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Author: forgerr

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 19
Trips Taken: 6
Countries Visited:

Antartcia-China-Italy-Australia-New Zealand-Fiji-etc

Traveler Since: 2008

October 01, 2012

We will be leaving LAX at the end of the month for our trip to Australia. Our question is the appearance of a complicated process on changing planes and proceeding to terminal B for Qantas flight. We are flying into LAX from Clev and will be arriving at terminal 5. As I have been told by GCT and Qantas airlines, we will need to leave the secured area and proceed to terminal B ck in counter as if we were coming in off the street. Quantas says we cannot log into there web for ck in either. This seems a bit of a time issue along with a bit of a hastle. Also if our bags are not transfered, then it would also require a trip to the bagage claim and then to terminal B. 

If that is the way it is then so be it, however, any insite from your previous trips would be helpful. On the bright side, this is going to be a GREAT TRIP !!

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

October 01, 2012

The problem lies with the fact that there is no "in transit" in this country.  When I have gone to  the South Pacific or Asia, I have stayed overnight in LA.  Flying to Europe, I always leave from Logan Airport.  Only once, when I went to Guatemala did I have to change in the US and was able to check my bag through.  It was in 2003, I think, but they weren't as strict.  Maybe.

Coming home, you will also have to go through immigration and customs at LAX.  You do that at your first stop on US soil.  It is a pain to retrieve your luggage and go through the formalities and then check for luggage again, but they make it as painless as they can.  Depending on how nice they are.

Can you do a little tweaking with your flight to LA?  I know there aren't as many flights as there used to be, but can you go a day ahead?

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 232
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

October 01, 2012

Forgerr,

Make sure you are carrying an extra complete set of clothes in your carryon, lightest for layering and a windbreaker/umbrella.  Just in case.  And get your partner to carry a complete set of clothes in his/her checked bag, and you as well.

We just returned last Tuesday 9-25  from Canada via LAX from Phoenix and return.  We had to do exactly what you indicated in your post:

Check your bags to your final destination

In LAX De-plane, go down to Ground Transportation; go out doors, cross the first street to middle island.  At this point you just have your carry-ons.

Above your head facing traffic lane is indication of where you are standing:  Note the colors 

Rental car Pickup  (red)      Hotel Pickup   (purple)      Airport Shuttle Pickups (BLUE)     

You want to walk along the loading sidewalk till you get to the Blue area.  Look above you to see you are in blue area.

You can ask a security attendant or traffic attendant before you cross the street what shuttle bus you should get for terminal B.   or ask a bus driver in the  blue area if the bus goes to  terminal B  or what bus you should take:  A, B, or C, or give name of airlines for Aust. or NZ. 

Wait for the bus they tell you.  Sometimes a bus says All Terminals or All Airlines.  Might take longer to get to the terminal you need if you take All Terminals.  We went from Terminal 7 to Term 2.  I think Term B was just a few stops from where we got on at Term 7.  (or Term 2 to 7 on return).

Listen closely to the announcer on the bus; get off either door front or middle.

Cross street, go up outside escalator to Quantas ticket counter (maybe you won't have to do this, I'm not sure you get off on Departure level).  Check for your gate on the TV monitors in case of changes.  If you are in t he Quantas area, just follow crowd to Security.  If you don't have a boarding pass for South Pac., ask agent who is helping people in line where you should stand.

If you already have your boarding pass, go straight to security from the ticketing area.  Yes, you will have do all the  same things over again.  When we dress in the morning of our flight, we make sure everything is off our wrist, neck,  waist except our neck passport holder; all jackets are in carryon, etc. 

Keep passport and boarding pass out for security checkpoint, then before taking off shoes, make sure you put your passport and holder away, zip shut the purse/satchel, etc.  No small liquids, creams, etc.  If anyone is born before 1937 you don't have to remove shoes--ask or see sign.

When you return from South Pacific, you will do the same thnig in reverse.  Check your bags all the way to Cleveland.   If there is no US Border and Customs in the Austrailian/New Zealand airport departure, then yes, you will have to claim your baggage from Baggage area in LAX; you can clear customs in this area, I'm pretty sure,  When your bags have cleared customs, you proceed to the Connection counter of your airline; this is usally not too far from the customs area, and re- check your bags for your final destination.  We did this many times when returning from Asia (we lived there 13 years).  After your bags are re-checked, proceed to the shuttle bus area to go to our final destination airline terminal.
 

Lugging the large bags and carry on's onto the bus is a pain in the you know what.  If you are allowed two bags for check in (at no charge or small fee), then we usually check our wheeled carry on on the return trip, and just carry our "personal" backpack, satchel or small duffel with just enough for the flight (book, keys, cameras, immediate use stuff). 

