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Air New Zealand passengers can look forward to a better ground experience at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), including a much improved transit process. After a successful trial, U.S. Customs has approved a new transit system for Air New Zealand passengers arriving from Auckland or from London. On completion of US visa requirements, transiting passengers now receive a token which allows them access to the general terminal area, including Air New Zealand’s Los Angeles International Lounge for those who are eligible, without the need to clear security. Air New Zealand’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Acting Chief Sales Officer Norm Thompson says the new transit process makes a significant difference to the overall passenger experience for those travelling to London via Los Angeles. “This is great news for our customers. They now have the freedom to move around during their transit instead of being confined to the transit lounge while waiting for their onward flight,”he said. The airline is continuing to work with airport authorities in Los Angeles to further improve the current facilitation process. Air New Zealand customers can look forward to further enhancements to their travel experience when the airline relocates from Terminal 2 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX mid next year. The terminal is in the midst of a US$1.7 billion makeover, which will culminate in a new food and retail experience, as well as faster boarding and disembarking systems. Eligible passengers will also be able to relax in a new Star Alliance Lounge at the Tom Bradley terminal. The new lounge is three times larger than the current Los Angeles Koru Lounge and will feature a unique open air terrace overlooking the runway. In addition to these ground experience changes, Air New Zealand will move to 16 return services per week on the popular Los Angeles-Auckland route during the peak northern winter period of mid-December to the end of January, including three flights on Thursdays and Sundays and double daily services every other day of the week — signalling an 8.7% increase in capacity. The airline is also making improvements to its San Francisco-Auckland services. Two new Boeing 777-300 aircraft will join the fleet in July and October 2014 and are planned to replace the two Boeing 747-400 aircraft currently operating the daily route. (

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