Getting Around LAX
LAX is often considered one of the most-daunting airports for executive travelers. Even seasoned residents of Southern California who frequently pass through Los Angeles International Airport can find navigating the 3,500 acre campus overwhelming. Between nine terminals and an estimated 60 million passengers who pass through the airport annually, it’s currently ranked as the busiest airport in California, and the sixth-busiest in the United States.
From VIP lounges, to traveling between terminals, to meeting your Chauffeur once you land, every airport has its own rules and regulations. We’ve curated a list of basic tips for success during your next journey that begins or ends at LAX:
1. Traveling Between Terminals
Due to the expansive size of LAX airport, the most common way to get to a connecting flight is by airport shuttle, which are labeled “LAX Shuttle and Airline Connections.” The service is complimentary, and buses arrive approximately every 15 minutes to clearly designated points outside each shuttle. If you choose to walk between terminals, the time needed can vary widely. Most terminals are separated by approximately a 3 to 5 minute walk, and it takes most people approximately 25 minutes to walk between the furthest terminals.
2. Collecting Your Luggage
While LAX doesn’t have the nation’s worst record of late departures or arrivals, it’s far from a favorite airport among executive travelers. In a major survey of readers of Travel + Leisure magazine, LAX was voted the 2nd-worst, coming in only behind New York’s La Guardia. A top complaint is perceived slow handling of luggage, and delays while waiting for bags. While most travelers are able to quickly collect their luggage and meet their Chauffeur, many ground transportation providers anticipate that their passengers could experience delays. Travel writer Brian Clark Howard recommends planning to wait 20 to 30 minutes to collect checked luggage at major airports nationwide.
3. Meeting Your Chauffeur
Meeting your Chauffeur at LAX can be a challenge. It’s prohibited for chauffeured transportation providers to park or stand near the arrival gates, which means Chauffeurs will typically park. The best transportation providers will typically track flights, so travelers can simply focus on collecting their luggage. It’s wise to have your Chauffeur’s cell phone number on hand to contact them if you’re unable to locate him or hear near the baggage claim so there will be no waiting time between exiting the terminal and settling into your sedan.
4. Productivity in the Terminal
LAX is among the best airports for working between connecting flights or while waiting to board. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in all terminals, and there are a number of power outlets and USB ports for charging laptops and mobile devices.
5. Meeting With Clients
Whether you have a planned meeting with clients or colleagues, there are a number of places to wait or work that offer more luxury and personalized attention than the stereotypical airport bar. The Admiral’s Club in Terminal 4 is available to members of the American Airlines loyalty program. Options for members of Delta Sky Club, Continental Airlines President’s Club, United Airline’s Red Carpet Club and United Airlines United 1st International Club are available in terminals 5, 6, and 7. Whether you are facing an unexpected delay or need to schedule a meeting at the airport, using the VIP lounges can be among the best benefits of airline loyalty programs.
Having a basic understanding of LAX’s layout and amenities will ensure you’re prepared for the worst the next time you fly. From having your Chauffeurs cell phone number close at hand, to understanding how to travel between terminals, your LAX experience can be entirely positive.