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readytotaxi
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UK To California Which Airport Best Experience?

Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:30 pm

It has been a while since I have been to the West coast, 20yrs+. Going in May and was wondering which airport will give me the better arrival experience? LAX, SFO or SAN ? My travel plans are flexable.  
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B747forever
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:03 pm

I have arrived at both LAX and SFO.

Really not a huge difference between both of them. However, if choosing LAX, avoid the 12-3PM arrival window into TBIT as you have many international flights arriving around that time. You will have A380s from BA, LH, AF, KE, SQ and EK arriving . Then throw in a couple of A330s/777s from other carriers and you have a mess.
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29erUSA187
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:55 am

SAN.

Almost no Customs line (if any). nice and small, but big enought to have amneties, plus, then its of SAN is much nicer culturally and activity wise than LAX, and nicer weather wise than SFO
 
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LAXintl
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:58 am

If you want pure stats average immigration wait times in 2014 were as follows:

LAX TBIT - 23.2 minutes
LAX T-2 - 13.0

SAN - 12.9

SFO - 25.6

Obviously each facility has its peaks and valleys so wait times will vary according to demand.

I think the question comes more down to what are your plans and intended destination when visiting California? I would personally fly into the airport closest to my destination.
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aklrno
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:52 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
LAX TBIT - 23.2 minutes
LAX T-2 - 13.0

As more of the new TBIT is finished things keep changing. Also the new automated passport machines are helping too. I don't think last years statistics mean much, but my impression is that TBIT has improved.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:20 am

Quoting aklrno (Reply 4):
I don't think last years statistics mean much, but my impression is that TBIT has improved.

How about January 2015?
Though keep in mind its was a rather seasonally slow month.

LAX TBIT - 19.9 minutes
LAX T2 - 12.5

SAN - 9.3

SFO - 23.2

Should have February stats in a week.

Quoting aklrno (Reply 4):
Also the new automated passport machines are helping

But not a very large volume of passengers utilize them. 3% of travelers used GE kiosk, and 18% used APC kiosk at TBIT for example. The per-hour utilization rates are considered low, so plan is removing some of the APC machines and relocating them to T2 and T7 instead of funding new machines for those terminals. With current utilization the view is TBIT has a saturation of machines.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
jetwet1
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:37 pm

LAS.....They did a really nice job with the new international terminal and nowhere near as busy as LAX/SFO.
 
zrs70
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:41 pm

OP:

What class of service are you in? What airline or alliance do you prefer?
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readytotaxi
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:49 pm

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 7):
What class of service are you in? What airline or alliance do you prefer?

Well be BA, in First.
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HOOB747
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:32 pm

Transitioning at LAX from an international flight to a domestic flight (assuming you will have a domestic connection) is a pain in the neck. No efficient method of getting to your connecting flight other than walking outside forever between terminals. Avoid.
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mercure1
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:41 pm

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 8):
Well be BA, in First.

Then your option is only LAX or SFO. No F class to SAN.

Quoting HOOB747 (Reply 9):
Transitioning at LAX from an international flight to a domestic flight (assuming you will have a domestic connection) is a pain in the neck. No efficient method of getting to your connecting flight other than walking outside forever between terminals. Avoid.

Actually I love that part. After long journey feels great to get outside in some normally pleasant and sunny weather. Also if you have any interest in aviation you can enjoy watching the planes come and go while you walk.

But more importantly if you are connecting, you have a far higher probability of ontime flights at LAX. SFO is notorious for its delays and was 2nd worst airport in US in 2014.

DOT 2014 U.S Airport On-Time Rankings - SLC Best (by LAXintl Feb 12 2015 in Civil Aviation)
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signol
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:57 pm

Can you try EI from Dublin to SFO and use the pre-clearence?

signol
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Aaron747
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:40 am

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 10):
SFO is notorious for its delays and was 2nd worst airport in US in 2014.

The BA and UA flights to/from LHR are usually unaffected as they don't operate in the morning bank that gets impacted by fog delays the most.

Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):
Going in May and was wondering which airport will give me the better arrival experience? LAX, SFO or SAN ?

If it were up to me, I'd arrive at LAX, and leave from SFO. There's something totally 'California' about descending over the desert, huge mountains, and then the vast swath of LA's city grid. You are greeted by palm trees, Pacific breeze, and car horns when you first go outside.

Then, leaving from SFO is just as glorious. You check-in under a beautiful terminal roof, enjoy the long taxi out to 28R by the bay, and depart with incredible views of SF and her bridges. That's the way to do it  
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S75752
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:52 am

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 10):
SFO is notorious for its delays and was 2nd worst airport in US in 2014.

Wasn't that also in part due to the runway renovations that took out one or two of them?
 
Gazdon121
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:06 am

fly BA and your get the A380
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:34 pm

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 10):
No F class to SAN.

Silly me for not cheking that.  
Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 12):
If it were up to me, I'd arrive at LAX, and leave from SFO
Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 12):
Then, leaving from SFO is just as glorious. You check-in under a beautiful terminal roof, enjoy the long taxi out to 28R by the bay, and depart with incredible views of SF and her bridges. That's the way to do it

That sound like a plan.
 
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pcash
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RE: UK To California Which Airport Best Experience

Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:08 pm

I got stuck at SFO for 8 hours in a storm en route to PSP last month and even without lounge access the airport was surprisingly good (especially the area near A Gates security).
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