Los Angeles International Airport, known widely as LAX, is the busiest airport in California when considering the number of passengers handled.
It has a total of nine terminals, and is has a wide range of amenities for travellers. It is located in the southwest of Los Angeles, and is served by a large number of taxi and private hire companies from all over the city.
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Getting to LAX Airport
The busiest airports in the world are usually the most difficult to get to or from and often result in overcrowded terminal and long check-in queues. LAX is the sixth busiest airport in the world, and third in America. The city of Los Angeles however has a great transport infrastructure and LAX also has a total of 9 terminals which allows then to deal with more than 16,000,000 passengers a year without too many difficulties.
Los Angeles Airport resides along the east coast of the pacific ocean in a pretty central-southwestern location to the city of Los Angeles and with being situated as such makes the airport pretty easy to reach from anywhere in Los Angeles city. The official address for LAX Airport is; Los Angeles International Airport, Westchester, Los Angeles, the airport is roughly 15 miles from Downtown Los Angeles. Passengers can reach the airport travelling by car, bus, taxi and shuttle transfer services.
Travelling by Car or Taxi
If you are travelling to LAX by car or taxi, you will find it easily accessible with direction signs pointing out the way. There are nine taxi companies that are authorised by the city, so you should not have any trouble finding a taxi to take you there. There are also many other airport transfer services available, such as; Limo, Private Hire and Jitney Cabs.
If you are travelling in a car, you can reach the airport from Downtown by travelling on I-10 West for five miles before turning onto S. La Brea Avenue. After a further three miles, turn onto Stocker Street and then S. La Cienega Boulevard. Turn into S. La Tijera Boulevard after 1.3 miles, and then S. Sepulveda Boulevard after another half a mile, from where you can follow signs to the airport, which is about another mile.
Traffic can sometimes be a problem, especially if you are travelling during rush hour on a busy weekday. It is therefore advisable to know exactly how to get to the airport before you set off. In general, you should give yourself about an hour to travel to LAX from Downtown on a busy day just to be safe, especially when due to board a flight or meet an arriving passenger.
Travelling by Other Methods of Transport
As well as taxis, you will be able to choose from a range of other transport options to get to or from LAX airport. The main airport shuttle service goes from the Aviation station on the Metro Green Line travelling to all major airports and popular destinations such as hotels and attractions like Disneyland. The Airport Shuttle is offered as a free service for anyone who is travelling with a valid TAP (Transit Access Pass) card. Otherwise the prices of a shared airport transfer are relatively low when compared to alternative methods and will nearly always work out cheaper than an airport taxi or airport parking solution.
You can also choose from a wide range of private shuttle companies. Super Shuttle, for example, provides a shared van service to LAX from all over Los Angeles. From Hollywood, the service is $16 per person up to a maximum of nine people.
Taxis In Los Angeles
There are nine taxi companies that have been authorised by the City of Los Angeles. Whether you are travelling to the airport, or you are travelling into the city after arriving in LAX, you will usually find taxis to be the most convenient mode of transport especially for direct airport journeys.
Always choose one of the regulated taxi companies to travel into the airport or anywhere else in the city. Look for a taxi with an official seal from the City of Los Angeles, which means they are fully insured and inspected, and only use professional drivers.
LA Taxi Costs
Taxis tend to be fairly expensive in Los Angeles. In fact, according to research published by UBS in 2012, which analysed taxi costs in over 70 cities across the world, taxis in LA are the third most expensive in the world. In the list of most expensive cities, LA is just behind Zurich and Geneva, with a three-mile taxi journey during the day in LA costing just over $25.
At the time of writing, the flag drop, which is the first 1/9 mile, is $2.85. There is then an additional $0.30 for every additional 1/9 mile you travel, or for every 37 seconds of waiting time.
However, you may be able to agree a flat rate to travel into LAX or from LAX to your destination. Just make sure that you agree this with your drive before you begin your journey.
Typical Cab Rates in LA
When travelling to or from LAX by taxi, you can base the rough cost of your fare for your journey on the prices above. To give you a better idea of your fare, some typical fares to and from various destinations in LA include:
Downtown: $46.50 flat rate
Norwalk: $55 flat rate
West Hollywood: $40 flat rate
Beverly Hills: $50-$70
Bel Air: $50-$80
Tipping LA Taxi Drivers
As well as your standard fare, you will also be expected to tip the driver. This is the same for taxis in LA as it is for anywhere in the United States. The typical rate that you tip the driver is usually between 10% and 15% of the total fare. You may find that this is added onto the fare automatically, especially if you pay by credit card.
What could affect the size of the tip that you pay? You may pay more or less depending upon:
The driver’s local knowledge.
Whether they provide you with recommendations for things to see and do.
How friendly and courteous they are towards you.
Whether they help you with your luggage.
Other Airports in LA
As well as LAX, there are a number of other airports serving the city of Los Angeles, including both domestic and international airports.
Bob Hope Airport
Bob Hope Airport, also known a Burbank Airport, is a domestic airport located three miles away from Burbank, another city in Los Angeles County.
