Philippine Airlines’ transfer to new LAX gate deferred to June 15

A Philippines Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft departs Los Angeles International Airport. Photo by Philip Pilosian/Shutterstock

PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) will transfer to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)’s newly built facility on June 15, two weeks after the previously announced date.

In an advisory dated Friday, May 28, the flag carrier updated passengers that the transfer to the Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC), which is known as the West Gates at the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), will take place on June 15 instead of June 1.

The newly built concourse is separate, but is connected to the main international terminal by an underground tunnel.

PAL continued to remind passengers to allot an additional 20 minutes to walk to the new departure gates after checking in and clearing security, both areas which will remain the same at TBIT.

There will be terminal transfer vehicles, similar to golf carts, available to those unable to walk the full distance, and passengers using wheelchairs will need to take the elevators, the airline said.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that the Airport’s decision may cause you,” the updated advisory read. “PAL has appealed urgently to the airport authority to reconsider the decision to move PAL flights from the TBIT to the MSC; PAL also is seeking assistance from city officials.

As previously reported by the Asian Journal, the airline had been appealing the move, citing concern for its passengers who are predominantly older or have disabilities.

The airline asserted its positioning as the biggest customer of wheelchairs at LAX, using 3,300 on average per month in 2019. Per one-way flight, as many as 80 passengers could require wheelchair assistance, PAL added.

“We will continue to pursue all available remedies in the hope that our flights will be retained at the original gates of the main TBIT concourse for the well-being and convenience of our valued passengers,” the airline added.

In response to concerns coming from PAL and the local Filipino American community, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), which oversees LAX, maintained that it values its relationship with both the airline and travelers.

“Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) strongly values its longstanding relationship with Philippine Airlines and the Filipino residents of and visitors to Los Angeles, and we look forward to providing an outstanding guest experience for Philippine Airlines passengers at LAX for many years to come,” the airport authority previously told the Asian Journal in a statement.

The West Gates, which were part of a $1.7 billion expansion project at LAX, were formally unveiled during a grand opening ceremony on Monday, May 24, boasting 15 gates, automated boarding gates and other new amenities.

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