LAX connection - advice

Discussion in 'LAX/SNA/LGB/BUR | Los Angeles Area Airports' started by Menashe, Aug 23, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Menashe

    Menashe Silver Member

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    Hi,

    I booked 5 AAdvantage award tickets a few months ago with AA, JFK-LAX-KOA-LAX-JFK. The return flight originally had a 1:25 connection - tight with the family, but seemed quite doable. In any event, I couldn't find any other award tickets in that time period, so I consider it a success!

    A few days ago, they moved the overnight KOA-LAX leg by 20 minutes so that the connection time is now 1:05. I called AA to see if they could switch our flight for the LAX-JFK leg, but the rep says she doesn't have any award availability until much later that afternoon. And if there's anything worse than a 1 hour layover with 3 little kids, it's an 8-hour layover following a red-eye, so I turned her down. I hope to be almost home by then!

    A few questions:
    1. Is it worth calling back to see if I get a more sympathetic agent? I've had some success in the past when flights were moved (even once when a layover was extended longer than I wanted), but haven't had to try this in a few years. There does seem to be lots of availability on the next few flights out, just not award availability.
    2. Do I have to re-clear security in Terminal 4 at LAX or is it just a gate-to-gate transfer? The KOA-LAX flight seems to have an excellent on-time record, so if security is not an issue, I'm much more comfortable.
    3. If we do miss our connection, does anyone know how AA prioritizes missed connections?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    As a very general rule, if a schedule change has caused your award itinerary to go from a legal connection to an illegal one, the airline should switch your flights without charge, even if there is no inventory of the correct inventory class. OTOH, if a twenty minute change just makes you want another flight, they are less likely to be sympathetic or waive rules/fees for you unless you are a high level elite. YMMV and you might have better luck calling back and asking a different agent, especially if you have first figured out exactly the new flights you want and can argue that this is reasonable.

    There are convenient airport hotels around LAX that are quite good and offer day rates, with free shuttle service, that you might want to consider.
     
  3. Menashe

    Menashe Silver Member

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    Thanks. I realize that I don't technically qualify for a flight change, was just wondering whether one hour seems sufficient for a domestic transfer at T4 and also what others' experience was with agents (i.e. 1:05 connection is not illegal, but it's kind of close). I wouldn't hesitate for myself, but somehow, everything takes longer when traveling with the family.

    The current flight is at 7:00 AM and there are two others at around 8 or 9 AM (heck, they run almost hourly between JFK and LAX), but this particular agent was sticking to the book.

    Good information about airport hotels - will look into it if I do end up stuck there for the day.
     
  4. garyst16
    Original Member

    garyst16 Silver Member

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    LAX T-4 is relatively small. As long as your inbound flight is on time, or even a little late, it should be no problem making a tight connection. You can literally make it from one end of T-4 to the other in 5 minutes. You will not have to re-clear security, just take a short walk to your next gate.
     
  5. Menashe

    Menashe Silver Member

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    Thanks, that's what I was hoping.
     
  6. mhnadel
    Original Member

    mhnadel Silver Member

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    One caution is that they are doing construction at some gates at T4 at LAX. My last trip there had us park at a remote gate and be bussed to T4, which took at least an extra 20 minutes.
     

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