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I will be traveling on September 26th from Hawaii to Atlanta. I am not a US citizen but I hold a valid ESTA. My travel agency has booked these flights:

HONOLULU, HI (DANIEL K INOUYE INTL), TERMINAL 1   | 25 SEP 22:10
LOS ANGELES, CA (LOS ANGELES INTL), TERMINAL 5    | 26 SEP 06:30

LOS ANGELES, CA (LOS ANGELES INTL), TERMINAL 2     | 26 SEP 09:00
ATLANTA, GA (HARTSFIELD-JACKSON INT), TERMINAL S   | 26 SEP 16:28

The problem is that the flight from LAX to ATL has a different ticket number, so I have been told that I will need to get my luggage and check in with Delta.

I think (but am not sure) that, for that reason, I will have to go through security, as if I ended the trip in Los Angeles. I have been informed that, depending on the day, this could take a while.

I will also need to change from one terminal to another terminal (not sure which numbers).

  • Do I need to pass security control and customs in LAX?
  • Is 2 hours 30 minutes enough time to do it?

Since I'll already be in the USA (Hawaii), is there an easier control for foreigners (I'm European)?

  • 1
    This looks like an utterly exhausting itinerary. I hope you get some good sleep when you get to Atlanta. – Zach Lipton Sep 1 '18 at 1:42
  • Does the LAX-ATL flight really go backwards in time? I didn’t know Delta already offers time travel... – Aganju Sep 1 '18 at 2:48
  • It is not that it goes back in time, hehehe. But it travels faster than the rotation of the eath and therefore will get sooner @Aganju – jalazbe Sep 1 '18 at 6:15
  • You really have 3.5h hrs. Why do you say 2.5? – npl Sep 3 '18 at 23:32
  • I wrote it wrong. I have just modified it. I got 2 hours 30 miutes – jalazbe Sep 4 '18 at 5:20
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Since all of these are domestic flights, customs (or passport control) is not involved at all, and things work exactly the same for everyone regardless of citizenship.

You will have to:

  • exit the plane and go to baggage claim
  • wait for your bags
  • go to the terminal where you will do your check-in
  • check in (or drop your bags) before the deadline
  • go through security
  • get to your gate before the boarding deadline

The only shortcuts to get through security faster are fast track (if you are flying premium classes or have status) or TSA Pre, but the latter requires quite a bit of preparation (and I’m not even sure it’s open to foreigners?).

Two and a half hours should be enough if your incoming flight is on time. However, if there’s a delay and you can’t make it, remember that you are on your own: your outgoing flight will be considered a no-show, and it’s up to you to book (and pay for) a new ticket.

Personally, I would prefer to have all flights on a single ticket so it’s the airline’s responsibility to get you to your destination (and you wouldn’t have to claim and re-check your bags), or I would rebook with a bit more time (4 hours is a safer bet), though I have seen flights delayed longer than that.

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    The only thing I might add is that Delta uses Terminals 2 and 3 and Hawaiian is in Terminal 5, so the OP will need to take the free inter-terminal shuttle bus. When traffic is heavy around TBIT this could take as much as 20 minutes, maybe even longer (I haven't attempted it in over a year). It is possible to walk, though it probably wouldn't be pleasant with bags, especially for someone unfamiliar with LAX. – choster Aug 31 '18 at 18:19
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    @choster The OP will need to be checked in with Delta by 07:30 at the very latest if they have luggage. Normally I would say the terminal won't be that busy then, but I am unsure if they will run into business travelers leaving LA at that time of the day. – Peter M Aug 31 '18 at 18:42
  • @choster Walking is likely faster, even if not familiar with LAX. – npl Sep 3 '18 at 23:33

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