I'm flying United from Melb to Mexico City, with a transfer at LAX. MEL=>LAX UA99, LAX=>MEX UA1077.

These were booked on "one ticket" (I believe I'm using the term correctly?), I paid United once and have a single itinerary describing all the flights.

I am now learning that the transfer time for these flight is perhaps tighter than I should have booked (1h45m). I have never travelled internationally before and just picked the one with the shortest layover.

According to step 5 here[1] I don't have to pass through customs, though I'd hardly say its a reliable resource.

This map seems to show UA exclusively limited to terminal 7/8 and apparently there is an "airside" inter-terminal connection between 6,7 and 8.

So I'm figuring that if UA99 lands at 7/8 and UA1077 departs from 7/8, then I can get off one plane, walk to the gate and get on the next, without any customs or immigration? I'm also carry-on only, so no bags to drop/collect/etc.

Is it reasonable to think that?

Relatedly, if I was to miss my connection due to immigration, delays, etc, would United rebook me to the next available since I booked "one ticket"?

  1. wikihow com Switch-Flights-in-LAX (sorry, can't post more than one link..., add a dot and a slash...)
  • Now that I look at this: info.flightmapper.net/flight/United_Airlines_UA_99, my flight leaves at 9:15, so I think it will actually land at B, which I think means "Tom Bradley International Terminal"... So I guess I will have to transfer either way...
    – Mexiwoah
    Commented Jul 18, 2015 at 9:04
  • 2
    The US doesn't do sterile airside transit. If you get off a flight which originated in another country, you always have to go through immigration and customs, even if you are just going to get on another international flight. (Unless your origin airport did preclearance, but Mexico City does not.) This means that, depending on your citizenship, you might also need a transit visa. There are many answers on this site that explain this more fully. Commented Jul 18, 2015 at 9:12
  • 1
    pnuts, Could you explain the flightmapper data? I think it seems to indicate TBIT since it also says 7 for the saturday flight, why differentiate if it was always 7?
    – Mexiwoah
    Commented Jul 18, 2015 at 10:03

1 Answer 1


You are arriving from an international destination (Melbourne) so you will pass through customs and immigration control on arrival in the USA. There is no exception for transit passengers. You should receive both boarding passes in Melborne but if not or if you lost the second, you'll need to visit the check in desk or the baggage drop desk to get your next boarding pass. Once you have it, then you will proceed to security for your next flight.

You may need a visa or a visa waiver to enter the USA, depending on the passport you hold. (No exceptions are made for transit passengers.)

Your timing is tight but not impossible. If you miss your flight to Mexico for any reason beyond your control (immigration delays or inbound aircraft delayed), United will reaccommodate you on another flight to Mexico at their expense.

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