Air flight. It's not a big deal in LA as we're leaving the airport and coming back. Flight home, another issue. I'll check in Berlin. I know American and Alaska are partnered. Talb, I'll check in Berlin if we can do that. Thanks!

Orange, Australia
posts: 147
reviews: 25
6. Re: Customs at LAX, catching another plane question

Also, customs at LAX are generally pretty good when it comes to expediting passengers who have onward flights to catch - there's usually someone around asking if you have a flight & will check your boarding pass/ticketing to expedite you through customs (you don't skip it, more get put in the "fast lane")

I should mention when I say customs I technically am referring to the immigration part, not the "have you got any food/drugs" part.

Edited: 11:39 pm, July 01, 2013
New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 8,245
reviews: 51
7. Re: Customs at LAX, catching another plane question

I should mention when I say customs I technically am referring to the immigration part, not the "have you got any food/drugs" part.

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That'd be immigration then. Customs and immigration are two very different things, sometimes done in completely different countries yet for some reason people confuse them or lump them together as one thing.

UK
posts: 44,644
reviews: 89
8. Re: Customs at LAX, catching another plane question

I should mention when I say customs I technically am referring to the immigration part, not the "have you got any food/drugs" part.

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Not technically, actually. Why didn't you just call it, I don't know, how about, "immigration", people are confused enough as it is? And IME they absolutely do not expedite people with short connections but maybe they have changed since the sequester?

South Pole
posts: 15,408
reviews: 38
9. Re: Customs at LAX, catching another plane question

never have I seen any speeding up of the immigration process at LAX because of short connection times at either TBIT or united's terminal in the last 13 years of passing thru the airport..

Gerogery West...
Destination Expert
for Moab
posts: 3,074
reviews: 59
10. Re: Customs at LAX, catching another plane question

We have been expedited through at the United terminal at LAX but only when we've arrived late and were on a through ticket with United. As we disembarked we were given a fast pass to the short immigration line and another for security to domestic. Worked well too, under an hour from touching down through all the formalities and changing terminals to sitting in our seats for the next flight.

Others on the same flight weren't as quick from the back end of the 747 and were probably less familiar with the LAX setup. So the domestic flight was then delayed for a further 30 minutes while we waited for the rest to catch up.