I have a flight with Emirates to LAX and then a flight with United. If I arrive at 1:55 pm at LAX and my next flight is at 2:50 pm, is there enough time? Both flights are international.


No. United and Emirates do not interline, so the only way this connection could happen would be if you purchased two separate tickets. This is not nearly enough time for that.

When you arrive in LAX on an international flight from Dubai, you'll have to go through US immigration and customs, change terminals, then security, then to your gate. And if you have checked luggage, you'll have to pick it up and check it in at the United counter. 55 minutes is not nearly enough time for that. You could be in immigration longer than 55 minutes (you can check past wait times online). Worse, you're required to check your bags at least an hour before departure, and that's entirely impossible.

In addition, if you book two separate tickets, you are responsible for your own connection, not the airlines. If you miss the flight (and in this case, you will), the airline has no obligation to help, and you could have to shell out a lot of cash at the last minute for a replacement ticket. I'd encourage you to buy this trip as a single ticket instead, or at least to leave a long buffer between flights if you're sure you want two separate tickets.

  • Even if one's traveling on the same ticket, one still has to claim bags at their first U.S. airport and recheck it. In the case of LAX and most large airports, there are dedicated counters after customs for this, but in the case of a separate ticket one would probably need to check them at the main check-in counter used by most people. – gparyani Aug 4 '18 at 4:17

If it is on two separate tickets, it is impossible. Your luggage must be checked in with the second airline one hour before the flight (international two hours), and you will be still in the air that time.

You need a minimum of three hours to go through immigration and customs, and still be two hours before the next flight to check you luggage. Unless you don't care about the cost to buy a new ticket in the fly, plan a minimum of five hours, better more.

If you have no luggage, and you fly business class, you have a 50/50 chance to make it in time, assuming your flight doesn't come in late.

If you have it booked on one ticket, it is the airlines problem. They will simply rebook you on a new connection; if you don't care to arrive a day late, it will be ok.

  • 2
    I'd say it's a 100% "no" regardless of luggage or ticket class. IMHO there is no way you could get through immigration and then get to the terminals that United use at LAX, get through security and then to the gate in 55 minutes. – Peter M Aug 4 '18 at 14:22
  • 1
    @PeterM , if you are in business class, and don't dawdle, you can be through immigration five to ten minutes after gate arrival - you are with the first dozen people out of the plane, and with the first dozen at the immigration desk. Have done that many times in many airports. – Aganju Aug 4 '18 at 15:26
  • 3
    The incoming security depends on how many the planes have arrived at the same time as you - you have no control over that. For out going security I've personally seen the lines out the door and along the sidewalk. Plus United is the opposite end of the terminal from TB - so that's still a hike – Peter M Aug 4 '18 at 15:43
  • 1
    @aganju that works in small airports. In larger airports like LAX I have been frequently first of my plane to get to immigration, only to arrive in a passport control hall that’s already full. YMMV of course. – jcaron Aug 4 '18 at 17:02
  • If you have no checked bags, don't have a long walk to the immigration area, are one of the first off the plane, and have Global Entry, it's still the equivalent of being driven to the airport ~45 minutes before your flight departs and getting dropped off at entirely the wrong terminal far away from the one you need. It's not impossible that you'd make it, but especially since boarding closes before departure time, you don't have very good odds. – Zach Lipton Apr 12 '19 at 22:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.