New Hawaiian Air LAX Terminal Is A Travel Mess

This Hawaiian Airlines Terminal Is A Traveler’s Nightmare

Beat of Hawaii flew to Los Angeles yesterday on Hawaiian Airlines flight 10 from Honolulu, and we’ll have much more to say about that coming right up. In the meantime, let this serve as a tip on what to expect after leaving the plane and navigating to baggage claim at LAX.

Late last year, Hawaiian moved from Terminal 5 shared with their partners JetBlue and American, among others, to Terminal B/Tom Bradley International Terminal. Sounds okay, right? In theory, this would improve the passenger experience and provide enhanced shopping and other amenities. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

Here’s our experience of their new location after our A330 wide-body pulled at the last of the west gates in Terminal B.

1 1/3 mile walk from the gate to baggage claim or check-in to the gate.


No matter whether you’re arriving or departing LAX, you need to be prepared and arrive early. We entered a veritable maze starting soon after the arrival gate, which snaked mysteriously through the airport. It included escalators up, down, and many very long corridors. In a word, it was disorienting after disembarking from a 5-hour flight from Hawaii.

No Hawaiian Air lounge at LAX.

Hawaiian mentioned that there were more food and beverage options in the new international terminal, plus lounges. It must be pointed out, however, that Hawaiian no longer has any lounges other than at its Hawaii airport locations.

Hawaiian Airlines LAX

When Jeff checked back in at LAX this morning for his flight to Maui, he asked the ticketing agent about the new location. He was told that it catches many visitors off-guard, as they aren’t expecting the 15-minute “brisk walk” required to get to the gate. “Some people have actually missed their flights,” according to the agent.

Is Tom Bradley International Terminal even relevant for west-coast-centric Hawaiian?

While it is now much easier to transit between other international carriers and Hawaiian, that is obviously a small part of their business. For the bulk of their passengers who are starting and ending on the west coast, this is a big nuisance, at least for now, and there’s more.

Hawaiian Airlines flights from LAX.

The airline flies three times daily to Honolulu, at 7 am, 10 am, and 6 pm. They also fly once each day from LAX to the three neighbor islands.  So it seems that the choice of terminals is important.

When the move occurred, the airline said, “Hawaiian’s guests traveling to and from Hawai’i via LAX will enjoy a modern and comfortable facility featuring more amenities, expanded dining and shopping options, and a spacious gate area.”

Options for guests regarding the limited amenities.


What we found this morning is that there was almost nothing open anywhere near the gates Hawaiian uses. Instead, the only dining options were located soon after check-in and before embarking on the very long walk. For most people unaware of the circumstances, there would not be time to return to where these amenities are currently located.

What guests can do who don’t want to walk 1 1/3 miles?

Hawaiian Airlines At LAX

Many porter-driven golf carts were located at both ends of the very long passageways. There are escalators, but there are also elevators. So either using the golf carts or limiting some walking via the elevators is possible.

We suggest that Hawaiian Airlines’ guests, who can walk reasonably quickly, plan on an extra 20 minutes at LAX after security or before heading to baggage claim. There will also be crowded areas, and the signage to baggage claim is definitely lacking.

What’s your experience with Hawaiian at LAX?

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158 thoughts on “This Hawaiian Airlines Terminal Is A Traveler’s Nightmare”

  1. Hawaiian Airlines should speak up and definitely needs to improve the current situations with LAX if they want to keep all valuable customers.

  2. The LAX/Bradley Terminal experience when flying to and from Honolulu was a nightmare. Getting to baggage claim has to be the longest hike I’ve ever taken in an airport. The back and forth of up the escalator, down the elevator and back again seems like an unecessary burden on travelers. Who ever designed the layout really dropped the ball. It’s the last thing you need after a long flight. Now that I have experienced this afront to customer service on two different trips to Honolulu, I am not inclined to make a third trip.

    1. One thing to remember is that Hawaiian Airlines did not have a choice in the decision to move. At Los Angeles, they are not a major player and got forced into TBT. Let’s hope the current arrangement for getting to baggage claim can be fixed. On the positive side, We do get our steps in when returning home!

  3. Never again! I’ve flown Hawaiian in and out of LAX twice this year. I will never do it again. The walk is ridiculous: Up, down, around, up, down, around. And signage for baggage claim is nonsensical. Leaned on this trip that this setup is permanent. Not for me!

    1. We have dealt with the Hawaiian Airlines baggage claim issue since their first week in Tom Bradley at LAX. The very first trip, I felt like a rat in a maze. I hope they can make changes to the route from arrival to baggage claim area. Remember that Hawaiian Air did not choose to move to TBT, they were forced there.

  4. We were in Las Vegas for a reunion then flew Hawaiian to Honolulu for a vacation before flying home to LAX. We hadn’t been to Hawaii since before the pandemic and were totally unprepared for the nightmare walk from the gate to baggage claim in terminal 3. My husband is 82 and both he and I have mild knee issues exacerbated by prolonged walking. Additionally, you can no longer have a private car service pick you up at the curb. After that nightmare walk, you then have to heft your luggage onto a shuttle for a trip out to Zone 20A…. We are planing on terminating our Hawaiian miles cards we’ve had for over 20 years and switching to Delta Skymiles so we never have to fly into or out of that terminal again!

  5. I agree. Lax is a train wreck. It’s terrible flying Hawaiin both in and out from there.. But Honolulu is also a mess. From the time we turned our rental car to the time we hit our gate was about an hour. A long line at the return shuttle (only way to get from all rental cars return to Hawaiin terminal 1) and then a walk to the wiki second shuttle after TSA.. Finally a second security check at the c Gates terminal. Hawaiian sure doesn’t make their flights easy on anyone and I feel terrible for those with mobility issues. Delta was much much easier and after 20 years with Hawaiin, with their new changes we may change away from them. Heck they don’t even give out the chips or the cookies or the chocolates any more on their flights.

  6. I can not walk from the check in to the gate as I just had major surgery. Please Is there a way to reserve a cart? Thank you for any help you may give me

    1. Hi Karen.

      We don’t know if a cart is reservable. Recently we have found the carts to be widely available, but we’d suggest contacting Hawaiian Airlines to inquie further about your situation.


  7. Hawaiian’s LAX terminal is rated “Avoid At All Costs” for me. We like to fly the wide bodies for the lay flat seats, but after one time in this terminal, we vowed to never return. We fly out of San Francisco now, even though LAX is closer. Close to a 2 mile walk, confusing signs/directions, no lounge, and they didn’t even have curbside bag check or a dedicated first class line. Hard Pass to flying Hawaiian out of LAX.


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