Using LAX: Remember these key pointers

Making mistakes in Los Angeles isn’t at all foreign to Travellers Anonymous. For our regular readers you’ll remember at the end of last year we posted about our disastrous experience of booking a hotel in Hollywood, not renting a hire car and forgetting to check when the holidays were in the city.

Becoming adept at travelling isn’t so much an art form; it’s more like a way of cultivating your preparation skills. As we learned from our last trip to LA, the need to cover all bases when planning a trip is essential for stress-free travelling.

Taking extra time to research the airport you are flying into is extremely important, though often overlooked. To put everything into some semblance of order, consider these tips when flying into and out of LAX.

Securing a hire car

Los Angeles is a torturous place when it comes to traffic especially in and around LAX. As we advised in the aforementioned post, if you are staying in the city for more than a couple of days, it’s advantageous to hire a car. There are many hire companies, which operate from the airport itself and you can even pre-book your hire car before you set off on your travels.

LAWA states that there are more than 40 hire car companies operating from LAX. Thus, it’s imperative to do your research prior to your trip and find the best deal appropriate to your travel needs. Rental cars can be picked up from LAX’s airport parking terminals, which are very similar to many of Europe’s leading airports. In fact, using Heathrow Airport, situated just outside London as an example, LAX also has 4 main parking options where people can pick their hire cars up. Parking4Less, which operates out of all of the leading UK airports, states the 4 main types of parking nowadays are; short and long stay, business, valet and hotel parking. This is the same at LAX and other popular North American airports, so its typically best to look for which hire company is operating out of the terminal which you’re arriving at and see what they can offer.

Hiring a car will mean you don’t have to shell out for expensive cab fares and will be able to navigate the city with ease. Although, be aware of the rush hour periods.

Leave for the airport early

While returning your car hire will be easy, the traffic may be unpredictable especially if you’re travelling during rush hour. Additionally, SCPR states that during holidays or peak travel times, LAX can see close to 2 million passengers use the airport over the course of a long weekend. Therefore, the need to be prepared for traffic is of paramount importance.

The busiest times to travel are between 6am-9am, 11am-2pm and 7pm-10pm, which shows what little window of opportunity commuters have in the city. SCPR recommends getting to the airport two hours before for domestic and three hours for international flights. Planning when you set off for the airport will obviously depend on the distance you are from the airport but make sure to give yourself adequate time.

Check the status of your flight

Having a flight delayed for a considerable amount of time or even cancelled is every traveller’s worst nightmare. However, being equipped for every eventually especially in a bustling city like LA is just being practical. LAX has a dedicated page on its website that updates flyers on the status of their flight. Always check this before leaving for the airport.

The history of LAX

For the prepared arriving at LAX more than three hours might just be a way of alleviating airport anxiety. If this is the case, there are lots of interesting tidbits to take in at LAX. Steeped in history, CNN suggests “head[ing] to the lower level outside the Bradley Terminal, where there’s a plaque commemorating the first polar route flight, which was operated by SAS Scandinavian Airlines.” If you have more time, cab it to the Flight Path Museum in the airport’s old Imperial Terminal. It’s free, but it’s only open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.”

Have you travelled through LAX? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

This is an affiliate post written by Andi Hill. Photo credit:

10 Comments Add yours

  1. drdblogs says:

    We took a taxi to our hotel on Santa Monica and picked up the car from there. Much less stressful.
    Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jessica Lim says:

      On my last trip I took transit which I thought would be less stressful but ended up being the opposite. Next time I’m going to rent a car from the airport to save money and time. 🙂


  2. Haha thank i will be in lax

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Globetrotter says:

    Wow, I wish that I knew about all of these parking options when I was at LAX. It would have been really useful to know! I will keep this in mind next time. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jessica Lim says:

      Yes, it’s a great option when travelling in LA!


  4. kateamirault says:

    Good advice for any airport travel. However in USA a hired car may mean one with a driver whereas a rental car is one you rent for the duration of your stay & pick up / return at the airport. We often do a chauffeured limo to the airport from home and skip driving to avoid traffic & parking. Plan to enjoy a meal prior to departure since most airport food is better & cheaper than what you get on the airplane. Each airport has a personality – interesting to experience them good or bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jessica Lim says:

      Yes, lots of great options. I would rent a car from the airport next time just to keep costs lower but you’re right, traffic is a concern for sure.


  5. Kristy Rhine says:

    Thanks for advice!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If possible, I try to find flights into LGB instead of LAX. Much less traffic and hassle.


    1. Jessica Lim says:

      That’s an interesting tip! I never thought to do that but I find most flights go into LAX (at least the ones from Australia). 🙂


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