If you are driving from Downtown, head north on Interstate 5 and drive for about 7.5 miles. Take the exit towards Lincoln Street, then head onto N San Fernando Boulevard. Then turn left onto N Lincoln Street and then right onto Thornton Avenue, and the airport is about a mile further along.
Shuttle busses also go to and from the airport regularly, and if you are arriving at the airport, you will see shuttles and taxis in front of the passenger terminal. Nearby hotels also run their own shuttle services, and there is even a rail connection to the Downtown area. One company that runs a shuttle service is Prime Time Shuttle. It claims that fares from Bob Hope Airport can often be about half the cost of a taxi. As an example, a shuttle from Hollywood Hills to the airport will cost in the region of $20.
If you decide to take a taxi, the rates are the same as they are for travelling anywhere else in Los Angeles. A typical fare for travelling from the airport to the Hollywood Bowl is approximately $30, and to Downtown LA you should expect to pay in the region of $50.
Long Beach Airport
Long Beach Airport is located in Long Beach in the south of Los Angeles, and it is the other domestic airport in the city.
To reach the airport by car, find your way onto the CA-91 Freeway and take the CA-19/Lakewood Boulevard exit. Carry on four about miles until you reach Donald Douglas Drive, then turn right and drive until you reach the airport.
If you arrive at the airport and want to take a taxi, you will find the taxi stand just outside the terminal. The rates are the same as in any area of Los Angeles ($2.85 for the flag drop, followed by $0.30 for every 1/9 mile or 37-second wait). You may also be able to arrange a flat rate, which will be in the region of $70 to Downtown LA.
If you would prefer to take another mode of transport, there are many shuttles and other transport services like limousines operating in the airport. One of the shuttle companies operating at the airport is Super Shuttle, and a shared van carrying up to nine people travelling from Hollywood to the airport currently costs $110.
John Wayne Airport
John Wayne Airport is one of the three international airports in Los Angeles, and it is located in Santa Ana, which is in Orange County.
To reach the airport from Downtown LA, travel on I-5 S before taking the exit onto CA-55 S and driving for about four miles. Then take the I-405 S exit and follow the signs for the airport.
If you take a taxi from the airport to your destination, you will find plenty of taxis to choose from, and prices are similar to those mentioned above. A taxi to Downtown LA will cost about $100, and you may also be able to arrange a flat rate to a specific destination.
You will also find plenty of shuttle services and door-to-door private vans, and these are located at the Ground Transportation Centre on the lower level of the airport. One of the companies serving the airport is Advance Shuttle, which charges $37 for a private service or $8 per person to Newport Beach.
LA/Ontario International Airport
More commonly referred to as Ontario International Airport, this is another of the international airports in Los Angeles. It is located two miles from Ontario in San Bernardino County, and about 40 miles from Downtown LA. It is the second most important airport in LA after LAX.
To reach the airport from Downtown LA, find your way onto the I-10 E/San Bernardino Freeway and travel along it for about 36 miles. Then take the Archibald Avenue exit and follow signs to the airport.
You will be able to catch a taxi from the stand that is located near to the baggage claim, and prices are similar to the prices mentioned above. A taxi to Downtown LA will cost you just over $100.
You will also be able to arrange door-to-door van services just outside the baggage claim. Super Shuttle runs a service from the airport to anywhere in the city, and a trip to Hollywood will cost in the region of $85 at the time of writing, plus $9 for each additional passenger up to a total of seven.
What to do in LA?
Visitors to Los Angeles will never find themselves short of things to see and do. It is one of the most exciting cities in the world, and attractions are plentiful.
Hollywood – Los Angeles
Taxi Fare from LAX: $50-$75
Hollywood is one of the most famous districts of LA, and there is plenty to see here to keep you busy. Visit the famous ‘Hollywood’ sign on Mount Lee, see the Walk of Fame, catch a concert in the famous Hollywood Bowl and of course keep your eyes out for the stars.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Taxi Fare from LAX: $60-$85
This huge theme park and movie studio is one of the biggest attractions in LA, and it is the ideal destination if you are travelling with kids. With exciting rides based around films like Jurassic Park and Transformers, it’s a world of fun for the whole family.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Taxi Fare from LAX: $40-$60
You will find this excellent museum on Wilshire Boulevard, and you could easily spend a whole day exploring its collection of over 100,000 works. It covers the entire history of art from around the world up to the modern day, and it’s one of the best museums in the city.
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Taxi Fare from LAX: $75-$90
This huge zoo and botanical gardens is another top family attraction in LA. Comprised of exciting zones including the Campo Gorilla Reserve, Elephants of Asia and Red Ape Rain Forest, you’ll easily be able to spend a whole day here.
Taxi Fare from LAX: $65-$90
Discover the world of science at the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park. You’ll find this in Los Feliz, surrounded by over 4,000 acres of space, and here you can discover everything you ever wanted to know about space and science.
Disneyland Park Resort is one of the most popular attractions for families and children for all ages. home to hundreds of your favourite Disney characters, the park covers a larger area than some cities. A taxi from LAX Airport to Disneyland Resort would cost an estimated $65.
Taxi Fare from LAX: $60-$85
If you are a baseball fan, a trip to the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers is a must. Find out if any games are on when you are in LA and make sure you check it out.