Improved Facilities at LAX for Transiting to London with Air New Zealand

I have flown fairly often with Air New Zealand to London during the past four-to-five years, but have almost always chosen to fly from New Zealand via Hong Kong instead of transiting through the United States. There’s been a very simple reason: once through security at Hong Kong, you have the run of the terminal, the lounge, and the shops. At LAX you have to be processed into the United States via Border Control, and are then shunted off to a less-than-adequate in-transit lounge. Going through Hong Kong makes for a wonderful transit stop; going through LAX much less so. Unfortunately Air New Zealand cancelled the Hong Kong to London option earlier this year, and so my flights to and from London next month are through LAX. I was resigned to the experience.

And then I heard some wonderful news for long-haul travellers going through LAX: there are new rules effective immediately. Once you have been processed by US Border Control, you have access to the shops in the terminal, and if eligible, to the Air New Zealand International Lounge:

Air New Zealand passengers can look forward to a better ground experience at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), including a much improved transit process.

After a successful trial, U.S. Customs has approved a new transit system for Air New Zealand passengers arriving from Auckland or from London. On completion of US visa requirements airside, transiting passengers can now access the general terminal area, including Air New Zealand’s Los Angeles International Lounge for those who are eligible, without the need to clear security.

Air New Zealand’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Acting Chief Sales Officer Norm Thompson, says the new transit process makes a significant difference to the overall passenger experience for those travelling to London via Los Angeles.

“This is great news for our customers. They now have the freedom to move around during their transit instead of being confined to the transit lounge while waiting for their onward flight,” says Mr Thompson.

The airline is continuing to work with airport authorities in Los Angeles to further improve the current facilitation process.

Air New Zealand customers can look forward to further enhancements to their travel experience when the airline relocates from Terminal 2 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX mid next year. The terminal is in the midst of a US$1.7 billion make-over which will culminate in an impressive 180,000 square feet food and retail experience as well as faster boarding and disembarking systems.

Thank you to everyone involved; this makes for at least one very relieved traveller. I’m now looking forward to transiting through LAX next month … and to many future in-transit experiences once Air New Zealand moves to the re-developed Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Read more: Air New Zealand enhances the customer experience for travel to North America

Categories: Miscellaneous