Pauline is right, for a flight to South Pacific, I think from LAX is in the afternoon to Aust.  But, if you can, get a hotel in the LAX area the night before your Pacific flight, .  It's much easier, especially from the East area.    Just that you will have to handle your large luggage to and from the hotel, but, it may be easier in the long run; Make sure you get a hotel with shuttle to airport or cab. 

I hope this helps

 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

October 02, 2012

When I took the Aus trip a couple of years ago, the Qantas flght left LAX at 10:00 pm. I flew the day before  and  spent the night at an airport hotel, which was a good decision because my flight from Florida to Atlanta was canceled and I had to scramble to get another flight. I missed two flights from ATL to LAX and my luggage arrived on the flight after I arrived, so I took the shuttle to the hotel, checked in, had dinner and then took the shuttle back to the airport to get my checked luggage. By then it was about 8:30 and the Aus flight left at 10 pm so I may have made it but was very happy to have a good dinner and a night's sleep before the long flight to Sydney. By the way, the Qantas flight was the best I'd had in several years of traveling on a variety of airlines.

It's a great trip, youll have a wonderful time.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 232
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

October 02, 2012

Luisa is right.  Before we considered staying in the gateway city overnight to Europe, we had several experiences that 1) our plane never left Phoenix; automatically we would miss our flight that evening to Brussels. 2) another trip we left Phoenix for Dulles on time, but had to wait in Atlanta because they had to take the engine out of the plane.  Put it back in and found that wasn't the problem after all--just something insignificant like a cigarette lighter (or something); same flight missed the connecting flight in Paris due to no indication of what terminal we had to go to until it was too late to get on the plane for Budapest.  Up until that time we never had problems flying within Asia, Asia to US, US to Asia, US to East Coast, vice versa).  So, we would consider staying overnight in a gateway city like LAX or Newark, etc., if we would be going directly to the ship.  If we have 2-3 days in a hotel in the first city overseas, it might not make a difference, especially if we had been to that city before. What's missing one night in that case, but you pay to be there, so why miss it?

And going to the East from Phoenix, like you going West from Cleveland, we book the earliest flight possible in the day so if there is a glitch, there might be another flight to get you to LAX.  But, since there's only one flight to Europe or Pacific, I'd pick the hotel overnight to be in the departure city.  It's more of a hassle to catch up with a ship especially, or the tour besides missing events on the tour, than it is to stay overnight before the overseas flight. 

 

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

October 03, 2012

Singsling and Luisa are correct.  I've been to Australia/New Zealand four times independently and China once with a different tour group.  In all cases, I stayed overnight at LAX on the way.  It's the same philosophy as my getting to Logan early years ago even before they wanted you there two or three hours ahead.  I'd much rather be checked in and wait in a departure lounge than worry about missing my flight.

I just checked TSA regulations for Logan airport, and I still have to take my shoes off.  I guess they haven't implemented that over-75 waiver yet.  And the Trusted Traveler option is only good for Delta Airlines passengers.  I'm flying American to San Antonio for my college roommate's 80th birthday in a couple of weeks.

Author: forgerr

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 19
Trips Taken: 6
Countries Visited:

Antartcia-China-Italy-Australia-New Zealand-Fiji-etc

Traveler Since: 2008

October 04, 2012

Well we can see that all of you suggested we stay in LAX for a nite prior to depart. We had orig kicked that around and decided to not do it because there would be almost 6 hrs between our flight landing and leaving for Australia. However, we didnot know at the time that it was not possible to do a ck-in online for Quantas and the mushroom problems of having to go to ther ck in counter for Quantas. I guess it would have been pro active for GCT to make that info avail and possibly we would have done things diff.

However, it is too late to change  without creating additional issues. The bright side is we will be better equiped to deal with LAX on arrival thanks to all of you and your previous travels. Thanks again for your insight and any additional adds will be taken to heart!

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

October 04, 2012

You could call Qantas to find out if your checked luggage can be tagged for the final destination (Sydney?). I've had flights where I've had to check in but my luggage had been checked through.

I flew the big Air Bus from LAX and the "compartments" were fine, plenty of leg room and good service. I'm sure B.C. is more luxurious, but the flight was actually better than a couple of Delta Business Class flights that I've had. I did have an aisle seat so that helped.

Have a great trip.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

October 22, 2012

The problem is not going to occur when you leave the country, but when you RETURN.  The immigration lines at LAX are unending.  Get Global Entry and skip those lines, as well as shortcut the next TSA security check when you get ready to board your domestic flight. 

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