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If you fly into Terminal A can you go to Terminal B without going through TSA again?
Yes, just walk along the (almost) infinitely long concourse past the gates (don't turn out to baggage claim). The gates are numbered consecutively from 1 to 26(?), and you can look on an airport map to see roughly how long your walk will be. Note that they cheaped out on the air conditioning and don't have any slidewalks or visible shuttle carts, so you might need to ask about transport arrangements if you don't want to walk a mile.
Is there a presecurity walkway between terminal a baggage claim and terminal b check in? What's the best way to get to the check in counter at terminal b after retrieving checked in luggage at terminal a?
There's no sheltered walkway; there might be a sidewalk along the whole length of the airport loop road, but it's a looooong hike. I'd take one of the free blue shuttle buses. From Terminal A baggage claim, head out the south end (toward Terminal B) door and walk about 50 yards to the ground transportation island. On the east side of that island is a stop for the blue bus that goes between terminals and the Economy Parking Lot. Its next stop after the Terminal A island is Terminal B.
Anyone know when the security lines open? I have deliberately avoided early flights because my last experience was so bad (barely made flight because they didn't open TSA lines 2 hours early. So everyone waited in line and most barely made their flights even though they were there early. I am seeing all kinds of bad reviews that SJC is the worst (no pre-check, only one scan machine etc..) Any one know from recent experience on these early flights?
Will I have to go through security when changing terminals at SJC Will 20-40min be enough time to recheck bags & Change terminals at 9pm at night?
The two terminals are connected by a walkway inside security but if you have to claim and re-check bags you will have to exit security to do that. With checked bags I think you definitely don't have enough time to do this.
how long is the walk between terminals
The walk isn't the shortest, but at a brisk walk you can walk across each terminal in around 10-12 minutes, so 20-24 to get from gate 1 at one end of Terminal A all the way to the highest gate in Terminal B.
While food & drink at Mineta's Terminal A is presently limited to passengers only, those who yearn for fresh ingredients in their sandwich or salad, and get it quickly, may want to consider Fresh Attractions at the connector to gates 1-8 and 14. Starbucks is at gate 12/13.