Beat of Hawaii flew on Hawaiian Airlines Flight 10 from Honolulu to Los Angeles yesterday, and we’ll have a lot more to say about that in a moment. In the meantime, let this serve as a tip for what to expect after disembarking the plane and navigating to baggage claim at LAX.
Late last year, Hawaiian moved from Terminal 5, which it shared with partners JetBlue and American, among others, to Terminal B/Tom Bradley International Terminal. Sounds okay right? In theory, this would improve the passenger experience and offer improved shopping and other amenities. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
Here is our experience of their new location after our widebody A330 departed at the last of the west gates in Terminal B.
1 1/3 mile walk from gate to baggage claim or check in to gate.
Whether you’re arriving or departing from LAX, you need to be prepared and arrive early. Shortly after the arrival gate, we entered a veritable labyrinth that meandered mysteriously through the airport. It included escalators going up, down, and many very long corridors. In a word, it was disorienting after getting off a 5 hour flight from Hawaii.
No Hawaiian Air Lounge at LAX.
Hawaiian mentioned that there will be more food and beverage options and lounges in the new international terminal. However, it must be noted that Hawaiian no longer has lounges except at its Hawaii airport locations.
As Jeff checked back in at LAX for his flight to Maui this morning, he asked the ticket agent about the new location. He was told it surprises many visitors as they don’t anticipate the 15-minute “quick walk” required to get to the gate. “Some people actually missed their flights,” the agent said.
Is the Tom Bradley International Terminal even relevant to West Coast Hawaiians?
While it’s now much easier to switch between other international airlines and Hawaiian, it’s obviously a small part of their business. For the bulk of their passengers who depart and end on the west coast, this is a major annoyance, at least for now, and more is coming.
Hawaiian Airlines flights from LAX.
The airline flies to Honolulu three times daily, at 7:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. They also fly once a day from LAX to the three neighboring islands. So it seems that the choice of terminals is important.
When the move went ahead, the airline said, “Hawaiian guests traveling to and from Hawaii via LAX will enjoy a modern and comfortable facility with more amenities, expanded dining and shopping options, and a spacious gate area.”
Options for guests regarding the limited facilities.
What we noticed this morning is that there was almost nothing open near the gates that Hawaiians use. Instead, the only restaurants were just after check-in and before the start of the very long walk. For most people who are unaware of the circumstances, there is no time to go back to where these facilities are currently located.
What can guests do who don’t want to walk 1 1/3 miles?
At either end of the very long aisles, there were many golf carts with porters. There are escalators, but also elevators. So it is possible to either use the golf carts or limit walking via the elevators.
We recommend that Hawaiian Airlines guests who can walk relatively quickly allow an additional 20 minutes at LAX after security or before heading to baggage claim. There will also be crowded areas and baggage claim signage is definitely absent.
What’s your experience with Hawaiian at LAX?