Recently, I was traveling home via a connection in Los Angeles. Having made a few connections there, mostly from Australia, I am well aware that the flight between LAX and Portland usually leaves from one of the gates at the annex terminal for American Airlines known as Gates 60A-I.
The important thing to know about any flight leaving, or arriving, at Gate 60A-I is that it requires a shuttle bus to get to/from that area to the other terminals at LAX, and that shuttle can be a good 15 minutes journey.
On this last trip, I witnesses many people who had clearly not planned for that. Whether it was arriving at the airport, accepting a tight connection, or simply stopping to grab a bite, it was clear that way more people that usual were running to catch flights, and a few didn’t even make it. Look, this set of gates is well away from the other terminals, and the shuttle buses have to yield to any airplane ground traffic, so it’s not a quick little trip. If you only have 45 minutes to connect, or get to through security with say 30 minutes to spare, this shuttle trip is a significant amount of time.
So, if you’re flying American through LAX, do yourself a favor and check the recent arrival/departure information for your flight number. If you see one of these gates involved with your connection, plan accordingly!
Update Feb 27, 2017 – After going through LAX again this weekend, I noticed that the gate numbers have changed. The little mini-terminal is now Gate 52, not 60. Still, the same advice applies!