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April 2, 2012


Arrival Guide and Tips for Los Angeles Airport

by Jason Dutton-Smith
Destination USA!

Landing at Los Angeles Airport and feeling that rush of excitement to know you have finally arrived is thrilling! You pull into the gate, bounce off the plane and find you are faced with the labyrinth that makes up Los Angeles airport, or LAX as its referred. Here we explore the ins and outs to help glide you through.

This is a huge complex with seven terminals, double levels and confusing signs. Not to mention the scores of people all jostling to where they need to be. You will be forgiven for feeling lost on your first (and second, and third…) arrival but this quick guide will be sure to get you through with ease.

Double levels

Arrivals are downstairs with departures upstairs. Basically LAX is one giant horse shoe shape but finding your way from one terminal to the next can be confronting and confusing. Here are some quick tips to make it easy.

Inter-terminal transfer buses

Arrived in terminal 2 and need to get to terminal 6 with your bags? Don’t despair! There is a choice of either a leisurely stroll (all terminals are connected by footpaths with some open air sections) or the blue inter-terminal buses. When you arrive, pick up your luggage and head straight out the doors to the centre island and wait under the blue ‘Airline Connections’ sign and wait for Shuttle A (airline connections). Buses and shuttles run 24 hours per day and simply flag them down with a hand signal. Generally a $1 tip per bag is appreciated.


Once you’ve arrived and collected your bags, head straight out the doors and curbside you will find the yellow ‘Taxi’ signs to indicate where they stop. There is always a taxi stand attendant to help you with any questions.

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Shuttle Bus

Collect your bags and outside each baggage carousel, curb side, are a choice of two authorised shared van operators; Super Shuttle and Prime Time Shuttle. Look for the sign ‘Shared Van Rides’. Although you can purchase tickets on arrival, we highly recommend to pre-purchase your transfers to guarantee your seat and time to avoid any lengthy queue wait times, after an already long flight.

LAX airport hotel transfers

Do you have hours between your next flight or want to break the journey up? There are dozens of hotels around and near the airport area that cater to all budgets. Most hotels in close proximity have their own free shuttle bus transfers operating 24 hours per day. Simply collect your bags, head to the middle island outside the baggage collection area and wait under the sign marked ‘Hotel Shuttle’.

Car hire transfers

If you have hired a car from one of the 40 car hire companies available you will need to catch a car hire transfer bus or shuttle. All car hire depots are located off site and transfers are available 24 hours per day. Collect your bags, walk into the middle island and waive the transfer bus down from under the purple ‘Rental Car Shuttles’ sign.

Just remember finding your way round is all part of the travel experience and the fun of being in another country. So chat to a local, ask for directions often and enjoy the ride. If you are a bit of an airline geek like me you will also find Los Angeles airport a wonderful place to visit and hang out for a few hours.

Spare time to fill?

Found yourself with spare time? Or wanting to break up the journey with a short stay in LA? Why not take a custom, shared or private tour of Los Angeles between flights and experience another destination.

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Gatwick Airport Transfer
    Oct 30 2012

    The airport policies are becoming stricter than ever and leaving your luggage alone is the largest security breach you can make. In a condition like this, the possibility of your bag getting stolen or probably destroyed is more than it getting returned to you.


  2. Harry Bill
    Dec 26 2012

    The shuttle bus services to and from the LAX is cheaper than other transportation charges.They provide a low cost transportation and are available all the time. Thank you for the much valuable information


  3. Los Angeles Hotels
    Feb 16 2014

    You should have included images of hotels or places here in your blog. – Dave



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