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We have a flight from Houston to LAX on Southwest (arrives 7:20 am at LAX) then an international flight on American Airlines that leaves at 10:50 am to Japan. If we have carry-ons only will we need to exit security and re enter?

3 Answers 3

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Yes, you will. This isn't because of any aviation or security laws, but simply because Southwest's terminal at LAX (Terminal 1) isn't connect to any of the other terminals airside (post-security). You'll need to walk or take the shuttle to Terminal 4 or 5. You could also probably reclear security at the TBIT, but those security lines are horrendous. Best (usually) to go to Terminal 4.

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    There is a small, unused security checkpoint at the arrivals level of TBIT which leads to a tunnel between TBIT and T4.
    – gparyani
    Mar 10, 2018 at 7:55
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There is no air-side transfer between terminals 1 and 4, so you must exist and re-enter passing through security. Even if you had checked bags, it would make no difference in this case.

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Whether you booked your ticket under one leg or different tickets for both the legs, if the terminal is different, you have to check-out & check-in again to catch your next flight.

It's the case for both domestic & international flights.

Tips:

  • Check the arrival and departure terminals before you leave.
  • Use Google Maps or Airport Map to know about the Terminals.
  • Allocate Time for Check-Ins & Check-Outs (2 hours for domestic & 4 hours for International is usually required for security check-in, boarding pass, ID verification, luggage check-ins, etc).
  • Research & find if there's any simple connectivity to reach the other terminal (in case of connecting flights).
  • Take help of customer service & to move to other terminal, better take Airport Shuttles.

This wikihow article can be worth to read: https://www.wikihow.com/Switch-Flights-in-LAX

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    There's no such thing as "checking out" and, if both flights are on the same ticket, you don't need to check in again. Mar 10, 2018 at 12:27
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    @DavidRicherby in the case of the OP, I can guarantee he’s got separate tickets. Southwest tickets can only be issued by them and they do not issue tickets for any other airlines.
    – DoxyLover
    Mar 10, 2018 at 16:09

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