The refurbished Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX is spectacular in every way. Well, every way except one.
Security checkpoints in TBIT are terrible. Really bad. Waiting time is routinely so bad that I refuse to bother with it any longer. If I am flying out of TBIT, I will book a refundable ticket on AA, walk over Terminal 4 next door, use PreCheck, then walk over to TBIT (and cancel my refundable ticket).
That may sound tedious, but waiting in a slow-moving line without PreCheck and with a bunch of inexperienced travelers is far worse. Even though there is a “premium class” line in TBIT, it quickly empties into a general queue, saving little time. Even when lines are not long, it still takes 15 minutes to get through security.
But my Terminal 4 trick is no longer necessary.
Hidden Security Checkpoint in Bradley Terminal
After collecting your boarding pass, proceed downstairs to the baggage claim area. Once inside, walk to the far south side of the building (i.e. turn left when as you enter the building from the street). Look for a blue sign that says “Connecting Flights”. There you will find the hidden checkpoint.
On Wednesday afternoon it was empty…as in, just me.
Here’s photo evidence–
Best of all? PreCheck is honored. Laptops must be removed, but shoes and coats may remain on and you will be directed through the metal detector rather than the body scanner.
Once past the checkpoint you come to escalators that will take you upstairs to the bridge connecting T4 with TBIT:
Once you reach the pedestrian bridge, you can turn left to head to terminals 4,5,6,7, and 8 or turn right to enter TBIT.
As you walk toward the Bradley Terminal, you will pass over the regular security checkpoint:
But unlike the chumps in line there, you won’t be wasting time standing around.
Is this the best kept secret at LAX or what? Hopefully not too many will read this article, but I could not help but to share it.