Although AA and US now make up the “New American Airlines” as they keep telling us, they are operating separately at a number of airports, in particular LAX.
American operates from Terminal 4 and US from Terminal 3. Unfortunately, these two adjacently numbered terminals are separated by the large Thomas Bradley International Airport, or TBIT as it’s known.
In order prevent passengers having to re-clear the TSA, AA operates a busing service from each terminal. On this occasion I was flying from Las Vegas to Philadelphia causing the connection at LAX.
At Gate 44 in the American Terminal there are a load of bus operations. Buses run to the commuter plane terminal (that services AA and US express services), to remote gates (shown as boarding at Gate 45), to TBIT (for Qantas international flights) and to Terminal 3. Each set of buses has separate lines, and staff patrol these to make sure you are getting in the right queue.
As each bus arrives downstairs the staff call you forward and you descend a windy ramp to get to the ground.
It is important that you listen to the agent so that you get the right bus.
Mine was pretty large with plenty of seats and baggage storage areas.
The buses have to follow the roadways in the airport so go a pretty long way round. There are some decent airplane views especially as you go down the back of the TBIT. At terminal 3 you have to climb stairs (with your luggage) to get to the terminal.
It’s not too bad a transfer experience, partly because it is relatively unused, but if you had a tight connection there is every chance you would miss it. Give yourselves time at LAX if going between US and AA.