aviation industry

PAL ‘forced’ to move flights to new Midfield concourse of Los Angeles airport

Aika Rey
PAL ‘forced’ to move flights to new Midfield concourse of Los Angeles airport

LA FLIGHT. A Philippine Airlines aircraft at the Los Angeles International Airport.

Los Angeles World Airports

(1st UPDATE) Los Angeles World Airports says it values its strong relationship with PAL and looks forward to 'providing an outstanding guest experience for PAL passengers at LAX'

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) said on Friday, May 21, that it was “forced” to move its flights to the new concourse of the Los Angeles International Airport starting June 1.

“Effective June 1, 2021, PAL will be forced, over our protest, to move our flights departing and arriving at Los Angeles to the new Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX),” PAL said in a statement.

PAL said the MSC gates are in a separate concourse that is connected to the main TBIT area through an underground tunnel.

PAL said it has appealed to LAX authorities about this and has sought the assistance of LA officials on the matter.

“We have raised the important consideration that a large number of our Filipino-American and visiting Filipino travelers are senior citizens or persons with disability who would be better served if the boarding gates are located closer to the check-in and security areas,” PAL said.

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

Given the changes, PAL advised passengers of the additional 20-minute walk time to the departure gates from the TBIT main courses.

PAL said there will be terminal transfer vehicles available for passengers who will not able to walk the full distance, which could be accessed via elevators from the TBIT main concourse.

There are also limited shops and services at the MSC terminal. PAL advised passengers to complete shopping or dining needs at the main concourse before proceeding to MSC.

There will be no changes in the check-in and arrivals location, the flag carrier said.

In a statement sent to Rappler, LAX operator Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) said it values its strong relationship with PAL and looks forward to “providing an outstanding guest experience for PAL passengers at LAX.”

“Absent the new West Gates at Tom Bradley, it would be necessary for more flights to operate at the Remote Gates, to which Philippine Airlines flights routinely were assigned prior to COVID-19, and which provide a notably inferior guest experience and require busing of passengers,” LAWA said of the gates previously assigned to PAL.

LAWA added that there are moving walkways, transportation services, and a new courtesy shuttle for passengers who need special accommodations going to and from MSC gates.

The MSC project is part of a multibillion-dollar modernization project at LAX. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.