I have a flight from SFO to LAX on Virgin America that lands at Terminal 3. My connection is at Tom Bradley Intl (Terminal B) for an international flight on Singapore Airlines. The layover is 1h 55m. It's on one ticket, but I don't know if I will be checked in from SFO or if I have to do it at LAX

Is that too short of layover? Because the alternative is to arrive 12hrs prior and I don't want to sit at LAX for 12hrs if I'm honest.

  • Bus?? Terminal 3 is adjacent to TBIT, it is just a couple of minutes walking.
    – npl
    Aug 4 '18 at 22:41

"It's one ticket"

Yes, you will be checked in for both flights and your baggage should be checked through to SIN. The Agent will confirm this at SFO.

1:55 is not really a short connection time, even if you have to walk from T3 to TBIT, they're adjacent.

It's possible Singapore Airlines will issue you a new Boarding Pass at the gate, just listen for any announcements. This would be entirely routine and doesn't mean anything specific.

  • Oh well, I tried.
    – Johns-305
    Jan 22 '17 at 15:21
  • I've made much shorter connections at LAX many times.
    – Johns-305
    Jan 22 '17 at 15:30
  • You know that you can actually delete answers rather than turning them into this?
    – Jan
    Jan 22 '17 at 15:42
  • 1
    @pnuts The official MCT for this specific connection is 1 hr 30 minutes, so two hours seems more than sufficient padding.
    – Calchas
    Jan 22 '17 at 16:01
  • 1
    Than you for your answers. I contacted Singapore and they couldn't confirm the bags would checked in. In the end I opted to just come in the night before and then head out to meet family before I continue on my flight. It takes longer, but I've had delays at SFO before (as George Y mentioned) that are 2+hrs. I went the cowards approach here.
    – encee
    Jan 23 '17 at 3:04

This is tricky. Both SFO and LAX are busy airports, and flight delays are frequent. I'm flying SFO-LAX route a lot (on Delta connection mostly, though) and from my (bad) experience half of times the flight is late; the worst I've seen was 90 minutes late. The way it usually works, your plane arrives at SFO late due to bad weather in Portland, you lose the takeoff slot and have to wait, and then you circle around LAX until you get the landing slot (credit to LAX ATC, we have never had to circle more than twice). However if you take an early flight from SFO (such as 6am flight), the plane will be there and your chance of success are high.

Then, you have to change terminals in LAX. Bus ride is relatively fast (as @pnuts said), your main issue would be security lines. Unless you have Clear/Star alliance gold or fly in business, you might be stuck for 30+ minutes there (and more if you are pulled in for extra security screening, which itself can take 30+ minutes). Note that TSA Pre does not work on international flights. Add 30 minutes for time to bus, on bus and from bus, and you don't have that much buffer time.

I'm also unsure you'd really be checked in on both tickets. You might not need to transfer your bag yourself, but you might need to stop by the check-in counter, and show them your luggage claim tag to make sure they pick it up. I had this situation with Delta/Aeroflot flight on the same ticket - apparently Aeroflot did not receive this information directly from Delta. Almost missed that flight then.

In short, it is doable if everything goes smooth, but you don't have much buffer time there.

  • Right. You can lower the risk of this delay by flying from a less busy airport (such as SJC), flying into the same terminal, and having no checked in bags.
    – George Y.
    Jan 23 '17 at 3:05
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    As someone from the area SJC->LAX is pretty busy as well. Though yea SFO is generally more so. Unfortunately, I do have baggage I need to check in.
    – encee
    Jan 23 '17 at 3:06

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