Pictures: LAX prepares to link American’s Terminal 4 with international terminal

Los Angeles International Airport is finally making some progress on a new connector building between the Tom Bradley International Airport and American’s Terminal 4. It should be finished by the end of 2015.

If all goes well, this should be an important change for customers on a bunch of different airlines. For now, travelers on United, Alaska, Delta and American must either make a long walk outside security or take a shuttle bus, also outside security, to reach the airport’s main international terminal. But when this building is finished, customers on all of those airlines should be able to make seamless connections from domestic flights onto international ones. This will save a lot of time. And departing passengers will only have to go through security once.

For this to become a reality, Los Angeles International Airport will have to reopen an underground tunnel between Terminals 4 and 5. That should happen at some point, though I don’t know when. (It has been closed for years.) ¬†Once that happens, Terminals 4 through 8 will all be connected on the South Side of LAX. The news is not so good for passengers using Terminal 1, 2, 3, who will still need to do a lot of schlepping to get to the main international terminal.

Here are some renderings of the new connector building, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports.

TBIT connector 2

TBIT connector 1

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  • Jeff Richmond

    I’ve seen a number of documents, including this press release, that say that a component of the connector building project is a “South Terminals Bus Port” for access to terminals 5 through 8. I thought that suggested that the T4-T5 tunnel would not be opened. Are both forms of access being planned?

    • Brian Sumers

      Jeff — While I’m not sure about the Bus Port, I will tell you that American Airlines officials tells me the tunnel is expected to reopen. Here’s a slice of an email I received on Jan. 28 from Jeff Plant, American’s managing director for LAX. “We have made an investment to meet current code and bring the area back to life with the intention of opening it for customer/employee use,” Plant wrote. “Hopefully by the end of the summer we can open the tunnel.”